London Tattoo Convention 2012

I went on my annual jaunt to the London Tattoo Convention on Saturday. I had the best of times and the worst of times as Dickens might say (if he was keen on posing tattooed twats).

The reasons for why it was good – I don’t really want to go into at the moment. Yes, there are things that are too personal – even for me – to share. But to put it bluntly (yet still very obscurely), the reasons for why I enjoyed this year more than ever – had nothing to do with tattoos.

But why did I also not enjoy it? Mainly because I am a little bit over tattooing. Yes, I realise it’s my main topic of conversation, and I get them more regularly than I have even done – but at the same time that is why it’s a little bit boring for me. I no longer get the buzz off a fresh tattoo. It’s just something that I do – and feel compelled to keep doing – a bit like drinking tea, smoking or going to the pub. I am not a tattooist, nor involved in the tattoo industry in any way; I’ve had enough tattoos of my own to not find it a novelty to see others going under the needle.

I had a tattoo while I was there from Stefano C from Frith Street. It’s a really good tattoo, one of my best and the experience was enjoyable – but it wasn’t the same adrenaline rush it once was. As I alluded too earlier, my main rush of the day came from entirely different sources. That said, Stefano is a very cool bloke and a great tattooist, and I am sure I will have more tattoos from him in the future. I will stick a glowing review and a photo up on this site once it’s healed. I think it was more the vibe of the event as a whole that had somehow lost it’s magic. I was also incredibly tired on the day.

I’m getting a new one on Saturday and I am really am looking forward to, however. It’s by a famous tattoo artist and it’s in a painful spot. This means I will be more nervous than usual and ipso facto, the tattoo will be more exciting.

One of the very coolest aspects of getting a tattoo at a convention is being tattooed in an unfamiliar environment. It is far more public than usual. It is cramped and it is crowded. Strangers take photos of you without asking. You do not have the comforts of lying on a bench as you would in a studio; instead you sit in a rickety chair and simply hold your limb out at a funny angle. This is charming and fun in it’s own kind of way.

I probably won’t go again, but London Tattoo Convention – I salute you. We’ve had some fun together.

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