Tattoo conventions can be a very exciting and beneficial place to be. When you live in an area that doesn’t have the styles of tattoo art available to other places in the country/world, a convention is a great place to find them. It is a gathering place for tattoo artists, tattoo enthusiasts, and tattoo related shops, art and fun. It is an excellent place to view hundreds of the best tattoo artists in the world’s portfolios, ask questions, and see artists work.
When you have decided that you want some work done by a famous artist, and you have the money, but it’s not possible to go to their shop 2,000 miles away, setting up an appointment with them when they attend the convention nearest you is an awesome way to get it done. Often at times, tattoo artists will plan their entire weekend’s tattooing schedule ahead of time, so be sure to talk to them a few weeks in advance. Although this usually only happens with the most sought after tattoo artists, so if you’re just looking to get great work by anyone with incredible skill, getting a tattoo on the spot is easy.
Tattoo artists usually need to be invited to the convention in order to attend, so not everyone you want to see will be there. Plus, not all tattoo artists like to travel and attend conventions, but almost all of the big names do. Many tattoo magazines will have photographers and writers at conventions, and it’s likely that your picture can be put into the next month’s issue. There are award ceremonies for the “tattoo of the day” , best color piece, best traditional piece, etc, with cash and trophy prizes. Tattoo artists are competing through the whole weekend, and do some of their best work at these conventions. Plus, prices on tattoos, especially ones that the artist is excited about and wanting to enter in the contests, are oftentimes cheaper than in a shop. There have been plenty of great artists that give away free tattoos on people that are open to suggestion so that artist stays busy, have more of a chance to win awards and get their picture taken, etc.
Getting tattooed in an entirely different manner, such as in a traditional Japanese style used to require traveling to Japan. Now, however, traditional tattoo artists from a variety of cultures and countries are represented at all of the big conventions, and are not booked ahead of time.
Tattoo conventions are also great advertising opportunities if your market is tattoo enthusiasts. Many companies set up a shop for the weekend and sell whatever wares they brought.
Most importantly for hopefully artist looking to become a tattoo artist, conventions are excellent places to network, show your portfolio and get critiques by famous tattoo artists, and also get helpful advice on how to proceed. If you have a business card or a portfolio, bring it, and the admission fee might be the best spent $15 dollars of your new career.