Category: Conventions

Natural History Museu​m ​of Los Angeles: ​Tattoo An Exhibition

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This November, The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles showcases an exhibition 5,000 years in the making. The art of marking skin with ink spans cultures, continents, and has evolved over time. We find ourselves with a mysterious fascination with both ancient and modern tattoo practices. Are they considered a part of sacred ritual or an act of rebellion? A sign of belonging or expression of individuality? In the special exhibit Tattoo, you’ll explore the history, technique, motivation, and sheer artistic genius that are connected to one another by ink.

19th November – 15th April 2018

The Natural History Museum, LA

Buy tickets here 

The exhibit will feature more than 125 images and objects, ranging from historical artefacts to intricate contemporary designs tattooed onto silicone models of the human body. Each tells the story of this unique and diverse art. The Museum will enhance the West Coast incarnation of Tattoo with objects from the Museum’s expansive collection, as well as features specific to the rich tattoo cultures of Southern California, from Ventura to Los Angeles to Long Beach and Orange County.

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Charity Tattoo Convention: Nessy Forever

In loving memory of Mark Nesmith

Nessy Forever Charity Tattoo Convention

17th September 


FarGo Village Coventry

Entry fee – £10 on the door
Free to under 16s 

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We would love to have you with us to celebrate the life of Mark Nesmith. Together we can give Nes the send off he deserves – with loud music, great tattoos, laughs, smiles and the beautiful acomplished feeling of being a part of something amazing.
Something Mark made us feel, everyday we spent with him.

The convention will be filled with live tattooing and many artists will have walk-ups available. Live music and DJs will play throughout the day including; Charles Dexter Ward & The Imagineers and Special Brew. Also don’t miss the raffle to win artwork and many more fun surprises!

Confirmed artists:

HALES STREET STUDIOS Paddy O’RaffertyWarren PerryDan Jackson & Mitch Weaver






REAL ART TATTOO Matt Barratt-Jones

BOLD AS BRASS TATTOO Nick Baldwin & Mark Walker


QUEEN OF HEARTS Natalie OughtonJamie Radburn & Kate Stenner



CREATIVE BODY ART Joanne Leslie & Holly Marie


SECOND CITY TATTOO CLUB Isobel Stevenson Morton

INFINITE INK Donna Reid, James Aston Mewett & Mike Williams


100% of all money raised will be given to Mark’s Mother and Father

The Limerick International Tattoo Convention 2017

Guest writer Harry Casey-Woodward (who is still a tattoo virgin) recently attended the Limerick Tattoo Convention on 25th March with his wife, this is what they got up to…


Tattooist @marcinchtattoo working at the convention

The convention I went to in Limerick, Ireland, is the second tattoo event I’ve ever been to. My first was last year’s convention at Brighton (read my thoughts here). Last Saturday, I was accompanying my wife to Limerick, as she was getting her first convention tattoo done by Magda Hanke, a tattooist she’s admired and stalked on Instagram for some time.


Outside the convention


Electric Soul Tattoo Shop from Cork had some cool art work on sale

The convention was at the South Court Hotel from 25th to 26th March. After spending a day in Limerick, it certainly didn’t feel like a centre for alternative culture. As lovely as the town is, on the surface there’s museums, pubs, a castle, and not much else.


@Astintattoo creating a realism portrait


The bagpipe player

The event itself was about a quarter of the size of the Brighton event (although after learning that Brighton is one the biggest tattoo conventions in the world, I realised every event is going to be smaller). There were just four rows of stalls packed in to one big room, but there was lots to see.


Keelin Cor getting ready for her next client


I loved all the different designs on these skateboards

There were a hundred artists, all with impressive and varying styles. Entertainments included a bagpipe player (who tested my wife’s patience while she was under the needle). My favourite performer was Sideshow Ramone, a magician who knew how to amuse his audience while jumping on glass, sword swallowing and struggling out of a straitjacket. The show was hosted by alternative model Bernadette Macias, from LA, who was roped into helping Ramone with a scary trick involving flowers and a whip.


There were so many talented artists everywhere


My favourite performer Sideshow Ramone

What I liked best about the event (apart from the food) was its warm, friendly atmosphere. All ages were welcome from ink veterans to families with kids, even though people were getting their bare skin stabbed with needles left, right and centre.


There was even a barber at the convention

There was face painting and even a stall for Limerick’s suicide watch. Whether they thought people with tattoos were likely suicide cases, I don’t know. There was even a barber. This fun and friendly event surely confirmed that tattoos aren’t the devil! All in all we had a wonderful time, my wife got a tattoo that she loves and I got to see another side to Limerick.


My wife’s tattoo by @magda_hanke

Tattoo Journeys – Portraits from London Tattoo Convention

Portraits from London Tattoo Convention 2015 byHeather Shuker Photography

A snapshot of people who attended the infamous London Tattoo Convention 2016 including artists, the general public, organisers, performers and more. As they posed, they were interviewed by Alice Snape and Keely Reichardt.


Sonja Punktum, 38, tattoo artist, Hamburg
“I’m not an angry person, but people who aren’t tattooed see rebellion, so are sometimes scared. People often comment on my tattoos, even if I don’t ask for it. Tattoos make people react, but I think that is because they are intense, they are created through pain and last forever, there is nothing else like it.”


Arrienette Ashman, 26, tattoo artist, Bournemouth
“I was 19 when I got my first tattoo, I went big straight away, as I always knew wanted to be heavily tattooed. My mum picked me up after the appointment and was shocked, but she has learnt to love them over the years. I love the thought of having art on me always. It is not just physical – it is a spiritual process.”


Ashley Green, 27, sports coach, Harrow
“I was drunk when I got my first tattoo at 16, it was a Chinese symbol. All my other tattoos are now family related, including a portrait of my mum.”


George Crew, 21, tattoo artist, Leicester
“I was 16 when I got my first tattoos, it was a rose on my stomach. I got it because everyone around me was getting tattooed. If I could go back, I would think about it more and get something of better quality. I am saving my back, though, as a backpiece is the most important tattoo you will ever get, as it is the biggest canvas.”


Monami Frost, 21, model/blogger/social media, Liverpool
“I cannot imagine my life without tattoos. Getting tattooed, for me, is a never-ending process. They are part of who I am. I think they are beautiful and they make me feel more full.”


Ermine Hunte, 37, buyer for an airline, Luton
“Tattoos and piercings are so empowering and can change who you are as a person. I have gained more confidence as they have covered scars from a kidney transplant. I am constantly evolving and gaining control over my body.”

A chat with David Corden at the 2016 Venice Tattoo Gathering

Guest writer Sarah Armstrong takes us through an inspiring weekend at the Venetian Tattoo Gathering that took place on Friday 29th April – Sunday 1st May 2016.

The Venetian Tattoo Gathering saw a private gathering of artists meet under the frescoed ceilings of the Palazzo Ca’Zenobio – a gilded 1690s Venetian Palace hidden away in the labyrinth of Venice’s canals. The Venetian Tattoo Gathering focused on learning, drawing, painting and tattooing, emphasising education for all artists within the tattoo industry and, unlike usual conventions, was not open to the general public.


Paul Booth, Jeff Gogue, Nick Baxter and Steve Butcher were among many of the artists present, and I spoke to realism artist and owner of Edinburgh’s Semper studio, David Corden, on why the educational structure of this gathering was so important to him and other artists.

jeff gogueJeff Gogue working on Juliet Preston’s sleeve

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 David Corden stood with Sam Ford and the back piece she worked on this weekend.

David believed that the gathering was able to work like this because everyone involved was taking part because it’s their passion. Unlike a ‘normal’ job, it’s not like a business sending its employees to learn the latest things and sit through seminars they don’t want to be in. David and the other artists put themselves here deliberately because they want to learn more about their craft.

painting hallThe painting hall was filled with fine artists

colin DaleJPG  Hand poke artist Colin Dale embraced by client

Sam FordRealism artist Sam Ford tattoos a neck

David, along with many other artists, gave seminars as well tattooing over the weekend.  BJ Betts held lettering workshops and there were live collaborations from the likes of Fantasy Artists Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, Paul Booth and Stefano Alcantara.  Panelled critiques of submitted work were also held in front of an audience.

colaborationLive collaboration from Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, Paul Booth and Stefano Alcantara

critiqueDavid Corden panels with other artists on the submitted critique

“We pay our own money to sit through a seminar from people we admire,” David told me, “and sometimes it’s just for a bit of affirmation that we are on the right track or that we are using products that are correct or techniques we have got – it may simply be that we need more experience or practice doing things.”

panelOne of the many panelled discussions tackling the biggest questions in tattooing today

David explained that an artist’s ego can be an incredibly fragile thing… so if they are good on paper it frustrates them that they are not as good on skin or as quick as they would like to be. To hear from someone else that it does take a while and they are on the right track can be very valuable.

madonna like a virgin“Posing in the same place Madonna filmed Like a Virgin, because… I’m Madonna”

The Venetian Tattoo Gathering was the perfect location for this kind of inspirational event, (if it was good enough for Madonna’s Like a Virgin video) and as David mentioned, the outcome of this kind of event was supposed to help you do better work as an artist and return back in to the studio revitalised and refreshed.

The humble nature of all the artists present and willingness to learn from each other this weekend was overwhelming. David noted that by the end of the weekend “if you are lucky, you have managed to talk to some of your heroes – and thats the thing, everyone who comes here is star struck over somebody, even the most famous people have heroes here – it was just absolutely incredible and that’s the pull of things like this, they got involved because of the way it is run and the reason it takes place. ”

Writer Sarah can be contacted via her email at:

Brighton Tattoo Convention Street Spotter

Last bank holiday weekend, we had an absolutely blast at the 9th annual Brighton Tattoo Convention. The sun was shining and everyone was looking amazing, we couldn’t resist snapping a few of our favourite outfit/tattoo combos while we were there…

Amanda / Honey Pop
29, Blogger, Glasgow



Amanda’s bee by Rebecca Vincent

Tessa Metcalfe
27, jeweller, London



Tessa’s swan by Brian Wilson, jewels by David Corden


Tessa’s rose tattoo by Clare Frances

21, hairdresser, Brighton



Sophie’s back by Dotwork Damian

Lucy, 27, marketing, London (left)
Lauren, 30, trainee tattooist, Eastbourne



Lucy’s tattoo by Jaid Roberts


Lauren’s tattoo by Kiley

Tiggen / thetigerstyle
19, blogger/works in coffee shop, Herts



Tiggen’s tattoo by  Ricky Williams

Did you attend Brighton Tattoo Convention? Are you planning on going to any more tattoo conventions this year? Keep us posted @thingsandink 

Photos by James Gilyead 

Brighton Tattoo Convention Photographic Portraits

Our editor Alice Snape is getting excited about the next Brighton Tattoo Convention, here she takes a glimpse at just some of the faces who attended last year in a stunning portrait series, including some familiar faces from the pages of past issues of Things&Ink

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Portrait of Marisa Kakoulas, editor of

We LOVE tattoo conventions, here at Things&Ink, and one of the highlights in the tattoo calendar is always Brighton Tattoo Convention. Not sure if it’s the sea air, but there’s always such a friendly, party vibe! And it’s the perfect convention to meet up with friends, old and new. Nothing brings people together like a passion for tattoos, after all.

At last year’s convention, I had my photograph taken by James Hole for a portrait series capturing convention-goers and artists. The results are absolutely stunning and a real insight into the contemporary tattoo community. I think this is down to the wonderful nature and talent of the photographer James, who made me feel instantly at ease in front of the camera – I normally hate having my photo taken and he even managed to capture a natural smile (see below). The setting for the images was incredible! In a grand room in the Hilton in Brighton, which you can see glimpses of in each image behind the backdrop.

As part of the portrait series, some interviews were also filmed. They will be coming soon, so watch this space.

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Portrait of editor Alice Snape

The next Brighton Tattoo Convention is 30 April – 1 May, which will hopefully mean the sun is shining (the convention is usually in February!) and in a brand-new venue, The Brighton Centre.

And we have TWO weekend tickets to give away, all you have to do is share one of the images in this blog post on Instagram and use the hashtag #BTCTIcomp. We will pick a winner this Sunday 24 April. Good luck and hopefully see you at the convention! We won’t have a stand this year, but we will be taking pics and enjoying the convention, so come say hello!

Some of our favourite BTC portraits are below… all these people have also graced the pages of T&I over the years…

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Wendy Pham, cover star of The Identity Issue

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Cally-Jo, cover star of The Anatomy Issue

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Grace Neutral, cover star of The Modification Issue

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Claudia de Sabe, cover star of The Launch Issue

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Matt Lodder, art historian

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Brian Wilson, cover star of Stripped Back 2/3

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Tiny Miss Becca, cover star of The Celebration Issue

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Rebecca Vincent, interview in The Love Issue

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Andrea Furci, interview in The Art Issue

you can see more portraits on the Brighton Tattoo Convention blog

Mondial du Tatouage

Mondial du Tatouage is known as one of the world’s largest conventions with over 30,000 visitors and over 300 artists. In this post our Italian contributor Ilaria Pauletti shares her first time at Mondial du Tatouage convention in Paris… 

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This was my first time in Paris and my first time at Mondial du Tatouage. A dream come true!
It was Friday 4th March and obviously I woke up very early, feeling pretty nervous as usual but also very excited for my upcoming appointment with Rodrigo Souto– I just couldn’t wait.

The Grand Halle de La Villette was very easy to reach, located just 200 m from its own metro station, which was great and made the whole trip a lot easier. Giving me loads of time to walk around and see just how many people were attending the convention.

6_Hannah and GuyHannah Sykes and Guy Le Tattooer 

The doors opened at 12 and there was a huge queue at the main entrance, while waiting, I met a lovely Sardinian couple of tattoo collectors who had an appointment with Dane from Inkamatic – Trieste, and a German girl, Eva, who was waiting to get tattooed by Samuele Briganti. She got a beautiful black and grey lady head on her arm.

I ran to get into the convention, powered by excitement,luckily the map of hundreds of booths was right in front of us and I could immediately get to Rodrigo’s one.
He made me feel at ease and he totally got what I wanted on my skin. After he drew the design onto my arm by hand and I had a look in the mirror we were ready to go.

I have to say the pain was pretty bearable but that elbow/ditch spot was actually really for me. And my friend Marina, who was there with me, can confirm the struggle was real!
Three hours later my arm was like a giant sausage, and then I could walk around the convention.

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Ilaria’s peony

I met a lot of the artists I have been tattooed by, for instance Guen Douglas, Morg Armeni, Arianna Settembrino. They were all working hard! I also saw local tattooists who were also very busy, like Mikael de Poissy and Guy Le Tatooer. The booths were a lot larger than ones I have seen at other conventions, meaning that both the tattooist and client could enjoy themselves with no awkward positioning of limbs and machine.

I treated myself to lots of amazing prints by some of my favourite artists, it was really hard to decide what to buy and what to not. The main stage showcased the Best of Day contests, with some great judges including; Kari Barba, Filip Leu, Bill Salmon and Luke Atkinson.

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Yall Quiñones getting tattooed by Roberto Borsi

I hope to be back and I can’t wait to see what’s next, because tattoo conventions are made of this: good company, quality tattoos and a great location!

Fashion Pearls of Wisdom: Tattoo Tea Party

Last weekend saw Tattoo Tea Party return to Manchester for its fifth season and our columnist Natalie McCreesh aka Pearl, a fashion lecturer, freelance writer and creator of Fashion Pearls of Wisdom popped along to see what this year’s convention had to offer… 

An action packed convention with an all the fun of the fair theme- dodgems, waltzer and side shows galore. Hosting over 350 artists over the sprawling Event City we wandered the maze catching up with old friends and discovering new. Tattoo styles were diverse with many artists choosing to offer walk-ups all weekend what better place to get your latest tattoo fix.

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We chatted to Bex Lowe who was offering the most kawaii flash think smiley pizza, grinning tea cups with some old school gamer influences too, Hadoooooken anyone? Tacho Franch came armed with bold traditional Japanese flash peonies, neko, Noh masks and fat toads. Whilst we and many others gathered around to watch in fascination the hand tapped tattooing by Lawrence Ah Ching.
Tea Party is a vibrant, family friendly show which return next year 4th-5th March 2017










Let’s Talk About Tattoos: London Pop-Up Photo Booth

WOW! Women of the World Festival


This Sunday 13 March, we’ll be teaming up with blog Women with Tattoos to stage a pop-up photo booth at the annual WOW! Women of the World Festival at London’s Southbank Centre.

Come see us and get your tattoos photographed by Eleni (the brains behind Women with Tattoos) and chat to Things&Ink editor Alice Snape about what your tattoos mean to you.

Where: Level 2, Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX
When: Sunday 13 March, 11am – 6pm

Alice Snape Women with Tattoos

Editor Alice Snape photographed by Eleni for the Women With Tattoos blog, check out her interview at: