Earlier in September, we had a stand at The 4th Annual Female Tattoo Artist Show in Leamington Spa.
But we wanted to find out more about the need for an all-female tattoo show, and why it was first set up. So we spoke to one of the organisers at CBA Promotions to find out more, see how the show went for them and if any changes will be made to the convention in the future.
How long has the show been running for and who started it? This was our 4th year of running the show and it was started by Dave Boyle with a lot of help from his team at Creative Body Art in Coventry
Why have you chosen to create a female only convention? Honestly, we just wanted to put on a tattoo show and this was the only thing that had not been done in the UK before. The idea came from a show in the USA that has run for more than 20 years.
Is it at related to sexism in the workplace or the tattoo industry? Do you think it is harder for women to get noticed purely for their work? It is not related directly to sexism, however people would be stupid to think that it doesn’t exist. Even now, in our tattoo studio, we have guys come in and ask the female artists where the tattooist is. We were also told by a female artist one year she was denied applying to work a tattoo show “because they already had enough female tattooists on the list”.
I don’t think it’s harder for female artists to get noticed these days, the tattoo industry has come a very long way in recent years and there are now so many amazing tattooists both male and female. Most studios have a female artist – and so they should, I’ve always had female artists in my studio and long may that continue. I can remember when you could count on one hand how many female owned tattoo studios there were in the UK and now that has changed and it’s totally awesome.
Why was the judging done by three men when it is a female only convention? It wasn’t something we gave a great deal of thought to to be honest, in recent years we have had female judges, but like all tattoo shows we grab what judges we can as it’s not a job everyone wants to do, it usually depends who’s free and available at the time.
The entertainment was very similar to other conventions – dancing girls, pinups etc – why did you pick the same formula? The 1st Annual Female Tattoo Show had a very vintage feel. This theme came from the Art Deco and up-market venue, so the show was born from that. We are only a very small, one-day show and we put a lot of time and effort into the entertainment.
What are your plans for next year? Will you change anything? We are currently in the planing stage idea wise for next year’s show, I don’t think we will change much. We have a few things to address and we learn every year and listen to feedback. We make slight changes every year, for example we reduced the entrance fee this year and allowed children in for free, whereas previous shows have been 18 only. We are looking at reducing the cost of trade spaces too, especially for smaller independent traders.
Was the show a success for you? Any words for people wanting to attend next year? This year’s show for us was a huge success! The number of people who attended was up on last year and we had a huge waiting list of artists wanting to work. We also sold out of tattoo booths three months before the show. Anyone thinking about attending next year’s show definitely should as it’s a great day out. There is lots to do in the local area if people wanted to make a weekend of it, we have Shakespeare’s birthplace just up the road, Warwick and Kenilworth Castle and Coventry Cathedral are all great places to visit. Leamington Spa itself has some lovely shops, cafes and bars.