We went, we learned, we were blown away.
The best part of having access to those at the top of an art form is the sense that greatness is personally attainable. Somehow being able to shake hands and talk directly to the artists means that we are just on the other side of the Glowing Door, the Portal. That they will guide us through. That if we can shed our insecurities by listening to them we too can achieve greatness.
Then they take the microphone, the rooms goes quiet, the projector comes on and they tell us all how they did it. They walk us through detailed video of their processes and share million dollar secrets. They confess to weaknesses and failures, they laugh at themselves and express intense frustration. We connect and we are conjoined by our human frailty.
The slide advances. Onscreen an enormous, incomprehensibly beautiful creation stuns us. The room draws a breath and there is no sound.
In one moment we were pulled into the humility and inspiration of the artist in words, in flesh. We believed we could be close to them because we have similar strengths and torments. They said so, after all. Of course we believe it.
That next slide hammers us with truth: the artists at the top are possessed by innate genius, talent, magic powers. Our hearts fall under the imploding reality that we are fooled. That we believed them. That we were special, too. Our eyes mock our silly hopes. For a second we all hover, afraid.
The artist, the liar, shuffles nervously on stage. He looks...what is that? Proud? Apologetic? Sad? Is he also hovering?
He levels his gaze at us and tears the image on screen to shreds. The crowd actually heckles him, cuts him off mid-sentence, and warns that he should cease.
Now who’s on what side of the door? Who is uplifting who? Who is teaching and who is learning? Is the line blurring here? In this live exposition of truth and talent, where we brought the best and worst of ourselves, are we feeling the agony of transition? Transcendence?
I believe Voluta was part of something huge at the World Wide Tattoo Conference. Of historic prominence. I believe we grabbed hold of each other and whirled in the Portal so that each was in and out so many times. Being held tight by so many able hands changed us. We are all closer to our potential. We all glow today.
Voluta is inspired, humbled, afraid and on fire to get back to our studio. To you.
-Conan, Laura, Dina, Gerrit, and Michele