The last few years have found us close to home, putting Voluta on the map. Considering the small, introspective nature of the day-to-day Voluta, many of our new clients haven’t heard much from us on conventions or the greater tattoo industry. It’s time to change that. Ours is one of the finest and most exciting craft industries on the planet and we aim to prove it.
We’ll start with tattoo conventions. What are they?
Weekends of inking, ogling, mingling, awing, visiting old friends, making memories, and rubbing colorful elbows with some of the most genuine people on the planet.
Generally the conventions are held in vast convention centers within or nearby hotels. As people fly in from all ends of the world, it is a most comfy arrangement...usually. The conventions are hosted by a tattoo studio with the bang and the buck to pull all of those artists in, properly promote, organize, and fund such a weekend. The hosting studio usually determines the success of the weekend by countless factors which combine to make a blast--or a tiring bore--of the event.
What goes on at a convention?
Tattooing seems the core of the event, ranging from traditional ancient hand-poking to the most advanced pneumatic inlay. There may also be piercing, branding, scarification, and even some implant work on hand. There are art exhibits, freak shows, live music concerts, crazy stuff I wont even mention, and even people being knocked out to raise money for good causes (or beer money!). Contests are an enormous part of the fun, where tattoo collectors flock from every corner hoping the nab glimmering trophies for such titles as “Best Color, Best Full Sleeve, Best Small Black and Grey”, or even “Most Unusual” and “ Worst Tattoo”. This is a celebration of the collector with a nod to the artists who render the masterpieces.
The tattoo artists come in a day early to set up their booths. The set up is much like that of a custom car show or a trade convention. Some booths are lavishly decorated and some are purposely basic and almost medical in theme. There are few or many booths to enjoy depending on the caliber of the convention. There is plenty to see and do. Artists tattoo, draw, mingle, drink, share ideas in classes and over pints. Women and children run amok (outside of the tattooing area, of course), laughing and visiting their fellow artist's families. There is merchandise of a sort rarely found at the local mall and many of us save money all year just to spend it at conventions. You can walk in bare and walk out spiked, pierced, tattooed, and dressed in vinyl and eel skin boots if you want.
The nightlife often tops the daytime fun. Imagine all of those people cutting loose, artists and clients and anyone who wants to attend. Hotel bars, local music venues, and every decent club in town welcomes us with open arms. You can bet at day’s end you’ll have a fist full of flyers telling you all about it, and the convention host usually spiels on the loudspeaker. BIG FUN.
This is the beauty of the tattoo convention. The marked mingle with the unmarked. We welcome everyone. It is amazing to witness the artists warm greetings to those not yet pierced and tattooed. Nobody cares here. You can come damn near naked and all you'll get is adoring smiles and cheers. Your hair, dress, weight, sexual orientation....welcome to the real world...nobody here will judge you. Believe me, in anything you are or want to be, you will find kinship. You can walk up to anyone and just stare at them as long as you are polite about it. You can ask any question about any body mod and you can bet you'll hear a great story.
Grumps, badasses, trash, or thugs? Most of that garbage is left at the door. If they come off the street sporting attitude they won’t make it in the door (ours is NOT the crowd to start trouble with). Holier-than-thou artists? Here and there, of course, but don’t mistake an artist ‘in the zone’ as aloof. This community is too tight to allow a few asses to upset the event. Reputation can be everything and a scorned convention host will bite hard on a rude artist.
I’ll admit that I have been to a few conventions that insult our lovely craft. Barely worth the time of the average person who wants to feel the vibe of the industry. As we stated earlier, the reputation of the hosting studio sets the personality of the gig. Often the list of attending artists gives an idea of how good the show will be. Stay in touch with your favorite tattoo studio; they usually have the buzz on the good conventions.
Since we are CERTAINLY YOUR FAVORITE STUDIO, watch this blog or our Facebook page and we will keep you informed.