London Tattoo Convention Part 1
06:45 AM
London tattoo convention
Photo of Rie Gomita by Reuters via Edmonton Sun

After the longest flight of my life from NYC sitting next to a missionary hell bent of savin my soul, I arrived sleepless at the Tobacco Docks for the first day of the London Tattoo Convention. Upon arrival, I was greeted by a line queue of people that stretched along the massive venue -- and while I wasn't ready to have thousands see me make-up free with luggage under my eyes the size of steamer trucks -- I knew it was the start to a sweet party.

I ducked into the back entrance for artists & vendors and head to the Freaks Book shop booth, where I'm working with the fabulous Lorenzo to sell copies of my Black Tattoo Art book. I grabbed a copy and some flyers, and made my way around for shameless promotion, and naturally, drinks with friends.

I also managed to take my usual bad conventions photos. Check 'em here.

For great pix, see Edmonton Sun for the Reuters slideshow of images from Day One, like the ones above and below. Also check the Sky News photos and report.

The massive Tobacco Docks complex is impressive. Artists worked non-stop in glass framed partitioned spaces with natural light streaming in from the sun roofs. In the vaulted brick basement, you can buy anything from corsets to kicks, lobe plugs to pasties. Indeed, there were plenty of pasties with burlesque performers hypnotizing the crowd with tassel twirls, and some bump-n-grinds. A line up of bands played on two stages, and the numerous pubs were packed. Fine art works of the Tara Project and El Rana were on display on one floor while the Graffiti Kings worked on a mural on another.

As I walked around, looking at the crowd, which spoke in multiple tongues, I couldn't help but think of high school and its cliques. You had your dreadlocked hippies and mohawked punks, dark goths and neon ravers. The rockabilly pin-up girls were the popular cheerleaders while the bikers evoked the jocks, not necessarily for their toned physiques but because I could picture them taping some guy's hairy butt and flushing his head down the toilet.

And like high school, I tried to figure out where I fit in. I hugged and kissed members of each crowd but at the end of the night I found myself alone in a corner with my laptop uploading the day's photos and thinkin 'bout how I'd blog it all....I was the nerd.

More tattoo geekery from the convention to come.

London tattoo convention 2

"I taped Larry Lester's butt-cheeks together"

I know that feeling. Great report. thanks!

Damn... I missed you! :(

Tons of great art. Must have been a hoot!

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