Guest Blog: London Tattoo Convention Review 2016
03:08 PM
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london tattoo.JPGLast weekend, The 12th Annual London Tattoo Convention attracted thousands for the opportunity to be tattooed by the world's best artists, to view fine art galleries and performances, to shop, eat, drink, and of course, to see and be seen at this iconic event. Our friend and favorite guest blogger Serinde attended the event on Sunday and brings back this report and photos.

More of Serinde's images can be found on our London Tattoo Convention 2016 Flickr Album.


The London Tattoo Convention hosted over 400 of the world's best tattoo artists and vendors at the Tobacco Docks, a nice big venue to accommodate the mass of people attending.

The special thing about the Tobacco Docks is that the architecture of the building separates the artists in various glass-enclosed work areas, as opposed to just the tattoo rows of booths in one convention hall, found at most shows. It makes for an interesting presentation of the artists, although the drawback is that the walking spaces inside the tattooing areas can be extremely narrow and packed, with limited visibility of the work being created. The closed areas also means smaller stages and less space for the audience (i.e., more wrestling to get a good spot), especially during the tattoo contests. Nevertheless, apart from traffic jams, the rest of the event runs quite smoothly.

What defines this event are amazing artists, who include those working traditionally, by hand, such as Colin Dale of Skin and Bone, Brent McCown, and Durga tattoo, among others. Another highlight is the tattoo competition, judged by esteemed tattoo artists who included Jondix, Luke Atkinson, Filip Leu, and George Bone. Interestingly, the contests are organized so that tattoos are pre-selected, and the audience and the jury only get to see the very best of every category. On Sunday, I believe there were about 15 candidates in each category (color, realism, backpiece ...). The winners are shown on the convention's website.

What definitely struck me was just how heavily tattooed the attendees were:  I saw many tattooed faces, necks, hands, and full-body tattoos on the very young and the more "mature" collectors. The styles ranged from dynamic bold color pieces to abstract graphic works in black & grey.

Also noteworthy was just how happy people were to show off their art -- to chat and share tattoo stories. Maybe it was because it was a lovely sunny day, everyone was relaxed and taking jackets and shirts off; maybe it's just the typical London spirit, or both. In any case, it was really nice to walk around in such a friendly atmosphere.

Congratulations to all those who made it another successful show.

Jondix.JPGJondix tattooing.

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Colin Dale tattooing.

Touka Voodoo.JPGTouka Voodoo freehanding.

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