The Australian Tattoo expo held in Melbourne last December was perfectly timed a few days after the New Zealand tattoo and art festival, so dozens of artists made it to both of these events making it an awesome convention season holiday for all involved.
After the smoothly run and massively enjoyable convention in New Zealand, the Melbourne tattoo expo was no let down with over 500 artists travelling from around the world making it one of the biggest tattoo events I have ever attended.
Artist: Nath Holden from Melbourne. (click on images to go to artists Instagram)
Over the last few years I have seen the popularity of these events increase immensely. This shows that tattoo acceptance is slowly but surely becoming a reality and I’m witnessing this progression right in front of my eyes. My personal opinion as to why this shift in culture has taken place, is due to the mainstream attention the whole tattoo world has been given by the media and by Facebook/Instagram.
The viral nature of tattoos such as celebrity portraits and awe inspiring realistic pieces, has now started to turn the heads of people who don’t have tattoos but can appreciate them for the art they have truly become.
Day 1 – Artist of the day winner – Jay Freestyle from Amsterdam
The industry is seeing more and more people getting their first tattoos based on the originality and progressive styles many artists are now employing. It has become much less about having an idea that you want tattooed on your skin, and more about collecting a piece of art from an artist whose style you connect with. Whether it be that the tattoo artist’s style matches or resembles the way you see yourself, that the art is so stunning you need to collect a unique version on your own skin or whether the artist has reached celebrity status and simply having a piece by him/her has become something notable within the community.
Day 1 – Runner up Khail Aitken from Sinister Ink in Perth.
The reasons behind getting a tattoo haven’t necessarily evolved, there are just so many new motivations because the negative stigma that the industry once held has very much moved to one of artistic appreciation.
Day 2 – Artist of the day winner Benjamin Laukis
Day 2 – Runner up – Ry from Ringwood Tattoo in Melbourne
Day 3 – Artist of the day winner – Matt Curzon from Empire Tattoo in Melbourne
The highlight of the expo for me (after having attended the last 4 expos as an observer), was getting my palm tattooed by Eloise Entraigues. Eloise is an artist whose intricate line work and dot work style has gained massive popularity recently, especially her delicate designs which are drawing the attention of women nationwide due to her ability to create pieces that are very feminine in nature
Etching style tattoo by Eloise Entraigues (click on image to go to her Instagram page)
The significance of the palm tattoo Eloise gave me is my embracing of the digital evolution that we are all currently participating in. My passion for tattoos, art and the digital world has created a path for me where I must now begin my digital amalgamation. This tattoo symbolises my digital hand.
My #digitalhand done by Eloise Entraigues from Coastal Ink in Adelaide, South Australia.
Next stop, The Australian International Tattoo Expo in Sydney (11th – 13th of March 2016)