Expos have always created the best memories attached to my tattoos. Being an observer at a tattoo expo is a completely different experience, compared to actually getting tattooed. Not for the obvious reasons, but because this world you are viewing as you walk past immediately becomes your existence. The sense of belonging overwhelms and interacting with these artists makes you realise how talented and humble they really are.
The environment at tattoo expos is completely non-judgemental because of the vast variety of people from each and every sub-genre in society. The level of open-mindedness is unlike any other event I have ever been to. From people on one end of the spectrum who are non-tattooed, to tattoo collectors, to men and women in their 50’s who are only getting their first tattoo all the way to the other end of the spectrum of people with extreme body modifications, scarification, heavy face and eyeball tattoos.
These expos are eye-openers to the level of artistic progression the tattoo industry has achieved in recent times. The stigma surrounding tattoos in the general public and by the media is still decades behind in artistic appreciation. Tattoos are no longer solely related to the old stereotypical facets of society, they are now slowly being accepted by the mainstream. With a high percentage of this current generation being tattooed, tattoo acceptance is imminent.
Day 1: The expo blew my mind as I watched so many incredible pieces come to life. The show stealer from this day, was a 20 year old named Khail Aitkin from Sinister Ink in Western Australia. He demonstrated that the future of tattooing in Australia has great promise. I was in awe while watching him create this Iron Man piece, while at the same time trying to remember what I was doing at 20 years of age…
Day 2: Saw the same influx of amazing tattoos being made, with Troy Slack from Frontyard Tattoo taking out “Tattoo of the day” with his awesome Pokemon (Lapris) cross Thor piece. Troy’s videogame tattoos are taking the internet by storm. His unique style is in high demand with people travelling interstate to the beautiful Adelaide hills to get one of his custom pieces.
One of my favourite tattoos from today was done by Brendan Boz, with his Brad Pitt tattoo from the movie “Snatch”
Today was the girls of ink competition which needless to say, always gathers quite a crowd.
Day 3: Drew the expo to a close with some more great ink entering into the competition. But once again Troy Slack took out “Tattoo of the day” with his “Walking Dead” video game tattoo and also won “Artist of the expo”.