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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Killumbus Ohio

Durb Morrison always does an amazing job on the Hell City Tattoo Festival. Matt & I just came back from the three day event, & I'm still on the road, rocking in the car even through I'm at home at the computer. The first hell City was in 2002 & it quickly became one of the best shows in the country, which is saying something in this day & age, when there are several tattoo shows every week.

Hafta admit, it was great getting away from the shop we're building. Part of the reason things are progressing so slowly is small town bureaucrats, landlords & contractors who take all of this shit so damned seriously. We waited three weeks on a plumbing permit to put in sinks we don't want, will never use, & would just be bacteria farms in our booths if we did, but are required for our final inspection. Totally frustrating. Even as burned out as we were, tattooing non stop since we announced that we were closing the old Savannah location, we missed it. You start to get bloodlust, & just have to make something bleed. So we descended on Hell City like ravenous vampires.

Met some fantastic people. All my clients were very cool, & a number of young tattooists & apprentices hit me up & stroked the hell out of my ego. Matt sold his Legion paintings, & did some stellar work on other artists. We saw old friends, some of whom have been around since before I first started tattooing, met some people we knew only via mail, & some total strangers. Our work was displayed along with some killer artists in the art gallery on the second floor. There was a whole team of artists jamming on bio mechanical paintings organized by Guy Aitchinson, & they're all next level shit. They painted well into the night while DJ's spun trance. We worked the entire time, & didn't get to do any of the seminars. Chris Dingwell was doing one on painting in acrylic, & it killed me to miss it,... we'll have to try to talk him into coming down to our new shop & jamming there.

We were set up to a very strange crew, an outfit trying to be a tattoo salon, like catering to the Louis Vuitton crowd or some such shit. Most of them were less than a year on skin, had no visible tattoos at all, & were acting like they had dreamed up the idea that tattooing could be artistic. I felt like they might as well have leaned over the balcony & pissed on the heads of everyone there, because without the vanguards who made up the majority of the convention, they wouldn't have such a ripe environment to work in. There were 20 year old kids going by with plugs, tunnels, heavy gauged piercings, heavy tattoos, very visible work, necks, throats, hands, fingers, & ears, all who have to go out in the real world & deal, & they were all representing far more than these primadonnas.

We still had a blast. We'll be at the Hell City fest in Phoenix in August, I expect to see some west coasters there to buy the drinks.

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