*NOTE* We are waiting on final inspections, but the studio should be open by the end of the week.
Having said that,... with typical bad luck Di Donna timing, we took delivery on our signage on Thursday just before jumping in a truck & hauling down to Virginia for the weekend. Getting the signs right was trickier than expected; you'd think in this messed up economy people would want to work & do a great job. I was shocked at how few people even bothered writing me up an estimate. The signs were done by Chris Stone at http://www.signsbystone.com/. Sneak a peek here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Farmingdale-NJ/Stone-Graphics-Company-Inc/116352144738?v=wall#!/album.php?aid=217468&id=116352144738&ref=mf
The Richmond Tattoo Convention is the second oldest in the country, & is hosted by Billy Easton, & it was an honor to be invited. Richmond hosts a ton of talent, but it still maintains an old school edge that is getting lost on other shows. There's more room for unwinding, letting go, & bonding with other artists, who are just as ready to give it right back to you. This is in contrast to some shows where introverted new school artists are so socially awkward that they forget the art of a good prank. Plus, Matt had clients come from Savannah, & Johnny had clients come from Charlotte, & a client he's tattooed in three states.
Got to talk at length to artists in real terms about every facet of what's going on in our world today, whether our industry or the world at large. Met amazing people like Sean Karns, Tanane Whitfield, Dave Lukeson, & Horiryu. I remember marveling over Dave's layering technique that he has developing back in the early 90's when I was first becoming a tattoo artist, here it is nine years later & we're talking shop. That's a very righteous feeling.
On Sunday Matt took an award for Most Realistic, for a portrait of Robert De Niro from the classic movie 'Raging Bull'. We had a friend shoot it & send a copy to Jake LaMotta's sister.
Great to be surrounded by friends & great artists. Excellent trip all around. Now, we can't wait to turn on that OPEN sign for the first time.
In other news, we're in this month's International Tattoo Arts, Tattoos For Men, & Tabu Tattoo. We haven't seen them yet, photos will be up when we do.