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Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention

I took part in The Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention last weekend, since my permanent makeup classes generally consist of nurses, physician assistants, aestheticians and tattoo artists. As I walked up and down the aisles of this hugely, overwhelming tattoo show I wondered how anyone could possibly select an artist from such an enormously talented group.

Would it be according to how the artist looks, perhaps a hot looking guy or girl, possibly even how extreme they appear (tattoos on their faces or extreme piercings) or is it how the booth itself is designed with signage or maybe the artist’s portfolio that convinces the anxious consumer to select their artist?

As I perused the hundreds of booths, I decided I would make my pretend selection from their portfolios, so I went through several hundred of those until I happened upon an artist that completely blew me away!So much that I purchased one of his prints since I wasn’t actually seeking the permanence of a tattoo. A few isles over and I purchased another print. The talent was endless and it would have been a very difficult decision if I really had to select. Then, I realized, this is why people have more than one tattoo!

This brought me to another fascinating question. What makes one person select a religious symbol and the next person a demonic creature to proudly display? Then, there are some that choose a beautiful ethnic expression such as Celtic design or a flag that they don with honor. It is so interesting to see these various forms of self-expression and even more interesting to hear why people make their selection. We heard so many great stories that varied from the deepest of meaning (even tattooed portraits of loved ones) to comedic display.

There are even tattoo artists that specialize in Cover-Ups, when one wishes to cover up an old tattoo, a bad tattoo or a tattooed name that no longer applies to one’s life. Dan Craft, of DNA tattoo in Williamstown, is known for his tattoo artistry as well as this Cover-Up specialization.

It was a great thrill to get to meet Philadelphia Eddie and I purchased all 5 volumes of his book, My Vida Loca. He stressed to me that I need to read them in order so that I can appreciate the flow of his entire life in tattooing and I can’t wait to read about his early days and how his techniques eventually morphed and evolved.

Our booth was non-stop with both inquiries and spectators while I was performing a procedure. Lots of younger girls wanting permanent eyeliner and women wanting their eyebrows tattooed. One thing for sure, tattooing, in just about every form has become quite mainstream. There were mothers and daughters that stopped by to tell us they were there to get identical tattoos to symbolize their bond to each other.

Our funniest moment was when a young guy with several tattoos was watching me do an eyebrow procedure and said he had to turn away because he felt faint. In unison, along with his girlfriend, we all said, “Seriously” and laughed out loud!

The lines to get into the show appeared to be endless and the crowds in each isle at times were barely passable but I have never heard so much Philadelphia Brotherly Love. I will always remember this weekend for hearing, Excuse Me and Sorry, more times than I have ever heard in any crowd. It was the friendliest crowd and I was proud to be a part of this exhibition and can’t wait until next year to do it, again!!!