Welcome To The Magic

The 9th International London Tattoo Convention happened this past weekend with over three hundred artists from around the World, plus entertainment, merchandise stalls, food and drink.

This event is NOT billed as The Happiest Place On Earth nor will you find the tag line Too Much Magic For Just One Day. However, this is well and truly my version of Disneyland and exactly how I would describe it.

This was my sixth visit to the convention and my interest and excitement has never waned. There are always artists I wish to see and talk to, not so sure the feeling is always mutual. I tend to come across as a stalker. Not a great impression but I promise you it's all with good will and the best intention. I should have been behaving like this in my teens and not as I get ever closer to forty, but this is how it is.

I was accompanied by my Brother this year and set out to visit a handful of artists and try and see some of the entertainment that we usually miss out on due to having work done or leaving before it all gets started. I achieved the first part with great success, but found the entertainment to be a bit disappointing (with regards to the ladies) and the bands didn't rock my boat. I had planned on seeing The Fun Loving Criminals but by the time ten o'clock came around I was ready to head home so missed out. At least it was my choice and one I was happy with as I got into bed shortly before one am.

It was a great honour to shake the hand of a legend, Mr Jack Rudy aka "Jack from way back". I couldn't possibly tell you the importance of this man and his influence on black and grey artists (especially on the West Coast) and tattooing in general. Do check him out via his own shop Tattooland and also in the move Tattoo Nation.

"It's a good thing they (tattoos) hurt, otherwise every pussy in the World would have one." - Jack Rudy

I also got the chance to get a photo with Boog, aka Boogstar aka Boog Deniro. This guys work ethic is hard to match, as is his passion for fine dining. Both are clearly evident via his Instagram feed which is always entertaining. I love his lettering style, and the fact that he represents my hometown of Dallas.


Someone I've got great respect for an as artist and also a family man is Ohio's Dave Tevenal. His work is bold, bright and super clean. I wasn't a fan of this before I saw his style and now would love to have his work on me. I was fortunate to grab a copy of his book Favor The Brave at the end of last year before it sold out and he was very gracious in signing it for me. If I had both the money and space I would have bought a couple of his prints. Until such a time I will continue to follow his work online and get copies of his books.

"I am simply a tattooer who gives a shit about tattooing." - Dave Tevenal

I was able to check out Big Sleeps, Ivano Natale (13 Diamonds UK) and Latisha Wood (Vatican Studios) doing their thing. Fortunately they and Lowrider Tattoo shared a gallery with the studio I consider to be the all round best, Deer's Eye Studio. Boasting a great roster of incredible artists, owners Chuey Quintanar and Eric Gonzalez also have the beautiful model and actress Philecia La'Bounty working at the studio. Fortunately she was also in London for the convention and so I was able to say Hi and get a photo. I hope I didn't creep her out too much, she seems every bit as awesome in real life as she is portrayed on her Twitter.

The studio is associated with not only tattoos but also art and music (Eric being in a band, and I found out Chuey plays guitar). For art (of the macabre) they have the Catalyst Butcher. Seek him out at your own risk! They also have producer, performer and audio engineer Clemente Ruiz. He told of some past and future work with the likes of Psycho Realm, Orkest and Sekta Core. I am very much looking forward to listening to some music he brought over with him. This guy is full of talent, ambition and vision, I really was impressed and glad to have made the connection.

The above may not be correct to the letter, I hope to find out a bit more of the associations and crew and offer a piece on this blog. I apologise to everyone for any mistakes or misconceptions.

I want to thank my Brother for his patience and photography skills. Spending time together is absolutely priceless and combined with the occasion I couldn't ask for more. We also got to spend quality time with my friends Steve and Fiona, who I met at last years convention. The more I hang out with this couple the more I am overwhelmed by their awesomeness. Thank you Steve for the Boo Yaa T.R.I.B.E and Transplants cds!

As usual I wish I had captured more of the event to share, but seriously get your ass down there next year where it will no doubt grow and be ever better. I'm already looking forward to it and also would love to get some work done. I better start saving. With the help of social media and fantastic events such as this, I think we can all agree it truly is a small world after all! Thank you to all the artists I met and gave their time for a photo and a Hello.
Over all I think Walt would have been proud of the weekend, no not Mr Disney but Mr White from Breaking Bad. (Rest In) Peace.

Walter White by Jun Cha 2013