United Ink Tattoo Convention And Expo Part One

Okay. So, the Tattoo Convention. Finally I get to blahg about it!

It was at Nassau Coliseum, where I spent countless hours as a dopey kid at Islander games back when they won the Stanley Cup on a yearly basis…those were the days! Now it felt like we were brought beneath to the underbelly of the Coliseum for a wild mix of tattoo artists, piercers, permanent makeup people, Hells Angels, motorcycles on display, roller derby queens, tattoo magazines with cover girls, Hells Angels, tattoo removers, tattoo lawyers, tattoo supply houses, Hells Angels, and much much more!

Yes I did write Hells Angels repeatedly. They were all over the place, as were their party invitations on nearly every single artist’s table. Weird. See, I’m old enough to recall Altamont where they did security for the Stones. Or maybe I just saw “Gimme Shelter” a few too many times, but it’s sort of burned in my brain. Everyone was cool and it was a really interesting crowd.

Walking through, I noticed kabillions of horror tattoos in portfolios, and being done right there. I’m sure this is a big draw for Long Island as well as much of the rest of the country – it’s not really something I’d get (okay, I flirt with the Bride of Frankenstein idea, but I see it a bit too much to have it done myself!) but its kind of mindblowing how much work and detail go into these pieces.

I saw lots of glow-in-the-dark ink being sold, not so much being used. I can’t help but think, shit, is that radioactive? I spoke to one of the other convention members about it, and he agreed with me. His exact words were “Shit, how you gonna hide if you got a tattoo that’s gonna give you away???” He was very cute, and he had a point.

Inked Magazine had a table, and I subscribed for a year and got a free t-shirt. The girls that worked that table were such dollfaces. I hope the Magazine knows how hard they worked and how sweet they were. Okay, that’s a little mommy-ish, right??

That was the beginning of my t-shirt binge. I love em. Can’t help it!

I am so happy to tell you about some of the artists I had the pleasure of discovering for myself. Seriously phenomenal and interesting art work.

Crimson Culture / Cheryl Tarulli Cheryl’s work is expressive and unique, and she handles black and gray as well as she does color. Personally, I love her dog portraits the most. Please check out her site – she’s here on Long Island and she also does portraits, religious, Japanese, new school and traditional work. I’ve asked to interview her and she’s agreed. Yay!

Alex Alien is a New York City tattoo artist that I watched do some incredible work on a lady at the convention. He was so focused and precise, and his colors were crisp and beautiful. Not sure that his site does him justice, but take a look – http://www.alexalientattoos.com. He’s originally from Mexico City so is bilingual and does some astounding Mayan / Aztec type work (I hope that’s the right way to say it!)

I spoke with Kristel Oreto who does these girly/swirly amazing tattoos. I LOVEZ them!!! Please take a look at her unique art work. I’m excited to take a road trip with kiddo to Philly and interview Kristel soon! I bought the coolest t-shirt from her. It says Thick N Tattooed! – Dat’s me baby! Check them out on Facebook as well –

I will be back tomorrow to finish the article in a part two – I promise! I want to tell you what I’ve learned about a certain tattoo artist who now has a certain football player’s formerly abused dogs. Lovely story! I also want to tell you about Amy Nicoletto and the roller derby (no, she’s not in the roller derby, but I can totally see that!), and about Phil Padwe, the author of an adorable book entitled “Mommy Has A Tattoo” and the various other people I encountered. See you later!!

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