So last week I got to attend the United Ink Tattoo Festival here on Long Island. It was at our local aviation museum, and I have to tell you – it was a perfect place for it! I’d never been there before, even though I live less than 20 minutes from it. The Children’s Museum next door to it – yes, that I’ve been to repeatedly.
The whole thing was so well laid out and an old classmate of mine had an amazing booth from his music store which had the absolute most gorgeous acoustic guitars I’ve ever seen. I swear I wanted to buy one, and I don’t even know how to play. Click the link if you’re interested – he’s got some very cool shit!
The rest of the layout on the first floor of the museum was just nice and easy to get through, to check out the books on the booths, and even to talk to the tattoo artists, who were all super friendly. There were people there selling jewelry, shirts and tattoo supplies as well, and as you went up to the second floor and third floor, there was original art being sold – paintings, sculpture, etc!
I went with my friend Diane, who I also know since high school, and who had an idea for a tattoo, so we got to shop around. She ultimately decided to wait and have her usual artist do the work, but seeing the reactions of the artists to her idea was in and of itself an education for me. It really does boggle my mind that one concept can be seen in so many different ways by so many different artists. It gets my blood pumping to hear what’s in an artist’s mind. I don’t get jealous of that creativity, I just admire it.
One of the highlights of the day was to meet Shanghai Kate, one of the most revered female tattoo artists on this planet. She was sweet, beautiful and generous with her time and knowledge. I’m proud to say that I bought my copy of Tattoo Nation from her and loved it. She invited me back the next day to hear her seminar, but the truth is I just didn’t have the money. It still made my whole week though!
Diane and I were talking in hushed voices as a tattoo artist was working with a woman at a booth. I mentioned to her that I would love to find a tattoo artist (in particular) to work with on a comic book concept. The artist immediately stopped the tattoo he was doing, and told me he’d be interested! I jumped for joy, we exchanged cards, and now I have to call him and see what we can create together. I’m mad excited!
I will be back with more on the specific artists that I met and spoke to, but I wanted to give you a little bit of an update in the meantime!
United Ink: the Cradle of Aviation | New York’s Biggest Tattoo Convention.