Fads come in and out faster than we can catch up to them, but there is one that is definitely staying for good. This is not because the fad a great new phenomenon, but because it is actually permanent. The art of tattooing has become particular in modern society over the past few decades, but it is definitely breaking out of its shell and covering people of all ages. This obsessive new way of life will grasp anyone from businessmen to hard-rockers, and it recently came to a convention center near you.
I attended Day one of the Philadelphia Tattoo Convention at the Convention Center in Philadelphia, with my sister. This incredible exhibit, presented by Villain Arts, was geared for all ages and was affordable to attend. It was easy to find and although it was a bit rainy and quite windy in the city, it was worth it. The convention included a stage in the back for performances, contests and demonstrations. There were also bars and places to grab a bite. There were places for piercing and scarification, as well as tattoo removal. Surrounding stands also supplied tattoo materials, but it was for professionals only. There were hundreds of tables filling the room, with even more people crowding all around to get the slightest peep at all the excitement.
Not only were there various tattoo artists from across the country, but there were famous special guests that appeared in different reality shows including Megan Massacre and Sarah Miller, from Ink Master. I was definitely star-struck as I watched them tattoo their clients at their tables. It was something I will not forget. As I walked around the huge room, I was in awe at the amount of rows of tattoo parlors and their artists. I ventured to a few of the tables to ask some questions and to look through the portfolios of a few artists. The work was magnificent and I was truly blown away. After about an hour of walking down row after row, my sister and I were worn out. We grabbed some food and watched the magic show that was taking place. As we were finishing up, we looked over and saw a man that was inked completely blue. This was definitely something we had never seen before!
So not only was this convention something for shock and awe, it was also a time for firsts. As we walked up and down the aisles, we decided to talk up some local artists and visit an artist from Illinois. We ended up getting matching tattoos at the spur of the moment, to permanently mark our visit to this amazing convention. After we both finished up, we took another walk around the center. The entire room was quite overwhelming, and with the smell of ink and the buzz of tattoo guns, we were definitely in love with the vibes and environment. Everyone there had some sort of body modification, and everyone together added to the amazing site. It was a place for tattoo lovers and artists to come together and share in something they both love and with which to surround their lives. Tattooing and piercing is a way of life for many people; this event allowed those individuals to congregate and celebrate.
This convention travels all around the United States, and has been doing so for 15 years. More than 200 artists attended the convention, and the fan base was definitely rowdy. The entire room was full of fans, artists, burlesque girls, and people who live for the world of tattoos. The entire time spent there was exciting and was a definite must-see next year for those who missed out!
Kelly Morrin is a a third-year student majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at KM735352@wcupa.edu.