The Winnipeg Tattoo Convention
Last night I went to the Winnipeg Tattoo Convention. This place is an obvious mecca for hardcore tattoo enthusiasts. It has the air of a carnival. As we enter through a huge tent that serves as the entrance to the actual tattooers booths, the air is scented with the greasy smell of overpriced french fries and cotton candy. More than 275 tattoo artists have booths set up in an adjacent building that looks like it spends time as a high school gymnasium or something.
Each tattooer has a booth for their studio artists with 1 or 2 tables. Each temporary studio features a cloth covered merch table that profers items like t-shirts and stickers to wandering patrons, while acting as a barrier to the masses holding worship. I walk through the alleyways between the booths among heavily tattooed women and men, and moms taking their girls for their first tattoo. The zoo of people ranges between utterly freaky people and stylish trendsetters wanting to add art and and colour to the skin they were born with. The artists themselves have the most colourful and amazing tattoos.
Tattoos and More!
I am waiting for my daughter, wandering between the aisles. As I wander, I’m collecting free, but very cool stickers art stickers that some of the tattoo studios offer for my grandchildren. The swag reminds me of the vendors booths at a dog show (that’s a good thing). I happily go on my wandering way. I am checking out a booth and am amazed to see a tattooed young guy, naked and stretched belly down on a table being worked on by two tattoo artists.. As I pass, trying not to stare in surprise, the tattoo artists continue to work on some intricate design on the man’s buttocks. As far as I can tell. But really, I have to wonder how the guy’s going to sit or drive home. Oh well…
This could have ended badly
Finally, my daughter arrives. Her artist is running late, so we get some Jamaican chickpea rotis drinks and wander around more together. I have to admit they’re delicious and an amazing way to fill an empty belly. We wander back through the maze of temporary tattoo parlours. We try not to gawk in awe in the crowd of tattooed and otherwise modified clients as well as tattoo curious.
In a little while, Sydney arrives. Sydney is a beautifully tattooed young artist named who even has tattooed eyelids and (somehow) has gem bedazzled teeth. I stand in awe as I can’t remember ever meeting anyone so tattooed.. Sydney is ready to get to work on my daughter’s tattoo. Minutes later, Sydney is working with lightning speed on a beautiful wild rose on my daughter’s arm. She is done the intricate multi-colored tattoo in about an hour. We’ll come back tomorrow for more fun, adventure and because a bandage needs changing by a conscientious tattoo artist. And I may or may not have lined up an appointment…