On Thursday night, Feb 10th, Geoffrey and I drove up to Portland Maine, to spend a couple of days at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party Tattoo convention. I'd booked us into the Howard Johnson's across the street from the Merry Manor, which was the hotel headquarters for the convention. When we got there, we decided to check to see if there'd been any cancellations at the Merry Manor, and there were, so we decided to stay there instead.
That turned out to be a good decision, because that evening (and probably Friday as well, but we didn't look into it - Friday was a tiring day!) there was an artists reception/party, so we were able to go and hang out with a bunch of the artists, drink, talk and generally schmooze.
The next morning, we attended Jan Seeger's Photography seminar (the seminars were held in the Merry Manor), which was interesting and fun - besides discussing tattoo photography, she showed slides of a new project she was working on which though not particularly tattoo-related, were very powerful and beautiful. Immediately after that, we were off to the Italian Heritage Center, where the actual convention was taking place.
Friday tends to be a slow day, though most of the artists who work this convention have their time booked early. So though the aisles were only sparsely populated with walkers and gawkers, most of the artists were working. Trevor had a client lined up for most of the afternoon - he was getting a shark done on the back of his calf. It came out quite nicely, too.
We'd helped Jan rearrange some furniture in the room they'd set aside for her for her photo shoots, and she'd asked us to swing by in a while, so that she could take a few more of us. We ended up spending the afternoon with her, as she had us pose with clothes and without, and with a couple of fun props. Jan wanted to try Geoffrey's camera. Geoffrey had just been playing the role of a sullen wife-beater type for one of Jan's photos, and hadn't quite snapped out of it. I got to play biker-babe dominatrix later - complete with a big-hair wig, so it all evened out in the end.
When we were done Jan didn't feel like working any more, but Trevor was still deep into the shark. So Jan and I went off to find out how late Pizzeria Unos was open, and to do a little girl-shopping at Victorias Secret (it is, after all, Valentines weekend). We also spent some time with the back and foot massagers at Brookstones. I've decided I want one of those foot massagers, ahhhhh.
Geoffrey stayed behind to cruise the aisles and then sit and run interference for Trevor, answering questions and handing out cards, while he continued to work.
We got back, Trevor had just finished, and we all went out to eat at Unos.
The next morning, we got up early to go to Trevor's seminar on Polynesian tattooing. This is a seminar I would recommend highly to any tattoo artists who think anyone can do tribal or neo-tribal. It isn't just making black squiggly lines, which would appear to be what many new tattoo artists believe.
On a side note, Tom Hammond, the guy who has all the facial tribal and who won at the NYC convention last year, has gone missing - his regular artist hasn't seen him for a couple of months, either. He's a little concerned.
Saturday we spent the early afternoon with Trevor in his booth - this time I ran interference, and let people know when he'd be around this summer, and his schedule. We attended the Tea Party (tea, crackers and cheese, petitfours, cookies, fruit, chicken wings and finger sandwiches), cruised the aisles again, and then bid everyone goodbye and headed home. We'd had a fun time, mostly because we'd had a chance to spend time with Trevor and Jan.
The convention was well-attended, all the artists seemed happily busy, Geoffrey bought me this really nice bright red vinyl minidress from Ian of Reading's girlfriend - what else could you ask for?
Photos from the convention? Well.... we really didn't bother - Bonge was there, they'll be in the magazines. Jan was taking photos, but for her own projects now. There may be a new tattoo photography book on the shelves in the future... Anyway Geoffrey took a couple of me working the crowd, kindof. Unfortunately, you can't tell I was doing that because he stood out in the aisle to take the photo. But I was doing that, really! At least in between the time I was bullshitting with Geoffrey, Trevor and Brian Everett (he was in the booth beside Trevor) and one of their mutual clients Conrad (you've seen him in the magazines - he's got a backpiece of the opera Carmen).