Ah, Montreal. I really love this city. It holds vague memories from my college days, partying across the border, and all night revelry in drag bars. I know a slightly different Montreal these days, full of amazing artists, galleries, tattoo shops, and most of all a sense of community and hospitality. Pierre Chapelan and Val Eamond of Studio Tattoo Mania Montreal took over running and hosting the entire show themselves this year, and it was a fantastic weekend with inspiring artists–and the addition of a full service espresso bar was a very appreciated amenity by myself as well as MANY others during the super busy weekend.
The location for the show is the Gare Windsor which is a beautiful location full of natural light for the artists. No detail was too small to be overlooked, and the crew (as well as Val and Pierre) made the show one of the most efficiently run I have ever been to. If you needed ANYTHING, no matter how small, they had you covered and quickly. Lines of tattoo fans stood outside in line to get in to see the artists buzzing, and stroll the rows of artwork and booths full of inspiration.
I definitely spent a bit less time at the show this year, but I spent much more time walking around the city. Her is one of me cheesing in the booth, though.
After a very successful show, Monday was the day for Lefty and I to hit the town together, which meant smoked meat, poutine, and a Frankenstein combination of the two from Schwartz’s Deli. We stop here every time we are in Montreal, and if you’re a pastrami fan, don’t miss it! We always grab a sandwich and sit at one of the community tables, then head next door to the take out side for stuff to take home (the poutine is only available on this side–DO IT.)
Montreal also has a graffiti scene that has a style and flavor–everywhere you look, there is amazing artwork. Stroll the alleys, search it out. Keep your eyes peeled or you might miss something extraordinary! The street painting is everywhere, and these guys are straight painting with their cans. I took several shots of some of my favorites, but photos really do them no justice, and they might be gone with the blink of an eye.
After a day of running around exploring the city, we headed back to Studio Tattoo Mania to say our thank you’s and goodbyes. There was quite a group of artists there, exchanging ideas and working on new tattoos. The energy was everything that tattoo artists and tattoo lovers enjoy–the free exchange of ideas and love for the craft. Thank you to Pierre and Val for hosting a wonderful show yet again–we will see you next year or even earlier!