Tattoo Conventions and (Boozy)Life on the Road

Paris Tattoo Convention

Paris Tattoo Convention

Tattoo Conventions are a huge business, and show numbers are growing exponentially worldwide. Promoters compete for the best weekends, and to host the biggest names in tattooing. Larger cities and markets often have the highest regarded shows- Paris and London are long running, premiere events that artists try to plan their schedules around. Serious tattoo collectors often follow favorite artists on social media, and travel hundreds of miles for a sitting with an artist they might not otherwise have access to. Sites like Facebook and Instagram help artists to gain exposure internationally, and connect first hand with potential clients. So, what happens at these things? Why would a tattoo artist go out of their comfort zone and hit the road?

NETWORKING- Conventions are a great place to expand your circle. The best of the best choose only particular shows- if you’re good enough to get in, you’re hanging with the top percentage of artists practicing the craft.

Tin Tin from Paris

Tin Tin from Paris

Meeting other artists and connecting on a personal level sets up future growth potential. ‘Guest spots’ are essentially invites to work at another shop for a small amount of time, which enable artists to learn from each other and work in a different space. Give and take to build and grow within the circle.

IMG_0804.JPGTATTOOING- YES, tattoo artists tattoo at tattoo conventions. Seems like common sense, right? Artists pay for a booth that has all of the necessities to work,- tables, chairs, electricity, and basic supplies are provided (paper towels, electricity, etc.). Artists vary in setup: some bring a banner and their equipment, others can enjoy more showmanship and decorate the booth with a bit more flare. Convention promoters for high end shows focus on safety, for clients as well as artists. If you want to get tattooed by a particular artist, it’s always a good idea to communicate with them first! Email usually works best, ┬áand setting up an appoint will guarantee that you’re not left out of getting tattooed. Saturday is usually the busiest day of any show, so plan accordingly.

EXPOSURE- Getting out there builds a tattoo artist’s name as well as client base. The more people that see you on the road (artists and clients alike), the more familiar you become within the tattoo industry. Magazines and media cover larger shows, and now it’s pretty common to see TV cameras too. Nothing like a good freak show! ­čÖé

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Artists on the beach in Tofino, Vancouver Island

TRAVEL- If you had a job that allowed you to see the world, and it required your dedication and energy and study to continue to improve and grow? Would you? Tattoo artists take advantage of these opportunities, absorbing reference and details from touring like sponges. Artwork is a living process, and the work these artists produce is even more so. Seeing this great big world adds a level of a different consciousness, and a tie to the world history of tattooing.

20140314-162425.jpgLOCATIONS- So, where the hell are these tattoo conventions? Damn near everywhere! ┬áIf it’s a major city, there is at least one major show. If there are no shows near you, chances are you’re not living in a metropolitan area! Want to go to one? TRAVEL!! Drive, fly, however….don’t stagnate and wait for one of these shows to come to you in the stix. Make a weekend of it, spend a day at the show, and then enjoy the area you’re in! That’s where I came up with the BoozyLife–conventions are fun, but unless you’re getting tattooed CONVENTIONS ARE BORING AFTER A FEW HOURS. YOU CAN ONLY WALK SO MANY LAPS AROUND THE FLOOR BEFORE YOUR EYES GLAZE OVER. Head to a city, catch a convention, and see what that particular city has to offer! I focus on mostly wineries and booze, but tattoo artists LOVE to eat at the highest rated gourmet restaurants– also a tradition for Sunday night dinner at the wrap of the show. If you see a gang of heavily tattooed, usually slightly loud men and women headed into your restaurant after eight on a Sunday night? LET THEM IN. They will make it worth your while (servers LOVE these guys!)

In our booth

In our booth

Now that you have all that info, where is a show near you? Well, we landed in Ithaca because it’s rural, but about four hours central to several hubs we use a lot. (NYC, Toronto, Montreal). Rochester is now home to the Roc City Tattoo Expo, best upstate NY convention by far– this year May 1st-3rd!┬áhttp://www.roccitytattooexpo.com

We also use the website┬áhttp://www.worldtattooevents.com ┬áThis comprehensive calendar lists conventions in the US, Europe, Canada, and damn near everywhere else in the world. No matter where you are, Waldo….there’s a show (and probably a winery or two) worth checking out. Keep reading BOOZYLIFE to see where we end up next…catch you soon kids!Chardonnay vines in the snow

Halloween Bulldog Post-*nothing to do with wine or tattoos :)

As many of you know, my loves are wine, husband, bulldog, and tattoos–not necessarily in that order. The following are gratuitous photos of my old English bulldog (daughter) Madison Mae Molina, (also known as Princess Peanut Wigglebottom the first) in the pumpkin patch with her momma and daddy. Fall is my favorite time of year, and Maddie was relatively cooperative, considering this was AFTER a vet appointment. Enjoy her splendor ­čśë

Annoyed but putting up with us

Annoyed but putting up with us

Maddie showing her good side :)

Maddie showing her good side ­čÖé

Maddie & me

Maddie & me

Maddie and dad

Maddie and dad

Art Tattoo Show Montreal 2014

IMG_0800.JPG BoozyLife is in Montreal this weekend for the 2014 Montreal Tattoo Art Show! Check in after the event for my wrap up, or follow along on my Instagram at @missusmolina – Always a fantastic show put on by Pierre and Val of Tattoo Mania Studio, in the fabulous city of Montreal Ôś║´ŞĆ

Saturday morning Gew├╝rztraminer tasting at Keuka Spring Vineyard tomorrow!

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Very excited that tomorrow morning (11am…don’t judge me) I will be attending the ‘I’ve Gone Gewurz’ tasting at Keuka Springs Winery (follow the link to check out their website)! From their page-‘ Enjoy a tasting of our Gew├╝rztraminers side by side, paired with an exquisite tasting plate.’ I am quite a fan of Keuka Springs wines, and on a personal note, met their talented winemaker August Deimel years ago through his lovely wife! Looking forward to seeing him tomorrow on his home turf.

As for the wine tasting….what the hell is a Gew├╝rztraminer, you might wonder? It’s a type of grape, and Wiki is nice enough to help you with pronunciation– don’t be afraid, give it a try–
Name “Gew├╝rztraminer” is pronounced as “guh-Verts-trah-Meen-er”. It’s a grape that is used in making white wine, and grows well in a cooler climate. More nerdy grape info from Wiki here:

Gew├╝rztraminer is an aromatic wine grape variety, used in white wines, and performs best in cooler climates. It is sometimes referred to colloquially as Gew├╝rz, and in French it is written Gewurztraminer (without the umlaut). Gew├╝rztraminer is a variety with a pink to red skin colour, which makes it a “white wine grape” as opposed to the blue to black-skinned varieties commonly referred to as “red wine grapes”. The variety has high natural sugar and the wines are white and usually off-dry, with a flamboyant bouquet of lychees. Indeed, Gew├╝rztraminer and lychees share the same aroma compounds. Dry Gew├╝rztraminers may also have aromas of roses, passion fruit and floral notes. It is not uncommon to notice some spritz (fine bubbles on the inside of the glass).

Lychee? Passion Fruit? Now can you see why I am such a fan?!? Riesling might be king of our region, but Gewurz is a gem of a wine, and often overlooked.

Full report with live tweets tomorrow! Follow along with my Gewurz tasting on Twitter @BoozyLife ­čÖé

Blue Hair in a Little Town….Again

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Blue hair, don’t care ­čÖé

Many, many moons ago, I dabbled with hair dye in college. It started innocently enough– deemed “an external manifestation of internal changes” by a psych major that had little classwork accomplished. From long blond to an angled bob dyed the color of black cherries, I was hooked. I tried them all, every color of the rainbow, much to the horror of music professors and my parents alike. Some think it’s bravery, others stupidity, others a cry for attention. Truth? I like fashion, I like extremes, and I’m very comfortable away from the center of the road. My mother warned me, continue to play with hair colors, and eventually you will wake up with your ┬áentire head of hair on the pillow next to you. Not true…yet…and still I continue to play. This time, it’s a lovely robin’s egg blue…and a month from now, who knows? Whatever catches my eye. Owning a tattoo shop has given me the opportunity to play again, colors and pigments are par for the course. Sorry, mom, I never grew out of it….even all these years later!

Post Script–If you see me at your tasting bar, I hope my colors brighten the view this season! XO