My take on the Montreal Tattoo Arts 2013 weekend-guest blog for Needles & Sins! I’ll be posting more with my interview with the wonderful Loretta Leu next week, it was quite an eventful weekend away from Ithaca….Follow the link here N&S Montreal 2013 by Demetra Molina
High end tattoo artists, as a community, are the most well traveled people in the world. Premiere conventions are located world wide, and more appear every year. Milan, London, NYC, Paris, Amsterdam, Montreal…all have an annual tattoo convention, and reputable artists are often extended an invitation to travel. Networking, recognition, and reputation are all created and maintained through working select shows.
Tattoo Conventions are often a three day event, spanning a Friday-Sunday weekend. Artists flood into town, set up at the venue, tattoo for three days, and tear down. The marathon of work often ends with a celebratory Sunday night steak dinner; a chance for artists and their significant others to socialize, imbibe, and talk shop. And now, a view from the table:
*Tattoo artists will wear black tee shirts and cargo shorts to any restaurant. They might get disapproving looks from other guests. They will not care. Three eighteen hour days have all lead up to the meal ahead. Stare if you would like, just feed us.
*We sit late, so be prepared to stay. Some of us only see each other once a year, so this time together is precious and short. If you’re our server, you’re in for the long haul…BUT WE GUARANTEE THE TIP WILL BE WORTH IT. Have fun with us, you can tell the stories to fellow servers for months. There WILL be stories. Promise.
*Tattooers at this level love to enjoy the finer things, especially in food and drink. WE KNOW WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT. Don’t let the body art fool you, most of our crew have
pretty refined palates. Most would rather drink an Argentinian Malbec with dinner, than do tequila shots off a party girl at the bar. Not that that doesn’t happen occasionally, but it’s time and place appropriate…of course.
*We’re loud. Not rowdy, flip the table and punch someone in the face loud, but jovial. There will be laughter, calls between tables, and musical chairs so everyone gets a chance for very valuable face time. Sorry again to the servers, if you bring food we’ll figure out where it goes. Again, worth the hassle. Promise.
What I’ve learned in my few short years with my tattooer husband? Don’t judge a book by its cover, artists are comfortable everywhere and anywhere, and the best compliment to fine dining is enjoying the company of those you’re with.
The 5th annual Roc City Tattoo Expo was held recently, always a great show with a talented, international artist roster. Our shop has participated since the first year, and it is rare to find such a quality convention in our area. We travel a lot, and it’s nice to have one so close! I had the luxury of driving home and sleeping in my own bed, and still spent the day (and a decent portion of the night) with the guys, and enjoying the area.
I drove up early in the day on Saturday, and along the way to Rochester from Ithaca…there are wineries. The west side of the Cayuga Wine Trail is a short jaunt up Rte89. It’s a scenic drive up the lake (versus Rte96 which is inland), and passes Taughannock falls park and overlook. I didn’t have time to stall, and since I’ve worked on the wine trail in the past, I skipped the wineries for a stop that I rarely get a chance to make. I visited the Canandaigua NY Wine & Culinary Center, which houses a fantastic assortment of wines and spirits from a variety of local producers.
Once in Roc City, your options are several. This is such a foodie city, complete with everything from the local delicacy of a ‘garbage plate’- a mess of red hots, fries, macaroni salad, all together, best eaten after 2am.
Roc City Brewpub is a fantastic option for a great meal and some fantastic in house brews. With names like ‘Vern’ and ‘Sex Panther’, the beers are likewise named, quality without pretense-have some fun, relax. I had both, and can agree the beer is well balanced without any hops snobbery.
It’s not booze, but it will make the tattoo wife happy-Hedonist Chocolates has divine chocolates in amazing flavors. This spot I missed somehow, but was gifted by the smart tattoo husband with pistachio ginger dark chocolate bark. The good men know, chocolate will forgive any multitude of sins, even preemptively. He ran into a fellow tattooer there as well, another in the know artist and husband.
As for the Roc City tattoo convention itself, do not miss this one! The artist list is international, exclusive in the best possible way, and truly represents the best in the tattoo industry. HOF has been involved since the inaugural year, and I would go on record as saying its the best show in our area, hands down. Check out the artist list here: artists at Roc City 2013 and look at the work offered. If you want a real tattoo convention without traveling for multiple hours, Upstate New Yorkers…this is it. Jet DiProjetto and his crew at Love Hate Tattoo are responsible for one hell of a weekend of tattoo artistry and entertainment-thank you Roc City, a great time as always…and we’ll see you next year!
Tattoo conventions mean different things to different people. For tattoo collectors, it’s an exciting weekend (or sometimes just a day) of new tattoos, entertainment, hot tattooed ladies, and tattoo contests. For tattoo artists and vendors, it’s stressful and work, time to see old friends, network new ones, and show their skills to potential new clients. And then, there is the tattoo spouse. We’re usually either walking circles into the convention floor after three hours of hanging out, siting glassy-eyed in the booth while folks stroll on by, or sitting in the hotel room. Let’s be honest, it’s mostly number three. Especially if the room has a hot tub. But, now that HIS work is YOUR time away, don’t waste it sitting in a room. Grapes grow damn near everywhere, and where there are grapes….there is wine.
Skindustry Tattoo Expo 2013 was held this weekend, and our shop had a great time. Busy show, lots of great artists, and close enough to home that I could commute without a stay over! I had a very busy Saturday in Canandaigua (more on that in another entry), so Sunday was tattoo wife day at the show for me. I promised to spend most of Sunday at the expo, so I left Ithaca early. I had to have a little time to explore the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail, Pennsylvania’s fast growing wine region. They have even claimed Chambourcin as the official grape of the area…it’s a hearty hybrid red that makes delicious wines, from dry to sweet. I stopped at three wineries closest to the expo, all within fifteen miles of the show. Always have a DD with you, or in my case (this time), go alone, SPIT–NO SHAME, and buy bottles for home!
First stop, Pinnacle Ridge and Winery, housed in a renovated bank barn structure and I was happily shocked to see sparkling wine made, in the traditional method, on site! They use locally sourced and estate grapes, vinifera and hybrids, and make more styles of wine than I could list (click on them to check out their website. They ship, I’m just letting you know!). I brought home a bottle of the Brut Rose, and another of the Blanc de Blanc. Don’t judge me, I’m a sucker for bubbles.
Next, I swung by Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery, a few miles closer to the show. More bubbles! Traditional dry reds, a few fruity sweets for the kids…a blackberry sparkler wine sounds right up some of y’all’s alley!! I don’t judge, the best wine is the wine you like the best. Life is short, try them all!
Last winery I had time for, and closest to the show, Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery had a beautiful view of the vineyard and deck for warmer weather. The tasting room was busy, but everyone was accommodating. It’s a small vineyard, so vintages run out and change depending on sales. The selections were slightly limited, but I tried more whites than reds. They do have a beautiful wine bar in the tasting room to take advantage of, if you have time to linger. I could have! But….
Show time! Made it to Skindustry by 2pm, not too shabby and with bubbles in a back seat cooler (hot trunk is bad for wine…don’t do that!!) I met Eddie at the front entrance. Great show, tattooers, caricature artists that could turn you into a cartoon zombie for a small fee, Eddie even won a trophy for 1st place BLACK & GREY TATTOO! It was a successful weekend for our entire clan. BIG Thank You to Steve Lemak and The Quillian Tattoo crew for putting on another great tattoo weekend in Allentown, PA!
**Follow highlighted links for websites and info 🙂