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My Hell City Phoenix Experience


Tuesday August 30, 2011

            Hell City Tattoo Fest this weekend was one of the best tattoo conventions I have ever worked. It was the first time I have been able to make it out to Phoenix Arizona, and staying at the Biltmore Resort was definitely the icing on the proverbial cake! Hell City Phoenix is such a well organized show with a real focus on the talents of its artists, that I wish all shows could be like it. But there can be only one Hell City!

            I had the great privilege of finally meeting and sharing a booth and room with Larry Bone from Tattoo A Gogo in New Orleans. Larry is one of the most laid back optimistic people I have ever met with an outstanding sense of humor that really shows in his artwork and tattoos. I am truly honored to have had a chance to work along side him and get to know him.

            Some other highlights of my Hell City Phoenix experience include a photoshoot with Mary D’loisio from Skin & Ink Magazine, H’alo Photography and Umbrella Ink Tattoos. I have had the privilege of watching Mary’s career from nearly its inception, and to see where she has come with her photography and to finally be a part of her portfolio is truly a great honor.

            Being able to finally meet and hang out with some other artists who I have developed relationships with via email, myspace, and facebook was another huge thrill, and even moreso when I realized they were all very receptive and friendly when we finally got to meet face to face. Plus I had the added bonus of seeing everybody again whom I have worked at other conventions with around the country, and meeting a lot of new tattoo artists who I would never otherwise get an opportunity to meet.

            My biggest prize that I brought home with me is a beautiful pastel painting by Dan Plumley. The mans work is incredibly inspiring to me and I'm thrilled to be an owner of a piece of his talents.

            The best thing about this trip, however, is clearly and simply having the capacity and capability of collaborating artistic ideas with fellow artists and practitioners of the craft. Conventions can go either way: sometimes I come home and swear that I’ll never work another one, or I come home revitalized and inspired to create artwork and tattoos. Hell City this year definitely falls into the later category, and I really look forward to going back and working it in Phoenix again in 2013. But for now, I’m happy to be back home at Sacred Chao Tattooing & Piercing in (not 115 degree weather!) Valparaiso Indiana, working with my amazing crew and awesome clients! And I'm ready to take appointments and work some magic!

            Thanks guys, for making this Hell City amazing, and thanks for refueling my inspiration!