Thursday, May 1, 2014

Aftermath: Baltimore Tattoo Arts Convention

Some of the goodies I had for sale!
Baltimore Tattoo Arts Convention was an interesting experiment in vending outside the world of comic conventions. After the massive success of Visionary Tattoo Arts Festival last year, I figured I'd try my hand at a bigger tattoo show in my hometown of Baltimore, Md. I had a corner booth, as tattoo shows do not have Artist Alleys like comic cons do, that I shared with my partner-in-crime and hetero-lifemate Fenny of Little Asian Sweatshop.


I did ok financially, but the long hours and the expensive table fees kinda soured any financial success to be had. The hours were especially brutal as most days were at least 13+ hour days (including prep/travel/closedown time) letting out at midnight, and most food establishments of any quality being closed by this point. Oh how NYC has spoiled me. So alas, Fenny and I had to skip our traditional post-convention celebration of steamed crabs on the Baltimore waterfront.

Chilling out a few nights before the show
The overall attitude of many of the general populous of attendees also left me a little non-plussed. I found several times that I had to explain myself and the fact that I drew/made all this lovely merchandise you'd see before you, and that it didn't just HAPPEN. Also I had to explain what it is exactly you do with prints at least 4 times. ("you slap it in a frame and put it on your wall, dum-dum...") So yeah. Attendees of this show versus others I noticed really took things for granted. Many seemed only there for the spectacle and to gawk at the freaks. Some were even downright rude. Perfect example being on Sunday morning when a fellow walking around asked me how I was and I stated that I was tired but good. He replied asking if I was out all night partying. I said no, just being here working for 3 days straight is enough to physically destroy me and he was all oh yeah I guess this *is* a job to you guys, and that that's kind of depressing. And I was like, REALLY? Don't you judge me, dude. Like at least I'm free to be myself in a (normally) fun work environment representing myself and my own brand. What does he do that allows him to be so expressive? Ugh, yeah but that rubbed me the wrong way a bit.

Forgot my glasses on Friday and no one recognized me.

So yeah, will most likely not attend this show again next year, but hey I heard Awesomecon in DC a week or two ago was pretty sweet. It was also pretty funny how much I was plugging Baltimore Comic Con coming up in September. I had the pleasure of meeting a few young artists who were interested in my work and pursuing their own creative endeavors and I told them they definitely need to come back for BCC and check out Artist Alley. I was actually amazed that many people had never heard of it. But for every 10 yokels there was an awesome, receptive customer/fan/attendee who understands and appreciated the hustle and labor of love it is for me to come out to these shows and make the merch and be socially on point for hours upon exhausting hours.

So there's a strip club giving out boobie stress balls and FENNY GOT THREE AND SHE IS SO HAPPY.

1 comment:

  1. Yes and i was there very nice and i have a dope pic too remember her by...spark it up thnx paigey fr ine artist to anothet


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