Below is the part I wrote on the plane. It is tempting to not even post it now as some of it seems redundant to previous posts here... but the feelings were strong when I wrote them, so they should see the light of day, even if its a few weeks later..
Leaving the convention I was left with a few impressions I'll try to express without getting too deep...
I am coming home with a solid sense of confirmation. To explain, as I have written in previous posts, I have been attempting a change in the approach to my work. Largely focusing on establishing and embracing my influences, then trying to figure out what to do with that knowledge. I have always fought the desire to go too far down the road of an established "style" and lately have come to see that as a hinderance. In order to continue to do the sort of work that I enjoy, I really need to fully realize and promote that style. At the convention this weekend I had the opportunity to really talk about that aspect of tattooing with folks I genuinely respect and admire. That is where the sense of confirmation comes from... Sometimes it's just nice to hear your thoughts backed up.
Tattooing is changing so much and so fast it is hard to fathom. The most dramatic to me is the concept of self promotion. It seems in order to stay on top of your game, you need to constantly remind people that you are in fact at the top of your game. It goes against my nature completely, but is no less a fact. The concept of just putting my head down and doing the best work I can is simply not enough. Don't be surprised to see me sending photos to magazines. I've done it twice in 19 years of tattooing. I think I need to up that a bit. There are lots of things I plan to get more involved with, of course time and money provided.
Anyhow, I wanted to post some more photos from the trip. These are all taken with my phone, but I will post the actual camera shots another time.
This is a lovely photo of our hosts Elodie and Sandro. I cannot thank them enough for all the did and put up with while we were their guests.
This is the elevator to their apartment. That thing alone made the place absurdly cool.
This was the view from our room.
Here is a Photo of a dear friend Safwan from Imago in Montreal. Here is his shops site, and here is his blog. (his recent post has an interview he did for a polish tattoo magazine where he brings up the state of tattooing today, and what we can do to better manage it) He made this machine for me... and it rules! I honestly got a little choked up when he gave it to me.
Dimitri and Steph
We passed this on our way to dinner after the show each night. i don't know who did the treatment, but is was pretty damn funny