"The worldwide tattoo conference provides the opportunity of jumpstarting a period of learning and growth for all tattooers. I know this because, even as a presenter, I was left floored by all the other presentations I saw that weekend. I was ready to give my all to my art and my craft." - Nick Baxter
Report from Tatuatori.info
Rome – Last October 22nd and 23rd 2011 the World Wide Tattoo Conference was held in Tivoli (RM), in the background of the Grand Hotel Duca D’Este and under the careful and serious organization looked after by Alex De Pase and Micromutazioni. The first world itinerant conference about tattoo made its stop in Italy for the very first time, gathering together, in a venue that was unique, four amongst the best world tattoo artists and a renown sector business and marketing expert. About 300 people from all over the world joined the event, which, by offering two days of intensive teaching full immersion, has succeeded in putting together seminars and meetings about tattooing and its artistic and technical features and applications, and in opening up the minds of the participants towards any and all technical-strategic marketing issues in the tattoo world, targeting the improvement of their business.
The first to step up on the stand was Jeff Gogue, a professional tattooist form the States availing himself of Japanese arts influences. Starting from the various difficult steps he had to overcome at the very beginning of his career in the Tattoo field, he went on disclosing how he was indeed able to reach success in his art, getting out of the gloom he was stuck in and finding his way out by lighting his own path and changing his approach to tattoo. “You need to be active, tell the others about yourself and share what you are to grow”. By showing his works with the support of photographic slides to the audience, he set out the bench mark elements in the artistic practice of tattooing: from dynamism to contrasts, from focus to the illusion of light, from the image itself to the relation with the client. All this was dealt with in details, without ignoring the technical approach to it, which must be there and represents an indispensable aspect for the perfect creation of a tattoo.
The relay went on with Alex De Pase, nowadays an icon of realistic tattooing in Italy. Humble and accommodating, as well as ironic, determined and self-confident, he drew the attention of the participants by means of a dynamic seminar, where he unveiled his experiences, his passion and devotion, the tricks and secrets allowing him to join his hand and machines together, in order to create some masterpieces on the skin of the people who rely on him. Beginning with his mistakes, he led the audience to his top works, providing them with clear explanations of the way his studies of oil painting, sculpture and air brushing have extensively helped him refine his techniques, so that he is now able to impress on the skin some faces or images that are frequently better than a photograph itself. His professionalism and talent rely on many other key points, which were indeed revealed during his seminar: the study before the tattoo itself, self-criticism, technique and recurrent analysis of his works.
The first day of the World Wide Tattoo Conference drew to an end with the participation of Gabe Ripley, well-known organiser of tattoo conventions and deviser of the famous website TattooNow. Marketing is a key aspect that mustn't be left out when you get down to launching a now product on the market. This rule of thumb is applicable in the tattoo world as well and Ripley, during his relation, provided the necessary information and techniques to do good business. His speech indicated the main steps to take in order to set-up and promote one's tattoo studio, as well as the most useful channels to market it, keeping the pace with the never-ending development of the sector. He exhorts each tattooist to work following the philosophy of “we”, fostering any social interaction and cooperation, honesty and respect. “One needs to constantly try to understand, without getting stuck in the strictness of set rules. Working incisively but being aware of your own limits. Moreover, one's business must be given a mission and the tattooist should approach any successful person without envy, but with a complete willingness to learn, improve and grow up”.
Nick Baxter opened the second day of the World Wide Tattoo Conference. He is a young tattooist from the States somebody would define quite bizarre, while others attribute to him a careful and deep philosophy of life, which is excellently poured into his practice of tattooing. An artist looking for reasons and not for rules, lavishly abandoning himself to positive addictions through daily routine actions, which prove to be equally positive. He supports the diversity of being by means of flexibility, curiosity and explosion: whoever is eager to know, studies, carries out research and so on, manages to reach flexibility and if he/she is able to apply such philosophy upon tattooing, he/she will surely reach success. On top of that is it absolutely indispensable to experiment with the five senses, to have a direct perception of the world around us, to interact with clients, to communicate and to be able to use up your own energies properly. Many references to his technicality are made in the theory of tattooing, illustrated by Nick Baxter.
It was then the turn of the Hungarian artist Boris, one of the most appreciated European tattooists specialized in portraits, black&white realism, as well as colour. An expert also in biomechanics and fantasy, he has created his own peculiar style, which is immediately recognizable, thanks to an unparalleled technique which was illustrated throughout the seminar by means of analysing the process of tattooing a full back, from the initial conception of the idea to the tattoo fulfilment, going through all the working stages, obviously without neglecting the division and organization of the different working sessions.
The World Wide Tattoo Conference finished on Sunday evening with the set up of a discussion panel where all the artists interacted with the audience answering to any of their curiosity or perplexity and granting in this way a further sense of completion to this 2-day-conference of training and professional growth. It was an opportunity not to be missed for all the people who consider the art of tattooing as their philosophy of life, as well a job full of passion and inspiration. A unique experience that gave each single visitor the right stimuli and a sprint for growth that may be only achieved through the meeting with great artists, prepared to put their experience at the others’ disposal.
Tatuatori.info was officially present at all times during the entire course of the World Wide Tattoo Conference. We collected data, pictures, videos and interviews so that we may present you with a full report of the event and to bear witness of the participants. We feel obliged to thank Alex De Pase and the organizers and to make an applause to the five artists present at the convention. We would like to emphasize the participants’ tangible enthusiasm at the conclusion of the two days spent together, the thrilling store of energy and the urge everybody felt to take off and tattoo, in order to put into practice the teaching got during the seminars and thus improve their performance.
We look forward to experiencing the next appointment with the World Wide Tattoo Conference.
In April 2012 stop over will be in the United States – Chicago, where two new names of excellence shall join the crew: Bob Tyrrell and Guy Aitchison.
The program of the next European Conference is currently being finalized.