Traveling Times: Atlanta Tattoo Expo

This time the Tattoo Expo is in our town! The Atlanta Tattoo Expo was August 18-20 and lucky for Gate City Tattoo being located conveniently downtown the expo was just down the street. So, on that Friday I got to the studio to finish packing up for the convention and then headed the four blocks or less from the studio to the convention.

Atlanta Tattoo Shop

Thomas from Against All Odds Tattoo in Auburn, AL showed up to the studio around 1 o'clock to help me grab my stuff and take it to the convention where we were sharing a booth this year!

We spent the next two hours setting up for the convention, making sure our booth looked fly. I finally realized I do need a bigger banner, but my hand painted one did get a lot of compliments. After we got set up I spent the first couple of hours at the convention getting a design ready for an appointment I had on Sunday back at the studio because the hustle doesn't stop. I was planning to do some painting over the weekend but that did not work out, and I don't know why I thought it would. Not long after we got the booth set up and while I was working on my design for Sunday and older gentleman approached the booth and commented on how gorgeous the flash sheet was that I had setup and make just for the expo, so I came up to the front of the booth to meet him. I told him I was very glad he thought so and asked him if he was tattooing at the convention and what his name was. He said that he was tattooing at the convention and that his name was.. **Fan Girl Alert** ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?!..... Shotsie! It only took me a couple of seconds to realize that I was talking to Shotsie fucking Gorman!

And if you guys out there in Internet land do not know who that is I will not take time to explain it a quick Google search will let you know who this guy is and how long he's been tattooing. I could not believe that I was talking to a guy who I had looked up to since I began tattooing! I had no idea he was going to be at the convention and on top of it he complemented my flash sheet! He turned out to be a hell of a nice guy and super easy to talk to. It's always awesome as a tattooer to meet people that you looked up to in the industry your whole career. Friday evening around seven I had a guy come up to the booth and look at our flash sheet, he told me he was looking to do a dagger I had a dagger and snake on the flash but he didn't think that he wanted a snake with it so I ended up drawing him a Rose with a dagger through it.

Come to find out his girlfriend was an artist working at the convention from Pennsylvania so that was really cool. They were both very complementary and super pumped on his tattoo. I however did not get it finished in time to enter it for tattoo of the day. Bummer. Seems to be a pattern forming...

Atlanta Tattoo Artist

Saturday I got to the convention kind early probably around 11 o'clock. Stopped by Shotsie's booth for about 30 minutes and shot the shit with him about the tattoo industry, and his new shop in Sonoma California. He gave me a needle to do some traditional tattooing with that he said was awesome. I have to reiterate how nice of a guy he is and down-to-earth. I headed back to my booth and once again started working on my design for my appointment on Sunday at the studio. But as any tattooer knows as soon as you start working on a side project or something for another client you're bound to catch a tattoo. Saturdays are typically the best day for a walk up at the convention. With that being said I got to do a black and gray traditional rose off of my flash sheet.

It was on a really cool young artist that had been the stalking the booth the previous day looking at the flash sheet. He turned out to be a super nice kid who seem to have a great fondness for the tattoo industry. After I was done with his tattoo he brought his portfolio up and help me look through his artwork and critique it. It's always an honor one another artist brings her portfolio up to you for you to critique them. Also, as an artist I can verify that it is super nerve-racking to do that. He took my critiques very well and it seemed that he was going to heed my advice which is always nice.

Downtown Atlanta Tattoo Shop

Back to the design once again for Sunday, and with my deadline to email out the sketch dreadfully approaching another cool tattooer walks up to the booth and asks if I can tattoo the side of his hand. If you know me, this is something that I will never do on a regular client, but if you're a tattooer and your hands are already blasted- sit down, shut up and hang on because we're about to blast this bitch out. I use the needle that Shotsie gave me earlier to bury this tattoo on the side of this mans hand.

I don't go around endorsing the products that I use for tattooing so I will not say what brand or type a needle it was but suffice it to say that it did the job just fine. After I get done tattooing his hand I go back to my sketch and barely get it sent before the day ends. After the convention is over with me and Thomas head out and grab a few drinks before the city shuts down for the night. Get back to my house at about 4 AM with just enough time to get a few hours of sleep and do it all over again Sunday.

I spent Sunday packing up and walking around the tattoo convention and not tattooing because Ryan from Thomas' shop was going to be working with Thomas that day in the booth. I had to be back in at the studio by 5 to tattoo my appointment. I bought some prints off at Shotsie and caught up with Tatu Ritchie and some other tattoo friends.

I had parked my car in a spot so I can load up easily. I came out to load my stuff with the sticker on my window saying that I was going to be towed, so I grabbed all my shit and loaded into the car post haste. I got back to the shop at about 3 o'clock with just enough time to do a color rendering of my tattoo and at 5 o'clock proceeded to start working on said tattoo. I work in the studio till about 9 o'clock just getting the outline done on the piece and returned home to hop in bed and fall fast asleep.

(The sketch I tried working on all weekend for my Sunday appoinment)

All in all I had a great weekend and would like to thank Tony Olivas and the crew from Sacred Heart for having us out!