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Everything you need to know about Tattoo Conventions

The very first tattoo convention started back in the year 1976 in, USA, and has since expanded across various cities all over the world. As tattoos are getting increasingly popular and mainstream these days in Singapore, attending a tattoo convention can be rather intimidating for anyone who isn't familiar with the tattoo community.

The last tattoo convention held in Singapore was the Singapore Ink Show (5 - 7 April 2019) and Culture Cartel (6 - 8 December 2019) where tattoo aficionados get to witness tattoo competitions as well as getting inked on the spot from their favourite tattoo artist.

More details about upcoming tattoo conventions can be found on the online calendar of the World Tattoo Events' (WTE) webpage, featuring over 1,400 tattoo events from all over the world.

1. What are Tattoo Conventions all about?

Tattoo conventions are usually held for 2-3 days, and it is an event where tattoo artists and enthusiasts gather to experience the world of tattooing up close and personal.

Attendees get to experience the following:

  • A great opportunity to visit all the local tattoo studios as well as view their portfolios on-site.

  • Get access to talented artists from other countries.

  • Get a limited edition tattoo from famous tattoo artists.

  • Meet different tattoo artists that specialize in different tattoo styles from American Traditional tattoo to realism tattoos.

  • Meet each artist at their station, located in their own booth.

  • Getting tattooed by their desired artist without the need of travelling too far.

  • Purchase tattoo-related items and merchandise.

  • Meet other like-minded tattoo lovers.

  • Tattoo competition and live tattooing.

  • A good opportunity to inspired and gather ideas for your future tattoo appointment.

  • Enjoy other activities such as live bands, body piercing and jewellery, clothing brands, automotive shows, food etc

2. Why are Tattoo Conventions organized?

There are several reasons why conventions are organized. A tattoo convention brings the industry closer to tattoo enthusiasts. They give tattoo artists a platform to show off their art in an artistic environment. Tattoo artists may also gather inspiration for new ideas to follow in their work from others at the convention.

Tattoo Conventions also help to grow the tattoo industry because it gives artists a chance to meet new people and build up their portfolios. It also gives you a chance to discover new artists that you may not have known about otherwise.

3. Can I get tattooed at a Tattoo Convention?

Yes, you can actually get tattooed at a convention if you want. However, considering how many people are going to visit the event, we strongly encouraged you to contact your desired tattoo artist in advance to schedule an appointment if you're aware that your tattoo artist will be attending the tattoo convention as well to avoid any disappointment.

It is also perfectly fine to be spontaneous and find available tattoo artists during the tattoo convention.

Do note that the cost of tattoos might be more expensive during a tattoo convention, especially for tattoo artists who flew in from other parts of the world, as they need to cover their travel and accommodation expenses. Moreover, tipping is a common practice in other countries.

4. Tattoo Conventions for Tattoo Artists

  • Get inspired.

  • For branding and marketing purposes.

  • A tool to spread your art around the world.

  • Networking and collaboration opportunities.

  • Meet new people and learn new things about the industry.

  • Seek growth opportunities and improvements from others.

  • A wonderful way for tattoo studios and artists to engage with new clients.

  • A great platform to promote your tattoo artists if you're operating a tattoo studio.

5. What else do I need to know before going to a Tattoo Convention?

Tattoo conventions can be packed, so it is best to prepare yourself beforehand.

  • Dress comfortably if you're planning to get a tattoo.

  • Be respectful towards the tattoo artists whilst at work as well as the person getting inked.

  • Check the artist line-up before attending the tattoo convention and schedule an appointment with your artist in advance.

  • Prepare extra cash to avoid searching high and low for an ATM, as not all merchants and tattoo artists have a contactless payment system.

  • Purchase your tattoo convention tickets online to skip the queue. The cost of a ticket in Singapore ranged between S$30 - S$33 per day or S$65 for a three-day pass for the Singapore Ink Show 2019.

Final words

Tattoo conventions allow both artists and tattoo collectors to showcase their work, and it could also be an enjoyable art gallery visit for everyone. Hopefully, this article is informative enough to prepare you for future tattoo conventions.

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