tattoo teaparty, Manchester

Posted: 06/03/2012 in morag sangster

Neil from Tattoo Revolution magazine was putting on a tattoo convention this weekend, it was his first one and we wanted to show some support, so we booked a booth and went to work at it.
Alex and myself were tattooing, and laura and Roz came down to help us out on the stall.
I’ve been cutting down on working at conventions as it is really hard work and expensive in the long run, which is fine if the fun and excitement you get out of it outweighs the slog…but having worked so many over the years the excitement wore off a bit. Only doing 2 or 3 conventions a year helps keep it a bit special, so that’s my new way of doing it. This year it’s only going to be the tea party in manchester and the Edinburgh convention (of course  😀 ).

Having said that, this convention was a lot of fun, it was well organised and we had plenty of space in the booth for both of us to work. We didn’t actually get to see any of Manchester as we were quite a bit away from the city. The convention was next to the Trafford centre, and our hotel was close by, so we didn’t bother venturing too far from either. Pretty handy actually, work, bed, food, coffee and bar were all in walking distance, neat!

My first customer was Egad, my customer who lives in manchester, so it was a no brainer for her to book me for a whole day, saves her travelling up to edinburgh. We are working on a sci-fi ‘War of the Worlds’ kind of sleeve, which is a bit of an echo of her steampunky underwater sleeve on the other arm.
today’s challenge was to design a giant squid holding a rocket to mirror the octopus on the other sleeve in a similar position. Oh, and she wanted the squid to have some nasty little teeth for some reason
we made a start on it, basic lining and some shading.

Egad had warned me about the Trafford centre, a massive shopping centre which was right next to the convention centre. However, nothing could prepare me and roz for what we saw the next day as we made our was through it to get from the hotel to the convention. It is quite staggering, a temple of consumerism with the most entertainingly tacky interior. I have taken some photos to show you, otherwise you wouldn’t believe me.

The bit we got to first was like a giant victorian conservatory

with roman style frescos, but who were those portraits of above, football managers?

next we came to New orleans, complete with jazz band and street signs


from new orleans we took the cruise ship

to Italy

and on to China  😆

this was just a small selection of wacky corners of the shopping centre, every turn seemed to reveal a new level of ridiculousness, we were speechless    😆

We got to the convention, coffee in hand, ready for the second day.
Dawn was the first customer, I’ve been working on Dawn’s tattoo on and off for 3 years now, we bump into each other at conventions and I do a wee bit more and we catch up. Today we just had a poppy and some black to finish from the last session, plus I went over some very faded old chinese symbols for her to help blend them into the new bits a bit better.

All the photos for this convention were taken with my phone camera, in hindsight not such a good move, as all the colours have come out looking a bit strange, specially reds and pinks. The light in the hall probably didn’t help.

we also added a couple of curls to blend two separate sections together and make it flow nicer

after i finished Dawn’s tattoo, a guy from the stall opposite came over, it was a charity stall where they we collecting money for soldiers who had fallen on hard times. The guy said he had seen me drawing on my last customer, and was wondering if I could do the same for him. he was only 15 and had wound his mum up that he was going to get a tattoo at this convention, she was yelling at him that he’d better not come back with one etc etc, so this was going to be a surprise for her.
He didn’t really care what it was, so we settled on a grim reaper for effect, and I drew one on him with biro. We covered it with cling film for good measure, giggling all the time, nothing like a good old prank  😆

then i tattooed Holly, a tattoo artist herself, she is collecting roses from different artists for a sleeve, sorry about the photo, it’s the best of a bad  bunch unfortunately.

and the last tattoo of the day was kat, I’d started a tattoo for her at the last convention I worked at, the leamington Spa one, but seeing as I didn’t have a proper bench for her to lie on at that convention, we cut it short early.
Her giraffe and tree looked lonely and needed a savannah and some pals to keep them company  😀

Time to pack everything up again! As quick as that…we cleared up and said goodbye, another convention done and dusted.

Our stall was next to my friend Helen’s from Skulduggery tattoo in Belfast, it was great to have time to hang out, and also the italians Raffi and Bru came down from Glasgow on sunday, so we had a nice group of friends to go for a meal with after the convention closed. Here we are in the Trafford centre, from left to right, Bru, Roz, some tacky statue, Helen and Jenna from Skulduggery, and Raffi. Good times!

the good times continued at the bar of the hotel, where we had a good old chin wag and met up with the lads from Custom Ink in Glasgow for a few drinks, always a laugh and a great way to finish the weekend.

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