Salt Lake Tattoo Convention

The Eighth Annual International Tattoo convention was held this past weekend at the Salt Lake Convention Center from the 18th-20th February by Lost Art Tattoos.

Just to tell ya I came into this with mixed emotions. I was told it barely had any venues and was not worth the twenty dollars, but those were past experience going all the way to the fifth or sixth convention.

I choose to go anyways; hoping to get a chance to look at some books (artist portfolios), meet some artist, and get new ideas for tattoos. I went open mind that I might be spending an hour tops and talk to a few people. Boy was I wrong, the layout had 40-45 different artist coming all the way from Alaska and Tokyo to California and local Utah artists, many of them big name people. I spent roughly five hours stopping at every booth talking about everything tattoos: what kind of art do they love doing, how many conventions they appear at regularly, and if they had any crazy stories. There was even amazing art that was placed in an art show/exhibit atmosphere being sold for hundreds of dollars, but what capped of the evening was being able to meet “Shanghai Kate”.

A tattoo artist from the early 50’s and 60’s, she had the opportunity to work alongside Sailor Jerry (The father of military style sailor tattoos, also name after him). She started working at his shop in Hawaii at the age of 23 and become one of his best friends. She had published a book written by Sailor Jerry and is currently finishing her own on the stories she has being an artist. One of the interesting old gals I tried to get her to tell me one of her stories, but wouldn’t divulge any and promises they will all be in her book. She did, however, tell us how the history of tattoo started through her eyes. Those only military men got tattooed and how she has been able to see tattoos progress as an art form.

18th Feb, 2011

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