Photos from Vancouver, WA Ink Traveler’s tattoo convention, 2009

"But I love my wife"

"I'm here with Bob, but I love my wife"

hourglass and candle tattoo

burning it at both ends

What a great weekend! Lots of awesome art, prank wars getting started, screwdrivers and paintings. I had a wonderful time, and I also had one of the best valentine’s days ever. The Vancouver show is really fun. I’ve worked it a bunch of years in a row now. Felicia is super sweet and she’s in charge, and Scott does the announcing and contests.

,This year they had a pirate theme, personally I think that should be the theme every damn year, since the hotel is pretty much built for it. The hotel bar has the shittiest music loud ever, every damn night, the worst service, the weakest drinks…but the whole thing is built to look like you are drinking on the deck of a tall pirate ship…so who fuckin cares??? Plus there’s a slew of great artists every year.

Vancouver itself is a gritty little industrial ghost town. I took some time to wander it this year and discovered a wealth of weird industry and strange buildings, pawn shops selling giant 1930’s machine guns (sadly, non functional) and a few odd spots around town. It’s not exactly a haven of beauty but it is a weird little town and fully deserving of the few hours it took me to roam and take some pictures.

It’s the unofficial tradition that everyone goes to the crab shack on sunday after the show ends, and has a bucket of crabs and some beers. This alone make sthe show worth going to, since the raucous atmosphere of a cheeseball crab restaurant after hours cannot be explained- especially when you roll in to a crowd of starving tattooing artists all sitting around fucking with each other. The service in that place, by the way, is excellent.

more after the jump


caine from spider monkey tattooing epically

caine rocks the house


toast gets lost

I love the show, too. There’s always something hilarious happening. One year some guy streaked the convention, this year they had tricycle races…it’s just awesome. Plus the people who usually show up are all just amazing people. Lyle Tuttle, Jeanie Newby, Will Bodnar… I could drop a handful more names but rest assured everyone working is really good, and really awesome in person, too. The competition for tattoo contests is pretty strong and it’s great to watch the parade come through of fresh art every day.

This year, as every year, I spent most of my time with the usual crowd of miscreants. I also brought my man friend along, which is a first. That also was totally awesome, and a great time. Full gallery, after the jump.



slideshow for lou