Monday, June 15, 2009

East Tennesee Tattoo Fest...

Just getting back from infecting Knoxville with my gooey zombie goodness! In some way this had to be one of the more unqiue events we've attended. I'll explain later but first I would like thanks Bryan from Tattoos by Bryan and the entire staff of the festival. East Tennessee Tatto Fest is a top-notch event! I'd also like to thank Lynda & Robbie from Coon Tattoo for helping us. You guys rock!

So we roll into the Hilton and set up with a primo spot just outside the ballroom. With nothing but awesome music and the steady buzzzz of guns as our soundtrack. At one point I said to my wife "If they play another Motorhead song I'm gonna have a big "O" right here!" Needless to say I had to clean myself up within no time!

Things started out well and never slowed. At this event I had the opportunity to chat with a lot of the artists there. Eventually I came to realize that I was in the presence of greatness! Ain't no posers or wanna-bes in this crowd! These were the real deal. True masters of their art.

On Friday an online friend, author Shane Berryhill stops by the booth. it turns out the pop-culture fest AdventureCon is being held across the street, just mere yards from where we're set up! We talked shop for a while, traded secrets and such. He lso lets us in on some of the industry people that are attending AdventureCon and offers to give us a pass! So now Shane has been added to the "You Rock!" list.

Just a side note: I'm sure some of you reading this have been to fandom conventions. If not they are pretty much the same in some aspects: Dorrs open around 10 am and the place shuts down around 6 or so. Occasionally some will be later. But tat fests are a different breed. Doors open at noon and close at midnight! So that doesn't leave much socializing time afterwards for us fuddy duddies.

We decide that on Saturday Heather will pop over to AdventureCon, give out some cards and do some basic promoting. Figured with us being so close it almost like being at 2 cons at the same time! While she's there she discovers that Kane Hodder is there as well so she pops in at his table to say hi and let him know we're just across the street. During the conversation he introduces her to a person who may help us take Billy Tackett Studios and Dead White & Blue to a higher level. Stay tuned for info on that!

Sittiing at my booth I usually have a drawing of some sort going on. This time I decided to do a car. A '58 Caddy to be exact. That got a lot of attention. Some of that attention came from Ian Jones and his wife (whose name escapes me at the moment...Sorry!) . If you're curious I highly recommend you check out his site, Hot Rod Pencil. Black and white hot rod art at its finest! And he's a swell guy to boot!

I had the opportunity to talk with Kelly from Kelly's Tattoos in Tyler TX. He let me watch while he created a tattoo using a bamboo stick. THAT'S something you don't see everyday.

I got to chat with Angel of Queen of Hearts Tattoos which is Nashville's oldest tattoo shop and the folks from Studio Ink in Lexington & Danville KY and Blackheart Tattoo in Youngstown OH. I know I'm leaving people out but those are the cards I happen to have in front of me at the moment.

Along with hanging out with Robbie & Lynda and Kane we met up with some folks we had met at the Nashville show like Megan Zass among others. Oh, and I got to sign Robbie's penis. I wasn't the first! Don't ask but you can read this article on Robbie.

Hanging out with tattoo artists is humbling and inspiring. It amazes me. These guys and gals goof around and joke but once they sit down with gun in hand it's all business. They are the best of the best for a reason and I'm glad they let me hang out with them this weekend.


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