London International Tattoo Convention 2016

This was my first visit to the London International Tattoo Convention and there were quite a few surprises.  I wasn't prepared for the setting to be so beautiful.  The approach to Tobacco Dock is not imposing but as I entered the gates all changed.  A few fine boats were moored there and on the other side of the dock were quite fine blocks of flats.  But most impressive was the way that the old warehouses, or whatever the building used to be, have been transformed into a space so ideal for shows and exhibitions.  Every nook and cranny is architecturally interesting.

I was also surprised by the degree to which the event lived up to its name "international".  It seems that most of the tattooists came from abroad and many of the visitors I spoke to had travelled from around the world especially to be there.  Conversations weren't always easy as not everyone had good English.

The weather was unseasonably sunny and warm and many people hung around outside the main building by the dock where I found it too hot to remain for other than short bursts of time but it was easy to chat to people there including the charming Sally who was selling coffee and muffins.  She kept shouting out hello to me.  Hello Stephen, she cried at every opportunity.

The activities were on two levels.  An off key note for me was on the lower level where the entertainments took place.  Lined up on both sides of one wide corridor were tables with impossibly beautiful tattoo models sitting behind them selling photos of themselves, which they would autograph if you bought their pictures.  It would be hypocritical of me to say that I found it hard not to gawp at these fantasy-like creatures.  They were all stunningly pretty.  But I don't think it did justice to them asking them to sit for hours selling their wares as if in De Walletjes in Amsterdam. 

Some broke away periodically to perform in aerial displays or fire eating, all of which were the main focus of the convention.  They were very talented, no escaping that.  But this is a tattoo convention surely, not the Moulin Rouge with lots of ink.

I saw a couple of young woman sporting a little face paint with plenty of glitter.  This was a chance to get my face transformed and I did.  Here I am with Ioanna.  She was lovely and lived up to the T Shirt she was wearing.
I also met Jo Crow from Northern Ireland who was there with her partner.  She loves to dress up and is very skilled at importing exotic outfits from China rather than spending a fortune in the UK on her gear.
Lasse is from Norway and had what might be the most impressive body suit I have ever seen.  Many of the British press published photos of him this weekend.

I could and should have taken many more photos at the convention, but somehow I didn't.  I just enjoyed relaxing and being with my fellow freaks.


  1. Thank you for featuring me in your awesome blog Stephen 😊😊😊😊 It was a pleasure to meet you too 👌See you next year I hope 😎


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