We’ve said it once (okay, twice.... ) and we’ll say it again — we’re getting really excited for the 19th Annual Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention this weekend. Teeming with artists, performers, vendors and much, much more — it’s guaranteed to be a fun filled weekend with a little something for everyone.
We’ve talked about all of the interesting performances and death-defying acts that will be on display throughout the weekend, and of course we’re super excited to check them out, but, as you may have imagined, our true priority lies in the roughly 1000 artists who will be in attendance this year, buzzing through masterpiece after masterpiece for three days straight.
With so many artists from so many shops working within so many different genres, it would obviously be impossible (or honestly, just annoying) to list them all here, so, in lieu of that grueling task, we’re going to highlight a few heavy hitters who will be in attendance this year.
If you’re a big reality tv fan, never fear — Villain Arts has got you covered. Members from Ink Master, Black Ink Crew, Tattoo Nightmares, LA Ink, Best Ink and Tattoos After Dark will all be making the rounds at the Philly Convention this year, whether tattooing or just hanging out, selling merch and chatting with fans. Even Ink Master’s latest winner, Ryan Ashley Malarkey from Season 8, will be there and is, unsurprisingly, already booked solid for the whole weekend.
As for some (but again, not all) other notable artists who will be attending Philly’s 19th Annual Tattoo Arts Convention, well, that just depends on what you’re into. If you’re looking for some mind-blowing realism, you should probably stop by to check out Jamie Schene at work, or Denis Sivak. For something a little darker, Carl Grace will be churning out eerie, black and grey realism all weekend long.
If bold, bright traditional is more your thing — look no further than Phil Hatchet-Yau, or Ivan Antonyshev. Morgwn Pennypacker, Mike Adams and Axel Mercier are among the literally hundreds of others who will be banging out some classic, clean traditional tattoos from Friday to Sunday.
Neo Traditional fan? Chad Lenjer is your dude. Or maybe you’re a New School enthusiast... great! You can go check out the insanely smooth work of Kelly Doty or Dave Tevenal. Perhaps color isn’t really your thing, and you fancy a more ornamental style, you’re in luck, because one of the best in the game, Kirk Nilssen, is going to be there too.
Or you know, maybe you don’t even really care about any new artists. You were into tattoos before fancy realism, or trendy micro-tattoos. You want the chance to see some of the OGs of tattooing at work. There are going to be several well-seasoned vets at the convention this weekend, and if you care at all about the historical aspect of the industry, you’re going to want to check these guys out.
Lyle Tuttle, artist and historian who began tattooing in 1949, will be hanging out all weekend to chat with convention goers. “Shanghai” Kate Hellenbrand, known as America’s Tattoo Godmother, who began her world-renowned career in 1971, is still kickin’ and going to be tattooing all weekend long. Tony Polito, New York underground tattoo royalty, will also be there along with Richie Montgomery who’s been tattooing for over 45 years in Long Island. 3rd generation tattooer and pioneer in machine building Sailor Fred will be in attendance as well.
It's not just hyperbole when we tell you that the 19th Annual Villain Arts Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention has a little something for everyone. We're going to be there, and you should be too! But if you can't make it out, there is a hell of a lot of snow on the ground out here in the Northeast, check in with Tattoodo for the next week plus as we round up all of the craziness.