Each year, artists from all over the globe make the journey to The City of Brotherly Love for the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention. Villain Arts, a Philadelphia-based company who puts on tattoo conventions across the country, knows how to throw a party — and that’s exactly what the entire weekend ends up being. Of course, the artists are the main attraction, but that’s definitely not all this convention has to offer. Between the live entertainment, delicious food and beverages plus dozens of vendors, it’s guaranteed to be a fun-filled weekend with a little somethin’ for everyone.
We’re shamelessly looking forward to sneaking a peek at some of the crazy shit that’ll be going on at this year’s festivities, like a bit of chainsaw-juggling by The Enigma, a wrestling match by the Half Pint Brawlers or a sexy burlesque performance by the beautiful Marlo Marquise.
We’re also anxious to dump out our pockets and hand over our first borns to all of the killer vendors that will be there repping their products — Obscura Antiques, Black Hope Curse, and the amazing ladies behind Pinups for Pitbulls. It’s going to be quite the challenge making sure we see everything there is to be seen over those three long days.
Despite all of those goings on, our number one focus is, of course, the impressive, ever-growing list of world-renowned artists who will be in attendance this year.
Every single facet of the tattoo world is represented at the Philly convention, from OGs like Lyle Tuttle and Shanghai Kate to Takashi Matsuba demonstrating the Japanese art of Tebori to the stars of Ink Master. The lineup practically reads as a timeline and truly bears testament to how far the tattoo industry has come. Ryan Ashley Malarkey, Carl Grace, Jamie Schene, Gia Rose and Sean Foy are just a few of the hundreds of talented artists who will be around throughout the weekend, making tattoos and hanging out.
With every possible genre represented, all types of tattoo lovers will be able to watch first-hand as artists create their masterpieces and are ultimately judged on them- which leads me to the contests.
For a small $10 fee, artists can enter their day’s work into a number of contests. Starting with Tattoo of the Day in Black and Grey as well as color, the different categories then begin to break down into style, genre, size and placement. On the last day, awards are also given for Best Cover-Up, Best Painting and eventually the highly sought-after Best in Show. Winners are given trophies and a brand new machine from Workhorse Irons.
If you’re around, it’s definitely worth making the trip to Center City to check out. If you can’t make it to the festivities, however… Never fear. We’ll be there, in the trenches, getting the scoop on everything that’s going on, and then some — so don’t forget to add us on Snapchat (@tattoodotv), give us a follow on Instagram (@tattoodo) and keep an eye on our Facebook page to live vicariously through us and get a look at all of all the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention fun.
Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention
Pennsylvania Convention Center
1201 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Friday 2 PM – 12 AM
Saturday 11 AM – 12 AM
Sunday 11 AM – 8 PM