From tattoo conventions and fine art galleries to metal fests and avant-garde fashion magazines, in 2019 Tattoodo watched as the industry completely evolved to embrace almost every facet of lifestyle and culture. But we didn’t just sit back and enjoy...we jumped to experience the best that the tattoo community could offer and we made sure to capture it all so you could enjoy it too, no matter where or who you happen to be!
The beginning of our year kicked off with a bang when we headed to Southern California to check out Travis Barker’s famed Musink Fest which blends tattoos, lowrider cars, and some of our favorite bands. Jes, Joe, and our camera dude Rene were able to hang out with the likes of Wes Borland, Chuey Quintanar, and Lou Koller, lead singer of Sick of It All...we were even able capture the legendary Freddy Negrete in action.
We also hung out with Scott Campbell in the Manhattan Marc Jacobs store while he did another iteration of Whole Glory: an event that lets lucky winners of a raffle get a custom tattoo by Scott himself. The only catch? You can’t see it as it goes down. But that’s not too scary when you think about the insane talent of that particular tattoo artist.
Most importantly, March was when we unveiled the ability to seamlessly book a tattoo artist or studio on our app using Open or Direct Bookings. Never before seen within the tattoo industry, we’re making it easier for artists to focus on their creations by streamlining communication with tattoo collectors, but we’re also making it easier for people looking to get tattooed to find the perfect match. We’re basically like Tinder...but at least we can promise that with us, you’ll never have a bad date you’d like to forget.
The first few months of 2019 also saw the final season of Game of Thrones, the Super Bowl, and International Women’s Day...which you’d think wasn’t exactly “tattoo related” but, get real. At this point, you should know that literally anything can be connected to tattoos. It’s part of their unique allure! We also got to see if our 2019 Tattoo Trend Forecast was even a little bit right and, of course, since you know we got our finger on the pulse you can bet good money our 2020 edition will be on point as well!
As Summer came, we saw the onslaught of the faux tattoo trend, just in time for the slew of musical fest going on around the world. We were fortunate to catch our fair share, but nothing could compete with Copenhagen’s Copenhell. For just a few sweet days we were able to indulge in the sweet sounds of brutal death metal. We’ve never seen so many Vikings in one place. The only disappointment was the lack of corpse paint.
We were also able to cover Red Point Tattoo’s tattoo flash day that was in connection with the deeply respected Still Not Asking For It event: a global flash event that is “making efforts for awareness, prevention & recovery from sexual violence.” Since 2015 the global collaboration has raised and donated almost $800,000!
This summer Justine also continued her Tattooed Travels series by visiting Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Paris, London, and Berlin. Last year she shared her experiences in Seoul and Tokyo, and this year we’re hoping for a few more sneak peeks into the tattoo community thanks to her globe-trotting efforts. We also had a visiting author, Jonathan, share his stories of tattoo collecting in China!
As you know, we also try to bring you exciting art events happening in galleries in a city near you...this year we covered the annual Ladies, Ladies Art Show put together by Elvia. We also checked out the GxBxT and Masato Okano art exhibit, and even interviewed Alex Merritt about his show at Booth Gallery. Based in Manhattan, Paul Booth owns the gallery, as well as its sister space Last Rites. He was kind enough to give us an interview in 2019, as were a myriad of other insanely talented tattooists such as Ant the Elder, Katie Mcpayne, Damien J Thorn, Xapiripa, and “cattooer” Iris Lys, which, funnily enough, The Purrington Post covered with a cute article of their own all about how Tattoodo can give you all the kitty eye candy inspo you ever need.
Other random coverage during 2019 that we’re ultra proud of is our article on Self-Harm Scar Cover-Up Tattoos and the look at the global collective giving free tattoo cover-ups to survivors of abuse. We also love our in-depth guide on preserving tattoos of our dearly departed loved ones, and essays on ancient body modifications, as well as the creepy, but kinky, Ero Guro art movement and it’s effect on tattoo culture. Not to be outdone, we also really ramped up our Tattoo Guides, our search engine that lets you find an artist or shop anywhere in the world, and, just another reminder, we created Open Bookings so you can easily find a tattooist to suit your needs.
As fall descended upon us with the golden glow of autumn leaves, we were invited to collaborate with Office Magazine by throwing an awesome tattoo flash pop-up that celebrated the fine art evolution of tattooing. We brought Fuzi, Cake, and Trash Baby all under the roof of Office’s Chinatown-based building in NYC for a few good hours of rad af tattooing, vibes, and community.
We actually also just found out that Fuzi has started his own tattoo magazine called Seulement Pour La Vie! They just had a launch party in Paris, but you can get your own copy on their site.
In October, we were also stoked to be able to sponsor The Experience of the Black Tattooer, an event brought together by Ink the Diaspora and Welcome Home with tattoo artists Anderson Luna, Doreen Garner, Jay Hamilton, Sanyu and Oba Jackson. At the moment we’re working on some seriously gorgeous films spotlighting the experiences, stories, philosophies, and incredible work of these tattoo artists, filmed at the Welcome Home studio during the flash day. We can’t wait to share, but until then you’ll just have to enjoy a few images from the event itself.
Our last convention of the year was the 2019 London Tattoo Convention, which celebrated its 15th anniversary this year!! As expected, the event took our breath away...not only because of the stunning high-quality artistic output, but the feeling of support, community, and love filling every nook of Tobacco Dock. LTC is another weighty reminder for many of us that the tattoo industry is not the booming bankroll Forbes would have us write it off as...it’s a place where our chosen family can come together and celebrate creative freedom of expression.
We also have to mention that some of our greatest heroes and tattoo legends passed on to the great beyond, including Keith Flint, Rick Walters, Yoji Harada, Lyle Tuttle, and Norm Will Rise. Every year we have to say goodbye to some of our dearest loved ones...and we couldn’t move on to 2020 without sparing a few more moments of sacred silence in their honor. All our love.
It is only in thanks to the thousands of tattoo artists, tattoo collectors, tattoo lovers and millions of others, that Tattoodo is able to keep doing what we love to do. These past few months have been a tiny peek into our future, as our team has been working so hard to make sure that Tattoodo suits every person’s needs, whether they are artists or collectors, and we hope to continue this in 2020. Thank you so much for being with us, for using the Tattoodo App, and for sharing your work, your collections, and your stories with us. We hope you have a happy New Year, and can only look forward to what is to come!