If we were to jump in a time machine to kidnap Bert Grimm and bring him back to 2017, chances are he would hardly recognize the tattoo industry as it is now. Color realism, tattooers using Photoshop to plan tattoos, long waiting lists — all of these things would be alien to the legendary tattooer. While progress is wonderful, sometimes we need to go back to our roots and kick it old school.
"I feel that present-day tattooing and standardized tattoo conventions have gotten so far away from what they first were about," Colella says. "It used to be a bunch of likeminded people hanging out and doing tattoos on customers from all over the world. Now, the modern conventions are too packed and full of distractions and that has shifted their focus; the actual tattoos are secondary. I wanted to put together a mini-convention with amazing artists that would celebrate the one thing that got all of us where we are."
The 2nd Annual Walk Up Classic will be taking place March 17th - 19th at Great Lakes Tattoo (1148 W. Grand Ave.) in Chicago. All of the flash sheets will be unveiled at the kick off party Friday night, and then the tattooing bonanza will take place Saturday and Sunday between 11am - 7pm. Make sure to show up early so you don't miss out.