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O Tattoo Convention, the fine art of tattooing is still in the artists' hands, right alongside their buzzing needles.

The term "artists' convention" gets thrown around a lot, but it wasn't until the San Jose Tattoo Convention that I got a clear concept of what it means. For one thing, it is the philosophy of the convention to treat every artist in attendance equally, and the shop posters that hung from the ceiling and walls featured every shop on the bill, not only the best known shops. As I spoke with more and more tattooists. it became clear that they truly love this convention. Suzanna Shifflett of Modern Electric Tattoo commented."You don't usually have people coming around to see if you need anything. Here, they pick up our trash twice a day." Sandwiches and coffee are also provided for artists in the morning.

Horitaka, who used a skateboard to navigate the large hall, was ~S

constantly on the prowl."We give ^^

10, II, 12. don by roxx 13. three paintings by horiyoshi III from his book 36 ghosts 14. dave by grez, kings avenue tattoo

15. chad by marcus kuhn Just good tattoos 16. competition Judging 17. matt besgs by tex, authentic tattoo

46 [ TcoiTiaco Hy^r

Horiyoshi 111 ImagesDana Helmuth

18. clndy & nicki by dana helmuth new york adorned

19. guitar case by kosukc yamagishi

20. the convention hall back to the community." he said, including the greater San Jose —^ community in his scopc."and you can see it by how many people are here - we have cops and we have bikers." And the community clearly wanted to give back to them, with bouncers like Derosa donating three days of hard work and companies donating tattoo machines to be awarded to the winners of the 'Best of the Day' competitions.

At the end of each day. the after-parties ignited - whether at The Blank Club with Duane Peters rockin' the stage or at one of the room parties at the Marriott Hotel, located just a block from the convention. Of course, alcohol is not everyone's cup of tea. Marcus Kuhn. for example, preferred to wake up early each morning and watch the sunrise from the hotel's sauna.

Horitaka and Roman worked hard to make sure that everyone had a good time, and I think the familial atmosphere made everyone feel welcome.The family reunion wasn't exclusive. All you had to do was show up. and you got to hang out with a roomful of talented relatives you didn't even know you had.

18. clndy & nicki by dana helmuth new york adorned

19. guitar case by kosukc yamagishi

20. the convention hall

Reid Grinding Machines

48 I tool Tattoo Hipira

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