Now in its 8th year, the Brighton Tattoo Convention continues to get bigger and better. Such is its popularity, 2015 saw the event held over three days for the first time and despite the rain and cold, thousands of tattoo aficionados descended on the Hilton Metropole to see over three hundred of the world’s best ink artists do their stuff.
In our eyes, among the best were Paul Talbot of Birmingham’s Modern Electric Tattoo Company and Phil Wilkinson of PW Tattoo who are leading the way in the use of freeform graphics and more adventurous colour palettes. By contrast and staying close to their roots, two of the top practitioners of traditional body art, tatauist Brent McCown from New Zealand and Bong from Hawaii, were also there.
But, if anything, this was the year when the ladies really made their mark, both in their numbers and in their playful feminine inking. For us, Hannah Keuls of London’s Good Times, Inma of The Family Business and honoury Brightonian Guen Douglas were three standouts. And of course, with its profusion of tattoo shops, Brighton itself was well-represented, with James Robinson of Gilded Cage just one of those flying the flag for our local talent.
Of course, the convention is so much more than just tattoos, with clothes and jewellery including Brighton designer EatonNott and Dr Martens who displayed a collection of customised luggage and boots decorated by some of Brighton’s top tattooists. This year also featured a barber shop all the way from LA.
Along with The Great Escape, Brighton Fashion Week and Pride, the tattoo convention has permanently established itself as one of Brighton’s most eagerly-awaited and unique annual events. And, once again, it made another memorable impression on all those who were there, whether it was to come away with some great ink or just to watch others get adorned.