The annual Brighton Tattoo Convention takes place this month at Brighton Centre. Considered one of the world’s leading tattoo events, last year’s event was attended by more than 6,000 people, promoting independent talent and featuring over 300 of the very best British and international artists. Whether you’re a seasoned tattoo fanatic or a total newcomer, this year’s event will not disappoint.
Brighton itself has some incredible tattoo artists, and 12 local studios will be represented by some of their top talent. Just a few local studios attending include 1770 Tattoo, Blue Dragon, Tiger Bones, Gilded Cage, Magnum Opus, Angelic Hell, Skinned Alive, Secret Society and The Tattoo Workshop.
Here are a few of our favourites:
Set up in 1989, multi-award-winning studio Blue Dragon is the city’s oldest-running tattoo parlour. Sarah Lu can be found here with her uniquely complex stick and poke style. Striving to “combine beauty with a twist”, she creates her exquisite designs with absolutely no electricity – just a needle and a chopstick.Stick and poke is a fascinating technique originating thousands of years ago among tribes in parts of South America, Thailand and New Zealand. Over the last few years it has found a surge of popularity.
Nestled in the heart of Kemptown, boutique studio Gilded Cage is home to tattoo artist Paco Casero. Known for his detailed watercolour style, he brings incredibly realistic sketches to life. Specialising in detailed portraits of people and animals he uses muted wash-like colours and shading to create beautiful pieces of art.
Another Brighton favourite, Magnum Opus, pride themselves in catering “for everyone’s tastes.” Resident artist Ollie Pinder has crafted his own contemporary and very accessible style. His work has an American feel, combining the bright and bold elements of traditional tattooing with more intricate finer lines. Think old school tattoos with a modern twist.
Skin Candy co-founder Hollie Shannon blends ornate feminine designs with a dark and almost gothic twist. She and Lenny Parrott, who specialises in large-scale Japanese-style pieces, set up shop in 2003 as a small high-quality parlour. Due to sheer demand they expanded in 2008 and are now one of the city’s most sought-after shops.
Dotwork Damian from Skinned Alive has attracted worldwide recognition. Creating almost 3D designs, his work focuses on realism, taking inspiration from nature, geometry and architecture. Dotwork is a remarkable technique, considered one of the most intricate styles of tattooing, literally created dot-by-dot.He is a master of everything from discreet doodles to full-blown chest pieces.
This is a weekend celebrating all things alternative – but there’s a niche for everyone. Alongside the tattoo stalls there will be live music and DJs, Q&As, exhibitions, ‘The Trip Out’ motorbike show and even a chance to get your hair cut by the fantastic local AONO Barbers. Now in its 10th year, the Brighton Tattoo Convention is a celebration of creativity and self-expression. This is a one-off opportunity to discover some of the world’s best tattoo artists all under one roof. Chat to them, get tattooed by them and discover new talent everywhere you turn.