Here I am again, doing the airport shuffle. Those old familiar feelings of anxiety and excitement brew as I get ready for my first international trip of the year. I hate airports, flying, leaving my family and home, but I love new places and people so I deal…
I get off the plane and go through customs. Going through customs is always a stressful time for me; I’m sure all tattooers agree. I meander through crowds of people in an airport I have never been to before, dazed from lack of sleep until I at last find the train. As always I board the train with only the name of my hotel, no address or phone number –why do I always do this to myself? Is it my stoner brain getting back at me, or is it an unconscious decision to put myself in awkward positions?
After a 45-minute ride the train pulled into the station, I can actually see the hotel –phew... Off to take a rest and then go to Magnum Opus to visit with Phil Kyle and Dan Sinnes, who was guest spotting at Phil's shop and also featured in TAM issue #24.
Phil’s shop was about a 10-minute walk from the hotel so I actually get to see some of Brighton. When I arrived Dan and Phil greet me with “hellos” and various party favors, it’s so nice to finally properly relax after the long trip over. That day Dan did three sweet, little tats: an owl, a “pussy monster” and a “penis monster.” His little sex monsters and penis ghosts are becoming a part of his signature work.
Friday was one of the best days I have had in a while. I woke up and walked down to the beach, which is about a 15-minute stroll from my hotel. I sat on the beach, smoked and then walked over to the Coney Island-style pier where I sat and listened to the first Black Sabbath album in its entirety –a pretty amazing and relaxing experience… Who says you can’t meditate to Black Sabbath!?
I stopped at a restaurant on the way back and I could tell the town was starting to fill up with us. Groups of artists from all over the world started to pop up in small clusters –I love seeing this it is a concentration of massive amounts of artistic inspiration and energy in one area for a few days. Really gets your energy going!
Over the next few days I worked the Brighton tattoo convention, which was held at a horse raceway. It was on top of a huge hill in Brighton that overlooked the hilltops and ocean. It was seriously one of the prettiest convention venues I have been to… The only negative was the breeze coming off the ocean, which made it a bit difficult to sit and enjoy the view.
Woody, the convention's promoter, did an excellent job of putting this convention together. It was full of amazing artists such as Alex Reinke, Into You Tattoo, Magnum Opus, Danny Boy, Steve Burlton, Todd Noble, Robert Hernandez and the list goes on. The caliber of artists at this convention matched some of the larger shows over seas (including the London and Milan shows). I got to see a lot of my friends from overseas, eat some amazing food, meet some awesome new friends, and as always see some fucking sweet tats!
I would like to thank Woody for being such an accommodating host, Dan for putting up with my shenanigans and Phil for throwing a killer party.
Oh, I have one question for all of you; is C-lo a universal phenomenon? It seems that people everywhere had dice in their pocket eager to play.
See you soon… Back on the road in a few days…