By Kent "I hate writing blogs" Smith
Oh London, how I love you. Every year for the past five years I have traveled the London convention, stayed at the same hotel with a family of friends and shared a booth with my good buddy Hunter Spanks. Every year I am so stoked that I have been able to pick up long-distance relationships with friends right on the spot and add some new ones. I'm not talking about just people from overseas, but folks right here in the states that I only get to see once a year across the pond. The friendships and relationships that we are able to build in our community are amazing. I am constantly impressed by the sense of camaraderie we have in this industry...
Going to London and getting to experience the convention there is unlike any other convention. There is so much inspirational art and energy there and everyone is so happy to be apart of the convention.
This year was a little different than last. For the first time I was able to take my wife, and hunter and I added an addition onto our booth. The one and only Dan Sinnes came over to tattoo in our booth. We were in a corner spot which allowed us to open the booth and provide more room, and what better way to make use of the space than have more people in there with you to party? Errr... work, I mean. Dan came over from his booth, set up in ours and our good buddy Steven Burlton and his lovely lady Liser showed up to help run the booth and sell some merch.
The set up there is like no other I have seen. There are about 10 or so small glass rooms that hold about 10-15 booths in each room, some of the larger ones have 25-30 booths. Each room is set up so you can get a view of what is going on in the room. (Each room is it's own glass bubble.)
We were lucky to share the room with Phil Holt, Tim Hendricks, Lindsey Charmichael, Charlie Roberts, Grant Cobb, Dan Smith and a few others.
Miki Vailetto does an amazing job of putting this convention on each year. It features some of the biggest and baddest tattooers from around the world not only tattooing, but attending the convention, just to come see friends and family.
If you have never had a chance to go to the London convention, I highly suggest putting it on your calendar for next year. There is nothing else like this convention, words really can not explain the vastness of it... or the greatness of the city.
On Sunday Liser gave me a sweet palm tattoo. It was honestly the worst pain I have ever had in my life. God, I hope this tattoo does not fall out, I really don't want to go through another hand poked palm tattoo...
[*Editor's Note* Kent Smith appears courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment group. Kent is not a writer, but he tries...]