I went to the Guadalajara's 15th Tattoo Convention. It was my very first time in such an event and jeez, i don't think ANYTHING can prepare you to this. It happened over 2 days and i went both days - day one to observe, day 2 to get tattooed myself. Had set up the appointment a few weeks prior with Indio Reyes, a tattoo artist from Reno / Guadalajara (long story).
I have seen tattooed people. A lot. And having tattoos myself, thus hanged out in tattoo studios, obviously, met quite a fair amount of them. But what was expecting me in GDL went beyond words. I felt like a 5 years old in a candy store. But in a foreign country candy store. A place where everything i know is absent, a place where everything is appealing and strange and new and weird and creepy and awesome.
We arrived early, just at the opening. Most of the artists present were still setting up their stands. It's only after a couple of more hours that you started hearing the buzzing of the tattoo machines. That's also when you start noticing all the unusual things going on.
I saw this picture of this bad-ass scary looking guy on one of the posters - with facial tattoos and piercings and ear plugs and stuff - and i remember the first thing i thought when i looked at the picture was like: holy shit, i really hope i won't bumped into this guy, he scares the crap out of me. I should have shut up. Even though i didn't SAY it, i really should learn not to THINK that loud. Not even a minute later, some guy asked me very nicely and politely if i could move aside so he could pass with whatever he was carrying and OH MY GOD that was HIM. That very same guy on the picture, all baldy and tattooed and scary looking.
This is NOT this guy i saw. But you get the idea. A bad ass looking guy. I told you that already. And i know it's gonna sound stupid and stuff but i had this idea that all covered-in-tattoos guys were bad to the bone and groaning. So hearing this guy with such a not-matching-the-face voice was equally disturbing and unexpected.
But there are other "attractions" in a tattoo convention too. That includes loud music, spray painting, freak show (this guy eating glass and clothe-hangers like if it was my grandmother's homemade cookies), amateur lucha libre and people hanging on hooks. PEOPLE HANGING ON HOOKS. Oh yes. What is it? Just what i said. People hanging on hooks. Like the same hooks your local butcher uses to hang his half cows or pigs or whatever. You get a guy "hooking" you up, putting those bad ass massive gigantic hooks in your skin, wherever you want to hang from and off you go, off the hook (so to speak).
And you can either try to break the record like this "i'm-bleeding-all-over-the-place-and-enjoy-it" guy who got suspended for 3 hours with hooks all over, or you can chose just one spot on your body (top of the back, knees, shoulders, arms, elbows ...), hang there for a few minutes and swing like a piñata. Whatever you chose, i will think that you are a complete freak and i was so very glad i had a light lunch that day otherwise i would have pucked it all over. So very glad i didn't have to take the pictures myself ... But now that i am posting one here, i won't be able to look at my blog anymore :s
On the second day we went, i was a nervous wreck, just like before every single tattoo i have done in my life. This one being the 8th, i know the feeling. Moreover, this would be quite something for me since i was going public. Tattooing the top of your leg at a tattoo convention is quite something. Half of your butt is hanging out. So hell yeah, i did get a lot of attention. And a lot of pictures were taken. Of my butt. And when people were asking Indio "how long do you think it's gonna take?", i was hoping NOT to hear the answer ... So when he said 5 to 6 hours, i was like, oh sweet lord what did i get myself into?
Well, it lasted just under 5 hours. The last 10 minutes of white touch were the icing on the pain. I think i now know what my pain-limit is ... Just as i was about to tell him, i can't deal with it anymore, he said "you're done" ...
But oh yeah it was worth it ... Look at that! And since my legs are my everyday transportation at work ... i can now say it ...
I have officially been pimped ;-)