What Art Tattoo Montreal 2013 taught us about the current state of tattooing

Montreal’s tattoo convention rolls into historic Windsor Station at the start of September and this year was no exception.
Over three days this past weekend, tattoo lovers got together and celebrated the unique art form with help from over 150 local and international artists. The convention also played host to seminars, an art exhibit/silent auction, live painting, body painting, burlesque performances courtesy of ACME Burlesque and more.
Basically, there was something for everyone to enjoy, as well as a few lessons to be taken away from it all.
3) Hipster-worthy fads cannot be escaped
So you show up at a tattoo convention and sure, it might sound stereotypical, but moustache T-shirts, zombie-clad heels and Grumpy Cat prints are not exactly what you’d expect to find. Unfortunately, there’s just no escaping hipster-worthy fads (or so we’ve learned), except in this case they’re supposedly badass, right? Hmm…
2) There’s plenty of amazing traditional art to be had
If you consider a saw with a sexy girl painted on it traditional, that is. If you’re not in the market for a new tattoo, but love other forms of art – like paintings and prints – and are a sucker for that special edge tattoo artists add to their work on and off skin, then going to a convention will be like heading to a great gallery for you… except you’ll actually be able afford the art. We recognize this as simply being a side effect of the commercialization of tattooing but hey, worst things could have happened.
1) So long, little skull - hello, back piece!
Although a convention is, admittedly, not the most comfortable place imaginable to undertake a huge project like a back piece or a sleeve, it does offer the chance of a lifetime when it comes to getting work done by greats like Switzerland’s Leu Family or Japanese traditional artist Horishin. As tattoos continue to rise in popularity and subtle little pieces are no longer enough to satisfy most, this year’s Art Tattoo Montreal seemed to have a record number of attendees wanting to commit to sizeable pieces. Kudos to those who toughed it out for some truly breathtaking tattoos from faraway artists.
Check out our gallery above and visit ArtTattooMontreal.com for details on next year’s convention!

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