These photographs were taken at Coventry Ink Tattoo Convention 2011. Tattoo artists and fans of art and tattoos alike, gather together from all points of the country to celebrate ink and to network within the tattooing community. The convention last two days, Saturday to Sunday, at which I was in attendance with the Raven Art Tattoo clan, a tattoo shop based in Coventry.
On Saturday, Kevin Hickman, the leading tattoo artist at Raven Art Tattoo Studio began an 8-hour sitting on Wayne. The tattoo was a realistic portrait of Wayne’s now teenage daughter when she was a young girl. The tattoo provoked a lot of attention, including some affection from the guys over at Skin Deep Magazine. I chose to document the process of the tattoo, the labour that both the tattoo artist and the customer endure together. Wayne later had a soft pastel coloured Geisha girl tattooed on his forearm, but was not completed. As I loved the colours I chose to photograph the inks used and the water cup.
In relation to the edits of the photos, I went through this phase of adding layers to my photographs in Photoshop. I was experimenting with aging my images and making them appear retro and colourful, as I normally work in black and white, which I still definitely prefer. Looking back I think I went a bit too far in some of them but nonetheless it was for sheer fun and exploration.
On the Sunday, Kevin began another long tattoo sitting (6 hours) on Richie. The tattoo, designed by Alexandru Lupu tattoo apprentice at Raven Art and artist, is in remembrance to those brave firemen who risked their lives in 9/11. As it was the anniversary for the 9/11 bombings, Richie found it quite apt to have the tattoo on the Sunday. Also, Richie was a fellow fireman himself and found it important for people to remember the rescuers and those who tried to save lives in 9/11, especially the fireman. Again, the tattoo and the story behind it gained a lot of recognition from tattoo lovers and tattoo artists walking by. When photographing this tattoo sitting, I wanted to include the original drawing in the images and the tattoo coming together. I love images that show the artist at work and the subject.
All photography © Sophie Moet