10 Reasons the Paradise Tattoo Gathering is Great

The Paradise Tattoo Gathering this year was fantastic. It is a unique show due to the fact it's only 1/3 show combined with 1/3 learning annex with 1/3 relaxing weekend. I don't believe there to be another show like this. Plus we had a good time making our sign for the booth. But here in no particular order are 10 reasons the Gathering is great...
#10 -The location is the Berkshire mountains in New England in Fall, the surroundings are unreal. The air is clean the location tucked away into a mountain and nature is in full effect. You can clear your head, not easy to do at most shows.
It's also like a miniature village , so you have to travel from building to building to see and do everything. One building has the convention floor, one building has the art gallery, one building has the forums, you get the idea. #9 -The people. Everyone comes to learn and share ideas. I also feel the show is mostly artists. I mean everyone, really high level talented artists were taking other people's seminars. That is very telling right there - when you know someones work is amazing and they have an international reputation but they still come out to learn. Well that right there is a lesson, you are never to good to learn and grow. It is a very positive energy -again unique to this show.
#8- There is a very dangerous, very unpredictable alpine slide. So if you feel the weekend is too laid back, strap in and loose some skin.
#7- One word "SOBA". He knows a ton about machine building, and metal smithing, and jewelry making, and raising koi, and bonzi trees, and jet boats, and lasers, beer making...is there an AA for people addicted to hobbies. I'm just saying, he knows a lot of stuff...
#6- Because you are in the woods you can totally wear plaid lumberjack shirts the whole time. It's cool, people expect it. Plus weird stuff happens like I found out that Obie Hughes and I were born in the same hospital.
#7- The accommodations are great. The suites are huge with fireplaces and full kitchens. Plus when you wake up to realize someone decided to rebuild someones tattoo machine where you were about to eat breakfast- well you can just leave after the weekend. Also there are plenty of other places to eat. #6- Everyone gets along. At the Pulse booth we were selling our machines right along side machines from SOBA, and Joe Capo. When you get like minded people together it is a good thing, you feel things moving forward and when you get home you don't feel like your stuck in the mud . Hearing fresh things and meeting new people with unique ideas is a great motivator.
#5- Bob Tyrrell tattooed this beautiful portrait of Dolly Parton on this nice girls thigh. Dolly and I share the same Birthday so I feel a connection. Great tattoo work was wall to wall. #4-The food is good, they have a turkey wrap made with real turkey. Like they cooked a turkey and then slice off the meat to make the wrap. Like the day after thanksgiving. Oh yeah it's also nice to share a meal with old friends. Also- not for nothing but Joe Capo might have an interesting opinion to share at the table. But damn that turkey wrap was good.
#3- I love the forums. I love the idea of a panel of artists talking about a topic. I like a discussion and I like a disagreement, I like the audience to participate, cause you guessed it, I like to think. An intelligent discussion always gets you to think. The topics were good this year ranging from the state of tattooing to how to work healthier, how to bring up an apprentice. I was lucky enough to moderate a forum on business of tattooing outside of tattooing that explored all the opportunities that exist -from T-shirt lines, to commercials, to gallery shows, to tattoo conventions, to television. My panel included Shawn Barber, Russ Abbott, Durb Morrison, and Guy Aitchison. They were all great and had some really good stories. Thanks to them for making the panel great.
#2- The Toy Baroness from Kidrobot spent some time in the Pulse booth, and quite frankly that rules. She was with the Carlos half of the Beast Bros. -not too shabby. #1- Kim Saigh was there tattooing. I know your are wondering, yes she looks as good in real life as she does on T.V. All in all a real good time, a good motivator, good connections, good people, good venue. I believe the show is going to become an every other year event so keep it in mind for 2011.

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