Artist Spotlight #5
Tattoo conventions are a place for tattoo artists from all across the UK, sometimes across the world, to meet up and showcase their artistic ability to tattoo enthusiasts who want to see the world of tattooing up close.
The first world tattoo convention was held by Dave Yurkew on January 24–25, 1976 in Houston, Texas. Dave Yurkew, who was also President of the North American Tattoo Club went on to host another 6 consecutive World Tattoo Conventions through 1982. Lyle Tuttle was quoted as saying that this was “The event that changed tattooing forever”.
For some tattoo artists, these conventions can be very nerve wracking. Artists can submit their work within different judging categories to be in with a chance to take home awards for their artistic abilities.
Last weekend, Blackpool held it’s annual tattoo convention Tatcon and we were lucky enough to talk to one of this years award winning artists Joshua Beatson…
Hi Joshua! For the readers who may never have been to a tattoo convention, tell us a little bit about these awards and the competition process…
Hi Adam, thanks very much!
Okay I’ll do my best, so each convention there are different award categories for specific types/styles of work, and people tattoo at the shows and enter their work into the competitions, then they’re judged on different factors. From execution, saturation, composition etc and the best piece wins.
You managed to take home not just one but two awards from this years Tatcon, can we take a look at the winning piece?
Here’s the piece I did at the Blackpool convention, photo taken today so it’s four days into healing. Was lucky enough to pick up best portrait and 2nd black and grey with it.
I think it’s fair to say you specialise in Black and Grey / Portraiture, what got you interested in these specific styles? Is it something that has naturally progressed?
I’ve always preferred to work in black and grey, I think I was just drawn to it as I like to work in value and contrast. when I started tattooing I felt more comfortable working in black and grey as I had little experience drawing in colour, so I was hesitant to tattoo colour, but I do plan on doing more of it
What artists have influenced you and your style of working?
There’s been a number of people who’ve influenced me over the years, painters such as Salvador Dali and rembrandt first got me interested in art especially seeing Dali’s paintings in person as a kid.
Tattooists such as Jason butcher, Carlos Torres, Dmitriy Samohin, Den Yakovlev Domantas Parvainis to name a few but there’s so many awesome artists now but people influence me in many ways, some in their realism ability and others in their artistic styles
Other than taking home awards for outstanding work at conventions, what’s your favourite part of the tattoo industry?
There’s lots to like really, i think mainly how most people/artists are just there to support each other and help out one another it’s great to see. When I first started tattooing a artist friend Ryan bought me a machine just for the sake of helping me out and never asked for anything in return, it’s great to know people that would stuff like that just to help someone.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
The foam reveals probably, they’re annoying haha. But not much really, we draw on people it’s a pretty decent way to spend our days.
We believe getting a tattoo takes thought, research and a licensed, professional tattoo artist and studio. What would be your advice to someone looking to get their first tattoo?
I always tell potential customers not to rush into anything, speaking from experience. It’s about going to the right artist for the right job, be willing to travel to the right artist rather than settling for the closest of cheapest.
You’ve already started making a name for yourself within the industry, what would be your advice to aspiring artists that may be influenced by you and your work?
Thank you, I think the advice I would give to someone is just to keep doing what you’re doing and try and get better each time, wether that’s each drawing/painting or each tattoo they do. It’s nice to look at other people’s work for inspiration but don’t compare yourself to anyone other than your past self, as long as you’re improving from your old work that’s what’s important.
Don’t be shy to ask people for help and ask questions, I know I did it a lot, and everytime there was always someone that would help me out.
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