Friday April 19th through Sunday April 21st 2013 at the Hyatt in downtown Columbus, Ohio was the annual Hell City Tattoo Convention I have been looking forward to since last year’s convention. Here is my recap:
I had booked my hotel for the convention back in November 2012 as soon as the dates posted. I booked my appointment to have my back finished by Mr. James Vaughn in January when Megan Hoogland told me she was not going to be attending due to her being preggo. An old friend of mine from when I worked at The Ohio State University just happened to have her birthday on the Saturday of that weekend and she also had a desire to get tattooed so I told her fr her birthday I would get her booked with James and buy her ticket to the convention. What she didn’t know is how awesome I am and I also planned on having my copy of INKED Magazine (which had a four page spread about Durb Morrison the man behind Hell City) signed by every artist I could and give it to her as a gift as well.
So, Friday we check into the hotel and throw all our bags in the room and head on down to the convention. There was a line down two flights of stairs of people waiting to buy their tickets in but luckily I had already purchased our tickets so we just skipped that line and walked right in to find James. James was setting up his booth when we walked in and getting ready for me. I was his only appointment for the day because we had no idea how long it would take to get this done and its a good thing too because i got tattooed for 10 hours straight! I ended up with a beautiful flower garden on my back along with a tattoo of the outline of the state of Ohio IN my armpit just because my friend Greg talked to me before I left about how he didn’t think I could get an armpit tattoo. Ha!
I have to admit after 10 hours of getting stabbed with 17 needles and not eating any food I was slightly delirious and slurring my words! We had to gt some food in me so Eddie and I got cleaned up and ordered pizza while Anna was getting her tattoo.
After we ate and I recovered we went to the private screening of the first Hell City Tattoo Convention Documentary. It was awesome. I believe there were 13 artists and collectors interviewed for the documentary and I am proud to say I know all but two of them personally. Megan Hoogland was the only female artist interviewed and she is the one who completed my arm sleeve and James did my back. I even made it in the documentary (yes I am that awesome!) If you ever get the chance watch the film. Since I was still recovering, after the documentary it was bedtime for us bozos on Friday. We had a long day ahead of us on Saturday.
Saturday Anna had to work for a little bit so I took advantage of that time to visit with some of my friends from Columbus. We met up with my friend Josh and his daughter for lunch at Noodles. It was a good time. I always enjoy visiting with Josh and his daughter has grown so much since I last saw her. In fact today is her 14th birthday. I got my usual Pad Thai with peanut sauce. Man I love that place. We need to petition to get them up here!
So after lunch we headed back to Hell City to do some shopping and I had to sign up for the tattoo of the day competition and find an artist to get Anna’s second tattoo done. I purchased a lot of artwork and prints, had more things signed, bought more clothes and did some more networking. Got Anna set up with Johnny Thief from New Jersey while I entered the competition and Eddie was the photographer of the day.
It was also Anna’s birthday Saturday so after the contest and her tattoo we went to eat on campus. After getting back to the hotel the most craziest and awesomest shit kept on happening to me. I had to keep asking Eddie “Did that just happen? Did we really just do that? Was that real?” It was an epic night and I’m pretty sure I cannot tell you any of it so if you’re curious and you have my number I have got some great stories! Ha!
Sunday was departure day. We had a late check-out thanks to my Hyatt Plus Membership (again stretching my awesomeness.) After we got all checked out we made one last trip down to the convention to say our good-bye’s to everyone and pick up the last of my art and more clothes! As part of my Hell City tradition I always go to Ted’s Montana Grille for lunch before leaving everyone. They have bison burgers to die for. So that is what we did.
To sum it up 10 hours of tattooing, bought a bunch of artwork, made it in a documentary, and made my friends birthday one she will never forget.
Enjoy the story!