Instagram has become a powerful tool for tattoo artists all over the world. I love scrolling through my feed to see the latest posts by dozens of my favorite artists and mentally plan out my next 10 or 20 tattoos. Instagram posts have also become a convenient way for tattoo artists to announce last minute openings and appearences at conventions. If you follow a tattoo artist's Instagram regularly, then you will be poised to strike when a Hail Mary opportunity presents itself.
That tattoo lightning struck for me last week when I was idly scrolling through Instagram and saw this poster on the left on Teresa Sharpe's feed and basically freaked out. If you read my other site www.thetattootourist.com, then you will know I have a massive tattoo crush on Teresa Sharpe and have been trying to book a tattoo with her for years to no avail. She is a Tattoo Unicorn - mythical and rare and basically fucking impossible to spot. Plus she lives and works in West Virginia and I.... don't. Conventions? Yeah, sure - in Milan and Evian France and other exotic locals. But, Tahoe?! Tahoe is only a short drive from where I live - what is up with this show?
Well, The Tahoe Tattoo Show is being organized by the same people who do the Evian Tattoo Show - one of the more notable international tattoo shows that routinely attracts top tier artists. After almost passing out when I saw Teresa was going to be in Tahoe, I scanned the attending artists list and had to steady myself on the furniture. It is a powerhouse of talent!
The website is a little clunky and the wording almost adorably off (written by the French promoters) - and that ad? Ummmm. OK. They need to corral one of the many talented artists to re-work it. But who cares! The proof is in the line up! I quickly emailed Teresa a short list of ideas and waited. And waited. And lost hope. And went through the four stages of tattoo grieving: desperation, denial, bargaining and acceptance. Then like a miracle, I got a text from Ms. Sharpe's shop manager! Booked it!! I now get to realize my dream of being tattooed by Teresa Sharpe without having to commit to a full back or torso piece or fly cross country. As for what I am getting? Well I don't know yet. It is one of four different ideas (maybe) and will be going somewhere on my body and will be "yey" big. Welcome to the big leagues of tattoo collecting, where being flexible and open to what the artist wants to do and where are critical parts of getting a spot on their roster. I couldn't be more excited!
I can't wait to check out this convention. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and if you are anywhere near Tahoe, you should go. The entry price is a ridiculous $20 for access for all three days! Let's hope it is a huge success for the promoters and artists, and becomes an annual event - allowing us stateside West Coast people a chance to have the Evian experience closer to home.