Yes, for every good tattoo, there are a dozen bad ones. But that shouldn’t be a concern for anyone getting inked at the Alberta Bound Tattoo and Arts Festival this weekend — there will be over 200 great tattooists on hand.
Indeed, the high level of talent on display at such events is part of the attraction for tattooist Megan Massacre, who takes time out of her busy schedule working on the reality television show NY Ink (not to mention modelling and spinning records) to attend similar shows across the globe.
“Tattoo conventions really showcase the best of the best,” says Massacre, who’ll be in attendance for her first visit to Calgary. “It gives people a chance to see artists and get work done by artists they’d never normally have the chance to, so it’s great for people who want to get tattooed by artists from across the world.”
For Massacre, it’s also a chance to reunite with old friends and other artists.
“Tattoo conventions are kind of stressful actually, but the best part for me personally is getting to see my tattoo artist friends from around the world. It’s like one big family reunion. I also really like connecting with fans all over the world that maybe can’t make it to me in New York, so I come to them.”
Between modelling through various outlets, deejaying, tattooing for nine years and starring in the popular NY Ink for the last two years, Massacre has accumulated a lot of fans. A lot.
“I have fans for a lot of reasons,” Massacre says. “There are people who love my work even before the show, and fans that love the show and want to meet me. But I also model, and some people are like, ‘Hey, there’s a hot chick, I want to get tattooed by her,’ which you know, isn’t always the best reason to get tattooed.”
If you miss your chance with Massacre, local tattoo artist and Alberta Bound organizer Steve Peace says only the cream of the crop will be in attendance at the Calgary convention, so you can’t go wrong.
“We raise the talent bar every year of the show and we’re always constantly updating our criteria of who can get in each year,” Peace explains. “We only have the best artists at our show so people know they are going to get the best tattoos. Meeting some of these artists is truly once in a lifetime.”
Even if Calgarians aren’t ready to take the plunge, the convention is a great place to do some research, according to Massacre.
“You can kind of walk around and look at the tattoos being done and the portfolios and the artists and you can have something to compare to. You can get a good look at what a good tattoo looks like.”
For the first time ever this year, the festival will feature an “adults-only night” on Friday, featuring pin-up model Masuimi Max and other performers.
Just in case she didn’t have enough going on this weekend, Massacre and her husband Joe Letz will be spinning records together at the official festival after-party on Friday night at the Palomino.