London Tattoo Convention & travelling with anxiety

Sunday 25th September 11.32am

As I write this blog, I’m sat in a comfy, detached first class seat, my gangly legs outstretched in front of me in a nice airy quiet carriage with plug sockets and blackout curtains.

In hindsight it sounds incredible, but at the same time this is happening, I’m a sweaty, clammy mess, my hands and feet are blue and cold, my heart rate is through the roof, I’m shaking like a shitting dog, my jaw is clenched and I’m trying not to cry the makeup that I skilfully applied whilst on the train earlier (eyebrows, eyeliner and all!) I’m travelling to London but I am already regretting it, I’ve planned this journey to the last second/meter etc and I am now planning the escape route in my head. I hate travelling by myself, I hate doing everything by myself.

I’m already looking at earlier trains home, there is one at 13.00, my train arrives into Paddington at 12.22 so I’d only have to wait around 35 minutes.  I’ve found the taxi companies number so I can call and bring my reservation forward, I’m looking out the window at the weather, its throwing it down outside, I don’t have a hood or umbrella. I have brought my laptop with me so I could watch youtube videos to calm me down, GWRs wifi doesn’t allow you to listen to music or stream videos online. Fabulous.

My phone had to get sent off for repairs last week and while I have a replacement phone, its slow, cant handle most of the apps my original can, it has problems with lag and the microphone and speaker aren’t great either, at least I have a phone, but its not MY phone.

I also feel so guilty for going to London today, my little sister moves to Eastbourne tomorrow and so I’m spending her last day at home 130 miles away from her, I feel extremely selfish.

Monday 26th September 2016 18.08

Its the evening after the day before and I am absolutely knackered, my ribs feel like they are bruised, I feel like I’ve not slept in a thousand years and I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. Is it worth it? Yes.

I arrived to Tobacco Dock a lot earlier than expected, which to some would be amazing but to me it meant an extra 30 minutes I’d have to fight my anxiety for, there wasn’t a queue so this relaxed me a bit until I heard the gatesmen tell someone that all the tickets were sold. shit. that means this place is rammed! I went upstairs and meandered around the tattoo artist booths first, which was a bad move, I was still very anxious but I was desperately trying to fight it, it got almost unbearable until Sabina Kelley spotted me and recognised me from last year and started a conversation, I could barely talk my mouth was so dry and my tongue was stuck to the roof of my mouth as I tried to talk, but she gave me a hug and I asked for a signed photo in which she happily obliged. After seeing Sabina, I felt able to relax and enjoy myself. I then went and quickly located the Pyrohex stage so I could start vlogging! I watched both Pyrohex performances and met Elegy Ellem, Cervena Fox and Shelly D’inferno, I also bumped into Penelope Gwen, Lauren Brock, Zoe Melissa Mae and caught a glimpse of Monami Frost.

This years layout was very different to last years and this made me feel a little lost, the traders were slightly different too, which is actually good because it doesn’t feel so repetitive and gave the event more variety. Apart from that I’m struggling to think how they changed the event this year, but whatever the changes were, they made this year PHENOMINAL! Shopping wise I shall be filming a London Tattoo convention haul 🙂

In terms of the actual tattoo artists, they really stepped up the game this year, last year Julian “The Corpsepainter” won the Best of show with an amazing chest/stomach piece in which the client sat for 24 hours over 3 days (fuck that!) this year Best of show was won by Matt Jordan, Yomico Moreno, Steve Butcher, Benjamin Laukis, Samantha Barber and Jak Connolly who all collaborated on one back piece- you’ve most probably seen the video of them all tattooing one man at the same time! The stand out artist for me though was Steve Butcher of New Zealand who won runner up of Best of show, he tattooed a full colour Chameleon and I cannot describe the detail the tattoo had, the colour was so so vivid, it literally looked as if he had photocopied the image onto the clients skin. I am tempted to get a tattoo off of him next year!

Next year I am going to see if I fancy attending the whole weekend as both years I have attended the Sunday shows and I hear that the Friday and Saturday shows are much different than the Sundays!


Did you go? what was your best bit?

Also check out my London tattoo convention vlog here

Stay fabulous!

Abbie Autopsy xo



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