Inside the 2nd Annual Van Isle Tattoo Expo

draworking, mxndoza, psicotattoo, tattooing on back, grey and black, canada tattoo convention

It’s only been a year since the first annual Van Isle Tattoo Expo, but it feels like a lot has changed behind the scenes. The haphazard intimacy that marked the inaugural convention in downtown Victoria has been refined. From the room layout to the volunteers to the way artists from different places interacted with each other, everything felt distinctly mellow. It occupied a content middle-ground between its relatively small size and its ambition to grow and draw in bigger names.

And it certainly did draw them in. Returning artists like Babiery Hernandez, David Gluck, and Joseph Haefs were joined by even more industry superstars like Megan Massacre and Steve Butcher. Just like last year the Expo was also an excellent opportunity for less known artists who live along the West Coast and around Canada to break into a larger audience. Vancouver’s Michi, Calgary’s Ryan Tews, Gibsons’ Michelle Warawa, and Dawson Creek’s Sidney Gulka produced some fabulous work over the three day convention.

With two successful Expo’s under there belt, it’s exciting to see how things will grow and change next year as the organizers continue to develop its identity.

Above: Draworking, Mxndoza, Psicotattoojordy worked together to create this massive back piece.
galaxy tiger tattoo by liam monahan, canada tattoo convention
A thigh piece showing Liam Monahan vivid use of colour.
stencil on back, tattoo by marc roy
A WIP from Abbotsford, BC’s Marc Roy.
tattoo on thigh by joseph haefs, vancouver tattoo convention
Thigh piece from Joseph Haefs of Reverent Tattoos out of Las Vegas, Nevada.
color tattoo, bird on half sleeve by paige faihe
A kookaburra from Empress Tattoo’s Paige Faihe from Victoria, BC.
apocalypse tattoo, skull, tattoo by ink by saga
A two day thigh piece from Boss Tattoo’s Ink by Saga from Calgary, Alberta.
Adam Newton and crew, canada tattoo convention
Top left to bottom right: Kyle Carter, Matt, Adam Newton, Cat Siren, and Amber McIsaac from Victoria, BC.
medusa, color realism by steve butcher
A work in progress from New Zealand’s Steve Butcher.
Tony Carter (Scene360) and Megan Massacre
Tony Carter (Scene360) and Megan Massacre.
Convention photos by Tony Carter, © Scene360
Tony Carter

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Tony is a freelance professional and creative writer born in Fort McMurray, Alberta, but possessed by a West Coast soul. Their interests range among all things nerdy, fantastic, kinky, and queer. When not writing, their interests include theatre, video games, hula hooping, and fencing. Follow the author @ Instagram , Twitter, Facebook and view more articles.