• Alejandro Castanon

A New Frontier

It's been a while since I've posted to my blog. Let's be clear I'm not a regular blogger or a good writer. But when I do post it has some substance. We are nearly half way through 2016 and at the beginning of every year I try and set some achievable goals as well as some outrageous ones meant to surprise me just in case I reach them. One of my goals this year was to get on the road for shows. Prior to this year I had targeted a few art festivals to submit to but every one I researched I found to be saturated with art. Go figure right? Art festivals with a lot of artists. It just rubbed me the wrong way to be part of a festival where I would be a small fish in a sea of larger more experienced fish. I found a loop hole to this. Tattoo Shows. You heard me right. Tattoo shows and festivals are the perfect market for artists like me. I have done two so far and at both I was the ONLY painter there. It makes sense though doesn't it? I mean every body that has more than one tattoo are essentially art collectors. Perhaps not in the traditional sense but if you think about it its perfect. They are ready to spend good money for good art. They have a sense of how art is suppose to be appreciated - as a permanent fixture in our lives. And these art enthusiasts are die hard fans of art more so than any other group I've seen. At these tattoo events fans of tattoo art come looking to add art to their collection or at the very least watch their friends become collectors. So where do I fit in? That's what I was wondering at my first event this year. To be honest I expected other artists like me to be there, but I found not a single one. Zip. Nada. Intimidating? Sure, to be the only painter among chummy tattooists and to boast among some of the most well known tattoo artists in the world. I was very nervous. Yet I knew and they knew I was not their competition. Let me also say everyone that attend these events are not arrogant like some can be at art events. These were down to earth people. It was refreshing. They were curious and observant. I was constantly approached at my booth and struck up conversations with on lookers and tattoo artists alike. I was set up like a mini gallery with red walls, great lighting, and lots of art. I also did live painting the entire time (mostly to pass the time) and it was a big hit. It also fit the theme of these events. People love watching tattoo artists work so why not join the fun and let them watch me work, right? I sold more than I thought I would have, like a lot more. So why share this gem with you? Why give out this information when I'm apparently one of the few to have figured this out? Well I've also learned that these events can be also very exclusive. Apparently the tattoo world is a very tight nit group made up of mutually respected artists that thrive on friendship and trust. After my first event I made a few friends and was invited to the Elms Street Tattoo and Music Fest in Dallas, TX. I didn't realize how big of a deal this was until a few weeks before. Not only was I introduced to artists like Oliver Peck (Owner of Elm Street Tattoo) but I got to be part of the one of the most exclusive tattoo events in the world! I was invited to a few more, one in Fresno, CA, Killeen, TX and another again in Dallas. I was also picked up by sponsor at the Elm Street event. So in closing. I'm reminded to paraphrase and misquote a book I almost read lol, "Don't be afraid to trust your instincts and even if everyone is doing something one way follow your heart and create your own path". I want to say one more thing. Without good friends to support what you do, you would go no where fast. Having said that Alex and Aubrey Trufant from Trufant Bros. Tattoo in San Angelo, TX helped me get my foot in the door. I will be eternally grateful to them.

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