United Ink Expo
PPIB offers tattoo artist insurance
Ahhh, to be in New York. It’s not the Big Apple (NYC) but nonetheless, Long Island’s finest still present the attitude and the machismo so characteristic in The Empire State. New Yorkers boast the confidence and care free attitude that can be refreshing and annoying at the same time (especially for a Boston sports fan), but I don’t care what people say – I think New Yorkers are plenty friendly.
Take Tattoo Lou – Lou Rubino, Jr. – who was the host and organizer for the inaugural “United Ink Tattoo Expo”, New York’s “biggest tattoo show”. Amidst all of the stress of his first show, Lou maintained his composure, seemed to shake hands with everyone and had a perpetual smile on his face. I would join the Tattoo Lou fan club – I hope I can follow him on Twitter, too.
Held at the Nassau Coliseum in the lower level convention center, Lou pulled together hundreds of the finest local, regional, and international tattoo artists to strut their stuff and show off their work. As is becoming the norm at tattoo conventions, United Ink had tattoo competitions, casting calls (Tattoo Wives) and of course the always popular pole dancing. A new twist at United Ink that I really enjoyed was the break-dancing competition.
Tattoo Lou made sure that there was something for everyone. Jim Leyritz, former Yankees and Red Sox great, was on hand to meet and greet and tell his story. A customized motorcycle decked out in Tattoo Lou’s colors was also on display. There was a “tag wall” (my name for it) where people could add their own unique twist to the show by tagging or adding their art to the wall and maybe winning a prize for it. Kids were welcome and enthused to have their own Kids Corner where temporary and airbrush tattoos made so many smile, and one little girl cry. Oh yeah, and the Tattoo Lou Girls… Perhaps the most popular though was the artist performing the traditional Japanese style of tattooing known as Tebori. This is a hand technique versus an electric tattoo machine. It was thrilling to watch – I can only imagine being worked on.
United Ink and Tattoo Lou put on a great event; hopefully it is the first of many. Everyone seemed to have a good time and many walked away with their new “lifemark” (a tattoo that was described as a unique body marking similar to a birthmark, but with your own design). Although it is hard to imagine an insurance booth at an event like this drawing a lot of attention, even us insurance folks, we were busy and consistently engaged with prospects and friends alike. Lou, if you’re listening, thanks for the good time and great event. We look forward to United Ink II.