The Camden Watch Co. At The London Tattoo Convention

September 27, 2018

The Camden Watch Co. At The London Tattoo Convention

Tattoo lovers, listen up!

After attending The Great British Tattoo Show in May, we are back for a second weekend filled with incredible tattoo artists and talented performers at the London Tattoo Convention between the 28th and 30th September.

This time we are not only bringing our beloved No.253 Memento Mori but also our brand new collaboration watch the No.27 CAMDEN X THY BARBER special edition. 

We sat down for a chat with Mikki Vialetto, founder of both the London Tattoo Convention and the world famous Tattoo Life magazine. 


When and how did your passion for the tattoo world started? 

My passion started when I was 12 as one of my favourite toys, was Dr Steel, the enemy of Big Jim. He was a pirate with a huge dragon tattooed on his chest and this was the start of my love affair with tattoos. 

When I was around 20 - I was already tattooed, I wanted to be involved in the tattoo world but my drawing skills were not good and I did not want to be a mediocre tattooist, so instead, I decide to be one of the biggest tattoo promoters.

I started 25 years ago working with different tattoo magazines - the first one in Europe which was eventually translated into five different languages and distributed all over the world. From there, I became involved with art tattoo books which led to permanent displays in libraries such as Moma in NYC. By early 2000, I moved into organizing different art exhibition in Museums such as like the Palazzo Ducale in Genova or the Somerset house in London. This then naturally evolved into organising a Tattoo Convention in order to promote the art of tattooing. 

How did you come about to create London Tattoo Convention? 

It was 2002 and I wanted to organize the most important convention in the world. I live in Milan and I thought that London would be the perfect centre stage for an event. As London and NYC are the springboards for events that appeal to international an audience. I approached a great friend of mine Marcus Berriman, who is the owner of the largest tattoo supply in the UK called Tattoo Supply UK. Marcus is a commanding force when it comes to organisation and within two years the first London Tattoo Convention took place in 2004.

Since then the London Tattoo Convention has been the only place for the most renowned tattoo artists to showcase their skills under one roof. The event offers much more than just tattooing. There was not a tattoo event like this before – we created a new style and trend for a new generation of tattoo fans to enjoy. It was a huge success and we are now in our 14th year!


By what means do you choose the artists that participate in the convention? 

I have few methods for choosing who I want to invite to the London show. Firstly, I always consider the tattooer and their history in the scene. Those original tattooists from 20 or 40 years ago, pushed the boundaries and paved the way for the new generation and they are still pushing it today.

Without these tattoo legends, tattooing could not be the industry it is now - so for me, it is very important to pay homage to their career and their devotion to the art of the tattoo. 

I then include tattooists with outstanding artistic skills, who are changing the style of tattooing - thinking about Filip Leu, TIn TIn, Luke Atkinson, Jack Rudy, Marc Mahoney. These artists have totally changed the conception of tattooing since the late '80 and still considered some of the best tattooers in the world.

Following this, I look to the new level, the innovators who are creating a new style like Nissaco, Gakkin, Shige, Nikko Hurtado, Boris. Those who are the best on the scene, who are setting the trends for the future. I am really interested in showcasing the artists that are creating any new style not just copycats.

Finally, I look to the masters of different techniques of tattooing such as the masters of Japanese tebori and irezumi (tattooing by hand in Japan) or the master of Samoan tattooing, or the Thai monk.

This is why the London Tattoo Convention is so special - in three days you can witness the best style, techniques of tattooing, the chance to understand the history and the future of tattooing with the best artists from around the globe.

What will be the highlights of the convention and which artists should not be missed? 

It is so important to invite great visionaries to the event and this year was no exception. It was my goal to have Marc Mahoney attend the show. He is the legend of black and grey, and to have him in London is a true honour. Then the international mix of 400 tattooists is not be missed. Nobody is there just because we need to fill a booth – every single artist has been hand selected for their talent.

Come and see it yourself, you will not be disappointed. 


Do you have other upcoming projects? 

I am constantly at the forefront of promoting tattooing in all art forms, through conventions, with my magazine, Tattoo Life, my blog and my new project My passion still burns strong for the love of tattoos - you can blame Dr Steel for that.


Sound exciting? Come and join us down at the London Tobacco Dock, it will give you the chance to see some amazing tattoo artists and take a look at our new No.27 CAMDEN X THY BARBER.

Until then, you can have a read through the story behind the watch here.


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