Saturday October 1, 2011

It Really Was Paradise...

We would like to extend a huge thanks to Gunnar Gaylord, who wrote this for the Tattoo Artist Magazine Blog. This is his experience about the convention our shop puts on, The Paradise Tattoo Gathering. Every year we leave the show feeling accomplished and successful, but one of the largest motivators to keep it going, and not only that, but make it better, is to hear how the event has inspired people, motivated people, sometimes even changed their lives. Thanks again to Gunnar who wrote this, and everyone who continues to support all of our ventures.


"A few weeks back, I wrote my first blog for TAM. I wrote about the internal paradigm shift I was making in my views toward life and about dropping the ego and being more open-minded. I then discussed the profound effects those changes had created in my sense of community. The response was amazing. It seemed that the idea of a positive paradigm shift in the tattoo community was something hordes of people desired. They were sick of the ego’s and attitudes and like me, were just saddened by the state of the tattoo industry…

Shortly after writing the blog, I had the chance to attend the Paradise Tattoo Gathering. I had been asked before to attend, but had missed my opportunity in the past. However this year I decided to attend and I am so glad I did. Gabe and the crew from Off the Map, created one hell of an artistic environment to feel comfortable in. It seemed to be the perfect environment to see some of the changes I have been ranting about be acted out.

First I have to say that this gathering is not a convention. It is as close to a trade-show as our industry has and it is something that our community desperately needs. Although, I was shocked that less manufactures of tools for our trade came out, it was an amazing event where artists set aside their egos and try to teach and learn from one another. This was not just for education in regards to the advancement of artistic ability but also protecting and educating our community from outside entities such as insurance, IRS, FDA, legislation and media.

While there I was not only fortunate enough to teach my own seminar, lead a group critique and speak on a discussion panel engaged in conversation about our industry. I was even more fortunate to have the time to sit in on some seminars, have my work critiqued and listen to ideas from other artists that spoke on discussion panels.

IT WAS AMAZING! And if that wasn’t enough, after the work day ended, I had the opportunity to hang out with some amazing people and continue discussions on art, community and life.

The environment at Paradise was so positively charged and engaging, I felt compelled to continue pushing this idea of positive change in the tattoo industry (as people who sat in on the little pow-wow during my seminar may know). The Paradise Gathering was just the boost I needed. It was amazing to know that this idea of positive change, not only could work, but was already happening.

On the last evening of the event, my roommate for the weekend Dee Dee Seruga and I decided to hold a drink and draw party back at our amazing accommodations. This is one of the first times I have ever personally decided to throw a party and I can honestly say I was glad I did. What an amazing end to a great weekend.

The atmosphere was so overwhelmingly positive that it got me to thinking…

Check out my next blog post to find out more on my thoughts."

**** Author’s Note: These photos are from Paradise Tattoo Gathering and are a great example of people coming together for something positive. On our last night there my roomie Dee Dee and I decided to have a party. A lot of these people were strangers at the beginning of the night. I knew only a handful of them. But by the end of the evening everyone had been engaged in conversation. You can clearly see the positive energy in the room. What an amazing evening.****

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Off the Map LIVE is webcast every other Sunday from Off the Map Tattoo in Easthampton Massachusetts! Check out past episodes on our YouTube channel, and visit for more info.

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