Baxter's Blog


Posted in ANNOUNCEMENTS by misterroadtripper on December 27, 2010

Here’s the intro to my new TATTOO CHRONICLES on



Tattoo artists travel a lot. Some, like Bob Tyrrell or Larry Brogan are, seemingly, off to some convention or celebrity appearance at least every couple of weeks. But, often, there’s a definite profiling going on: an attitude reserved for escaped convicts, serial killers and mad bombers. Sure, there are horror stories of having tattoo equipment confiscated or being hailed off to some bare-walled interrogation room because of a teenage DUI or an accusation from an angry girlfriend that got on your police rap sheet back in the ’70s, but, if you think before you travel, heading toward an airport can be relatively stress free. If you take certain precautions. Or get lucky.

Typical Canadian House

Tattoo people like to travel. Artists, especially, realize that, the moment they land on foreign soil, tattooed folks are friendly, helpful and extremely accommodating. There seems to be a blood bond that is, perhaps, the best part of having body art. Case in point: Canada. Whenever I travel from the U.S. to Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver, for example, we are treated with an uncommon degree of thoughtfulness and an innate feeling of being a member of an extended family. For the most part, it is subtle—being picked up from the airport rather than told to “catch a shuttle,” finding flowers on the nightstand when a visit coincides with a wedding anniversary, that kind of thing. But that’s the exception, rather than the rule.

Several foreign tattoo artists, big names, who, prior to 9/11, used to frequent tattoo conventions in the U.S. have opted out and stayed abroad. Very rarely do you see the familiar faces of Tin-Tin, Henning Jorgensen and Alex Binnie, for example; tattoo celebrities, who, back in the “old days,” you’d run into on a regular basis. “It’s just too much of a hassle,” they say. “They confiscate our gear and ‘lose’ our luggage. We get to some show in the Midwest and our equipment is stuck in customs.” It’s a shame, really. It used to be so exciting to see major artists arrive from Europe, Asia and Polynesia, but not so much anymore. There are a few that jump through the hoops to attend the New York City Tattoo Convention but, for the most part, it’s few and far between.


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