Iron Buzz at Kolkata International Tattoo Convention 2014- Eric Jason Dsouza

We’re here! Its 8 am and about ready to attend Day 1 of the Kolkata International Tattoo Convention. The hotel we live in is called Rockstar Suites, quite apt for tattoo artists to live in right? Food is fine, the rooms are spacious, a sweet gesture from the organizers for making our accommodation plans easier in a new city. The daily commotion we deal with in Mumbai is different from Kolkata, here the cabs are huge, no wonder they drive an Ambassador to knock you down (just incase if you’re in the way). 

The convention hall is about 40 minutes away from the hotel, Diana and I are both geared up! Not only to meet new artists but also decorate our booth, we are certain that it’s going to be kickass given the amount of time and weeks we have put in to decide how we want our booth to look!




We’re here! It’s 9:30am! Princeton club seems like the ideal place for a tattoo convention. The booths are set up well, around 30 in one hall and the rest 7 or 8 in the other. We are on the extreme right from the entrance and to our surprise the booths next to us belong to my fellow friends and artists. Quickly we keep everything aside and start the décor, one thing at a time and I know it’s complete when I see Diana’s face, that expression of satisfaction!

I have a tattoo to do in sometime, a portrait of a renowned artist from Nepal, the guy who set a new trend in his country who also organizes the International Nepal Tattoo Convention and now Mr. Mohan Gurung is a guest artist at the Kolkata convention too, now that’s pressure! Pawan from JG Tattoos, Pune wants this on his right shoulder blade but here’s the trouble, we don’t have a good reference picture as Facebook crops all profile pics and sets them to low resolution, a bad decision by many tattoo artists before and have fallen prey to bad reference and then eventually a not so good looking tattoo. I have no choice but to head to Mohan dai’s (dai in nepali means brother) booth and get a click myself. Just for the record I have never seen such a humble tattoo artist before, he not only posed for me but also set his hair down and stood in the required spot, Voila! Winner Winner chicken dinner! Got the perfect shot ready to be tattooed, Lets go.

“Calm down Eric, just breathe in, breathe out, you’ve done this before” I say to myself and start the tattoo. I have immense support from Diana, all my fellow artists Ketan vaidya , Rahul Ghare, Yogesh Waghmare, Kevin Andrade, Immortal Rishabh, Abhinandan Basu and Pinku Bijoy Ghosh.

I’m half into the tattoo and everything is going great so far, I see a lot of crowd right from kids to families, they’re eager to see people with so many tattoos and probably choose an artist for their future tattoos, they’re at the right place. I always encourage everyone to research about tattoo artists and I’m happy to see broad minded citizens in the hall. Before the convention, Diana and I had decided to give free Art Prints of my sketches as souvenirs to anyone who visits us at the booth. It was a very good idea because now I found people interested in my sketches and even want my signature on them.

“Phew!” I’m done with the portrait, It’s time to head to Mohan dai’s booth and let him decide whether he likes the tattoo or not. Let the pictures below tell you what he thought. 

I entered the Best Black & grey small tattoo category with this portrait and my work was well appreciated by many artists and event the judges, you know how I know that? Because I won in that category!

I worked on another tattoo on Diana’s forearm about a week ago for the Best black & Grey healed tattoo category, Here’s a fresh picture of the tattoo when it was made. Tell us what you think because this tattoo also won in its category.

A total of 5 awards were won from artists from Mumbai. Yogesh Waghmare won Best colour tattoo and Best Black & Grey large tattoo, Ketan Vaidya won Best of the Convention tattoo award. And our friend Pinku Bijoy Ghosh from Hyderabad won the Best Custom design tattoo category. All in all the convention was a huge success. Niloy Das (Lizard’s skin tattoo studio) and the entire Kolkata Tattoo Community did an awesome job in organizing the event and took care of each and every artist like their own. We are definitely coming back!

                                                                                                                  -Eric Jason Dsouza