As we all know, the Brussels Tattoo Convention is an annual event that takes place in the heart of Brussels, Belgium. This is one of the biggest tattoo conventions in Europe and it brings together some of the world’s most talented and renowned tattoo artists. Not to forget the thousands of tattoo enthusiasts from all over Europe!

For those of you that have never been to a tattoo convention and don’t exactly know what it is, it’s basically an event where tattoo artists from different shops, cities and countries come together and well.. they tattoo the visitors that are up for it! There’s always flash to choose from and merch including artwork prints, t-shirts, etc… you can buy to support an artist or a shop if you don’t have the budget for a tattoo.

Apart from this, there’s also always entertainment! For the tattoo artists, there’s contests and for the attendees there’s art exhibitions, public photoshoots and other exciting activities – we must say Brussels definitely made sure everyone was satisfied!

Let’s rewind together.

The Fuel Girls

This one is for the fans of fire performances. The Fuel Girls is an all-female (as the name suggests) troupe that’s been wowing audiences all around the world with their acrobatic and energetic fire shows.

They’ve been performing in many different types of events, such as: music festivals, extreme sport events, private parties, etc… And now the visitors of the convention also had the pleasure of seeing them perform.

These women all have their own unique set of skills varying from fire breathing to fire eating and lots of other fire and pyro-based stunts. What makes it even more interesting is their closet! The elaborate costumes, their choreographed routines together with pyrotechnics and other special effects really make a truly immersive experience.

Banana Ink workshop

Do you ever wonder about what it’s like to do the tattooing instead of receive it? Or are you an upcoming tattoo artist? Well, tattooing on a banana peel might be just what you’re looking for and that’s exactly what the attendees to the

BXL Tattoo Convention had the opportunity to experience.

This workshop is a unique and fun way to explore the art of tattooing without the commitment of a permanent tattoo and without the possible problems you can experience as a beginner.

Custom bikes and cars

Tattoo conventions aren’t only the perfect place to meet some of the best tattoo artists, but they also often feature other forms of art and self-expression. The BXL Tattoo Convention did this really well with the custom bikes AND cars they had displayed for everyone to admire.

From drag racers and vintage cars to full custom bikes never seen before! And the best thing was, there were models posing with them which gave the opportunity of photographers to take some awesome pictures and get more experience!

The Black Tape Project

The Black Tape project is another one that allows for self-expression in a way that isn’t tattooing, although some might compare it to temporary tattoos.

This project began back in 2008 when Joel Alvarez, a Miami-based artist and photographer, began experimenting with black electrical tape as a way to create visually striking body art. The idea behind it is to cover the human body in this tape, which creates often abstract and geometric designs. The finished look? It’s simply striking, sometimes provocative and an illusion of clothing. It’s a great combo of fashion and photography!

The versatility of this project is what makes it so appealing. The use of the tape makes is so that the artists are always pushing limits and they’re always coming up with new innovative ways to use the tape.

Those who went to the Brussels Tattoo Convention could observe the tape application in action, on a stage with various models!

Fashion Shibari

Rope bondage and fashion might seem like they wouldn’t go hand in hand, but designer and photographer Fred Kyrel is proving otherwise. He did so once again at the tattoo convention with his unique blend of contemporary fashion design and traditional shibari techniques.

Shibari, otherwise known as Kinbaku, is basically a form of erotic rope bondage that emerged from Japan. It’s mainly characterized by the use of knots and patterns to bind the body and it has a rich history in the Japanese culture. Fred Kyrel has combined this traditional art form with modern fashion design to create a captivating aesthetic!

Just like with the Black Tape Projects, the possibilities are endless and the visitors of the Brussels Tattoo Convention were all so lucky to be able to observe the master at work!

Body painting

This wasn’t the last of various body art activities at the convention! Another one was body painting. There were several artists at the convention who showcased their make-up and body paint skills on the beautiful models that also attended.

One of the body painters that straight-up made art on the spot was Wendy Hoek Van Bentum and when I (the writer) saw the pictures my colleague here at TattooGenda took… well, I didn’t realize it was bodypaint! For real guys, it looks like a Japanese bodysuit tattoo.

Have to say, the things they created just with body paint was impressive and too real!

International Tattoo Artists

As usual, the convention also invited, of course, lots of international tattoo artists! This is one of the biggest highlights of the convention for both the tattoo artists and the visitors. Why?

Well, for starters, it brought many artists of different styles together. Some of which are really difficult to find in your own area. This created an opportunity for the tattoo artists to connect and learn from each other.

Not only that, but for the visitors as well! It must’ve opened up so many doors to exploring new styles for so many people.

There were amazing Asian style tattooists, tebori, Maori and Polynesian, mandala and geometric, blackwork, abstract and graphic, etc… You name it, there were at least a few amazing artists of the genre!

International Inked Models

The tattoo artists however, weren’t the only international sensations at the convention.

The convention had also invited various international models to participate in the activities. There were also free photoshoots photographers could participate in with the models! This was the perfect opportunity for photographers to create great photos in awesome surroundings while helping the models out with their careers.

The tattoo contests

Okay, we have to talk about the contests. Every day of the convention tattoo artists got to compete in different categories if they wanted to. The only category that’s consistent throughout the 3 days is ‘best of *day*’. Well, this time, the same artist won Best of Friday AND of Saturday!

Juan Muriana got the first place award of both days and well, when you see the tattoos it makes sense! We also interviewed him, if you’d like to see what he said click here.

Need a barber?

Well, the BXL tattoo convention has got you covered. We can’t forget about the tattoo barber shop À l’ancienne who were offering men a nice haircut and a beard trim if asked for!

Gotta say, that’s heck of a concept and it works, especially at a tattoo convention. It gives the attendees an opportunity to feel somewhat of international models themselves

Tattoo artist (Juan Muriana) holding two awards at a tattoo convention

Skate ramp

We can’t forget about the skate ramp! For the skaters out there, the convention had rented a skate ramp so, when we told you there was something for everybody out there – we meant it!

There were skaters just doing their thing in the midst of the convention and who wouldn’t be glad about your happy place being incorporated into another happy place?

P.s. the roller skaters were also cool to watch. We envy their balance skills.

All in all, the convention offered a diverse range of activities for attendees to enjoy. From live tattooing and portfolios to contests and fashion shows! Whether you’re an aspiring artist, a tattoo enthusiast or an art lover, the Brussels Tattoo convention had something for everyone! Yet another successful year. 

Now, enjoy the gallery!

Have you guys ever been to a tattoo convention? If so, what was your favorite thing about it? Mine was all of the artworks you can buy and seeing all of the different artists in one place! If you haven’t been to one yet, what are u waiting for? 

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