Alright, I’ll be honest: up until this year, I didn’t exactly understand what Baby Tattooville was. From scraps of information I’d gathered in passing online and in conversation, I assumed it was some “secret society” gathering that is closed to the public and was by invite only. And while that isn’t entirely untrue, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it’s something any of us can attend, providing we have the cash to cover the tab.
So what’s Baby Tattooville all about? Who can attend, what’s there to do and where the heck is it? Fellow CP boardie Ron “Thotfulspot” Hollatz attended for the second time this year and was kind enough to give us the full scoop. Read on, be inspired and wish you were there.
By Ron “Thotfulspot” Hollatz
On the first weekend of October, artists and collectors from all over the country gather in Riverside, CA, at the historic Mission Inn. The location is quirky enough that it fits the event perfectly. Everyone gets lost in the maze of courtyards and hallways at least once during the event. It also has areas where there are courtyards with connected conference rooms so you can have multiple things going on at the same time. The event runs from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon.
To understand Baby Tattooville, you have to forget what you think about any other event. It’s not a con with a lot of art available for sale. It is set up as a weekend where the barrier between artists and collectors disappears and everyone joins in on the fun. Dinner each night is done as a group along with Sunday brunch. When the event starts on Friday, one room is set up as a typical conference room with a raised platform for the artists. The organizer, Bob Self, starts off by saying this will be the only time you will see this formal setting. From that point on, we’re one big group.
This was our second year attending. Last year was overwhelming: for the 5th anniversary, all the previous artists were invited back, and over 30 accepted. This year was a more typical year with about a dozen artists: Coop, Mark Frauenfelder, Gris Grimly, Brandi Milne, Nouar, Kathie Olivas, Nathan Ota, Brandt Peters, Ragnar, Rob Reger and Risk. It’s hard to determine the exact number since some attend as guests, or just pop in for a few hours to join the fun.
As far as collectors/attendees, there are 50 spots available; for an extra charge, a second person can come but they don’t receive the goodies. Each guest receives at least one piece of art from each artist. We also received a “11 X 11″ print with a 5” image from each artist on one sheet, along with a hand drawn image in the center by Gris Grimly, who completed the drawings during the event. A blank 12X12 sheet was also given to each artist for them to do a line drawing that will be provided as a pack for each guest.