Rites of Passage Festival 2012


Yesterday I went to Day 2 of the 2012 Rites of Passage Festival. It was held at the Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens. The amazingly detailed painted walls and ceilings that decorate the building made for a perfect setting for equally amazing art being tattooed on people’s skin.

Once I stepped inside, I made a bee line to the Japanese booths. I wanted to see people getting hand poked tattoos to see what I was in for.

I couldn’t help but cringe at a young guy getting his stomach tattooed by another Japanese artist. Whenever he sat up to take a break, he looked white as a sheet. I’d love to see photos of that completed piece as I’m sure all the pain he went through would have been well worth it.

There was a slight miscommunication, as I was booked in to be tattooed 12-4pm, but was changed to later in the afternoon. It was probably a blessing as I was able to see most of the expo.

I would like to say a special thanks to Crystal from Gimeneko Books. She organises the artists to come to Australia from Japan, books their appointments with clients and acts as their translator. Crystal made sure the artists knew what to tattoo on people and answered any questions people had.

With time to waste, I made my way around the booths, trying not to spend all my money before getting tattooed. I was tempted to buy an adult animal costume at one booth. I don’t care how impractical it is, I really wanted that turtle costume.

I purchased an amazing Sam Rulz print of a hammerhead shark. I am obsessed with these creatures and hope to one day have one tattooed on me.

I love my henna tattoo that I got done on the top of my right hand. I couldn’t believe how quickly the woman drew it. She was doing all pieces completely free hand. The designs are said to last somewhere from 1 to 3 weeks.

The Outre Gallery booth was one I couldn’t miss. I finally got my hot little hands on Angelique Houtkamp’s books Tattoo Darling and Tattoo Mystique. There were plenty of Shawn Barber, Angelique Houtkamp and other artists framed and numbered prints on show.

I visited the Inked Australia magazine booth where I got to meet the lovely editor, Ness in person for the first time. I had a sneak peek of Issue 13 which is on sale this coming Wednesday, May 2nd.

Unfortunately I didn’t get around to the Tattoos for Wishes booth as I was running behind schedule due to my other tattoo. I still plan on making a donation to the Make A Wish Foundation. If you would like to also, click here for more details.

Overall it was such a great day. Being only the second tattoo expo that I have attended, I know I will be back next year. There’s nothing I love more than being surrounded by local and world renowned tattoo artists.

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