On Friday, July 10, 2009 I had the opportunity to participate in an event in Toledo, Ohio that can be summed up in one word—amazing. That event was Tattooleetup, the brain child of Mark, Sara, and Ken. An event that started out entirely as a joke on Twitter.
But like they say, all you need is a made up word to get people to rally around an idea. I’d say Tattooleetup fit the bill.
You see, the twittering community is pretty strong in Toledo and dating back to at least March, there have been monthly tweetups. Usually held at a bar and for just a few hours in the evening, these tweetups give us the opportunity to actually hang out with the people we interact with on a regular basis (or to meet new people) on twitter. Locally they have been dubbed Toleetups (Toledo + Tweetup) They’re pretty fun. Beers. Geeks. What’s not to enjoy?
Anyway…I believe it was Ken who jokingly mentioned we should have a tweetup where everybody gets tattoos. From this simple thought of 140 characters or less came Tattooleetup, a night of art, music, poetry, food, conversation, and of course tattoos.
As I mentioned earlier, it was amazing. Tattooleetup took place at the 20 North Gallery in downtown Toledo and, thanks to Sara, was sponsored by 8th Continent soy milk. The event was catered by Jesse from the Ground Level coffee shop (a local establishment) with a surprise appearance by the decadent Firelily Chocolate’s truffle cones (also local).
Two tattoo artists were on hand to put ink on any skin that was interested. For those that preferred to not permanently alter their skin that evening there were bunches of temporary tattoos to choose from. Four local visual artists had their work showcased in the gallery for the evening. One of them was me. Of the other three artists, one had been and one is a student of mine. At one point in the evening, the art director of the gallery approached me and said the gallery was interested in representing my work. Which is awesome for the ego.
Not only was there a DJ spinning tunes, but Josh’s band (The Eight Fifteens) played an acoustic set. That was super exciting for me because it was the first time we both participated artistically in the same event. Later in the evening we heard poetry from a slam poet out of Detroit and saw amazing magic performed by local magician the wicked Dorian Grey.
At the end of the night, just at Tattooleetup was wrapping up, the Mud Hens shot fireworks from the stadium. Which is located directly across the street from the gallery. It couldn’t have been a more perfect ending to a spectacular night.
My Flickr feed of the night (for some reason mine refuses to show up in the public search)
Other folks Flickr feed
The live stream of the event (The Eight Fifteens play around the 2:13 mark)
The Eight Fifteens play a little (about 59 second mark)