Dublin Tattoo Convention 2023: Artistry, Ink, and Connecting with Tattoo Artists


Georgiana Stoian, an accomplished tattoo artist, knows that her work on a client’s body can be a patient journey, sometimes five to six years. Her specialty is creating large pieces that slowly come together to form a body suit.

Originally hailing from Romania, Stoian now practices her craft at the renowned Little Rabbit Ink studio in the heart of Dublin.

Today, she’s at the Dublin Tattoo Convention in the RDS, diligently working on a client’s full-body suit. This ongoing project continues with a back tattoo she initiated in her shop.

“We’re already three full-day sessions in, so it’ll be our fourth day working on it at the convention,” explains Stoian, who boasts 12 years of tattooing experience, with the last nine being in Dublin.

This marks her sixth year participating in the convention, which she deems “critical.” It provides artists and clients with a unique opportunity to establish a meaningful connection.

“It helps people when choosing an artist to meet and find a connection. Sometimes tattoos have a deeper personal meaning, and they want someone they can be comfortable with to explain those ideas,” she elaborates.

“We’re going to spend a lot of hours together, so the convention is the perfect environment for both the artist and the customer to meet.”

At the convention, tattoo artist Georgiana Stoian of Little Rabbit Ink studio will work on a client’s body suit. Photograph: Alan Betson

This weekend’s convention will see around 250 tattoo artists in attendance. Some will participate in competitions, either entering completed tattoos or racing against the clock to finish tattoos during the event for submission.

Beyond tattooing, the convention promises aerial performances, live music, fire shows, piercing stalls, and vintage sales. It’s a family-friendly occasion, with children under 14 allowed to attend for free.

According to Jess Maciel, one of the co-organizers, this year’s event is anticipated to be massive, drawing a diverse crowd, including traditional tattoo enthusiasts and those considering tattoos for the first time.

Over the past decade, tattoos have become increasingly accessible and mainstream. “It’s becoming way more popular with the younger generations,” Maciel notes.

The rise of social media has played a pivotal role, offering people the chance to explore tattoos of various sizes and styles. This shift in perception has made tattoos more acceptable in society, and even workplaces that previously banned visible tattoos are now encouraging self-expression.

This cultural shift is one of the reasons the Dublin Tattoo Convention has grown substantially since its inception over 20 years ago. New tattoo trends are emerging, particularly among Generation Z, who favor fine-line tattoos on their hands or the back of their arms over the lower back tattoos that were popular years ago.

Tattoo artist Kevin McNamara at Dublin Ink Tattoo Studio. Photograph: Alan Betson

Kevin McNamara of Dublin Ink Tattoo Studio has noticed a significant and diverse clientele seeking tattoos. “Dublin Ink has always been at the forefront of making it a more accessible scene,” he remarks.

Kevin McNamara is at work in Dublin Ink Tattoo Studio. Photograph: Alan Betson

Society’s evolving perspective on personal aesthetics and self-expression has drawn more people toward considering tattoos. “As a society or a culture, we’re moving more into celebrating different forms of self-expression,” says McNamara.

The increasing acceptance of tattoos is a positive shift in embracing individuality and creativity.

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