Miki Vialetto has recently brought some disturbing news to my attention regarding an editor of several UK tattoo publications and organizer of tattoo shows who is now planning to do a tattoo convention in London this spring. Miki has been putting on the International London Tattoo Convention for the past 7 years. I have been participating since the first one and just about everyone in the tattoo community would have to agree that this is one of, if not the best convention in the world. The reason for this is because everyone in the Tattoo World knows how dedicated and sincere Miki is. Although Miki is a dear friend of mine and we have always supported each other on a personal and professional level, this matter goes beyond our friendship. This is not just a personal attack on Miki, but on what Miki represents which is TATTOO in its purest form. The same magic that drew me into tattooing, the same curiosity and desire that lead many of us to live out of a suitcase and live life “on the road” is what has always driven him. He has never been one to take without giving plenty back and one of the reasons I respect and love him is because he doesn’t see tattooing as just an industry or even his livelihood, but like me and the people who have taught me, he sees it as his life. He has been a caring member of the Tattoo Family for half his life. He ran around in the early and mid ‘90’s, first through Europe and then the world over with little cash and a lot of passion which he has never lost. His goal has ALWAYS been to share tattooing with the world. After reading a letter Miki sent me I went on the websites of skin deep magazine and their conventions called, tattoo jam and tattoo freeze and found out that they also publish another magazine titled tattoo masters which has directly taken the formula of Tattoo Artist Magazine. Even though I have never met Crash, I have corresponded with him through the years and know that he shares the same love for Tattoo as we do. It was obvious to me that these people have no remorse in capitalizing on other peoples hard work. There have always been and always will be tattooers with little integrity who put greed before tattooing. However, this problem is on a much larger scale involving “outside people” with bigger budgets and no interest in tattooing other then to cash in on what we cherish so much. Tattooing has allowed us to make an honest living doing what we love, but in recent years business savvy vultures have smelled the green and want in. I think it’s important that people realize who they are supporting! Whether it’s magazines, suppliers, or conventions, support people who love tattooing first and foremost!
Daniel O. Sawyer aka Danny Boy
Amsterdam Tattoo Museum