Worldwide Tattoo Conference Venice Italy 2014

The Worldwide Tattoo Conference in Venice, Italy was truly an amazing meeting of some of the world’s greatest tattoo and painting minds. In this day and age of tattooing being at such an incredible level, an event like the Worldwide Tattoo Conference is the perfect way to inspire this generation, who will then pass the knowledge they’ve absorbed over the years onto the next generation of tattoo artists. Today’s education is important and is a vital aspect to becoming not only a better artist overall, but also a smarter tattoo artist with more insight into their craft. Conferences and Seminars have become a staple in our communities as a way to learn and express new ideas, new theories, modern inventions,  new products and tons more to help evolve our art form into the best it can possibly be, all through education and determination.

The Worldwide Tattoo Conference was held at the luxurious and modern Move Hotel which is a slick and modern resort style hotel that sits comfortably in the countryside, just outside of Venice. The conference center where the event was held was a very clean and modern futuristic conference center that gave the conference a clean yet classy feel! The Move Hotel had a state-of-the-art conference center and incredible ballroom with six surrounding big screens so that all attendees didn't miss a moment of the educational presentations and entertainment that were being presented on the big screens the entire event.
Artists that traveled around the world to teach the hundreds of tattoo artists at WWTC, seeking to better their careers and artwork overall, were Alex De Pase, Gabe Ripley, Shige, Joe Capobianco, Nikko Hurtado, Carlos Torres, Russ Abbott, Jeff Gogue, Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell. The Worldwide Tattoo Conference was hosted by veteran tattoo artist Durb Morrison. Over the next three days of the conference, Durb introduced the educating tattoo artists, gave career biographies, described upcoming seminars as well as well as took questions from the crowd while moderating the insightful discussion panels with all the educating artists on one stage discussing various tattoo and art topics.

The first day of the Worldwide Tattoo Conference involved a basic introduction and artist meet and greet as well as the conference’s first seminar presented by Gabe Ripley called “Building A Great Tattoo Business” where artists learned how to manage themselves, improve their studios and build their careers. Also throughout the event, Body Art Development (B.A.D.) had body piercing seminars each day as well as a trade show in the front section of the Move Hotel conference center, making it a combination conference for both body art communities.

The following day of the Worldwide Tattoo Conference involved a handful of seminars from various artists like Russ Abbott, who taught “The Tattooists Palette” explaining color theory with his new “Abbott Color Wheel”. The next speech was from Jeff Gogue titled “Shift” which made artists aware that we all have a spectrum of influence and how to take responsibility for your effect on this world artistically. Next was a seminar from Carlos Torres called “Concepts and Execution” teaching how to create stories on skin. The next anticipated seminar was from the gentleman who brought the entire conference together, Alex De Pase, which was titled “Differences” that focused on tattoo realism and attention to detailing, to obtain those critical differences to achieve tattoo realism. The final seminar before the evenings discussion panel was from the Japanese tattoo master Shige called “A Japanese Way Of Tattooing” which taught the audience about the rich history carried by today’s Japanese Tattoo Masters.
Immediately following the day’s final seminar was the first Live “Worldwide Discussion Panel” on the main stage in the ballroom that was filled with eager artists wanting to learn from the masters on stage. During the discussion panels, Durb presented intelligent questions that were directed specifically towards the artists on the panel, while also taking questions directly from the audience. The discussion panels somewhat organically formed themselves on stage through conversation, which made it very interesting to hear not only the thoughts and ethics of the artists, but also the advice to help others better their own tattoo and art careers. 

The third day of the Worldwide Tattoo Conference gave the attendees the honor of taking seminars from some of the world’s best artists like portrait master Nikko Hurtado who taught his “Breaking The Rules” seminar which showed how Nikko attains his one of a kind realistic portraits. Following was a painting speech and seminar from the legendary artists couple of Boris Vallejo and his wife Julie Bell which focused on their journeys through art and the overall process as well as their progressions as artists throughout the years. Next in line was the highly anticipated speech from Joe Capobianco called “Follow Your Own Path” which allowed the crowd the be aware of how steer clear from following the trends and how to be yourself while staying true to the trade. The Worldwide Tattoo Conference closed with another Live “Worldwide Discussion Panel” on the main stage that addressed any final questions from the audience as well as more thought provoking observations and questions from Durb.    

After such a powerful event of absorbing education, the evenings were filled with great times, great food, drinks and great conversation among all the likeminded artists in attendance. The following day, after the Worldwide Tattoo Conference, many of the tattoo artists headed into Venice proper for a fun day of mingling, wandering around the city, eating amazing Italian food and having many, many drinks! The Worldwide Tattoo Conference gave everyone the opportunity to fall in love with Italy, all while dedicating their time to what they love the most, tattooing!

For more info on future Worldwide Tattoo Conferences, photos from the conference, as well as streaming video downloads of every seminar from the conference and also info on the upcoming Venetian Tattoo Gathering that will be happening in 2016, be sure to visit the official website at
Durb Morrison

Boston Area 2013

On June 4th & 5th 2013 the Doubletree Hilton Hotel in Danvers – Boston (MA) hosted the 4th edition of the WorlWideTattooConference, the itinerant conference project that was born in Rome in 2011 and has now come to full international recognition as one of the main events related to tattoo training and philosophy throughout the year.

Devised by prolific minds that intended to expand their knowledge and expertise in the tattoo world, the 2-day-intensive-seminar WWTC is now the point of reference for any professional tattooist who conceives tattoo as a form of art and wants to master his/her abilities and talent.

Already from scratch the WWTC project was able to get together some of the most important names in the current international tattoo scene, covering a selection of different styles, from realism to fantasy or biomechanics, from black and grey to the most vivid and spellbinding colours. Some of the artists who had opened the first edition in Rome were now back on stage to share their experience with the global tattoo community, who had so devotedly followed the course of the past 2 years of this new tattoo concept. As such, internationally renowned tattoers like Jeff Gogue, Nick Baxter and Alex De Pase, sided by other tattoo icons like Bob Tyrell, Guy Aitchinson, Nikko Hurtado and Joe Capobianco have set an amazing new milestone in the WWTC course of life.

On day 1 at 10:00 a.m. sharp, after the 150 participants had completed registration,  the first to hit the stage was the world-renown biomechanics tattooist Guy Aitchinson, who conducted a technical seminar about tattoo tightening, integrated by various personal tips and comments, reference books and multiple videos recording his procedures and techniques while tattooing. He interacted a lot with anyone who was eager to ask him questions and he left the audience floored thanks to his enormous expertise, popularity and competence.

Next in line was Bob Tyrell, who unfortunately did not make it to the following day, as he had to take part in a tattoo TV-show and had to leave soon after his seminar. He explained his secret tricks and gave excellent tips to improve performance in black&grey tattooing, besides critically commenting very many works of his and making a sum-up of the most important stages of his tattoo career. His casual style and easygoing way made everything seem possible and every single listener loved that.

After delicious refreshments prepared by the chefs at the hotel, the afternoon broke off with the performance of the only European WWTC artist this time: Alex De Pase. He is a master of colour realism in Italy and Europe and, notwithstanding some initial and justified perplexities about the making of his seminar in English, he made his way into a professional and catchy teaching of his art, which focused on the steady improvement of demanding tattooists' abilities and style, as well mistakes to be avoided on the way and constant self-analysis and criticism. He also illustrated how to reach perfect skin tones and how to work with colours, specially on the skin itself.

It was then time for the long awaited critique's corner, where the 6 artists jointly commented and gave their advice and suggestions to the work of about 20 artists who had previously submitted the photos of their best tattoos. The 6 masters professionally spotted weaknesses and strengths of several pictures projected for discussion and interlaced with the audience to answer their specific questions and curiosities.

Day 2 was opened by Nick Baxter's performance. This time it was not only time for awesome tattoos, but for the philosophy underlying them: Nick Baxter talked about his holistic approach to tattooing and to life in general, pushing for practice sustainability, flexibility, direct perception of the world and Mastery of Mastery and thus turning down stagnation, fixed rules and repetition when you feel fulfilled. He also kept the audience spellbound when he set out and explained his set of reasons and points towards the development of significant tattoo strategies: from visualization and rehearsal, to the concept of “building a house”, from over-shooting the tattoo area to client interaction and the role of educator the tattooist needs to assume. Not to forget!

After a Mexican lunch, Nikko Hurtado made his way to the stage. It was fantastic to see how this ultra-popular and idolized tattooist has a 360° human dimension: he was tense and kind of uncomfortable when he started his speech, but soon after he was able to intrigue the audience building up a very useful seminar about techniques and practical strategies which were very well received by the guest tattooers. Supported by top-quality informatics technologies, he illustrated very many of his works, from early stages to the current mastery he has been able to achieve through hard work, continuous practice and dedication. He focused a part of his seminar on free-hand drawing, pushing for that and highlighting the importance of drawing before making an outstanding tattoo.

At about 3.45 p.m. the guest tattooists paid a welcome tribute to one of the most complete American tattooer in the world: Jeff Gogue.
In his never-ending quest for mastery and arts blending,  he has spent extensive time in Japan in the last 2 years and he opened his seminar focusing on his friendship and life-changing contact with the Japanese artist Shige, who has opened access to Jeff Gogue's new perception of the tattoo world. The seminar was very fascinating and catchy, full of personal anecdotes and of stimulating hints to self-determination while making your way into tattooing, both in the sense of identifying your direction as well as where you want to go and of defining your style in the process. He was able to enroll most of the listeners in his quest for mastery and the vast majority of them just felt the urge to go home as soon as possible and get down to tattooing straight away.

This year for the first time the WWTC Award was set up to praise the capacities of the tattooist able to produce a full set of outstanding works. Each participant to the WWTC Award was expected to submit via e-mail a set of 6 high-resolution tattoos, showing their subjects, style, techniques, use and management of colours, etc and which would be assessed by the 6 speakers. It was not the best tattoo to be awarded, but the ability to create awesome artworks in different contexts and possibly in different styles.

So, before drawing to an end and after having announced the name of the 5 finalists, the Boston WWTC board of artists, joined by the unrestrained Joe Capobianco, in the place of Bob Tyrell, announced the WWTC Award winner! It was Andy Chambers, whose works are published hereafter and whose amazing skills in different styles were unanimously praised.

The winner was invited to join the discussion panel that took place soon after and at this time, after 2 days of intensive diving into the secrets of tattooing and trying to grasp what was most needed, the audience really started to mingle with the masters, feeling part of the same community, having the same perceptions, sensing the same sensations, supporting the same cause and willing to become better and better tattoo artists. It was an explosion of awareness and gratitude, something that everybody will preserve in their soul and make a treasure of. Highly recommended!





Chicago area 2012




Rome 2011

"The worldwide tattoo conference provides the opportunity of jumpstarting a period of learning and growth for all tattooers.  I know this because, even as a presenter, I was left floored by all the other presentations I saw that weekend. I was ready to give my all to my art and my craft." - Nick Baxter

Report from


Rome – Last October 22nd and 23rd 2011 the World Wide Tattoo Conference was held in Tivoli (RM), in the background of the Grand Hotel Duca D’Este and under the careful and serious organization looked after by Alex De Pase and Micromutazioni. The first world itinerant conference about tattoo made its stop in Italy for the very first time, gathering together, in a venue that was unique, four amongst the best world tattoo artists and a renown sector business and marketing expert. About 300 people from all over the world joined the event, which, by offering two days of intensive teaching full immersion, has succeeded in putting together seminars and meetings about tattooing and its artistic and technical features and applications, and in opening up the minds of the participants towards  any and all technical-strategic marketing issues in the tattoo world, targeting the improvement of their business.

jeff gogue seminar

The first to step up on the stand was Jeff Gogue, a professional tattooist  form the States availing himself of Japanese arts influences. Starting from the various difficult steps he had to overcome at the very beginning of his career in the Tattoo field,  he went on disclosing how he was indeed able to reach success in his art, getting out of the gloom he was stuck in and finding his way out by lighting his own path and changing his approach to tattoo. “You need to be active, tell the others about yourself and share what you are to grow”. By showing his works with the support of photographic slides to the audience, he set out the bench mark elements in the artistic practice of tattooing: from dynamism to contrasts, from focus to the illusion of light, from the image itself to the relation with the client. All this was dealt with in details, without ignoring the technical approach to it, which must be there and represents an indispensable aspect for  the perfect creation of a tattoo.

alex depase seminar

The relay went on with Alex De Pase, nowadays an icon of realistic tattooing in Italy. Humble and accommodating, as well as ironic, determined and self-confident, he drew the attention of the participants by means of a dynamic seminar, where he unveiled his experiences, his passion and devotion, the tricks and secrets allowing him to join his hand and machines together, in order to create some masterpieces on the skin of the people who rely on him. Beginning with his mistakes, he led the audience to his top works, providing them with clear explanations of the way his studies of oil painting, sculpture and air brushing  have extensively helped him refine his techniques, so that he is now able to impress on the skin some faces or images that are frequently better than a photograph itself. His professionalism and talent rely on many other key points, which were indeed revealed during his seminar: the study before the tattoo itself, self-criticism, technique and recurrent analysis of his works.

The first day of the World Wide Tattoo Conference drew to an end with the participation of Gabe Ripley, well-known organiser of tattoo conventions and deviser of the famous website TattooNow.  Marketing is a key aspect that mustn't be left out when you get down to launching a now product on the market. This rule of thumb is applicable in the tattoo world as well and Ripley, during his relation, provided the necessary information and techniques to do good business. His speech indicated the main steps to take in order to set-up and promote one's tattoo studio, as well as the most useful channels to market it, keeping the pace with the never-ending development of the sector. He exhorts each tattooist to work following the philosophy of “we”, fostering any social interaction and cooperation, honesty and respect. “One needs to constantly try to understand, without getting stuck in the strictness of set rules. Working incisively but being aware of your own limits. Moreover, one's business must be given a mission and the tattooist should approach any successful person without envy, but with a complete willingness to learn, improve and grow up”.

Worldwide artists

Nick Baxter opened the second day of the World Wide Tattoo Conference. He is a young tattooist from the States somebody would define quite bizarre, while others attribute to him a careful and deep philosophy of  life, which is excellently poured into his practice of tattooing. An artist looking for reasons and not for rules, lavishly abandoning himself to positive addictions through daily routine actions, which prove to be equally positive. He supports the diversity of being by means of flexibility, curiosity and explosion: whoever is eager to know, studies, carries out research and so on, manages to reach flexibility and if he/she is able to apply such philosophy upon tattooing,  he/she will surely reach success. On top of that is it absolutely indispensable to experiment with the five senses, to have a direct perception of the world around us, to interact with clients, to communicate and to be able to use up your own energies properly. Many references to his technicality are made in the theory of tattooing, illustrated by Nick Baxter.

worldwide discussion panel

It was then the turn of the Hungarian artist Boris, one of the most appreciated European tattooists specialized in portraits, black&white realism, as well as colour. An expert also in biomechanics and fantasy, he has created his own peculiar style, which is immediately recognizable, thanks to an unparalleled technique which was illustrated throughout the seminar by means of analysing  the process of tattooing a full back, from the initial conception of the idea to the tattoo fulfilment, going through all the working stages, obviously without neglecting the division and organization of the different working sessions.
The World Wide Tattoo Conference finished on Sunday evening with the set up of a discussion panel where all the artists interacted with the audience answering to any of their curiosity or perplexity  and granting in this way a further sense of completion to this 2-day-conference of training and professional growth. It was an opportunity not to be missed for  all the people who consider the art of tattooing as their philosophy of life, as well a job full of passion and inspiration. A unique experience that gave each single visitor the right stimuli and a sprint for growth that may be only achieved through the meeting with great artists, prepared to put their experience at the others’ disposal.

worldwide tattoo conference Rome was officially present at all times during the entire course of the World Wide Tattoo Conference. We  collected data, pictures, videos and interviews so that we may present you with a full report of the event and to bear witness of the participants. We feel obliged to thank Alex De Pase and the organizers and to make an applause to the five artists present at the convention.  We would like to emphasize the participants’  tangible enthusiasm at the conclusion of the two days spent together, the thrilling store of energy and  the urge everybody felt to take off and tattoo, in order to put into practice the teaching got during the seminars and thus improve their performance.

We look forward to experiencing the next appointment with the World Wide Tattoo Conference.
In April 2012 stop over will be in the United States – Chicago, where two new names of excellence shall join the crew: Bob Tyrrell and Guy Aitchison.
The program of the next European Conference is currently being finalized.


Valentina Gala