From 2003 to 2015, the Ink-N-Iron Tattoo Convention came to the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, for three days of tattooing, live music, Hot Rods-Kustoms car shows, and much more. In 2010, the event hosted 280 of the world’s best tattoo artists from 30 States and 25 Countries, representing all the tattoo styles. Murran Billi was one of the talented artists to grab a spot at this famous event. This convention is as much an art gallery of sorts as it is a community festival.
Murran Billi is no stranger to winning prizes and contests across the globe in the “Realistic Tattoos” category. But, this particular victory at the Ink-N-Iron convention was a dream come true. Billi won the “Best of the Show” category after tattooing a full sleeve during the 3-day event. This is usually only possible with multiple tattoo artists working on the piece. This was the catalyst that changed everything for him. This huge win, which is also a great honor, led him to be published and interviewed in numerous magazines within the tattoo scene. Each of those gaining Billi more and more momentum, as well as making many tattoo magazine covers. Slingers Magazine even put him on their list as one of the 13 best tattoo artists in the world.
Conventions like these were home only to the best of the best tattoo artists in the world. They were giving fans a chance to watch masterpieces being created firsthand. It also made it possible for people to get a tattoo from their favorite artists, who may normally live on a different continent to them. Unfortunately, now everything has moved online and you can watch tattoo tutorials and masterclasses on the internet. As well as the events becoming a free-for-all to any level of tattooist, the beauty and unique quality of these conventions has been lost.