Big London Tattoo Show

A tattoo show that symbolises unity from an elite community that places a value on creativity and design. A post-pandemic unique indoor event captures this art form and propels it back into the limelight.

Once upon a tattoo

Me Vs. Me

– Unknown

A fascinating insight into the Big London Tattoo Show held at the ExCel London. Live tattoos, art, food, entertainment and vintage markets.

Tattoo artists

When you speak to tattoo artists, one thing that strikes you is how humble they are. Each artist has a story to tell. I think that having spoken to so many of them, they all have one thing in common; expression. A want and need to display a visual representation of a life story.
Tattoos have changed over the decades, but their meaning is personal and profound. Celebrities from all genres and, most recently, from the social media landscape have propelled their popularity almost to a form of status.

I witnessed the artists’ hard work as I walked around the stands. Live tattoos seemed part of the ambience and captured the hearts and minds of the audience. There was no modesty withheld as models, and the public held nothing back. This made me release that tattoos and confidence have an underlying relationship.

Once upon a tattoo

Related industries

Some of the limelight was shared with related industries such as clothing, ink suppliers, and artwork. They all seemed to revolve around the origins of this beautiful art form that was once taboo. Every stand had curious eyes prompting questions.

I listened in as there was laughter and banter, no obstacles that would prevent sales. This was an eye-opener as you realise there is so much more to this industry.


Never underestimate the business behind the art. It’s big, and you get a sense of that from the quality of business cards, banners, posters and overhead monitors. These tools played to effect enhancing the individual artist’s brand awareness.

No expense was spared; newbies started during the Pandemic on platforms like Etsy. As a result, their business models grew online and now have a visual representation in the form of a pop-up store at this event.


As you walk around, you can’t help but notice that age has no bearing on the tattoo industry. The significance of ink hasn’t changed, and somehow there is a draw for the older generation to embrace more modern tattoos that perhaps in their day would have been shunned upon. I believe this has impacted the industry and helped make tattoos more acceptable in society.


My journey into this sector began with a by-chance meeting with an influencer who is far too modest to admit that she is. Angel Grace is a lettering specialist and is well known within the inner circle. 

With just under 30k Instagram followers and a contributor to some of the graffiti in London, she always gives credit to her peers. As a result, she has won countless awards, some of which are the most prestigious in the industry.

A reputation that proceeds, your mesmerised watching her work. 

Once upon a tattoo
Angel Grace
Once upon a tattoo

Artist gallery

Time served artists fused with up and coming talent.

once upon a tattoo

Art with safety, care and aesthetics to give you a unique look and style

once upon a tattoo
once upon a tattoo
once upon a tattoo

I want to shout out to the food hall staff, security, entertainers and venue organisers. Everyone worked hard to ensure that the show was more of a memory than an event.