Photo above was taken by Bartek Modrzejewski
Marcin Pacześny – Tattoo Konwent
Hi Marcin! It’s great to talk with you. You are the organizer of Tattoo Konwent – an artistic tattoo event that takes place this year in three cities in Poland – Wrocław, Poznań and Katowice. How would you describe the changes in organizing an event today, in the time of a pandemic, and before?
Hello! It’s a pleasure to share more insight into the current event. It will not come as a surprise that doing anything associated with public gatherings is hard and pretty exhausting right now. There are plenty of rules that change rapidly and as an organizer you never know what to expect. Before the pandemic, we simply booked the venue, invited artists, talked with partners, everything was so simple.. or it just might be that simple in my memory compared to what’s going on now.
Nowadays we need to re-think twice how to spend money we get from outside sources – in the end we are all responsible if something goes wrong. And we are the ones that pay the artists back – no one cares that it was the government’s decision to change the rules in the matter of days or even hours. Currently, it’s a huge risk and I am not surprised that a lot of events are still being postponed to next year.
Wrocław Tattoo Konwent will be held as the first one this year. It will also be the first tattoo event that will be held in Poland after a long break. What do you feel before the first event after such a long time of not being able to organize them? Did you miss it?
Oh sure! It has been nearly 2 years since the last tattoo convention we did in Katowice back in 2019. Our whole team feels much like the first time making anything like that. We need to rethink everything, plan again and be ready for various scenarios. But the most dominant emotion is of course happiness and stress. My team and I missed this whole thing a lot. I can’t even describe it with words, all the feelings surrounding this first event in Wrocław.
You have got many years of experience in organizing a tattoo convention. How do you remember the organization of your first event? Was it a challenge?
It was 12 years ago! A lot of time! It was a hell of a challenge. That’s what I remember for sure. I didn’t sleep the whole week before the event. I knew nothing about doing anything like this back then. I got some experience with making small gigs for maybe 150 – 200 people, but nothing compared to something close to a few thousands. It was definitely one of the most stressful moments of my life, but looking at it from today’s perspective, it was totally worth all the blood, the sweets and the tears that came along that way.
Is there anything that you think makes the Tattoo Konwent different from other events of this type in the world? If so, what is it?
Hmm, it’s a tough one. I hope there are several things that make Tattoo Convent special and different. Probably the teamwork that was always our main goal – some members of our event crew have been with me since the very beginning. We have organized more than 30 conventions so I am proud to have probably one of the most experienced tattoo event crew organizers in the world. Another important thing is we really care about our visitors’ experience. Artists are important, that’s for sure, but for me event visitors are as important as artists. That’s what I think is the most significant difference between Tattoo Convent and most of the other tattoo events. And I’m really proud of it. If there are not any people interested in getting inked, there won’t be any artists and the whole bunch of amazing artistic styles.
What, in your opinion, is the most important element in organizing such a show?
Certainly the people: the artists, the visitors, our crew. I think people are the core of every successful event or even a business. You need to pay attention to their needs and respond quickly. Also, an important part is to be aware of changes and be prepared for them. The trends change quickly over time so you need to pay attention to the younger generation of tattoo artists and visitors.
Most organizers of large and well known events (just like yours) have dreams about how their event would look in the near future. What are your current aims?
There are plenty but most of all I simply want to stay true to my beliefs about this kind of event and keep it getting better and better. I still have a lot of ideas on improving it in many areas. I hope that I will have enough time to realize some of my or my crew’s visions. There are interesting times coming and I want to give something to the tattoo world that will change it for the better.
Please tell me what the Tattoo Konwent will look like this year and what can visitors and tattooers expect?
I can’t say for sure… you know, this year is still somewhat unpredictable so we are going to focus mostly on the attractions and artists from our country. I personally believe that what visitors and tattooers can expect is finally gathering again. Talking, partying, spending time with smiles on their faces. We all need this, I suppose. We need to meet in real life and be together again. That’s what people can expect from our conventions this year.
At the very end, I have a private question for you. Where do you imagine yourself in 10 years?
Haha! I like this one. You know, I got my list of life goals. It’s huge and still getting bigger day by day. There are things like having more dogs or taking better photos (as this is my passion). But the most important thing on the list is living a happy life with my girlfriend and our family. Probably in a house with a bouldering wall (I love climbing). More outside the city, more into nature. But still doing my thing. I mean, I have been into the polish tattoo scene for years now, and even more years interested in tattoos so I hope, in 10 years I will still be able to engage in tattoo events, studios and all this new stuff that’s coming soon. I don’t know what the future of the tattoo is going to be but tattoos are deep in my soul so I never plan to change my way. Thanks for this interview! It is a great pleasure to share my point of view with others. I’m grateful for this opportunity.
One of many Tattoo Konwent aftermovies, which brilliantly depicts the fantastic atmosphere of this event: