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March 18, 2007
Tattoo Expo draws thousands to E.V. over weekend
Brent Ruffner, Tribune


Shamrocks and Irish shirts weren’t the only green that people sported on St. Patrick’s Day. Green was the ink of choice Saturday for many people who turned out for the Arizona Tattoo Expo at Mesa Centennial Hall.

The event, hosted by Urban Art Tattoo, features tattoo and body artists from throughout the world and is expected to draw close to 15,000 people this weekend.

“A lot of people are in good spirits for the holiday,” said Sage O’Connell, owner of Urban Art Tattoo, who organizes the event. “This is a chance for people to come out and get work done by someone they wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to see.”

O’Connell said the expo is in its seventh year and has art for sale as well as tattoo contest themes from wildlife to tribal art.

The convention also includes 150 artists from the United States and other countries, including Canada and Spain.

California artist Jack Rudy, who attends tattoo events regularly, said it was a good opportunity to see old friends.

Rudy has been in the industry for more than 30 years and tattooed a famous self-portrait on the back of MTV’s Steve-O.

“It’s a big event, man,” Rudy said. “It’s like a reunion with all the tattoo people hanging out together.”

Michelle Selconis of Tempe has five large tattoos on her back and legs. She said the event helps her gain perspective on all the different artists.

“It’s great because there’s a lot of variety,” Selconis said. “It’s good to mingle with people from the shops around the Valley. This year was probably the best.”

Brian Watt of Mesa agreed.

“This gives people the opportunity to see what artists they want to visit,” he said.

Arizona Tattoo Expo
When: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. today
Where: Mesa Convention Center, 201 N. Center St.
Admission: $20

 

FOR ART’S SAKE: Justin Sorrell of Sacramento, Calif., left, and Richard Morgan of Seattle, get tattoos Saturday by artists from Divinity Tattoo Shop in Flagstaff during the Valley of the Sun Tattoo Expo at the Mesa Convention Center.


 

 

 


Valley of the Sun Tattoo & Piercing Show
Body Artists Converge on Mesa

Judy Hedding – Phoenix.About.com

Each year tattoo artists from all over the Greater Phoenix area get together in one place, where tattoo lovers can peruse many artists' work all in one location--a one stop tattoo and piercing stop.
The show lasts for three days, and nearly every tattoo artist will be busy engraving their works of art into any blank area of skin that you have available. There are small, dainty, colorful tattoos, like hearts and flowers and small patterns. There are large, intricate tattoos, that cover an entire back or arm or leg. There are tribal tattoos, black and gray tattoos, and any other type you can imagine. There are several booths where you can get piercings, jewelry, clothing and supplies. About 70 vendors display their products and services at the show. Snacks and beverages are also available.
Half the fun of the Valley of the Sun Tattoo & Piercing Show is seeing the other people who come to visit the event.

Shirtless guys who want everyone to see their tattoos, people with kids, older folks (yeah, that was me! and a few others...), sexy women, bikers, and many people who weren't so sexy, but love tattoos just the same.


April 7-9: Tattoo Expo
Lars Jacoby
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 5, 2006 05:14 PM

If you hear a steady buzz or cries of pain this weekend in Mesa, don't worry, it's not the return of killer bees.
It probably means you are near the convention center where the sixth annual Valley of the Sun Tattoo Expo is taking place.

Once again the expo sets up shop at Mesa Convention Centerl, where more than 250 tattoo and piercing artists will set up shop from Friday to Sunday to decorate bodies and even take a few instructional classes, too.
This year, the convention is under new management, a change that organizers Sage O'Connell, owner of Urban Art in Mesa and Sean Dowdell, owner of one of the Club Tattoo locations in Tempe, this tattoo expo is at the top of industry events."Our goal is to bring a better show here; I think Phoenix deserves it," O'Connell said. "When it all started we really needed a show out here, because it really brings up the quality of work in the Valley."

Dowdell said he expects the show to draw more than 10,000 attendees in part because of the high level of artists that are coming to Mesa - both tattoo expo-goers, and those who will teach or attend classes.
O'Connell said the appeal of an event like this is it not only draws all the best local artists, but some of the top names from around the world, too.
"Having a show in town gives people a chance to get work done from someone they've followed for years," O'Connell said.
Dowdell added that show organizers have been very selective in who they've invited. "At some conventions it can be very swap-martish, and we don't want that . . . this show is so popular (with industry professionals) that we have a five year waiting list."

This year's convention also features more than 25 tattoo contests, airbrush tattoos for the kids- or the weak at heart, and even tattoo removal by Arizona Laser Skin Solutions, which is donating proceeds to breast cancer charities.

A series of seminars includes: body modification artist Steve Haworth of Phoenix, tattoo artist Lyle Tuttle of San Francisco and a class given by black and gray tattoo artists Bob Tyrell of Ontario, Canada, and Jack Rudy of Anaheim, both of whom O'Connell said are "legends" in the tattoo world.
"This is the first time these two have been brought together, this seminar has never been done before, and we've got people flying in from as far away as Germany just for it," O'Connell said.


 

College TimesTattoo Expo
by Lindsey Gay
April 06, 2006

If you are one of the few females left in the Valley without a tattoo on the small of your back, the Arizona Tattoo Expo can catch you up on trends. About 150 artists from such parlors as Divinity Tattoo in Tempe and Vintage Tattoo in Los Angeles will be decorating flesh at the expo. Body piercings and body augmentation will also be performed at this one-stop shop. You can get a barbell punched through your nose and barbed wire inked on your bicep in the same day.

Local artist Steve Haworth will present two seminars: “How to Increase your Success Rate on Surface-to-Surface Piercing” and “Genital Bead Insertion.” The seminars last 30 to 60 minutes and cost $75. While three live piercings will be demonstrated at the seminar on surface piercing, there is apparently a lack of volunteers willing to bare a genital bead.
Haworth, who has a background in designing medical equipment for plastic surgery, invented the surface-to-surface barbell in 1992. He was listed as the “Most Successful Three-Dimensional Body Artist” in the 1999 “Guinness Book of World Records.” Haworth has performed over 150 bead implants, and he travels throughout the country giving seminars. Pictures of his tattooed subjects can be viewed at www.stevehaworth.com.
Get a unique tattoo and you may attract the interest of a celebrity judge. A $250 cash award will be given each day to the best tattoo, and the best of the show will win $500. Contests will also be held for tattoos that fall in such categories as tribal, celtic, pinup and sexual. If you are a walking, talking tattoo you have a chance to place in the best overall coverage male or female competition.

For those of you enjoy masochism, but hate needles, take advantage of the erotic apparel sale. Live music will provide another great distraction.
Those 18-year-olds trying to piss off their parents are welcome to get tattoos, but the 16- and 17-year-olds are limited by Arizona law to piercings. Guests are encouraged to make an appointment ahead of time if they have a specific artist in mind.
Arizona Tattoo Expo, Marriott Mesa, 200 N. Centennial Way, Mesa, 480.664.2103. Friday, April 7 to April 9, Friday 3 p.m. to
11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., $15 for one-day pass, $30 for three-day pass.


 

Tattoo fans show true colors
By Kristina Davis, Tribune
April 17, 2005

Flames exploded from the back of Matt Smith’s head and wrapped around his neck. A pair of colorful Asian dragons circled Leah Sussman’s hips in a permanent belt.

They were just two of about 6,000 tattoo enthusiasts from around the country to show off their body art at the fifth annual Valley of the Sun Tattoo and Piercing Show in Mesa this weekend. "I came to look at all the art," said Sussman, 23, of Prescott. "It’s all a bunch of tattooed freaks!"

The crowd was a true mix of cultures and generations, from bikers in leather and punks with Mohawks to preppy college students and parents pushing strollers. An estimated 1,000 people got new tattoos or piercings from the 83 tattoo shops that set up booths at the convention.

Dozens of people at a time squirmed in their chairs as they lay for hours in contorted positions. Tattoo artists hunched over various body parts as they put ink to skin. Dave Ingle, 40, of Scottsdale sat for three hours while a Flagstaff tattoo artist created an evil head on his forearm. This was Ingle’s first convention and fourth tattoo. Carlos Ponce, 30, of Los Angeles County walked around shirtless to show off a mural of Mexican culture that wrapped around his torso. He pointed out black and gray portraits of Emiliano Zapata, Pancho Villa and La Patricia.

"It’s personal for everybody. You have to be proud of where you came from," Ponce said. Perhaps the quietest booth was the one featuring laser tattoo removal, but it still drew customers. One woman had the name of her exhusband removed. The show continues 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. today at Mesa Centennial Center, 201 N. Center St. Cost is $15.


 

Valley of the Sun Tattoo & Piercing Show
From Judy Hedding,

Body Artists Converge on Mesa
Each year tattoo artists from all over the Greater Phoenix area get together in one place, where tattoo lovers can peruse many artists' work all in one location--a one stop tattoo and piercing stop.

The show lasts for three days, and nearly every tattoo artist will be busy engraving their works of art into any blank area of skin that you have available. There are small, dainty, colorful tattoos, like hearts and flowers and small patterns. There are large, intricate tattoos, that cover an entire back or arm or leg. There are tribal tattoos, black and gray tattoos, and any other type you can imagine. There are several booths where you can get piercings, jewelry, clothing and supplies. About 70 vendors display their products and services at the show. Snacks and beverages are also available.

Half the fun of the Valley of the Sun Tattoo & Piercing Show is seeing the other people who come to visit the event. Shirtless guys who want everyone to see their tattoos, people with kids, older folks (yeah, that was me! and a few others...), sexy women, bikers, and many people who weren't so sexy, but love tattoos just the same.


 

GetOut Arizona's Premier Entertainment Guide
April 6, 2006
Expo features renowned tattoo, piercing artists
By KELLY WILSON
GET OUT

The sixth annual Arizona Tattoo Expo will feature more than 150 of the biggest names in the body art and piercing industry when it rolls into Mesa this weekend.

Jack Rudy and Bob Tyrell — two of the top five tattoo portrait artists in the world  — and renowned body piercer/body modification artist Steve Haworth are among the artists who will sell on-site tattooing and piercing. Pricing will range from $50 for something small to $1,000 for a full day's work.

Other expo attractions will include music from DJ Fashen and Chino, more than 20 tattoo contests and an art gallery featuring work by tattoo artists.

Sage O'Connell, who runs Mesa's Urban Art Tattoo, says the event, which initially started in a smaller Phoenix venue, has expanded over the years.

‘‘We're expecting at least 10,000 to 12,000 people this year, which is a lot larger than it was last year,'' O'Connell says. ‘‘The first year it only had 25 vendor booths with only about 1,500 people through the door. Last year we had approximately 80 vendor booths with close to 6,000 people through the door.''

TATTOO TRENDS

O'Connell, who is also a world renowned tattoo artist, says that he's noticed a couple of trends.

‘‘They're asking for a lot of lower back tattoos for women,'' he says. ‘‘The tribal thing is still very popular, as well as flowers. People are starting to want more stuff that fits the body better. They're really starting to listen to their tattoo artist a lot better. It used to be that people would come in and pick something off the wall and you'd just put that where they wanted.

‘‘They're doing more thinking now — ‘How does this fit my body and how does this work with me?' The difference between a good tattoo and a great tattoo is placement.''

O'Connell says portraits are really popular in his two East Valley shops, as well as custom work.

‘‘People are definitely more open about asking for specific things that they want,'' he says.

O'Connell warns first-time attendees to do their research before getting a tattoo.

‘‘Look at the tattoo artists' portfolios,'' he says. ‘‘Find somebody that is tattooing a similar style that they're interested in getting tattooed.''
And don't settle, Dowdell adds.

 


Arizona Tattoo & Piercing Show

From Judy Hedding,
Your Guide to Phoenix, AZ.
FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now!

Body Artists Converge on Mesa for the Arizona Tattoo Expo

Each year tattoo artists from all over the Greater Phoenix area get together in one place, where tattoo lovers can peruse many artists' work all in one location--a one stop tattoo and piercing stop. The event goes by several names--the Valley of the Sun Tattoo Show & Piercing Show, the Arizona Tattoo Expo, or the Arizona Tattoo Show. No matter what you call it, it's the premier event in Phoenix and Arizona for tattoo artists.

The show lasts for three days, and nearly every tattoo artist will be busy engraving their works of art into any blank area of skin that you have available. There are small, dainty, colorful tattoos, like hearts and flowers and small patterns. There are large, intricate tattoos, that cover an entire back or arm or leg. There are tribal tattoos, black and gray tattoos, and any other type you can imagine. There are several booths where you can get piercings, jewelry, clothing and supplies. More than 100 vendors display their products and services at the show. Snacks and beverages are also available.

Half the fun of this Arizona Tattoo Show is seeing the other people who come to visit the event. Shirtless guys who want everyone to see their tattoos, people with kids, older folks (yeah, that was me! and a few others...), sexy women, bikers, and many people who weren't so sexy, but love tattoos just the same.