'People aren't afraid to have tattoos' anymore. Cincinnatians flock to Tattoo Festival to see the latest ink
Thousands are expected to see some of the world's best tattoo artists at the Duke Energy Center.
Tattoo artists have come from as far away as Italy and Poland to design, ink, and show off their work for this weekend’s Cincinnati Tattoo Arts Convention.
Organizer and promoter Troy Timpel, who bills himself as a “punk rock skateboard kid who got his first tattoo when he turned 18,” says tattooing has just exploded in popularity in the last decade. He says one in three Americans has one.
As Timpel shows WVXU around at the Duke Energy Convention Center, he explains tattoos are as personal as people themselves, “to remember places, people and things or just a really rad cool skull!”
“One of the newer tattoo styles would be sacred geometry, dot work, black work. There are a lot of artists,” he explains, “that are looking at different textures to really make fantastic artwork.”
Four hundred of the world’s best tattoo artists are in Cincinnati for the show which runs until 11 p.m. Friday, 11-11 Saturday and 11-8 Saturday. Special celebrities in attendance include Kyle Dunbar of Ink Master fame and his wife Candy. She does permanent make-up and is passionate about helping cancer and burn patients. “Usually, their reaction almost always is crying. It really changes their life.”
Middletown’s Nicki Tate is glad more people are embracing tattooing. She’s been inking for 15 years at her business, Lunar Studio.
“It was popular (tattoos), but not really mainstream. So now we have people who are professionals and can publicly show their work. It kind of changed the whole game,” she says. “People aren’t afraid to have tattoos, it’s awesome.”