Photo by Shane Harms
Sleeves and tatted body parts are sure to catch a few admiring eyes at the Seattle Tattoo Expo.

Tattoo Expo attracts inked expressionists from Ballard

Ink-addicts are sure to swoon at an opportunity to show off and celebrate their permanent peregrinations of expression at the Seattle Tattoo Expo.

The expo is set to celebrate its 13th annual event August 15 to 17 at the Fisher Pavilion at the Seattle Center.

“This signature Seattle event is a colorful, loud, fun way to spend one of our beautiful Northwest weekends,” says Gloria Connors, Founder and Producer of the Seattle Tattoo Expo. “We love seeing both the familiar and new faces each year, and can’t wait for another one.”

Ballard’s Slave to the Needle and Rabid Hands will have a few of their artists showing off their skills while tattooing clients.

The event will feature art contests, music and burlesque entertainment. The main attraction is artists showing off their skills. The expo attracts artists from all over the world. Some of this year’s artists include Damon Conklin of Super Genius Tattoo (Seattle, WA); Shawn Barber of Memoir Tattoo (Los Angeles, CA); Big Gus of Big Gus Ink (Hesperia, CA); and Jeff Gogue of Off the Map Tattoo – Northwest (Grants Pass, OR).

Each day of the expo hosts a contest where participants on the main stage showoff their ink work for judges. Categories being judged are portrait; large color and large black and grey, best cover up, best religious depiction and best pin up. In addition, judges will declare the tattoo of the day. There is an entry fee of $10 and anyone one can show off their stuff as long as they are “inked.”

In addition, burlesque performers will be entertaining all through the event. Performers include Randi Rascal, Iva Handfull, Toya De Luna (of the Atomic Bombshells), Inga Ingenue (2011 Miss Viva Las Vegas), Lady Drew Blood and J. Von Stratton.

The expo celebrates artistic and self-expression through ink. Ballard artists and tattoo enthusiasts are among the many Seattleites sure to find a little more ink at the expo. Ballardite, Erin K., shared what her tattoos mean to her.

“For me, each of my tattoos represents something about who I am or something I was experiencing at the time. I'd be lying if I said I still love them all, but I do have a sentimental attachment to them,” said Erin.

Erin has three tattoos and plans for more as the inspiration finds her, perhaps it will at the expo.

“ I have one that represents my first love, one that represents my family and my heritage, and one that reminds me of my tendency to be impulsive and stupid. I plan on slowly accumulating more throughout my life whenever the inspiration hits me."

Erin said that tattoos have become less taboo and well established in professional and fringe populations, especially in Seattle.

“Growing up in Seattle, getting tattooed is a cultural norm, it's all about finding something that makes you feel good and doing it for your own reasons.”

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