Impressed by the rising recognition of tattooing and the prospect to rub elbows with native “Ink Grasp” celeb Dave Kruseman, an estimated 1,200 individuals attended a weekend-long tattoo expo at Hager Corridor Convention & Occasion Middle.
The Mason-Dixon Tattoo Expo was the primary of its form in Hagerstown, organizers mentioned.
Tattoo conventions are held nationwide, providing individuals the prospect to get tattoos from artists from across the nation providing distinctive designs, organizers mentioned.
“Tattooing is in every single place now. It is undoubtedly a monster that is unstoppable,” mentioned Kruseman, a Hagerstown resident who made his mark on the artwork type final yr when he was topped the grasp through the finale of “Ink Grasp” on Spike.
Kruseman, of Olde Line Tattoo at Valley Mall, labored with different organizers, together with Beth Fairchild and her husband, Marc, of North Carolina to stage the expo.
For a $15 entrance price, people may get into the corridor, the place about 65 artists labored at 45 cubicles. There have been varied tattoo competitions every day, together with these for finest giant shade; finest giant black and grey; finest portrait; finest conventional; and finest new college.
These competitions had been for present tattoos. Then, there was a tattoo-of-the-day contest for physique artwork created every day of the expo.
There additionally had been different occasions, reminiscent of a problem by which individuals did odd issues for cash, like consuming a cricket.
The din of buzzing needles stuffed the air as individuals laid in varied positions to get an arm, leg, hand or another a part of their physique inked. Some texted or talked on their cellphones whereas artists labored.
Zachery Burger, 26, of Hagerstown bought his first tattoo on the expo Sunday. Burger mentioned he was impressed to get a tattoo due to the recognition of “Ink Grasp” and the truth that his fiancee likes tattoos.
Burger mentioned his tattoo is a black and grey picture of a lantern with ivy wrapped round it. He had the thought for the design, then gave it to a Greencastle, Pa., tattoo artist, who put collectively the ultimate design and utilized it to Burger.
Did it damage?
“Oh, yeah, I assume about as a lot as I assumed it could,” he mentioned.
The method includes a number of needles in numerous configurations that create a “managed abrasion,” Beth Fairchild mentioned. Then, ink is delivered into the pores and skin.
Black plastic was masking Burger’s tattoo. He mentioned he was informed to use Redemption, an after-care product, thrice a day for the following two weeks. Then, he’s to use a moisturizing cream of his selection as wanted.
Fairchild mentioned the expo helped increase the native economic system for the weekend and confirmed how tattooing has advanced from “seedy, back-alley outlets” to an artwork type that’s drawing curiosity.
Burger mentioned he thinks tattooing is rising in recognition as a result of individuals like artwork, though at occasions, it’s underappreciated.
“The place’s the most effective place to place artwork? Proper in your physique,” he mentioned.
Kruseman mentioned he’s from San Diego, however was tapped to begin Olde Line Tattoo. Now that the store is successful after 5 years, he mentioned he’s on the brink of transfer again to San Diego. He plans to separate his time between right here and San Diego as he pursues his artwork type.
Kruseman mentioned winners of “Ink Grasp” are usually not introduced again for brand new competitions, however he mentioned there are plans for him to be concerned in future endeavors.
“Thrilling stuff,” he mentioned, however he couldn’t elaborate.