Philly Tattoo Arts Convention: Senior ink, giant gauges and tight security

Tat

The 17th annual Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention started yesterday and is being held through the weekend at the Convention Center. Along with the gnarliest of ink gracing practically everything with a face, nearly 900 tattoo artists from around the country will be piling in to show off their skills. Human suspension artist —we regrettably couldn’t make it to this feat, risqué burlesque performances and personalities from all those TLC tattoo shows are on the agenda as well.

Billy Penn visited the convention to see some of the most intricate ink, the wackiest trends and all the down right weirdness that came along with it.

The security
security

The convention center doesn’t mess around. Before guests can even get into the main area, 10 lines of angry, yellow-jacketed humans wand, search and ask people to empty their bags. Sigh, so long water bottle.

The tats
Tat

Literally every possible thing you can think of was tatted onto people. Let’s just say some of them should’ve been considered twice. Full sleeve Hello Kitty? Really?

The seniors
senior

They were everywhere! Either behind stands talking with visitors or even getting some fresh ink themselves. Age don’t mean a thing.

The merchandise
merchandise

If tats aren’t your thing, there are plenty of jewelry, T-shirt and photography booths to keep you busy. Skulls also seem to be a big seller at booths this year.

The beanies
beanies

If aren’t wearing beanies, they’re either not wearing hats at all or trying to one-up them with fedoras.

The outfits
outfits

From classy, retro dresses to flashy, neon get-ups, the convention’s overall fashion sense would be best described as a bit confused.

The beverages
beverages

It’s regrettably not an open bar, but a bar nonetheless. And let’s just say more than a handful of booths were starting the convention’s first day off with a drink or two.

The hair
Hair

Mohawks, Betty Paige hairlines, spikes, neons, dreads, skunk cuts…the list goes on and on.

The gauges
gauges

If some of them were any bigger, people would be looking a bit like Princess Leia.

Mornings are for coffee and local news

Billy Penn’s free morning newsletter gives you a daily roundup of the top Philly stories you need to start your day.

You finished another Billy Penn article — keep it up!

We hope you found it useful, fun, or maybe even both. If you want more stories like this, will you join us as a member today?

Nice to see you (instead of a paywall)

Billy Penn’s mission is to provide free, quality information to Philadelphians through our articles and daily newsletter. If you believe local journalism is key to a healthy community, join us!

Your donation brought this story to life

Billy Penn only exists because of supporters like you. If you find our work valuable, consider making a sustaining donation today.

Being informed looks good on you

Thanks for reading another article, made possible by members like you. Want to share BP with a friend?