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


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

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

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

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

The 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

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

The 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

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

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

The gauges

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

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