Golden State Tattoo Expo and Where Global Ink Masters Unite

The Golden State Tattoo Expo has returned to the Pasadena Convention Center through Sunday, bringing together the best tattoo artists from around the globe to the West Coast. 

Presented by Inked Magazine and curated by the stellar duo of tattoo industry titans Nikko Hurtado and Carlos Torres, the expo celebrates the best the tattoo world offers.

Hurtado, known for his television appearances on shows like LA Ink and his star-studded clientele, including The Rock and Drake, is more than just a co-host. He is a participant, an artist eager to share his latest creations. His co-host, Carlos Torres, renowned for his monochrome masterpieces, also graces the stage, along with an array of global talents. Pony Lawson, Stefano Alcantara, and Jess Yen will be etching their stories on the skin, captivating the audience with each needle stroke.

This isn’t just a tattoo event. It’s a gathering of legends.

 “Every year, the best of the best descends on Pasadena to push the boundaries of artistic creativity in the tattoo industry,” observed Michael Ross, CEO of the Pasadena Center Operating Company.

As attendees explore the maze of stalls, they’ll encounter more than just tattoos. A market filled with art, fashion, body jewelry, and more awaits, promising an immersive experience.

But, of course, it’s the competitions that are the heart of the expo. Artists battle it out for accolades in categories ranging from “best sleeve” to “best coverup.” As the days unfold, new masterpieces are born, and the proud bearers of these works walk out, their bodies a canvas for the world’s best ink.

If you hope to be part of this artistic extravaganza, tickets remain available. Whether you’re looking to commit to a weekend of ink-filled adventures for $60 or a single day’s worth of artistry at $30, the Golden State Tattoo Expo promises a spectacle that shouldn’t be missed.

Special guests from around the world are expected to be in Pasadena to participate in the expo, including Pony Lawson, Stefano Alcantara, Michael Hussar, Jess Yen, Mumia, Tony Mancia, and Andres Cardozo (Shugar Kong). The event website has a complete list of the expected tattoo stars and personalities. 

The Golden State Tattoo Expo, opening at 4 p.m. on Friday, will feature programming and seminars from ink masters, live tattooing sessions, and a vendor market for art, body jewelry, tools, fashion, and more. 

Tattoo competitions and award announcements will be held daily with categories such as best sleeve, best of the day, and best coverup.

Tickets are $60 for the weekend or $30 for each day and can be purchased through

The Pasadena Convention Center is located at 300 E. Green Street. To prepare for your visit, go to

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