Monroe’s Inaugural Tattoo Extravaganza Weekend of Ink, Celebrities, and Horror


Inspired by a room full of talented ink artists at an Ohio convention, Monroe businessman Nate Thompson is set to host the city’s first-ever tattoo convention. Over 100 tattoo artists and vendors are anticipated to gather at the First Merchant’s Expo Center at the Monroe County Fairgrounds from November 10 to 12, promising a weekend filled with ink, celebrities, and the macabre.

The Lineup: More Than Just Tattoos

Attendees at Monroe’s tattoo convention can expect more than just tattoos. Celebrity autograph signings and appearances by original cast members from iconic films like “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street 4” will add a star-studded touch. Pro wrestling, suspension shows, and a haunted walkthrough attraction will elevate the experience, making it an immersive weekend for tattoo enthusiasts and horror fans.

Nate Thompson: From Filmmaker to Tattoo Connoisseur

Nate Thompson, a filmmaker and owner of the Michigan Museum of Horror in downtown Monroe, conceived the idea after being captivated by the talent at an Ohio convention. His vision was to bring renowned artists together to showcase their skills, creating an event beyond the traditional tattoo experience. One standout artist, Pope Francis, is journeying from Florida to be part of this unique gathering.

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Tattoo artist Jeremy Laura left, stands with Nate Thompson inside Laura’s tattoo shop. Laura tattooed the face of a wolf on Thompson’s right hand in October 2013. REESE BOWLING/THE MONROE NEWS

Ink Stories: A Personal Journey

Monroe resident Jeremy Laura, owner of Cold Steel Tattoos, stands among the skilled ink artists participating. With nearly two decades of tattoo artistry, Laura has left an indelible mark on his clients. Nate Thompson, a canvas adorned with over 30 tattoos, recounts his first tattoo experience at 16. Inspired by faith and family, his body tells a story reflecting personal beliefs and honoring loved ones, like the scripture on his chest dedicated to his uncles.

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In 2013, Jeremy Laura tattooed the face of a wolf on the back of Nate Thompson’s right hand. Laura will be one of the tattoo artists featured at Nate Thompson’s Michigan Tattoo Convention planned for Nov. 10-12 at the First Merchant’s Expo Center at the Monroe County Fairgrounds. PROVIDED BY JEREMY LAURA

The Evolving Canvas: Tattoo Trends and Popular Choices

Jeremy Laura sheds light on the evolving trends in the tattoo industry. He notes that the popularity of tattoos surged about a decade ago with the rise of shows like “Ink Master.” While he acknowledges the influence of trends, he emphasizes the timeless appeal of specific designs like butterflies and crosses. Laura reveals that women tend to get more tattoos than men, favoring areas like wrists, ankles, feet, and the back.

Monroe’s Tattoo Scene Takes Center Stage

For Jeremy Laura, Monroe’s tattoo event marks a first in his career. Having participated in art shows but never a convention, he eagerly anticipates the unique experience. Laura, who can replicate images or create custom designs, invites convention-goers to witness his craft, bringing a touch of Monroe’s local talent to a broader audience.

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Written in Zayden Murphy’s mother’s handwriting, 17 signifies growth and independence for the 19-year-old Monroe County resident. REESE BOWLING/THE MONROE NEWS

Nate Thompson’s Vision: A Spectacle for Monroe

Nate Thompson hopes the convention will be a spectacle, surpassing attendees’ expectations. He wants people to walk away by saying, “This is the craziest, coolest experience I’ve ever seen, and it’s right here in Monroe.” With celebrity appearances, diverse tattoo styles, and an immersive atmosphere, the first Monroe Tattoo Convention promises to be an unforgettable weekend for both seasoned tattoo enthusiasts and newcomers.

For more information about Jeremy Laura, visit Cold Steel Tattoos. Details about the Michigan Tattoo Convention and ticket information can be found here. Tickets are also available at the door.

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