Tattoo artists descend on B-CS

Jami Fish is proud that she has nine tattoos. She has been to Ink Masters conventions all over the United States as well as internationally.

Along with her husband and son, the College Station resident was attending the sixth annual Bryan-College Station Ink Masters Tattoo Expo at the Brazos Center on Friday and had some advice for those interested in getting their first tattoo.

“If you want a tattoo, get a tattoo, have fun with it,” she said. “But be sure it is a permanent thing, make sure the tattoo means something, don’t just get a tattoo to get a tattoo.”

Her son, a freshman at Texas A&M University, was getting his third tattoo, and first “big piece” on his ribs.

This weekend, more than 110 artists will be displaying their ink skills at 55 booths throughout the U.S. Bryan’s Brazos centre will host the expo on Saturday and Sun from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Tickets are $20 per day and $35 for the weekend. Tickets can be bought at the door. All ages welcome. All ages are welcome. A valid photo ID is required for anyone who wants to get an emetic tattoo.

There are many options available for attendees to get live tattoos.

Skyler West, another attendee, was seen getting a large depiction of Tiger Stadium, the home football mecca of Texas A&M rival Louisiana State, on his right pectoral muscle.

“We planned it perfectly for the ink masters in Bryan-College Station, sorta as a screw you to A&M,” West said.

West and his artist, Brian Batchelor, both of Louisiana, planned the charade and spent an hour or so designing the tattoo which depicts Mike VII, LSU’s mascot, walking toward the viewer in front of a lit-up Tiger Stadium.

“My whole family is from Louisiana, so it felt fitting; Louisiana runs in my blood and I love it there,” West said.

West’s first tattoo was in honor of one of his friends releasing a song titled “You Can Find Me Somewhere in My Boots.”

“I came up with the idea of getting the song name tattooed and he [Austin Michael] West claimed that he could find the tattoo anywhere. “This was my first tattoo. It was seven months ago. This LSU one is my ninth tattoo.”

Batchelor, who owns Institutionalized_Tattoos on Instagram, chimed in as he was working on West’s art: “This will take about seven to eight hours to complete. I’m currently working on the large parts of the stadium, then once [the tattoo] heals, I’ll come back and work on the small details.”

Mateo Marroquin & Malia Barry, friends of Jordan Mobley offered perspectives on the stigma associated with tattoos.

“Whenever you have tattoos and artist expression you are breaking conformity, and many people don’t like it,” said Marroquin, who has 11 tattoos. Barry also mentioned that Barry was born Japan where tattoos were often associated with gang activity.

“I grew up in Japan, where tattoos were frowned upon, but I now have over 40 of them and I don’t regret any of them,” she said.

Marroquin added: “A specific tattoo is always going to be a reminder of where you were in that point of your life, and that person you were.”

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