Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Got Ink?

The sound of a buzzing needle might cause some people to cringe with memories of dentist drills, but for others it has the meaning of something new and exciting — fresh ink.


Here is a list of do’s and don’ts you should remember before attending a tattoo convention or getting a tattoo:


DO a lot of research before attending a convention. Find the Web site, visit the links of the scheduled artists and make contact in advance. If you’ve decided on a design, “Bring as many references as you can find — the more the better,” says Pat Patterson of Lucky 7 Tattoos in West Palm Beach.


DON’T be impulsive in any kind of way. Really think about if you want the tattoo for the rest of your life. Use a convention as a time to look through portfolios and find an artist with a style and expertise that you like and feel comfortable with. Chloe Vanessa of Unholy Grail Tattoo and Art Studio in Worcester, MA says, “Even though I’m a tattoo artist and it doesn’t matter if I’m completely covered, I still think about the designs I want for six months to a year before deciding to get them.”


DO learn about bloodborne pathogens such as Hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS. Tattoo shops should be as clean as a doctor’s office. “There are some shops I wouldn’t get my hair cut in, and they’re tattooing,” says Gunnar of Art Junkies in Hesperia, CA.


DON’T just walk up to the first artist you see open at a convention. They may not have the same style as you, you might not get what you want, and sometimes it’s insulting to ask for something that’s opposite of what the artist is known for. “There is so much convention etiquette I wish people had. Like these people who just come up to you and they don’t even realize the potential of the artist they’re talking to, and they want a butterfly,” says Gunnar.


DO expect to spend a lot of money at a convention: even if you’re not getting a tattoo, there’s a lot of tempting merchandise. Every booth has a print or T-shirt on sale and there are entire tables of shiny, eye-catching body jewelry. Even the artists are charging more for tattoos and piercings in an attempt to make back the money they spent on their booth — as well as a bit of a profit for themselves.


To learn more about safe tattooing visit www.tattoos.com/safe.htm

DON’T get a boyfriend or girlfriend’s name tattooed on you. “It’s like a rule: if you get their name, you will be broken up in eight months,” warns JR of Hellcat Tattoo in West Palm Beach.

All over Florida, tattoo conventions are held to showcase talented artists around the state, nation and, at the Miami convention, the world.

The Miami Tattoo Expo on Jan. 9-11, held at the Miami Beach Convention Center, showcased over 300 artists from 115 different tattoo shops. Along with those artists came 38 vendors selling everything related to tattoos, 15 musical acts, six sideshow performances and over 20 custom bikes, cars and hotrods displayed in 132,990 square feet of Hall D at the convention center.

The Miami convention featured many talented tattoo artists from countries like Japan, Italy and the Netherlands, but most booths were from local locations. The shops at the expo closest to FAU’s Boca campus are Tattoo Room and Boca Tattoo Company.

Artist Norman Dominguez from Boca Tattoo Company says he’s done tattoos for some players on the men’s soccer team, a couple professors and has even done an FAU Owls logo tattoo.

“The guy that got the Owls logo said he had gone to an out-of-state game and just decided to get it … I guess they won,” says Norman.

At FAU, tattoos are becoming more common around campus, and if you’ve decided that you want to pop your tattoo cherry, the best way to become knowledgeable about what’s out there is to attend a tattoo convention. But there are misconceptions that ink virgins should know — advice from the pros is better than any advice from friends.

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