Ink flows freely at tattoo convention

The Magnet Tribune: Addy Melgar
Reporter Addy Melgar and her mother Genny Melgar compare matching tattoos at the convention.

Addy Melgar, Staff Writer

The empty warehouse seemed to come to life as the tattoo artists would begin to set up. Even in the early morning everyone seemed hyped up as the people began to walk through the doors.

Tattoos have always been seen as a “bad” thing in the eyes of the community, but what people don’t realize is that under the tattoos there is still a person with morals and feelings.

Although tattoos have become less restricted and judged than they were before they are still looked down at and side-eyed by many people. Some people still enjoy the art of tattoos and don’t get down by negative comments.

There was a tattoo convention down at the “Laredo Fair” on a recent weekend. Tattoo artists from all over the state set up booths under the same roof. Many were open for people to walk in and get tattooed or pierced by professional artists for a reasonable price.

The tattoo artists would set up their equipment, and some would put up trophies and photos of past artwork so that clients would be more interested in getting tattooed or pierced by a person with a lot of recognition.

There were entertainment and food for everyone to enjoy as well as merchandise booths where vendors sold t-shirts and keychains as well as stickers and other mementos.

Food trucks sold tacos and some burgers. Inside of the fair, there were two booths selling Frito pie (single-serving bag of corn chips, with chili, taco meat, pork rinds, beans, and many other varied ingredients, poured over the top), hot dogs, candy, and ice cream.

Some alcohol beverages were being sold to older audience members with an ID. There were security guards patrolling the area to prevent any misunderstanding and/or problems.

During the second day, the staff put up a wrestling ring and wrestlers performed during the afternoon.

After the wrestling matches, by the end of the day, there was a tattoo contest with several categories for the different styles of tattoos; for example; most traditional, most contemporary, best portrait, best of day, best of show and finally, worst tattoo.