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Bond over body ink at AZ Tattoo Expo in Mesa
Article by: Slingerville Staff
May 02, 2013

Bond over body ink at AZ Tattoo Expo in Mesa

This weekend marks the 13th annual AZ Tattoo Expo and will be held at the Mesa Convention Center.

Back in the day, people viewed tattoos as an act of rebellion, but times have changed and tattooing is more of an art and an individualistic style.

The assistant coordinator of the event, known in the local body art community as “Gonzo,” told the East Valley Tribune that since the tattoo lifestyle has grown over the years, more and more people are attending the event.

“At first having a tattoo was a big no-no, but now almost everyone has them,” Gonzo said.

Gonzo said that people are attracted to tattoos simply because their artists are able to design perfect and unique art in creative styles.

Local tattoo shop owner and founder of the AZ Tattoo Expo, Sage O’Connell, started the event for people to be able to come and share their interests for the tattoo lifestyle. People can hang out to talk about their passion and see how artists create tattoos.

This weekend, over 150 “world famous” tattoo artists and body piercers will be in attendance.  According to, the tattooists that will be at the expo were hand selected by the organizers because they are professionals and the best.

Celebrity artists that will attend include “Big Gus” from Spike TV’s "Tattoo Nightmares" and Tommy Montoya from TLC’s "NY Ink"; both will be tattooing as well as signing autographs.

One of the East Valley’s finest artists, Justin Hartman of Urban Art Tattoo Studio, is also scheduled to showcase [his] craft.

Hartman reported that one of his favorite parts of the expo is the opportunity to meet other artists and seeing different talent and styles. Hartman said his interaction with other artists over the years has influenced his work and has helped him improve his skills.

“There’s a lot of good talent at the expo and a lot of great stuff to do for everyone,” Hartman said.

According to, the event will feature contests, seminars, food and beverages, tattooing, henna art, apparel, jewelry and laser tattoo removal. Some of the contests include best black and gray, traditional and Aztec-style art.

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Posted By: SunnysCaper78 | 5/03/13 4:59 PM
I'll be there In all my INK glory. Booth 103
Posted By: inkkednproud | 5/04/13 12:10 AM
Im so excited! Im going to this!!!
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