Tattoos span superficial
to sublime


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Chrissy Zehrbach
Tattoos span superficial
to sublime
Posted April 22, 2005
More than 60 booths of local artists offered tattoos, piercing and tattoo related products at the Inland Empire Tattoo Convention held at the Ontario Convention Center April 16 and 17. Upland resident Drew Cates chose the design of Hori Sen, a tattoo artist who came from Japan. Cates has been getting tattoos for 10 years, but plans to cover some of his older tattoos with Asian designs.
Mike Senyo
Staff Writer

Tattoos have been around for thousands of years, yet only now are a growing number of Americans getting interested in permanently alter their bodies.

“It’s a way of saying something without ever saying anything at all,” said Art Alvarez, who attended the Inland Empire Tattoo Convention last weekend.

The convention, held at the Ontario Convention Center, was put on by by Six Feet Under Tattoo Parlor and DMS Tattoo Supply Company. In addition to tattoo artists and plenty of tattooed attendees,

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it offered piercing opportunities and various jewels and and piercing supplies.

Contests with such categories as best sleeve,back-piece, color and neck tattoo were held during the two-day event.

“It’s another way of going against the status quo,” Alvarez said. “It makes me more of an individual because nobody has my tattoos. A lot of times my tats are just memories that I’ve figured out a way to represent.”

“My first tattoo was when I was 13,” Alex Perez said. “They have always been something I’ve admired and I’ve looked at it as a form of art. I just want some good tattoos for myself and for others to enjoy.”

“I regret the idea or the final product of some of my tattoos because a couple could be a lot better,” Perez said.

“I only regret one of my tattoos, the first one, it was a hasty decision and I paid $90 for it,” Alvarez said. “It’s more of a frustration than a regret because with $90 I just got half of my arm done.”

Tom Haubrick, a tattoo artist from Nice Guy Tattoo in Arcadia, attended the show as a spectator and provided insight on the importance of choosing an artist.

“Everyone should research and shouldn’t settle for the first artist you find,” Haubrick said. “The artist your friend goes to may not be the artist for you. Depending on what you want every artist has their strengths and weaknesses, make sure you look through his or her portfolio.”

It is also important for an artist to have a relationship with his or her client. In the tattoo business, build up of cliental is based on word of mouth. Having someone scar your body without being able to have a conversation with them could prove to be an awkward experience.

“After you develop a relationship with your artist he looks out for you,” Alvarez said. “There’s more honesty involved, he’s not just going to throw out an idea because he wants your money.”

Before getting a tattoo, many artists suggest that first timers ask themselves what their selected design means to them or why they would get an Arabic or Chinese design if they themseves are not of Arabic or Chinese decent.

It is just something to think about. Otherwise overzealous first timers might end up permanently dissatisfied.

Mike Senyo can be reached at msenyo@ulv.edu.