Artists and attendees show off body art, share tattoo meanings before Tampa Tattoo Arts Convention

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The sixth annual Tampa Tattoo Convention is taking place at the Convention Center in downtown Tampa this weekend.

Over 400 tattoo artists from across the world will be in attendance, including artists from shows like “Ink Master.”

Ahead of the convention’s opening on Friday, various artists and attendees showed off their body art and explained what their tattoos mean to 8 On Your Side.

Glenn Morrison is a tattoo artist who specializes in geometric shapes. He explained his neck tattoo to us.

“Well the flower of life, if you actually take any living thing and zoom in as far as you possibly can, this image shows up. So that’s kinda, you know, it’s really sacred. It involves sacred geometry, it’s almost perfect,” he said.

Many folks we spoke to have tattoos in honor of family members.

Jake White has his daughter and son’s names tattooed on his face and neck, while Brandon Umphlet has one in honor of his grandma.

“She has that Precious Moment,” he explained.

Artist Veronica Day has numerous tattoos on her arms dedicated to her son.

“I have a little gingerbread man drinking a slushie for my son. I also have a senile mutant ninja turtle and then I’ve got some carousel creatures, and my son again. Apparently this is my kid’s arm,” she laughed.

Justin Coppolino, of “Tattoos After Dark” on the Oxygen network showed off his hand tattoos. He is inked with “BE ONE WITH GOD” on his hand, saying it’s useful for his everyday life, especially when he’s driving.

He also has his daughter’s name tattooed on two of his fingers.

Other folks we spoke with have tattoos of characters in pop culture. One man had a “Big Daddy,” a video game character, inked on his arm.

”My favorite tattoo I have is actually my tattoo of Princess Bubblegum,” another artist, known online as “Bubblegum Girl,” explained. “Obviously it just signifies my love of pink and love of the character Princess Bubblegum who kind of inspired my persona and my art and everything.”

Perhaps one of the most unique tattoo concepts we saw ahead of the convention was a tattoo artist named Justin’s sleeves.

“One sleeve is actually upside down. If you actually ever have a bad day and you want to close your eyes and escape somewhere, it could be the ocean, it could be the beach or the mountains, this is where I’d go just to a secluded beach with me, my girl watching the sunset,” he explained of his right arm.

His left arm is right-side up. He told us that artwork is “meant for everyone else.”

Tickets to the Tampa Tattoo Arts Convention can be purchased online or at the door for $20 for a day or $40 for a three-day pass. Children under 12 are admitted to the show for free.

The convention runs Friday until 12 a.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.


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