Behind the tattoo gun — Niagara Tatoo Expo coming up

Behind the tattoo gun — Niagara Tatoo Expo coming up

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Behind the tattoo gun — Niagara Tatoo Expo coming up

Tattoos can be a touchy subject. Of course, people have heard they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; still, people continue to report being denied jobs and being judged harshly for proudly displaying their ink. 

The good news, for them, is that tattoos seem to have become less taboo in recent times, with TV shows, magazines and festival-style tattoo shows becoming more prominent. A Harris Interactive poll in 2012 found that one in five U.S. adults had at least one tattoo. It seems it’s becoming harder to avoid the idea that all types of people get tattoos and that, many times, they are more lovers of art than lovers of rebellion. 

The fourth annual Niagara Tattoo Expo will be held Friday through Aug. 3 at the Conference Center Niagara Falls, 101 Old Falls St. The event is a general art show, with music, traditional artists and vendors as well as tattoo artists coming together to celebrate their creations. 

“The attitude is changing,” said Tonya Royce, who helps to organize the event with her husband Gavin Royce, owner of Tonawanda’s Imperial Art Studio. “This is the fourth year and people are starting to get more comfortable with the idea and they’re more accepting. More people are willing to put fliers up when they learn we do try to help the community and we do what we can to give back.”

Imperial Art Studio offers discounted tattoos in exchange for donations to help people during different holidays. For example, they do “Tats 4 Turkeys” during the Thanksgiving season. That’s a pretty great idea; brilliant, really. Good tattoos are expensive, and artists work hard on their art, so coming by discounts isn’t too common. Plus I’d say charity goes against the stereotype, wouldn’t you? 

My go-to artist, who has done all but one of my eight tattoos, is Noelle LaMonica of Buffalo’s Devine Machine Tattoo, who will also be present at the expo. I have only good things to say about that business; it’s clean, professional […]