Palm Springs tattoo convention brings artists together

Palm Springs tattoo convention brings artists together

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Palm Springs tattoo convention brings artists together

Artist Steven Belli, who is known by the artist name of Big Belli, inks a tattoo at TG Tattoo in Cathedral City. The shop’s co-owner, Sean Wood, is organizing the Palm Springs Tattoo Convention to be held July 12-13 at the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs. (Photo: Crystal Chatham/The Desert Sun )

Sean Wood of Palm Desert is covered in tattoos. The Statue of Liberty is on the back of his scalp, near portraits of his daughter and late father. There’s a tattoo to signify when he quit drinking and one that’s the symbol from his wedding. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin are on the backs of his hands. His arms and fingers are covered in black ink and a small palm tree is under left eye.

He may be inked up, he said, but he’s not a bad guy.

"We’re not all hoodlums," said Wood, co-owner of TG Tattoo in Cathedral City. "There’s been a generational shift… Many people are starting to see tattoos as an art form instead of just for the outlaws and the misfits."

In an attempt to break down barriers between the inked and un-inked, Wood is launching the Palm Trees and Tattoos Convention at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, a two-day, retreat-style gathering bringing together some of the hottest names in the industry. . The convention begins on Friday with a kick-off party at the hotel.

Partnered with Sullen Art Collective, the event is all about celebrating ink. The convention will have more than a dozen artists who will be accepting tattoo appointments and doing their work live. There will also be contests, live music, booths and representatives from Sullen — a heavy-hitter in the clothing and tattoo business that has created a brand with artists who embrace the tattooed lifestyle, from merchandise to video.

Featured tattoo artists include Yucca Valley-based Rich Pineda, script artist Tattoo Huero and international-award-winning artist Roman Abrego.

"The community on the whole is incredibly supportive of new audiences, […]