In Tampa Bay's tattoo mecca, Ybor City, skin is always in

In Tampa Bay’s tattoo mecca, Ybor City, skin is always in

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In Tampa Bay's tattoo mecca, Ybor City, skin is always in

Esben Lincoln Rey of Bloodline Tattoo works on Ann Marie Barlow’s arm sleeve. Ink master Tony “Doc Dog” Baker, 67, is the dean of Ybor City’s growing tattoo scene. Cliff Shepard of Old 7th Avenue Tattoo prepares his machine before starting on a client. Esben Lincoln Rey of Bloodline Tattoo works on Ann Marie Barlow’s arm sleeve. Ink master Tony “Doc Dog” Baker, 67, is the dean of Ybor City’s growing tattoo scene. Cliff Shepard of Old 7th Avenue Tattoo prepares his machine before starting on a client. Bloodline Tattoo Related News/Archive

Esben Lincoln Rey, 35, said it’s been years since Tampa had a major, national tattoo convention and he worked with organizer Villain Arts to change that. "The other convention relocated to Bradenton but kept the Tampa name," Rey said. "We think there is market for it here." Rey, who has been tattooing for 17 years, opened Bloodline one year ago, in the location of the first tattoo shop in Ybor City. His partner is Aaron "Is" Michalowski, who will be tattooing at the convention and currently is featured on Season 5 of Spike TV’s Ink Masters . Four artists take appointments and walk-ins and primarily focus on custom pieces. "It’s awkward enough wearing the same shirt as someone else. Imagine being at the beach and someone has the same tattoo, which you can’t take off," Rey said. 1411 E Seventh Ave. (813) 242-4666, facebook.com/bloodlineybor.

Ybor City Tattoo Collective

Skip Sampson’s Ybor City Tattoo Collective accounts for three of the nine shops on Seventh Avenue, a huge market foothold. Cliff Shepard, who has spent two of his nine years tattooing at Old 7th Avenue Tattoo, said that his shop does a lot of traditional tattoos, and lots of Sailor Jerry flash decorates the front windows. "There was a point where everyone was coming in with flash printed from the Internet so that now traditional flash is more rare," he said. Blue Devil, a long time […]