Tattoo artist Merv Heiner draws up a woman’s face on Ben Marrapodi during the 2015 Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015. (Stephanie Maksin | South Jersey Times) A loud buzz could be heard throughout the Pennsylvania Convention Center during the weekend of Feb 13 to 15.
More than 800 tattoo artists from across the country and beyond set up shop in the venue for the 17th annual Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention .
From first-timers (like myself) to seasoned ink vets, thousands of visitors got new tattoos at this year’s event.
But even those who are covered from head to toe had to have started somewhere.
Here, six tattoo enthusiasts share memories of their first tattoo.
Grim Reaper – Britney Gorish of Easton, Pennsylvania, said her first tattoo was of the grim reaper. It was on her shoulder and she chose the design for a simple reason.
"I just love grim reapers," she said.
However, the reaper has since been covered by a black and gray rose which is part of a full back piece.
"I have so many now I can’t count them," she said, noting she got her first at age 18. Laugh now, cry later – Sean Quinlan, a tattoo artist who is also from Easton, said he got his first tattoo at 16."It’s the only thing my dad would let me get," he said, lifting the sleeve on his left arm and showing off the skull surrounded by a banner that reads, "Laugh now, cry later."Quinlan also said he has no idea how many he has now. Tribal – Nick Adams from Portland, Oregon said his first tattoo was a mistake."It’s a crappy tribal with a clover at the top of my spine," Adams said. "I thought it was cool at the time. Everyone else was getting tribal."That tattoo was inked onto his body while he laid on a kitchen table. Since then, he has logged more than 300 hours under […]