IF you think ink is just a passing phase, think again.
Tattoos are here to stay, according to the organiser of the Sunshine Coast's first tattoo convention.
Damien Wickham has put together the Ink Attack Tattoo Convention at the Events Centre, Caloundra, tomorrow and Sunday, October 31 and November 1.
Mr Wickham, of the Ink Attack tattoo studio at Bokarina, said the popularity of tattoos was unlikely to fade.
"Tattoos will never die. There's trends that are always changing," he said.
"For example, in the 1990s, people were doing black Celtic tribal work. Over the last five or 10 years, people have been looking towards portraits," he said.
Mr Wickham put the popularity of tattoos down to advances in equipment which allowed artists to widen and improve their scope of work beyond the old sailor tattoos.
He organised this weekend's convention to allow artists to showcase their work on the Coast and to add to the Coast's sometimes quiet social scene.
Thirty-two tattoo artists from around Australia and overseas will show and demonstrate their art at the convention, which also includes Harley Davidson and car displays and a show and shine.
The convention will be MC-ed by Crayz the Ink Pimp, a California tattoo shop owner and regular at conventions around the world.
Crayz said tattoos were no longer just the domain of rebels like he was once.
"Bikies and sailors were the only people who went to tattoo shops," he said.
"Now there's doctors and lawyers. Everybody's getting tattoos, but what they get usually has something to do with their life," he said.
Crayz, 56, who got his first tattoo, a crudely drawn cross near one of his knuckles, when he was 10, said tattoos were addictive.
"They're like potato chips. Once you have one, you can't stop," he said.
Apprentice tattoo artist Chris Adams said tattoos were not just a way of decorating your body.
"Wearing something that's good is kind of like being a walking gallery," he said.
"It's showing off the artist's quality as well as the time and research the person has put into it," he said.
Artists will be tattooing at this weekend's convention and there will be a tattoo competition.
The convention will be open from 10am to 9pm daily.
Admission is $25 for a day pass or $45 two day pass. Children under 12 are free.
1. Be open-minded
2. Research your artist
3. Come prepared with ideas and references
4. Make sure you can cope with the pain
5. Be prepared to travel
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