DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Tattoo Arts Convention came to Cleveland this weekend, bringing with it ink masters and enthusiasts from across the country. Organizers estimate the convention brought 6,000 people downtown for the event.
"That's what tattooing is all about, being as much of yourself as you can be," said the Enigma, a sideshow performer.
Johnathan Fisher drove an hour from the Middlefield area to get a tattoo from Joshua Greener, a highly sought after artist who works in Florida. Fisher said he'd been waiting all year to get it done by Greener.
"It's just nice to find a place where two to four hundred artists and just make awareness to tattoos for other people," said Greener.
Troy Temple is the organizer for the convention.
"Cleveland has a lot of really good tattoo artists and the Ohio area has a lot of phenomenal tattoo artists and tattoo culture and we thought this would be a great place for us to add a show," said Temple.
Event host Dr. Carl Blasphemy said the event taking place at the convention center is significant for tattoo lovers who say there's still a stigma attached.
"At first there was such a stigma about tattooing -- there was only the bikers and the bad guys in the movies. Now thanks to TV being in the living room and promoters like Troy Temple, we're able to come into convention centers that were only for car shows and different types of shows," said Blasphemy.
Alecia Waddell lives in Akron and she says she's happy to see an event like this close to home.
"Wake up in the morning and go to the convention and not worry about flights and packing," said Waddell.
With this year's success, organizers say they're already planning for next year.
According to Destination Cleveland, Huntington Convention Center will bring in 25,000 visitors during the first three months of the year, which will trigger an economic impact of $20 million.