By Catherine Trudell
The buzz of tattoo machines fills the air of a conference room at the Hynes Convention Center on Sunday, as ink enthusiasts pile in for the final day of the 2017 Boston Tattoo Convention.
“My friend and I were just hanging out and decided we’d go and get a couple jammers,” said Taylor Dunleavy, while tattoo artist Nicholas Lee inked a moth onto her forearm. “I never would have gotten a tattoo from a San Francisco artist if I didn’t come here today.”
Organizers estimated that about 8,000 people attended the 16th annual Boston Tattoo Convention in Back Bay over the 3-day weekend. The best artists in the area and across America were busy as customers filed in to get their first, or maybe their fiftieth tattoo.
“Everyone’s got a story, everyone’s got a reason about why their getting tattooed,” said Daniel Johnston of Collective Arts Brewing. “The tattoo culture is an art that’s been around for thousands of years, and they drive what we find as the creative culture in every city we go to.”
There was excitement in the air and it felt like one big party as people mingled, drank beer, watched the burlesque performances, and added some permanent artwork to their skin. And if the buzzing of tattoo guns wasn’t loud enough, the music was.
“This is one huge family,” said Emanuel Gil, sitting down with his leg propped up, letting his new wolf tattoo dry. “There’s no judging here. You can look however you want and be whoever you want to be.”