Sacramento, California tattoo convention draws thousands to downtown

Ink was flowing at the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center.

Customers flooded the massive open venue downtown Saturday for the inaugural Capitol City Classic Tattoo Convention. The hum of electric tattoo machines echoed across the polished concrete floor as artists pierced skin and injected designs into hundreds of attendees throughout the weekend.

The three-day convention began Friday afternoon and continues Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.

Tamie Stephens, co-ordinator of the convention, said around 22,000 people attended, although not everyone would get tattooed by one of the more than 200 artists who took part in the event.

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Rafel Delalande, with Seven Doors Tattoo of London, contemplates a tattoo on Shy Sniders on day one of the Capitol City Classic Tattoo Conventions, Friday, May 6, 2022, at the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Sacramento. Xavier Mascarenas [email protected]

Cheyenne Badgerow had traveled from Antioch to attend with Emily Rowe from Sacramento. Badgerow, 31, said she has “well over 20” tattoos, many of them Disney-related. She walked in with Rowe, 26, shortly after the convention opened at noon on Saturday and immediately spotted a design she liked by Mina Aoki. Within hours, a new tattoo of roses and an eye adorned her right arm.

Speaking as she received a large tattoo of a woman’s face and butterfly wings on her left thigh, Rowe said she came in shorts in anticipation of having a woman on her leg. The artist she chose, Nate Daskalos of Forever Tattoo on K Street, said he had been to several conventions and was perfectly happy to talk as he finalized the artwork on Rowe’s leg .

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Emily Rowe of Sacramento gets a tattoo on her leg by Sacramento tattoo artist Nate Daskalos of Forever Tattoo at the inaugural Capitol City Classic Tattoo Convention on Saturday, May 7, 2022, at the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center in Sacramento, CA. Ariane Lange [email protected]

“I’m in the zone,” he said.

The cousins ​​first bought Sunday tickets, but had to swap them for Saturday tickets because both had plans for Mother’s Day. Badgerow said her mother wasn’t thrilled with the tattoos, but “I’ve had enough now, she’s done with it,” she said.

For this new one, she said with a laugh, “She will definitely give me a hard time.”

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Rafel Delalande, centre, with London’s Seven Doors Tattoo, works on an extensive tattoo on the back of Shy Sniders as her boyfriend, Nick Reilly, both from Los Angeles, sits right during the first day of the Conventions of Capitol City Classics Tattoo on Friday, May 6. 2022, in downtown Sacramento. Convention CEO Britton McFetridge, a Sacramento native and owner of the Royal Peacock tattoo parlour, said more than 200 tattoo artists have been selected from around the world to attend the inaugural three-day event, which will include tattoos live, seminars and industry vendors at SAFE. Credit Union Convention Center. Xavier Mascarenas xm[email protected]

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Tattoo artist Bang Ganji, with Capital Tattoo of Melbourne, Australia, views and draws a tattoo on Duy Do, of San Jose, at the Capitol City Classic Tattoo Conventions day one Friday, May 6, 2022, in downtown Sacramento. Convention CEO Britton McFetridge, a Sacramento native and owner of the Royal Peacock tattoo parlour, said more than 200 tattoo artists have been selected from around the world to attend the inaugural three-day event, which will include tattoos live, seminars and industry vendors at SAFE. Credit Union Convention Center. Xavier Mascarenas [email protected]

This story was originally published May 7, 2022 6:33 p.m.

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Ariane Lange previously worked at BuzzFeed News for six years. She has covered gender-based violence and produced groundbreaking coverage of the porn and animation industries and discrimination against female directors. She has also worked as a freelance health reporter for USC’s Center for Health Reporting.

David H. Henry