Taboo artform goes mainstream at Tampa Tattoo Convention

Josh Cascio reports

- The Tampa Tattoo Convention is taking over the convention center this weekend, bringing the best of living art on human canvasses.

"We've got one weekend of the best tattoo artists in the country from across the world tattooing you piercing you," said organizer Carl Blasphemy.

Artists like Big Gus, who stars on Spike TV's Tattoo Nightmares, works his magic to turn cringe-worthy tats into show-stoppers.

"I just see things... I have a good imagination to translate something already existing into a new form," Big Gus said.

He calls the convention a great place for tattoo newbies to get ideas and learn from the pros.

"You're actually seeing it live. It introduces people to a world they're not used to," he said.

Tattoos have gone thru a bit of a renaissance. Once taboo, they've gone mainstream. At least 40-percent of adults 26-40 have at least one.

"I think more than ever, it shows people that tattoo is an art form and it's not just some biker tattoo stuff," he said.

The convention runs through the weekend. For more information, visit www.villainarts.com.

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