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The Journal Gazette

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Sean Price, of Cleveland, Ohio, tattoos a snail house on the calf of Shannon Parcell at Sunday's Devil's Hollow Tattoo and Art Festival at the Grand Wayne Center.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Raven Dickens, of Indianapolis, gets inked by Adrian Lazo, from Pharr, Texas. Dickens, who has over 20 tattoos, said she has been wanting a tattoo by Lazo for a while.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Raven Dickens, of Indianapolis, gets inked by Adrian Lazo, from Pharr, Texas. Dickens, who has over 20 tattoos, said she has been wanting a tattoo by Lazo for a while.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Sean Price, of Cleveland, Ohio, tattoos a snail house on the calf of Shannon Parcell at Sunday's Devil's Hollow Tattoo and Art Festival at the Grand Wayne Center.

Sunday, May 21, 2017 7:40 pm

Artists, followers flock to tattoo event

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Although Shannon Parcell lives in Ohio and works at a tattoo studio in Michigan, it took a Fort Wayne event for her to finally get a tattoo that had been in the works since February.

Like many others at the Grand Wayne Center Sunday, she lay on a table during the Devil's Hollow Tattoo and Art Festival, adding ink to her already colorful body.

The three-day event, now in its third year, not only showcases local artists but also offers attendees the chance to get tattooed by talented artists from faraway places, organizer Nathan Mertz said, noting one came from New Zealand.

"For some reason, all these tattooers come here," said Krist Karloff of Evil Genius Tattoo Club in Lafayette.

The attraction - which is billed as a celebration of tattoos, tattoo artists and the tattooed - has grown since its inaugural year, from nearly 70 booths to about 105, Mertz said. It featured live entertainment, seminars and tattoo contests in various categories, including best realism, best cover up, best full sleeve and best portrait.

"It's the funnest weekend of my year," Mertz said.

Joey Tattoo, host of Spike TV’s "Tattoo Rescue," served as emcee. He enjoys meeting people during his travels to tattoo conventions worldwide, he said over music blaring from a nearby speaker.

While some tattoo artists welcomed walk-ups Sunday, several others had placed signs on their booths indicating they were booked for the day.

Karloff, who spent hours tattooing Saturday and taught a seminar Friday, finished a watercolor tattoo of a bee on a woman's arm mid-afternoon Sunday. The fresh ink accompanied a flower tattoo he previously did.

Across the room, Sean Price of Cleveland worked on Parcell's tattoo, adding color to the outline etched on her calf. The piece was about 40 percent complete, he said.

"I do everything in sections," he said of his process.

The pair had been planning the custom tattoo since a February convention in Philadelphia, but Parcell had wanted a tattoo by Price for three years, she said between bites of Pringles.

Getting a tattoo wasn't Parcell's only motivation for attending the event. She said the Ann Arbor, Michigan, shop she works at also had a booth.

"It's a good opportunity to get your name out there," she said, and to "show people what you do."

asloboda@jg.net