Tattoo artists from around the world flooded into California as Pasadena welcomed back the Golden State Tattoo Expo at the Convention Centre, which took place on the 25th, 26th and 27th January 2019. The event was organized by Inked Magazine and hosted by two local tattoo celebrities: Carlos Torres and Nikko Hurtado. They welcomed hundreds of talented artists from around the world, as well as people passionate about getting inked and curious first-timers.

What the Expo had to offer

The Expo had a huge amount of famous and sought-after tattoo artists, many of whom were tattooing in the convention center, while others gave and participated in seminars or went to meet fans and network. Tattoo artists included Paul Booth, Stefano Alcantara, Big Sleeps, Ryan Ashley and Anthony Michaels, while MC Richie Bulldog announced seminars throughout the weekend.

Hurtado’s Black Anchor Academy offered a workshop/demo on painting for all levels of skill. There was also unique items available to buy, tattoo supplies, tattoo contests and giveaways. Plomo the Magician played each night, as well as a Freakshow and Burlesque show to entertain guests.

More about the hosts

Carlos Torres, from San Pedro, is a black-and-gray realistic tattoo master, as well as specializing in surrealism. He is often in such demand that it’s not uncommon for his waiting list to be at least two years, reflecting his talent.

Nikko Hurtado is based in Hesperia and has appeared on Ink Master and L.A Ink, alongside celebrity tattoo artist Kat Von D. He specializes in colored portraits and has tattooed people all around the world, as well as offering instructional seminars about color and technique.

A familiar face supporting tattoos

Mayim Bialik, who plays Amy Farrah-Fowler in The Big Bang Theory, could be found at the Hawk Cheyenne booth, a popular choice of tattoo guns by artists. While she only has two tattoos herself, she has openly supported professionals in the workplace with tattoos, so it’s no surprise she was at the Expo, supporting tattoos.

Helping a good cause

Tickets sold for $30 a day or $60 for a weekend. $1 from each ticket was donated to Camp Boggy Creek, a charity that was founded by Paul Newman. They are based in Florida and provide free, week-long vacations to children who are seriously ill, along with their families, with the goal of bringing joy to their lives. They are purely funded by donations, so the Expo has helped to make a huge difference over the weekend.

The Golden State Tattoo Expo is held annually and is set to continue to grow in popularity after he success is has been experiencing each year. The Expo has a welcoming atmosphere and is about art and networking, just as much as it is about tattoos. Seminars offered unique opportunities to get expert tips from some of the greatest tattoo artists, while shows, shopping, giveaways and entertainment offered something for everyone.