Get inked at the All-American Tattoo Festival

Looking for a little push to get a tattoo? Now’s the time to work up your courage, because tattoo artists from all over the world will be inking it up at Sacramento’s All-American Tattoo Festival at the Sacramento Convention Center this weekend.

Hosted by Forever Tattoo and held in the Sacramento Convention Center, the festival celebrates tattoos and the people who love them. Forever Tattoo’s Eiland Hogan said his gang of artists have been to tattoo festivals all over the world, including London, Asia and Greece. The crew decided they wanted something in Sacramento that would operate on an international scale.

“A lot of tattoo conventions are going on in California, but none of them are on an international scale,” Hogan said. “We provide a place where you can come and get a world-renowned tattoo.”

While the festival attracts many tattoo artists from all over California, it also draws artists from Nevada, New York, Hawaii, Florida, and Texas. The festival’s international artists this year hail from Spain, Germany and New Zealand.

“It’s a world scale of what can be done with tattoos,” Hogan said.

Over 100 artists will be on hand to lend their own unique style to human canvases who are looking for something a little different. Hogan hopes to have an attendance of at least 6,000 for this year’s festival, coincidentally held on the weekend of Father’s day.

The event will also feature a tattoo contests, including Best Leg, Best Sleeve,Best Color, and Best Back tattoos. Some competitions, like the Best Large tattoo, will be divided into men’s and women’s categories. Each day will end with the best tattoo of the day. Tattoo artists will also showcase some of their own tattoo inspired artwork with over 100 paintings and drawings. This year’s live show features the daredevil duo of Tyler Fyre and Thrill Kill Jill, providing a daring Coney Island-style sideshow attraction, complete with sword-swallowing, escape artistry, glass-eating and flame-spitting.

Legacy Tattoo’s Sean Jackson started with the festival five or six years ago as a part of the tattoo artist community in the Sacramento area.

“The festival is a great event, an absolute positive outlet for a lot of the better tattooers in Sacramento, the States and overseas,” Jackson said. “It’s a very positive thing, especially for bringing business into Sacramento.”

Jackson has been tattooing for over 11 years now and enjoys the creative outlet it provides.

“I never know what I’m going to draw until the last second," he said. "I usually pull a really cool rabbit out of my hat. It’s like bringing art to life.”

The All-American Tattoo Festival opens Friday from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m and will continue on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., where the celebrations will close with the Best of Show tattoo competition. Fyre will perform his thrill show all three nights.

Tickets will be available all weekend at the Convention Center box office. Prices are $20 per day or $40 for the entire weekend, including admission to the after-hours party. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult and are given free admission.

For more information, including a full schedule of events, please visit the festival website.


1 & 2: Outside Forever Tattoo
3: Artist Chris Danley works on a tattoo
4: A tattoo enthusiast shows off his full back tattoo
5: Brent Patton works on a design
6 & 7: Tattoo art by Jackson
8: Traditional skull with candle by Branden McAfee
9: Praying hands by Mark Matthews


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June 19, 2010 | 1:39 PM

Courage you say. Positive? Let’s view a not so positive side of “ink”. As a fellow creative artist, I understand and respect the artistry of tattoos. Adults age 18 and older can pursue tattoos as they wish. With that being said, look around at the underage teenagers that have numerous tattoos on various parts of their bodies. They appear to be done professionally . I believe the California law states – even with parental consent, it is illegal to place tattoos on anyone under 18. So where are children getting them and aren’t they too young to make those permanent decisions? Right now I am supporting a 19 year old member of my family with painfully removing his tattoos. He now realizes the decisions made at 16 are not the same decisions he would have made at 19. The cost to remove two of his tattoos could be as high as $6,000, depending on how many times the painful laser will be required to completely remove the ink. His realization came to fruition when he found out tattoos were taboo in the job market and how quickly people misjudged him. I disagree with you allowing underage teenagers age 13 to 17 to view this event without an adult in hopes to capture more business. And I am in total disagreement that children of any age be allowed to view this at all but especially to view it as a positive event.

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