Studio shows its colours

ELISIA SEEBERSound Telegraph

Rockingham tattoo studio Sinister Ink has had a stellar weekend at the Perth Australian Tattoo and Body Art Expo, with one of its artists bringing home an award.

Tattoo artists Filipe “Flip” Veiga Martinho, Jackson May and Khail Aitken said they headed to the two-day expo at the Perth Convention Centre for the opportunity to display their work, gain exposure and view the talent of other artists.

Among hundreds of artists, Mr May, a tattooist for five years, came home with the Best Large Colour Award for one of his pieces.

Mr Martinho, who has worked in the industry for seven years, said the expo showed how much the tattoo industry had grown during the past five years.

“It seems to have had the boost that it needed,” he said.

“People are just experimenting with new things and venturing out of their realms, they are doing beyond what they used to do... it is not just tribal and Japanese pieces, there are more portraits, realism, colours, cartoons.

“Whatever you want to get, you can get now — you are not limited to picking a design off the wall.”

Mr Aitken, who has been tattooing for two years, said that for him the expo was more about the experience and learning from others.

“Seeing all the good artists, it is crazy,” he said.

“It is great to watch artists work and learn from their techniques.

“It is also good to have an understanding of who you are competing with.”

Mr Martinho said he liked to promote tattoos as no longer being “tough stickers” but rather an expression of self.

“It is an extension of who you are,” he said.

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