Toughing it out during tattoo convention
IF you take a walk through the Ink Attack Tattoo Convention at Aussie World over the weekend, spare a thought for Summer McInerney.
Summer will spend most of the three-day festival flat on her back and in a bit of pain, all in the name of art.
Auckland-based tattoo artist Coen Mitchell is tattooing a mandala on her chest in a three-day project to be completed by the end of the festival.
The tattoo is not the first for 22-year-old Summer, a Brisbane cafe manager, but she was certainly feeling it after the first 90 minutes this afternoon.
"I've had better times," she said before a much-needed toilet break.
Summer and Coen have become a team since he tattooed her last year and she now flies back to New Zealand or meets him at conventions if she wants more.
"I never expected to keep going back, but I like his stuff so much. It's like, 'I trust you'," she said.
The mandala was his suggestion - "There's not many females with a full chest tattoo" - and she was happy to go along with it.
"We're great mates. He knows what to expect of me and I know what to expect of him," she said.
The mandala will be as gruelling for Coen as for Summer.
"I'll be honest, I'm doing it hard because I have to be up and leaning over, so I'll have a sore back," he said.
Coen said a tattooist and client often formed a bond over a big artwork, like Summer's leg tattoo that he spent two days working during a show last year.
"It's amazing, especially when you spend three days together. You get close in three days. I've seen her go through a lot of pain."
Coen is one of about 60 tattoo artists at the Ink Attack Tattoo Convention at The Shed at Aussie World.
Organiser Damien Wickham, of the Ink Attack Tattoo Studio at Bokarina, said the festival could have been twice as big if a suitable venue had been available.
The convention, which debuted last year, is one of about only seven held in Australia and Mr Wickham hopes to make it the best.
He said people came to see and be seen.
"They want to come and show off their tattoos, or they want to get a tattoo in front of a crowd and everyone," he said.
The guest tattoo artist list includes television stars Joey Tattoo, from Tattoo Rescue, Asaru Mushavu and Jersey Joe, from Tattoos After Dark and Jayvo Scott, from Ink Master.
The convention will include daily tattoo contests, today for only tattoos done today but tomorrow and on Sunday for tattoos done elsewhere and at the convention.
Admission is $25 a day or $60 for a three-day pass. The price includes entry, discounted tickets to Aussie World, and a 10% discount on food and beverages at The Pub.
The convention is open until 10pm tonight, from 10am to 10pm tomorrow, and 10am to 7pm on Sunday.