Tattoo artists gather in Longview for festival - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Tattoo artists gather in Longview for festival

Tattoo artists gather for the Ink Life Tour in Longview. (Source: KLTV Staff) Tattoo artists gather for the Ink Life Tour in Longview. (Source: KLTV Staff)
LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -

Some of the world's best tattoo artists are in East Texas this weekend for a festival called the 'Ink Life Tour.'

The event is transforming the Maude Cobb Convention Center in Longview into a colorful display of body art. It's a culture that turns the body into a living canvas, but can be startling at first.

The world of tattoo art has grown leaps and bounds in just the last decade.

"It's a national show. We normally do anywhere from seven to twelve stops throughout the country. It's a following, it's a lifestyle, it's a culture, but it's so mainstream nowadays," says tour owner George Galindo.

The shows draw big crowds and organizers say many are new visitors.

"Half of those don't have tattoos. They're coming in for the first time," Galindo says.

Artist Chris Thomas has been on a tattoo reality show on CMT, and says the art is what draws people to it.

"Tattoos are never finished. Now it's about getting an area filled. It looks more artistic. It's cleaner, it represents tattoo a lot better," Thomas says.

"I think what happened is people began to look at it like this is almost like a painting or sculpture. They're getting the artwork they love," says Henderson housewife Alannah Siebert.

The 3rd annual 'Ink Life Tour' continues until 11:30 p.m. Saturday night at the Maude Cobb Activity Center.

Doors open Sunday morning at 10 a.m. and will stay open until 9:15 p.m. Sunday night.

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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