The Lowbrow Art & Tattoo Convention returns to the Bell County Expo Center today through Sunday.
James Guzman and Robert Herrera started the convention a couple of years ago to get together with friends who had moved to new locations.
While tattoo conventions come to cities such as Austin and Dallas, there wasn’t anything closer.
“I started to miss the camaraderie and friendship I had with these guys,” Guzman said.
The first convention was in 2011 at the Harker Heights Event Center. This will be its first year at the larger venue.
Guzman said the move is a risk because the event has been so successful where it has been held in the past, but if it goes well, he hopes to start bringing in international artists for future conventions.
Many of this year’s artists are big names in the tattoo industry, including Brittany Elliot of Dallas, who was a competitor on the TV show “Best Ink,” and Keith Underwood with Austin Tattoo Company, who apprenticed with Mike “Rollo Banks” Malone, who worked with famed tattoo artist “Sailor Jerry.”
Guzman said a main goal of the event is education. He said it is a good opportunity for people who don’t know much about tattoos or the industry to come and learn more.
“Tattooing is gaining popularity,” Guzman said. “It’s really easy for someone to get a bad tattoo. We really like people to come over and check it out, so that you know what to look for if and when you’re ready to get your own.”
Apart from tattoos, other artwork will be on display and for sale including acrylic and oil paintings, woodcarvings and sculptures, collectibles and T-shirts.
“It’s going to be like being in a really phenomenal shop,” Guzman said.
The event will be family-friendly. Children will have the opportunity to get their faces painted and play some games.
Doors open at noon each day. Tickets are $13 for a day, $30 for the weekend.
Children younger than 13 accompanied by a parent will get in free.
Find more information on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CentralTexasLowBrowArtTattooConvention.