Tattoo artists and their clients gathered at the Harker Heights Event Center on Saturday for the start of a two-day convention.

Rafael Salinas, owner of Loose Cannon Tattoos in Harker Heights, said he thinks tattoos are more mainstream now than in previous years.

“You see a lot more couples with tattoos pushing a stroller than you would a few decades ago,” Salinas said.

John Cates came to the convention to get a tattoo. Cates described getting a tattoo as rhythmic and nice.

“You feel the pain but it’s not enough to cringe from,” Cates said.

David Hershman, who was giving Case his newest tattoo, gave advice to people who are considering getting a tattoo.

“Don’t get your face, neck or hands tattooed if you want a job,” Hershman said. “Most people understand that and respect that it is a reflection of our new times and our culture.”

Ricco Sanvos, owner of La Mancha tattoos, traveled from San Diego, California, to exhibit. He talked about the cost for tattoos, and making sure your artists of choice follows health standards.

"The artists that really care are going the extra mile to make sure the customer is safe,” Sanvos said.

Silvia de Aztlan of Dallas sold jewelry she made.

“I own a tattoo shop and I also have a passion for sculpting, building miniatures and making jewelry,” de Aztlan said, showing off handmade Day of the Dead-style sculptures. “This is a great show; you can find anything from tattoos to henna and piercings."

McMichael Crain is a local clothing designer who came to sell his one-of-a-kind caps. Crain has designed caps for two years after watching European designers on YouTube.

Crain's designs are unusual. “It's something different that you don’t see anywhere else,” he said, who also sells his clothing online.

Mr. Siego, owner of Blind tattoo studios in Austin, described how he likes to teach clients what works and about best practices. For people with darker skin, for example, it must heal several times times to maximize coverage, and that can be expensive, he said.

“You can do color if you can afford it,” Siego said. “The darker tone can be more prone to scarring.”

Even if you don't get inked this weekend, you leave knowing more about the process, he added.

The tattoo convention runs through Sunday at the Harker Heights Event Center, 710 Edwards Drive, Suite A.

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