TATTOO artists from all over the world will come to Hampshire this weekend for the 15th year of the Portsmouth Tattoo Convention.

More than 60 internationally-renowned artists including tattooists from Southampton will head to Portsmouth Guildhall on Saturday and Sunday to show off their skills and compete for a host of awards.

Last year it was Southampton’s Latvian artist, Eugene Rubuls, based at Ian Ink Tattoo in Shirley, who scooped a double award with the Best Large Black and Grey and the prestigious Best of Convention.

This year, among the Hampshire artists vying for the top prizes are Bedford Place tattooist Ginger Tom’s Tattoo Studio and Ink’d Up in Maybush.

The family event features entertainment including burlesque performers, stilt walkers, dancers and singers as well as trade stalls and demonstrations including traditional hand tattooing and vintage styling from Southampton’s Vintage Hair Lounge.

Daily Echo:

Eugene's winning design last year 

Organiser, Shirley Willett, from My Last One tattoo studio in Portsmouth, said she hopes as many people as possible will enjoy the friendly atmosphere.

She said: “There was a time when tattoos were for sailors when they came to port, but now it’s unusual not to have a tattoo.

“They are just as popular with women too, we find it’s now a 50/50 split. It is all ages too – women in their 60s and 70s have come to us.

“Absolutely anyone is welcome along and we pride ourselves on being a friendly convention which is very family orientated. There is some amazing stuff to see there. From burlesque dancers to people walking around with snakes and then all the amazing tattoos to admire.

“One year, someone did a front piece which had the Only Fools and Horses characters on it, including grandad. It was quite outstanding."

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