Scores attend 3rd annual tattoo showEvent offers more than 200 artists

There are dolls and then there’s the one that tattoo artist PeeWee Morales, of Wichita, Kan., had on display at the booth he occupied Saturday at the third annual Ink Masters Tattoo Show. The three-day show began Friday and ends today.
The doll resembled a stern-looking boy with a tattooed face, dressed in a Pendleton shirt, pleated black pants and a folded blue bandana draped over his left shoulder. “That’s my little minime,” Morales said as he was doodling on a note pad. “I bring the doll with me all the time.” Asked why he chose tattooing as his chosen occupation, Morales said he does it for the pleasure of watching others enjoy his work. “I like to do a good job, man,” Morales said. “I do it to get out there and make people happy.”
Hundreds of other people were likewise happy during the annual event that turned Building G of the Ector County Coliseum into a virtual live-action display of color and sound where piercers and tattoo artists outside of the Permian Basin did their stuff.
Patrons jammed the venue to look for that favorite design or take advantage of one of two raffles where the winner gets a free tattoo. The tattoo show also featured a mechanical bull riding attraction.
More than 200 artists, most of them from outside the Permian Basin, attended the tattoo event, coordinator Theresa Bae said, where patrons were seen getting tattoo designs on their backs, legs and arms.
“We were able to bring a lot of tattoo artists from the east coast,” said Bae, who added that this year’s three-day event was being sponsored by the biggest names in tattooing and piercing such as Cheyenne tattoo equipment, Poison Ink and Kilted Raven, piercing and custom body jewelry.
Another coordinator, Corbin Harrison, said there were about 94 booths with body piercers and tattoo artists and custom jewelers working, and roughly 1,500 people came to see the tattoo show.
“It’s probably going to double by the end of the day,” Harrison said.
That was OK with Adam Kahle, of Midland, who was getting a tattoo illustration of a silhouette of hillsides and trees on the left side of his midsection, a process that was expected to take tattoo artist Gabriel Flores, of Houston, about two hours to complete.
Kahle’s friend, Brittany Stewart, also of Midland, said she was going to get a design done on her as well.
“Of course, this nut-ball talked me into getting a tattoo,” Stewart said. “And I don’t even have a piercing.”
At another booth, Erin Escarsiga, of Odessa, was getting a unique tattoo design she dubbed a “zombee,” (or a bee that happens to be a zombie) done on her left thigh by tattooing maestro Danny Pando, also of Odessa. The work was expected to be done in four hours, he said.
“I saw a magnet (with the design) years ago and talked about it in August (with Pando) and talked about doing it at the show,” Escarsiga said.
Eric Parkey, a north Dallas resident, was also getting a tattoo at the show but this time it was an elaborate design on his back. The design was, among other things, an hour-glass figure of images containing a woman’s face and darkened backdrop of trees in the distance.
The amount of work was a labor of love for tattoo artist Spider Hernandez, of Ruidoso, N.M., since Parkey is a dedicated customer who came to Odessa’s tattoo show because he knew Hernandez would be here.
Parkey patiently waited for Hernandez to finish the tattoo while lying face down on a table, reading a copy of Clive Barker’s “Books of Blood, volumes one through three.”
“Honestly, we’ve been on this one since 1 p.m.,” Hernandez said. “He’s had only one break, so far. Not because he needed it, but because I wanted it.”