Thousands of tattoo fans got tattooed, pierced and purchased tattoo paraphernalia at the Nassau Coliseum convention center this past weekend for the United Ink tattoo convention, the first convention on Long Island hosted by Tattoo Lou's owner Lou Rubino.
“Artists were very happy and many have told me it was the best convention they have worked at in many years,” said Rubino. “They were asking about pre-booking for next year.”
The convention was highlighted by famed tattoo artists such as Ink Master winner Shane O'Neill and show contestants Bili Vegas and Al Fliction, NY Ink star Chris Torres, LA Ink star Amy Nicoletto, and famed tattoo artists Roman Abrego and Nikko Hurtado.
In addition to the celebrity artists, other stars from the world of television and sports were in attendance, such as Drita from Mob Wives, Brandon Kane from MTV’s Real World and New York Yankee great Jim Leyritz.
Leyritz received an angel holding the scales of justice tattoo at the convention by Andres Hurtado of Tattoo Lou’s in St. James.
“He’s an awesome guy, I liked him a lot,” Hurtado said of Leyritz. “It was a good experience. He was a cool person and he let me do what I wanted to do.”
Rick East, artist at Liberty Tattoo Company in Smithtown, said it was a positive experience for him and the other artists of the shop.
“I had a good time, I thought it was good,” he said. “I didn’t know what to expect but it turned out good, a lot of people showed up.”
While this was the first tattoo convention put together on Long Island by Rubino, he promised it wouldn’t be the last.
“This was definitely an iconic event for Long Island and for the entire tattoo industry,” said Rubino. “Because of the huge success we are already planning and booking for next year.”