As a chorus of needles sizzled inside a Hynes Convention Center function hall, hundreds of body artists and enthusiasts convened at the 15th Annual Boston Tattoo Convention this weekend.
More than 100 booths boasted posters, paintings, tattoo-making gear, leather get-ups and many human canvasses getting inked on the spot.
The convention every year brings some of the best tattoo artists from up and down the East Coast and around the world.
The Boston stop is one of his favorites, said artist, magician and event emcee The Synystr Mr. Syxx, who was prowling the convention floor making announcements through a wireless microphone.
“This one really does concentrate on friends getting together doing what we love to do in a really positive environment,” Styxx said in an interview. His two-pronged beard, like long upside-down devil horns, flapped as he talked. “This is one of the most up shows that I do and I probably do 30 shows a year.”
The diversity in the crowd is what makes it fun, he said. From the artists made famous online or on TV shows like Spike’s “Ink Master,” to the unknowns just starting out, everyone is represented at Boston’s biggest body art fest, said Syxx.
“You have some of the best in the world sitting here right now,” he said.
Metro stopped by on Sunday, the last hurrah for the three-day convention. Here is what we heard from those who left with a permanent memento:
Sitting in his chair as artistMegan Jean Morrisworked away just after noon, Chris Noury of Tarpon Springs, Florida said he was entering hour 20 of work over three days on his tattoo – two painting-like works called “Purity” and “Sin,” covering both of his thighs.
“It’s been a long weekend,” said Noury, 37, originally of Haverhill. “I have a pretty high pain tolerance so it’s not bothering me. Just my butt falls asleep so I’ve got to adjust myself.”
Time was running out. His flight back to the Sunshine State left at 5 p.m.
Free-hand work in progress
Work was just getting started on Ethan Bubier’s mechanical-inspired tattoo on his bicep. ArtistChris Flynnwas sketching it out with a marker, making it up as he went along. Both are from Maine.
“It’s all just kind of right out of my head, just free-hand,” Flynn said. “I’m trying to follow the muscle structure.”
“I trust him,” Bubier said. “I’ve known him for like 20 years.”
Tobias Goodman, a 19-year-old studying animation at Hampshire College, settled on getting a leg tattoo of a BB-8 droid – the rolling robot from the new “Star Wars” movie. It has the added flair of a “celestial” pattern, which Goodman saw Salem, New Hampshire tattooistEast Estradadrawing on another customer at the convention.
“I was like, ‘Yo that would look so cool on mine so I kind of merged my idea into it,” Goodman said.
Chloe Higginbotham, 21, of Middleborough, was splayed out on a long black massage table as Florida-basedChris Buckholtsgot to work buzzing the head of Louise Belcher from the cartoon “Bob’s Burgers” into her shoulder.
“She’s basically my spirit animal,” Higginbotham said of the off-beat, scheming character. “She’s me. If you’re ever wondering, that’s basically where I’m at.”
“My wife is gonna kill me,” said Ricky Meskell, of Derry, New Hampshire.
ArtistJesse Pinette, of Presque Isle, was just starting work on a forearm-covering rendition of Master Chief from the “Halo” video game series.
“Not a fan of tattoos, nothing. Or the video game,” Meskell said, referring to his wife.
“You’re screwed,” Pinette said.