Paul Bourgeois body is a canvas and a work in progress. Friday night, he was getting his 17th tattoo at the Am Jam Tattoo Expo at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool.
"I like the expression of it, showing it off," he said. It will take tattoo artist Thom Bulman 6 hours to complete the portrait of a gypsy on Bourgeois' thigh. It's just one of Bulman's 4 appointments, already lined up for this weekend.
For the tattoo artists that set up here at the expo, it's a chance to network, learn new techniques, and exposure to grow their business.
"Next thing you know, you're getting weeks worth of appointments because someone saw you at the convention," said Bulman. "It really is an art form, I wish everyone was colored with awesome pictures on them."
For those looking to get ink, you can see the process first hand and compare artists before you sit down.
Thousands are expected this weekend which is expected to be a big shot in the arm for Central New York's economy since visitors will stay overnight and spend money.
"There are over 100 world class artists," said organizer Jean Aldous. "When we were young it was drunk sailors and women of ill repute had them done, now it's actually an art form." An art form that's seen way more often nowadays, an estimated 45-million Americans have tattoos.
Industry experts say it's the 6th fastest growing retail business in the U.S.
"Mainly what we want to do is educate, and have it not be so taboo," said Aldous.
The tattoo expo runs through Sunday. For hours and more information, click here.