Artists and tattoo lovers preserve memories at Tattoo Expo

The 27th Annual AM-JAM Tattoo Expo at the Best Western Convention Center in East Syracuse is bringing both tattoo lovers and body artists together this weekend.

Starting with a big crowd on Friday night, the Tattoo Expo was an opportunity for people to choose from dozens of artists to combine to put their sentimental or fun ideas on their skin.

For people like David Comes, each tattoo brings meaning. A spider web covers the upper portion of his right arm, with each of his children and grandchildren's initials inscribed in the web. His right arm is a tribute to his time in the Vietnam War.

"I only get stuff that is very significant to me, or my family," Comes says.

Comes was planning on getting another spider on the web on Friday night. Just feet away, Miranda Carson was getting a tattoo on her right arm with her family's motto, "Forget me not," inscribed in French.

"It feels good," Carson says. "Just knowing that not only do I carry them in my heart, but it's also right there on my arm for everyone to see right there."

While each tattoo's meaning is personal for those who get the tattoo, the body artists say working on those meaningful tattoos is one of the best parts of the job.

"As soon as I'm done with the tattoo, sometimes I see people cry," Nick D'Angelo, who was at the Tattoo Expo from the TV show Inkmasters, says. "You'll do memorial tattoos and they just break down when they see it done, and that's when it gives you a really spiritual feel."

The Expo runs from noon until midnight on Saturday, and noon until 6 p.m. on Sunday at the Best Western Plus Convention Center.