ink masters

Between August 10 - 12, 2018, nearly 200 tattoo artists from across the country gathered at the Dena'ina Convention Center. The first-floor banquet room buzzed with a combination of excitement and tattoo guns as Alaskans lined up to get inked by their favorite artists.

The brain-child of Ray Hernandez, the Ink Masters Expo was established in 2009.

"A lot of people think of the show when they see the name, but I came up with the name first and the show adopted it later," explained a soft-mannered Hernandez. "I wanted to create something where a ton of artists would occupy one space, so people could have access to artists they normally wouldn't."

The result of Hernandez's dream is a traveling expo that has hit ten cities in just over six months. Below are portraits of some of the local and visiting artists as well as their canvases.