Tattoo gathering will include California celebrity

Tattoo fans, those who carry them and those who create them, will gather starting Friday for a convention at the Centro de Eventos Pedregal.

At least 30 individuals and firms, experts in the body art, will be there. Among them is a California mother of two who has turned tattoos into a career.

She is Bernadette Macias, a well-tattooed model who represented Sullen Clothing, a California firm that says it is heavily influenced by beach culture there and tattoo-inspired art.

Ms. Macias also is a judge on the Country Music Television’s “Tattoo Titans” where tattoo artists compete and is a host of Sullen TV on the Web.

The Paradise Tattoo Convention at the Belén events center is the fifth annual edition. Ms. Macias said she is here not only to promote the clothing but as a convention host  and in search of other models for the firm.

The tattoo culture is probably unknown for most expats, even though some have them.

Ms. Macias was at a convention in Sweden in
early April and will be at one in Romania after the convention here. For many practitioners tattoos have transcended mere body markings to become a fine art. She said she has 251,000 Instagram followers where she is @ItsMsBernadette

For Ms. Macias, the first tattoo was more practical. She once told an interviewer:  “My very first tattoo was a spider on the side of my
right ankle. I got it when

Ms. Macias

Ms. Macias

I was 17 whileattending boarding school in Thailand. The purpose of that tattoo was to get me kicked out of boarding school as tattoos were forbidden. Unfortunately, they only made me wear higher socks with my school uniform.”

And she admits to some pain: “And, oh my goodness, yes! Ha! Ha! I fully cried though a few of them.” But she also is proud of the famous artists who have displayed their work on her skin.

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