Tattoo Expo Inks Augusta

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News 12 at 11, June 7, 2007

Augusta, Ga. --- More than 100 tattoo artists from all over the country are in Augusta this weekend showcasing their talents.

It's not your typical art fair.

"It's amazing, you get to walk in and see artwork from all over the country all over the world," Chris Earl said.

Artwork that is the ultimate form of expression. And for tattoo artist Mark Walters it's not only art it's his passion.

"I'm not here to make money. I'm here to have fun and spread the word."

Spreading it through not only traditional tatoos but in other forms as well like hand poking.

"Basically, I get a needle bar, which we use in a machine, but instead of using a machine, I just put some thread around it and tie it on to a stick and poke it. Everything is a dot. But it makes lines and circles," Mark Walters said.

Tattoos stuck with Mark at an early age.

"I grew up in North Africa. I was born in Libya, grew up in Algeria, and my earliest memories of our maids having facial tattoos and hand tattoos, so I always had that engrained in me."

And once he started tattooing, it took him around the world.

"During my travels I was lucky enough to hang out in the Bangkok Temples where a lot of monks get tattooed very heavily. They did a lot of work on me. They did my whole chest. They did my hands, my throat."

They also traced their symbols on the back of his neck. And he says it all means protection and good luck.

Mark now owns permanent Mark in California. Where he's been making a name for his work for 19 years now. And he's definitely left his Mark from California now to Augusta.

The tattoo expo will also be open Sunday from 12 to 8:00 at the James Brown Arena. Tickets are $10.00.

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