Kasabian fans of tattooist Dan Gold

Thousands of body art fans headed for Carlisle at the weekend for the North Lakes International Tattoo Convention.And skin artists flew in from as far afield as Texas and Singapore to join home-grown stars of the scene like Dan Gold, of Discovery Real Life’s London Ink.

They showed off their skills at the Shepherds Inn on at the Rosehill estate on Saturday and yesterday.

The event was the second annual convention to be organised by Mike Haslam and Colin Fell, of Carlisle tattoo parlour Mike’s Tattooz.

Almost 5,000 guests were expected over the course of the weekend.

He said: “It was fantastic last year and it’s even more busy this year. We’ve got artists from all over the place and we’ve got the weather with it as well.”

In between signing autographs, Dan Gold offered a few enthusiasts versions of his signature robot tattoos.

He said: “A couple of friends came down for the convention last year and had nothing but good things to say about it.

“We’ve been really welcomed here and well looked after.”

The former graffiti artist has been tattooing for nearly 20 years, with star clients including Kate Moss and members of rock band Kasabian.

He added: “Not only is it one of the oldest art forms in the world but we’ve got an incredible history. It’s just that urge to mark your own skin.”

Mexican tattoo artist Paco Cendon, 33, travelled to Carlisle from Austin, Texas, for the show.

He said: “I wanted to see the country more than anything else. It’s my first time here in England and I’m very excited about it. I’m having a great time.”

Tracey Richardson, 22, of Kingfisher Park, Carlisle, was one of those prepared to be tattooed in front of an audience.

Thanks to Martin Couley, 22, from Newcastle, she now has a giant 50s pin-up on her right thigh.

She said: “I chose to come and get it done here as a challenge for myself. I was nervous, but I feel all right now.”

And Adam Lewis, 22, of Warwick Road, Carlisle, chose US tattoo artist Tyson Arndt to draw roses on his upper right arm.

He said: “I want my half sleeve finished – I’ve already got a rose and a Spanish lady and I want someone to totally fill it in.”



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