Inking outside the box: 9th annual Musink tattoo convention and music festival kicks off

COSTA MESA – Sitting through five long tattoo sessions that began in December and ended last week paid off for Amber Winbury.

The Temecula resident snagged a second-place prize in the Musink Tattoo competition for the most realistic tattoo. Jason Hartz of Calreda Tattoo in Wildomar on Thursday had just finished the image of Indian girl and headdress on Winbury’s upper right thigh.

“Eventually, he will do my whole leg,” she said.

Winbury was among thousands of patrons who showed up early on Friday in hopes of scoring appointments with renowned tattoo artists from around the globe at the ninth annual tattoo convention and music festival.

Fans roamed through the two tattoo and merchandise hangars at the OC Fair & Event Center to check out the latest in tattooing technology, flipping through thick binders of flash art and hi-resolution photos of artists’ work.

And, amid the gentle hum of hundreds of tattoo guns buzzing in unison, they stopped to admire the artistry being forever inked onto live canvases in real time.

Taysia Patino of Visalia had her husband, artist Dustin Shaw of Creepshow Tattoo Studio create a fresh, colorful, dagger on the side of her head – where she already had quite a collection.

“I lost track of how many I have,” said Patino, of Visalia, with a laugh. “Hopefully I won’t get any more this weekend.”

Shari Brown showed off her a full-color arm sleeve with a pirate ship by artist James Mullin of Lotus Tattoo in Hemet. “I just love his work,” said Brown, as she shared several of her other pieces.

“This whole sleeve took 33 hours and we did most of that in just one sitting,” she said.

Lacretia Ghazarian proudly displayed her boldly colored sleeve inspired by her love of Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

“I’ve loved Tim Burton ever since I was in high school in the ’90s and just decided to go full-sleeve a year ago,” the Riverside woman said.

Danielle Lehman of Costa Mesa showed some love for a couple of her favorite bands, getting inked images associated with Orange County’s own punks, the Offspring and rock’s Foo Fighters on her forearms.

“I got them both in one sitting because I make good decisions,” she said of the stylings of Kyle Crowell of Torch Tattoo in Anaheim.

The event included performances by big-name musical acts. Friday night featured sets by hip hop artist Yelawolf, with festival curator and Blink-182 anchor Travis Barker sitting in on drums. Snoop Dogg drew the most attention to the large hangar as fans packed in to sing along to his hit-filled turn.

Barker pulled double duty as he joined his supergroup Transplants, with Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and rapper Rob Aston, for a rousing set.

The schedule on Saturday included heavy rock band Deftones, Taking Back Sunday, rising Whittier band Plague Vendor. Circa Survive, Face to Face and Orange County metal band Atreyu finish off the festival Sunday.

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