Talking tattoos

Sarah Dyer

Photo By David Robert

Circus Circus Hotel Casino is hosting the host the Third Annual Lady Luck Tattoo Arts Expo this weekend. The convention, featuring jewelry, clothing and all things related to ink on skin, will be held 3-11 p.m. on March 11, noon-11 p.m. on March 12, and noon-6 p.m. on March 13. Tickets, available at the door, are $10, $15 for a two-day pass, or $25 for a three-day pass. For information call (866) 482-8866. Sarah Dyer, 24, works at Aces Tattoo, the event’s local sponsor. She took a few minutes to share some thoughts on tattooing, amid the buzzing of Aces’ tattoo guns.

What’s going on at this year’s tattoo convention?

There’ll be artists from all over the United States that come in and get booths and will be doing tattoos at the convention, and then they also have seminars. They have a watercolor technique seminar that Hunter Spanks and Jay Langer are going to be putting on, and then they have an awesome photography seminar by Justice Howard. Then they have a “Realism in Tattooing” seminar. … And they’ll have competitions for the best tattoo in a particular category. Last year they did “traditional,” “large piece” and “portrait.”

Is it geared more toward tattoo artists, or tattoo fans?

Tons of people go to it. It appeals to both.

Do you have to be a little bit of a sadist to be a tattoo artist?

No, I don’t think so. You have to have a huge appreciation for art, and you have to have a lot of patience.

Are there any places on your body you don’t recommend getting tattoos?

Feet look like they hurt a whole lot, but people do it anyway.

Has anybody come in and asked for something that you thought was so bad they shouldn’t do it?

Sometimes really young people want something big and ridiculous and totally inappropriate on their forearms or something like that.

Do you try to talk them out of it?

We don’t allow it. It’s like “Look, you’re 15. You can’t make a decision to have “fuck the world” or something down your arm.”

What’s that a tattoo of on your arm?

Lee Hanna drew it. I’m a big horror movie fan, so we took it out of some old, black-and-white, Italian vampire film.

How long did it take to do it?

It took two sittings, probably a couple hours apiece.

What kind of tattoos are your favorites?

I like traditional tats. I like the older black-and-gray kind of stuff.