The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

A second chance
May 7, 2024

    What’s the buzz about? Roc City Tattoo Expo 2024

    By Syd Case 

    HENRIETTA, NY- Needles buzzing, people brushing up against each other, all taking part in an overstimulating experience that ended in a dopamine rush. This was the Roc City Tattoo Expo. 

    One weekend a year for the last 15 years, hundreds of tattoo artists from around the world gather in Rochester, New York to tattoo thousands of people. This year, on April 12-14, The DoubleTree Hotel was packed with eager patrons waiting to get new ink.

    Brockport Student Key Cooper’s new ink done by artist Mike Howard /Contributed Image/ Canalside Chronicles

    Alexis “Lexi” Lindsay, 24, of The Ultimate Tattoo and Body Piercing Studio in Rochester, New York,  is a young artist with a versatile portfolio of tattoos. Lindsay was one of the dozens of artists at this year’s expo. 

    “I wanted to get my foot in the traveling expo game, and I knew the Roc City Tattoo Expo would be a great way to do that. I love the tattoo community and I wanted to work alongside my local community of artists,” Lindsay said.

     Lindsay has been tattooing for several years now and is especially passionate about making people feel comfortable as they are experiencing getting a tattoo. She wanted to join a career that would “creatively and personally challenge” her, and a tattoo artist career was just the thing to fulfill that want. 

    Lexi Lindsay, The Ultimate Tattoo & Body Piercing /Canalside Chronicles/ Syd Case

    People from all different backgrounds come to Upstate New York with one thing in mind: tattoos. Exploring an array of different styles of artwork from Fantasy to Traditional American tattoos to tribal tattoos, you can find anything you could imagine at Roc City Tattoo Expo, and any type of artist you can think of. 

    Jason Tyler Grace tattooing patron’s back/ Instagram @jasontylergrace/ Canalside Chronicles

    All of the booths were labeled with where the studios are located, and one that stood out was from Knoxville, Tennessee. Kimberly Shordon of Saint Tattoo and her team spoke of her dad inspiring her to become a tattoo artist. Shordon spoke of fantasy-style tattoos being her favorite to create, and how her dad’s tattoo experience really set her on the right path. 

    Artist Kim Shordon sketching new design for a client /Syd Case/ Canalside Chronicles


    “Me and Schmidt over there have been here at the expo for two years, and we enjoy it. I personally have been tattooing for about four years, and after realizing as a kid I wanted to be an artist when I was 10, my dad got a tattoo. I figured out then that you can actually put art on people as your job, and it stuck from there.” Shordon says. Shordon also showed an impressive skill of multitasking, drawing a tattoo design while being interviewed. 

    Kim Shordon, Saint Tattoo/Canalside Chronicles/ Syd Case

    Nico Acosta of Better Days Tattoo traveled 5,308 miles from Santiago, Chile, reminisced about the punk scene in the early 2000s, and how he just went for it when it came to becoming a tattoo artist. 

    “I started tattooing in 2004, and I started coming to Rochester for the expo since probably 2016 or 2017. I mostly tattoo traditional American styles or Japanese, but really I’ll do whatever. Punk Rock and skateboarding was really what got me into this whole scene,” Acosta said.

    Nico Acosta, Better Days Tattoo/ Canalside Chronicles/ Syd Case

    Terry Lessard traveled from Illinois to Maryland and followed his tattooing partners {from Transmission Tattoo} to New York. 

    Terry Lessard’s finished client work of Snoopy (Peanuts) @terrylessardtattoos /Canalside Chronicles/

     “At this convention, it’s really the best of the best who get to come here, so I’m really honored to be here tattooing with my buddies from Transmission Tattoo. Andy, Eagen, Franco and Paola. It’s my third year here. My friend Max from Chicago got me to come here and I’ve been going ever since.” Lessard said. Lessard’s infectious charisma is said to have made clients feel at ease while getting their tattoos done. 

    Terry Lessard, Freedom Ink Tattoos (And friends!) /Canalside Chronicles/ Syd Case

    Experiencing the dopamine rush of having a needle spread ink into your skin is only a piece of the puzzle that completes the tattoo community. Tattoo artists are versatile, passionate, and ready to create at any time, and the expo was truly a unique place to experience that. 

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