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Kelowna to host Okanagan's first tattoo convention

Artist Dan Bertram in action at Primal Instinct Tattoos and Piercings on Pandosy Street in downtown Kelowna.
July 19, 2013 - 7:04 AM

Scotty Enberg has been tattooing in Kelowna for 20 years and next weekend he'll be attending the Okanagan's first ever tattoo convention. The Okanagan Tattoo Show will be setting up at the Parkinson Recreation Centre July 26th to unite both artists and admirers of inked skin.

"When I came here there was only one other shop besides me,"  Enberg says. As the longtime manager of Primal Instinct in downtown Kelowna he's seen lots of small shops open up in recent years.

"Everybody wants to get tattooed now. It's pretty mainstream... It's not so taboo like it used to be," he says. His clients range anywhere from 18 to 80 years old.

"We tattoo everybody. Every walk of life," he says. And the summer season brings more of that clientele into his shop.

"In the summer time is when you shouldn't get tattooed - but we're three times as busy," he says. Showing more skin in the summer months means more tattoos on display, inspiring others to get their own.

"The smart people get tattooed in the winter time because as soon as we tattoo you, you have to stay out of the sun and the lake for two weeks," he says, any bacteria or sunburn can add more discomfort to an already sensitive procedure.

"It hurts everybody, but it's a bearable pain... You can take it," he says. Clients will sometimes drop a hint when they need a break.

"I'm working on a guy right now, we got a little bit in, it started getting to a tender area and he's like, how about a smoke break?"

Enberg says his shop will be too busy to set up a booth at the convention and instead plans to join the crowds.

"I'm going to be up there checking it out, I'm actually looking for a couple more talented artists and I'm gonna go recruiting and see if I can get a couple people to guest spot here for a couple weeks," he says.

The show will feature over 70 artists at work, piercings, vendors, burlesque, Hot Rods and kids activities to make it a family-friendly event. It's expected to bring a contemporary twist to Kelowna's established arts and culture scene.

"It's an expression of art for those getting it and for us giving it," Enberg says.

Primal Instinct manager Scotty Enberg says the demand for tattooing in Kelowna has grown over the past 20 years.
Primal Instinct manager Scotty Enberg says the demand for tattooing in Kelowna has grown over the past 20 years.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at jwhittet@infotelnews.ca or call (250) 718-0428.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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