5 Tattoo Regrets With The Team At The Australian Tattoo Expo

Australian Tattoo Expo
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

The Southern Hemisphere's largest tattoo gathering, The Australian Tattoo Expo, is hitting Melbourne this December.

More than 400 world-class tattoo artists will converge on Melbourne Convention & Exhibition centre to celebrate the rich and diverse world of tattoo and body art culture in a number of different ways. Attendees can meet talented artists and explore various genres, histories, trends, and techniques.

The Australian Tattoo Expo was founded by Kevin Mack in 2011 – its growth partly thanks to the evolution of tattoos from a symbol of rebellion, to a form of self-expression.

There are a number of things to see and do as part of the Expo. Artists from around the world will compete in the CTAA Tattoo Competition Series, featuring specialised categories. Resident exhibitor The Cheshire's Grin will be grafting real gold grills and teeth all weekend long.

Of course, you can get inked on the spot too – tattoo enthusiasts and novices will be able to make appointments. You can leave your ink destiny to fate with the Dr Pickles Tattoo Glory Hole. . . Or you can get inked by celebrity tattoo artist Lauren Winzer, who has tattooed some of Hollywood's biggest names.

If you've not been so lucky with your escapades with ink, there's a place for you too – in the official Sh.ttest Tattoo Competition. On theme with this particular Expo attraction, the squad at The Australian Tattoo Expo walk us through five regrets people have with some of their not-so-great tattoo choices.

Aus Tattoo Expo 1


Size matters. Envisioning a dainty tattoo that turns out bigger than you expected, and an eye-sore in the process? You’re not alone. The most common tattoo regret is to do with size. Too big and you’re facing a lifelong commitment to something you’re stuck looking at daily, or too small and you may suffer from a case of bleeding ink; turning your once petite tat into a messy glob. Consult with your tattooist first for their opinion and measure it up on your body to ensure the size you select is the one.


Use spell check. No RAGRETS? Spell check is your best friend when it comes to a tattoo with text. Getting caught with a spelling error permanently attached to your skin is not a good look. Don’t rely on your tattooist to pick up on this, why not type your word or phrase into your computer before tattooing on your skin, to see if it appears with a red line underneath. . .


Trend cycles. We all know someone with a despised tramp stamp, or 'Harry Potter' quote that was all the rage at the time of the tat. Consider before inking your skin, and whether you’ll love it just the same in ten years time. If you’re not sure, perhaps sit on it for a year before booking your appointment – you have your entire life to decide whether the 'Hunger Games' Mockingjay should be your first tattoo!

Aus Tattoo Expo 3


Ex-lovers. A regret that needs no explanation. No matter how much you love your significant other, perhaps refrain from inking their name to your body, because you never know what may happen in a year's time. Avoiding this common regret can also save you from an ugly cover up that may occur as a result.


Drunken mistakes. A lot of tattoo regrets we see are ones that are barely remembered. Stumbling into a tattoo parlour at 3am is not the best idea, however it happens more than you think! Most places will now refuse to serve you whilst drunk, which will help save many from this major regret. If you somehow manage to ink yourself while intoxicated, we hope it’s something you’ll love in the morning (and rest of your life).

Tickets are on sale now.

The Australian Tattoo Expo is on at Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre 1-3 December.

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