STORY HIGHLIGHTS


Vancouver tattoo show

CNC report from Vancouver
Added On May 1, 2013

The ink had been flowing at the Vancouver Tattoo and Culture Show over the  weekend, as thousands of people came to see the latest tattoos.

And this year, the organizers are trying to convince people that tattoos can give beauty to everyone, even those who are always found to be scary.

STANDUP" AL CAMPBELL, CNC Correspondent
"The dead are among us. With the popularity of television shows such as The Walking Dead, and classic films such as Dawn of the Dead, zombies are big business here in North America. At the fifth annual Vancouver Tattoo and Culture Show, one of the new feature this year is the Dead Dolls Beauty Pageant. CNC is here to find out who' s the most undead of them all."

With eight contestants competing for the inaugural title of Miss Dead Dollz Beauty Pageant winner, the competition was fierce.
 
Tim Lajambe (LA-JAM) has been organizing the Vancouver Tattoo and Culture Show for the past five years and every year he adds new attractions. He said with the current popularity of zombie culture, the zombie beauty pageant was a natural fit with tattoo culture.

SOUNDBITE" TIM LAJAMBE, Organizer
"The whole scene's become a lot more fun and it all sort of ties together. That sort of makeup artistry plays a lot into tattoo artistry and it's basically just become a conglomeration of artists, so it all sort of ties together."
 
With zombie participants dressed as sexy secretaries, beauty queens and disco dancers among others, the winner of the inaugural Dead Dollz Zombie Pageant was decided by the audience and three judges.

Brianna Van Riet (BREE-ANNA VAN REET), the zombie bride, was declared the overall winner. Her costume and makeup took five hours to complete.

SOUNDBITE: BRIANNA VAN RIET, Participant
"It's like the most tangible horror sub-genre that people can really get into, because they're so worried about nuclear holocaust or you know, wars. It's much more tangible than like a vampire or any other beast. People want to believe that zombies are real."
 
SOUNDBITE: BELLA MORTE, Participant
"I think what it is is grownups being able to dress up and have fun - you know, life is really serious. I don't get to wear a ball gown to work every day, so I get to wear it for the zombie beauty pageant."
 
SOUNDBITE" ERICA BECKSTEAD, Participant
"I just wanted to win a pageant. Since I'm almost 40 I thought if I'm in disguise I might win. No, it's fun to get dressed up and I got tattoos so I thought I'd support the community and you know, they need a girl, and I like to dress up. It's fun."
 
More than 70 international and Canadian tattoo artists participated the show, and CNC met up with a young tattoo enthusiast named Birdie, who said she's hooked on getting inked and annually spends a couple of thousand dollars on new tattoos.
 
SOUNDBITE: BIRDIE, Tattoo enthusiastic
"I just like the artwork. It's always been about the artwork, and then permanently putting something on your body that you can always carry around with you."

Vancouver tattoo artist Jarrett Clarkson said better artists and the quality of the work has attracted many new people to the tattoo culture. He pointed out that many people, however, still identify tattoos with criminal activity.
 
SOUNDBITE: JARRETT CLARKSON, Tattoo artist
"Ah, you know a lot of that still exists, those stigmas are still out there, but definitely dying off all the time. I've been tattooing for about 20 years and over the span of that time I've seen huge change in people's acceptance of it, or their reactions to people that are tattooed."
 
One stand getting some curious looks at the Tattoo and Culture show was Ink Off laser tattoo removal. Bob Tam tells CNC he removes more than 30 tattoos a week as some people often regret getting inked.
 
SOUNDBITE" BOB TAM, Tatto removal worker
"We have lot of them, yeah exactly, and people who are trying to get right back into the workforce. They want to remove a tattoo that kind of hinders them on their performance and stepping up to that ladder in the corporate world, and we' ve seen those as well."
 
Tam says tattoos can be removed, the success, or cover-up, however, depends on the pigment in a person's skin.