'Tattoo artists from around the world ... the best of the best'

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- The first Evergreen Tattoo Invitational is being held in Springfield, Ore., Friday through Sunday at the Willamalane Center for Sports and Recreation.

Tattoo artists from all over the world came to participate in the Invitational, which was organized by Joshua Carlton, a 39-year-old tattoo artist of 24 years from Eugene, Ore.

His reason for organizing the event was to hold a tattoo convention that was put on by a tattoo artist such as himself rather than someone not affiliated with the tattoo industry.

"I reached out to my favorite tattoo artists from around the world, that I consider the best of the best," said Carlton. According to Carlton, the artistic abilities of tattoo artists are in the rise. "We are proving today that you can do photographs on skin," said Carlton.

Carlton brought in artists from the television show Ink Masters. Last season's winner Joey Hamilton, and runner up from two years ago, Sarah Miller both are tattooing at the Invitational. Miller quit her full time job as a graphic designer to pursue tattooing.

"When you finish a tattoo and your client sees it for the first time, that little spark that's in their eyes, you don't really get when you are sitting behind a desk," said Miller.

The event goes from 10am to 10pm on Saturday, and 10am to 8pm on Sunday, and costs $12 for a one single day pass, or $25 for a three-day pass. Beyond tattooing the event offers piercing, food, beer and entertainment.