There are many reasons people choose to get a tattoo. For some it symbolises culture and heritage. For others, images are reminders of special people and places.

"Many people, however, are art collectors and take pride in having a custom piece of art," says Chris Preece, organiser of this weekend's Tattoo and Art Expo at the Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre.

Around 150 tattoo artists from all over the world will be at the expo, including American Ink Masters Jime Litwalk, who creates unique illustration work, and Tatubaby, who specialises in realism.

These two artists alone have a social media following of 1.5 million people, says Mr Preece.

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As well as tattoo, graffiti artists from around the country are also attending to compete in an invitational competition.

Other entertainment includes a fashion show, aerial silk contortionist, and Tiki Taane performs on Sunday.

Joining him on stage will be the winner of a competition performing his hit Always On My Mind.

This year a casino event has been organised to help raise money for Hospice.

the fine print
What: NZ International Tattoo and Art Expo
Where: Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre
When: February 18-19