Hamilton's tattoo enthusiasts will be out in force for the International Tattoo and Art Expo this weekend.



The expo at Claudelands Events Centre was attended by thousands last year and this year organisers promise it will be bigger and better.



Melville High School teacher and tattoo fan, Kathleen Christian, is looking forward to finding some inspiration among the many international and Kiwi tattooists for her next work of body art.



"I really like it (tattooing) and it's really addictive," she says.

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The well-loved teacher and senior dean waited until her mother gave her the go-ahead before she got her first tattoo.



"I was a rebellious kid and my mother made me promise that I wouldn't get a tattoo until she died."



Kathleen was in her 30s when her mother suggested that a tattoo might not be such a bad idea after all.



A bit gobsmacked at her mother's change of heart, Kathleen went ahead and got a stylised depiction of New Zealand on her forearm.



It wasn't until her mother got a tattoo at 71 that Kathleen realised the reason for her mother's tattoo turnaround.



Although a latecomer into the world of body art, Kathleen is glad she waited before she got her first tattoo. "Who knows what I would have got if I was younger?"



Although she believes society no longer frowns on body art quite as much as it has in the past, Kathleen says she was conscious of where she was tattooed. "Because it's on the inside of my arm, I can cover it up if I need to."



Tattoo artists from around the world and some of the best in New Zealand will be showcasing their art and offering Kiwis the chance to be tattooed by some of the world's most sought-after tattooists.

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There will also be graffiti artists at work, displays by mixed martial arts and Muay Thai athletes, the New Zealand Roller Derby team in action and musicians Tiki Taane and I am Giant will perform.



Head to Claudelands Events Centre for the International Tattoo and Art Expo, Saturday from 11am-10pm and Sunday from 11am-9pm.



For more information visit www.tattooart.co.nz.



Visit www.hamiltonlive.co.nz for your chance to win a double pass to the International Tattoo and Art Expo.