Corin Webb, right, of Ink Slingrz Professional Tattoos and Body Piercing in Augusta, draws an outline for a potion bottle that will accompany a Halloween-themed sleeve that Whitney Keliher of Augusta is in the process of creating with Webb during Sunday’s fifth annual Fuel the Arts Art & Tattoo Expo at the Ramada Inn and Conference Center in Lewiston.

LEWISTON — The fifth annual Fuel the Arts Expo wrapped up Sunday after four days of tattooing, piercing, custom drawing and art sales.

Between St. Paddy’s Day celebrations and minimal hours of sleep, tattoo artists took needle to skin for hours on end.

From age 18 to it’s-not-appropriate-to-ask, clients roamed the expo, looking at portfolios and stencils until they found artists with whom they clicked. 

Artists were inking a wide variety of pieces, including skulls, Dracula and potion bottles. 

Taylor Stephen from Vibes Tattoo & Piercing in Brunswick spent most of Sunday on an elaborate and large floral piece. 

His client, 18-year-old Taya Paulin of Windsor, was hardly fazed by it. 

“For me, this isn’t painful,” she said. “It’s almost relaxing.”

“I’ve been working on her for a couple hours and it just looks like I’m painting on her,” Stephen said. “Some people are built for this.” 

Paulin’s floral piece stretched from her collarbone to the back of her left shoulder.

“I told him I wanted some flowers that go collarbone to shoulder, and pretty much gave him free rein,” she said. 

Stephen uses a tattooing method called stippling, which is when the needle doesn’t make one smooth line but lots of little dots.

“It’s a slower way, not the most efficient, but it’s a cool effect,” he said. “It’s more dynamic.” He thinks the finished product looks more delicate and feminine. 

He said he enjoys his work. 

“It’s very methodical,” he said. “Every little dot has its purpose. There’s an aesthetic to it that I really like. I like doing it and people seem to like wearing it.” 

Paulin was happy with the finished product, and Stephen was impressed that she was able to do it all in one sitting.

“You’re savage,” he said. “You’re a tough chick. Most people don’t sit for tattoos like this in one sitting.”

Rob Simas Jr. of Richmond Street Tattoo in Providence, Rhode Island, inks Haylee Barry, of Minot during the last day of the fifth annual Fuel the Arts Art & Tattoo Expo at the Ramada Inn and Conference Center in Lewiston on Sunday.

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