Joan Ferguson remembers when her son,
Rob Ferguson, tagged along with her at tattoo shows.
‘He used to go on the road with us, but
he didn’t work,” said Joan Ferguson, who co-owns Buddha’s Body Art with Rob
Ferguson. “Now he’s the one stuck behind the desk.
Rob Ferguson, now a tattoo and piercing
artist at Buddha’s, is in Wichita, Kan., for the Fifth Annual Wichita’s Wild
West Tattoo Show, which features 19 tattoo artists from around the country.
Rob Ferguson has been to the show every year.
The three-day event ends Sunday.
A crowd of 2,000 is expected for the
show, where contests are held for best tattoos in various categories. Some
contests are for finished tattoos, while others require creating a tattoo on
Joan Ferguson said the shows are hard
“A lot of people think its fun and
games,” she said. “But you’re tired, you’re beat.”
Joan Ferguson said the Wild West Tattoo
Show is unique because artists are required by Kansas law to be certified in
She said artists must be certified in
first aid and CPR. The must also be certified in blood borne pathogens –
microorganisms in the blood that can cause a tattoo.
Rob Ferguson began working tattoo shows
10 years ago, when he became co-owner of Erie’s oldest tattoo shop. He
attends 10 to 15 shows a year, including the National Tattoo Association’s
Convention, held in February and most recently held in St. Louis.
Rob Ferguson traveled to Wichita with
three friends and Debbie Jaramillo, a frequent customer.
Jaramillo, of Erie, has been getting
tattoos from Rob Ferguson for five years.
“If people find an artist they like,
it’s a good following,” Buddha’s piercing artist Pat Mullen said.
A large tiger drapes Jaramillo’s back.
Joan Ferguson said of Jaramillo, “She
really likes tattoos, and she’s got some beautiful work on her.