Some call Tampa "Tattoo Central"—not just because it's the home of some of the best tattoo artists in Florida, but because of TattooFest, the annual Tampa tattoo convention. Yet the local tattoo culture expands well beyond the city. Take Las Vegas Tattoo Co. for example. Started by famed artist Doc Dog, the shop can trace its roots all the way back to Vegas in 1977. After decades and a move to the Tampa area, tattooing remains firmly in Doc's blood—quite literally, as his son now joins him in the shop, needle in hand. But these aren't the city's only artists. At Ink City Tattoos and 1603 Tattoo, artists mix photo realistic images with abstract designs, creating portraits of Batman and colorful peacocks that look like they might leap off the skin.

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