The annual New Mexico Tattoo Fiesta was held this last weekend at Isleta Casino. The event featured many different tattoo shops in Albuquerque such as Archetype Tattoo, Factory Edge and Route 66, in addition to many more from other countries and states.

Hosted by Cervena Fox, the fiesta exhibited different portfolios from artists all over the world. It also held contests for the artist with the best art and the best artwork. 

During the festival, Isleta Casino was filled with people waiting to get tattoos, shopping and watching tattoos getting done. There were many vendors at the event, including Mindzai Apparel— a shop that is local to Austin, Texas, which sells rock-and-roll style clothes. 

Although some artists had booked their weekend previously, most tattoo artists accepted walk-ups. There, Leo Dudziak, 27, got his first tattoo. It was a fleur de lis symbol from Stuart St. Louis, an artist at the Factory Edge Coronado location.

When asked why he decided to get a tattoo at the fiesta, he said that he wanted to do something spontaneous and it seemed like a lot of fun. He also liked the idea of supporting local events and local artists.

“I thought it was going to hurt way more than it actually did,” Dudziak said. 

Many tattoo artists at the festival had varying stylistic techniques.  For instance, Derek Toohey from Factory Edge Coronado tattoos intricate flowers. He has been a tattoo artist since before he was legally old enough to get one.

Another artist at the event was “Jay” from San Bernardino. He said he likes to tattoo animals, mostly.

“Our shop is small. It’s three artists, but we’ve been coming here for a couple of years. Our other artist has been here since the first fiesta,” "Jay" said. 

The tattoo fiesta is held annually at Isleta Casino. For more information on the event, patrons can visit

Lauren McDonald is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at or on Twitter @lmcdonaldnews.