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Business // Entrepreneurs
Alana Folen

Celebrating All Things Ink And Art

Danny Casler, founder of the Pacific Ink & Art Expo Photo by Jaymi Britten

Creative juices – or ink, rather – run through the veins of Danny Casler, co-founder of the Pacific Ink & Art Expo, an event centered around the love of art, tattoos, live music and good vibes.

This family-friendly exposition will be held Aug. 2 from 2 to 10 p.m., Aug. 3 from noon to 10 p.m. and Aug. 4 from noon to 8 p.m. at Neal Blaisdell Center. According to Casler, who’s spearheaded the expo with his team of dedicated employees since October 2011, last year’s expo drew more than 20,000 attendees.

“The Pacific Ink & Art Expo is listed as one of the top three largest conventions in the world,” he says. “The concept is simple. We love art, whether it be tattoos, body art, painting, drawing, music or any other creative medium, and we want to share that, along with Hawaii’s rich, beautiful history, with the world.”

The admission fee is $20 per day, a three-day pass is priced at a special rate of $40, and military and student discounts also are available.

“We have many vendors participating in the event, from clothing companies to food vendors, supply companies, hairstylists and more,” Casler says. “We’ll have more than 400 local and national artists, including Ruthless LA INK, Big Gus, Chris Danley, Keone Nunes and Monikka Velvet, and they are some of the best in the world. We even have cultural practitioners from Samoa, Japan, the Philippines and, of course, Hawaii, along with live entertainment.”

A Kalaheo High graduate, Casler traveled the world for the past decade as a professional musician. It was then that he took part in international tattoo conventions and decided to bring a similar event to the Islands.

“I have always, in one shape or another, owned my own business,” he explains. “My partners are all business owners and tattoo artists, so we’ve created a well-rounded family, and I think that’s why it works so well.”

With 40 employees and volunteers devoted to the Pacific Ink & Art Expo, Casler is grateful for the success that has been bestowed upon him.

“It’s so great throwing an event that gives recognition to all of the incredible artists of Hawaii while showcasing some of the world’s best artists,” he says. “I think it inspires our community and enables us to grow and create an open-minded awareness about our culture.

“The hardest part, though, is ensuring that everything goes off without a hitch year after year. But always trust your instincts, and learn to take advice and criticism humbly, and sometimes with a grain of salt. Don’t be afraid to try things.”

For more information about the Pacific Ink & Art Expo, visit HawaiiTattooExpo.com.

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