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Tattoo and Horror Festival Draws Crowd -- Sky Arnold

Nashville, Tenn --- Tattoos come in all shapes and colors and few anywhere have more of them than Gill Monte.

"My tattoos have tattoos, said Monte. "It's not just about a pretty picture it's a right of passage."

Monte got his first tattoo at 15 after admiring a motorcycle rider.

Today his tattoos are on celebrities like Ringo Starr and Monte says the institution of ink has definitely changed over the 40 years he's been a part of it.

"It's now socially acceptable I mean I remember tattooing years ago and it wasn't all that cool," said Monte.

Ben and Stacey Dixon have noticed the change as well.

The couple started the Full Moon Tattoo and Horror Festival 13 years ago with about 30 tattoo booths.

The festival opened Friday with 78.
   
 "I started tattooing in 1991 and there was two shops in Nashville and now there's probably well over 40 in Nashville," said Ben Dixon.

Dixon says celebrities and television shows have added to the popularity.

Monte himself believes he's created more than 100,000 of them over the years and they all have meaning.

"It marks a time and space in your life.  It's taking your inside and putting it on your outside," said Monte.