April 7 Photo Brief: Giant Pope John Paul II sculpture, military drills in North Korea, cherry blossoms in D.C.

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Giant Pope John Paul II sculpture unveiled in Poland, military drills in North Korea, cherry blossoms bloom in D.C. and more in today’s daily brief.

At tattoo show, a community bound by ink and the Web
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun
3:40 p.m. EDT, April 7, 2013

Ravens wide receiver LaQuan Williams sat calmly at the Baltimore Convention Center on Saturday as a tattoo artist buzzed at his shoulder, sketching out the latest design on the already well-inked torso.

Williams and the artist, who goes by the name Jonny Metropolis, have totaled at least a day together in a similar fashion after getting connected through the photo-sharing service Instagram. On Saturday, Metropolis was working on theatrical masks to represent the good times and the bad times in Williams’ life.

“This is my guy,” Williams said. “He does some good work.”

For Williams, discovering the Queens, N.Y., tattoo artist brought him in contact with someone whose work he admired; for Metropolis, the overture from a pro athlete was “dope” and evidence that his online hustle was paying off.

“Without this self-promotion, I would never have had him notice me,” he said.

Almost 500 artists from across the country descended on the convention center for the sixth annual Tattoo Arts Convention, the hum of their needles a testament to how popular getting ink has become. That popularity has fostered a spirit of community and competition among tattoo artists, they say, and Instagram has become a forum for sharing their work.

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CLICK: Baltimore Tattoo Arts Convention Photo Booth