How does it feel to be Ink Master?
Of all the words, I could use to describe this feeling, I would have to say “honored” would be the most accurate. It’s crazy to believe I ended up winning this game, considering how many insanely talented and diverse artists competed this season. Ink Master is an insane, multifaceted, triathlon obstacle course of tattooing—but in the end, it is ART. Art is so personal and so subjective, and in this instance used in a competition game, where one artist fights their way to victory. And though I ended up victorious, I’ve got to recognize the skill level of so many of my competitors and acknowledge that the game could have gone so many other ways—and many other “winners” would have been equally as deserving.
How was your experience on the show?
Even before the finale, I knew for certain my life was changed forever because of this experience. Despite a few pretty tough physical and psychological hurdles throughout the taping, I can confidently say it was one of the greatest opportunities I have ever been a part of. I learned so much about art, tattooing, friendship, and myself. I picked up some amazing tricks, tested my own limits, and made an entire group of lifelong friends. It was challenging on so many different levels, but truly an honor.
What made you decide to go on the show in the first place?
I went on to grow as an artist and become a more rounded individual in general, and to test myself. I figured that I would give it all I had and come out proud of the art I’ve done and be grateful just for the opportunity to compete. I honestly never went into this whole experience with expectations of being the last one standing, I just realized that this was a once in a lifetime experience that happens to a select few people and I couldn’t justify not taking it.
What was it like being mentored by Oliver during your time at Ink Master and how did it feel to be his first pick of the season?
I couldn’t believe Oliver chose me as his first pick of the season. The entire time we were standing there waiting for it to happen, I just kept hoping I wouldn’t be the LAST one picked and I kept having visions of elementary school dodge ball. From worrying about not even being picked to being picked first was a major whiplash! But it couldn’t have worked out better. It was an honor being on Team Peck, both because Oliver was an extremely involved, insightful team leader, and because most of my team mates were an absolute joy to work with.
How does it feel to make history for female tattooers?
It feels indescribably surreal to be categorized with other female tattooers—or with tattooers in general that have made history. But I am not the first, or the last, so I try to remain grounded and always remain thankful by remembering all the tattooers before me who paved the way to make this opportunity possible for my generation of artists.
Did you expect things to turn out the way that they did?
Absolutely not. I remember on day one, when all 30 of us were unleashed to meet each other and scope out the competition. I thought then while looking around that just maybe I had a chance of making it far into this competition— midway at least, maybe even to to the final five! And then walks in Kelly Doty, and I was like, “Dear God, we haven’t spoken in awhile, but, please don’t let me be the first one to be eliminated!”
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