The Ink Master season four and seven alumni talks the challenge of coaching tattoo artists

During season three, Orlando based artist Jime Litwalk was introduced as a contestant on Ink Master. While on the show, Litwalk won four challenges and ultimately placed second at the finale. Fast forward to season seven and Litwalk returns to the competition as a veteran. Now, Litwalk is back as a guest coach for season 12 and competing alongside Kelly Doty for a slot in the coaches face off at the live finale. We sat down with Litwalk to discuss his experience coaching the women's team and why audiences should stay tuned in to this ground breaking season.

What advice did you give the contestants while you were a coach?

You could see a lot of the stress that goes on and I tried to remind them what got them there. You have to have fun, not lose that passion or let the negative energy overtake creativity. It’s better to focus on the positive parts to really believe in themselves than to let the doubt sink in that was carried over from the last challenge. I wanted them to look deep down inside and bring out their best potential. I wanted to allow them to be the most creative they could be and remind them that they were already chosen.

What was the most challenging part of being a coach?

I think that one of the most challenging parts about being a coach were my limitations of being able to actually help. We were allowed to verbally coach, but there’s a lot of things we had to restrain from—like being able to physically draw. Because we’re in a visual industry, it helps showing visuals because maybe what I’m saying could be perceived differently. I tried, to the best of my abilities, push the rules as hard as I could without breaking them when explaining the tricks and techniques to my team.

Why should fans stay tuned in to this season?

With every new season, there’s such an amazing batch of new tattooers that people might not have had the opportunity to see or hear of. Every one of these guys is almost the underdog, they’re all trying to do their best, and show what they’re capable of doing. Seeing that ‘coming from behind’ story is really going to show this season. I think anyone who’s a fan of tattooing, and a fan of the underdog, should definitely tune in and watch.