Charlie on Best Ink 105: Im not a performer, Im a tattoo artist.
I do my best and try to please my clients.
When I found out we’d have to do a black and grey portrait tattoo for the Ink Challenge, I panicked. My literal thoughts were, “Take a breath...you can do this. It will be fine. WHAT!? A PASSPORT PHOTO!? Are you kidding me? I’m going home after this one.” Joe and Jon’s advice before we started tattooing was a little comforting. I remember drawing games as a child using the grid system. But I had such nerves and was in straight panic mode at that point.
I understand what Joe meant when he said a good tattoo artist should be able to do any kind of tattoo. But as we grow as artists some genres of tattooing aren't our specialty. I don't do crazy cartoony designs like Joe either. I don’t think he cares for me or my style of tattooing. I’m kind of a goofball. I’m always singing and quoting movie lines in funny voices. He never really gave me a lot of positive feedback on my work. I don't think much of him and the drama. I do my best and try to please my clients. He told us we needed to “perform” but I'm not a performer, I'm a tattoo artist.
In the end, I think my tattoo turned out well. My client was happy with it. I told her before I finished that I'm not a portrait artist and she laughed and told me a story about the first time she had a color a client’s hair. She didn't tell them it was her first time.
I figured I would end up in the bottom three. I'm no mathematician but when there’s five of you that remain and you are not in the top two... you’re going to end up in the bottom three.
I thought I was going home. I'm not a portrait artist and people don't seek me out to do so. I've done one since then and hope to do more in the future. But I need a better reference than a passport photo!