Jessica on Best Ink 102: I was more stressed than upset.

Hannah Aitchison

I don't think it was fair that Roman received a new skin.

For the Flash Challenge, I was really excited to work with body paint. I used to be a makeup artist so I was very comfortable using body paint since I used to use it a lot. I wanted to make a fun design. I was stuck with a car that looked like a clown car so I just let me fun side come out and ran with that. The hardest part of the challenge was that we were outside. So my skin was sweating! Making the paint stay on the body and look bright and solid is a challenge. You need to have some sort of background in makeup artistry and products to be able to achieve a solid look.

For the Ink Challenge, I was excited. I like doing pin-up girls, especially the traditional pin-up from the 1950’s. I am a traditional artist at heart. I love bold lines and the look of a classic tattoo. But when they switched our skins, I was more stressed than upset. I already got to know my skin. We were connected and I was feeling the original design we came up with which was a traditional style. I didn’t know Nicky’s style or what he already came up with. I felt caught off guard. In the end, I feel it worked out though because I ended up connecting with his original skin as well, and we re-arranged the original design to fit my own style. The skin loved it and so did I.

I don’t think it was fair that Roman received a new skin. It felt like special treatment, and I felt that if it was anyone else they would have been eliminated. But that’s just my own opinion.

I wasn’t surprised by the judge’s criticism at all. It’s a competition. You need to be able to handle the good as well as the bad. It is upsetting and it does hurt in a way to be shot down even after your client is happy and loves their tattoo. But that is the most important thing: that your skin loves the work you do for them. All that criticism doesn’t mean anything against that.

I base my vote on the work. I don’t want to make this experience into a popularity contest like some other people. I am a better person than that. I feel I was on the bottom four mostly because of the other contestants, not so much because of the judges. That didn’t surprise me. I know who I am am and that the work I do for my clients makes them happy. That’s all that matters to me and that’s the only thing that will ever matter to me in this competition or in my shop.

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