Jon on Best Ink 102: I wasn't surprised at the judges criticism.
I am my own worst critic.
Before the Flash Challenge I had never painted bodies before. Although it was something I had always wanted to try, I was still really nervous about the challenge. I had never used any of the materials that we were given and we didn’t have a lot of time to learn before we had to start. During this challenge I was just thinking, please let this be over quickly and get me back into the tattoo shop! My model was kind of cute, so it made it less painful but a lot was expected of us in a very short amount of time. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to produce the quality of work I expect for myself. Towards the end I just kind of gave up. The hardest part about painting a body was achieving full coverage with the materials we had. The makeup was a little tricky to use. Towards the end I started to figure it out, but by that point I just didn’t want to do it anymore.
After the Flash Challenge, I was looking forward to the Ink Challenge. I love tattooing pin-up girls; the female form is one of the most visually interesting and beautiful things in the world. Pin-ups can mean just about anything to the wearer so it’s great subject matter to work with. When our clients were changed, I was pissed! I was really stoked on my skin and her idea. I had already taken great reference photos and started working on a drawing. I was really upset to see all that work go to waste and have to start all over from scratch. When I got my new skin, I was bummed that I didn’t have much to work from. I knew I would end up using some of my tattoo time to work on the design.
When it came time to be judged, I wasn't surprised at the criticism I received. I am my own worst critic and the things they mentioned were already things I would have liked to have been able to tackle during a second session. Unfortunately we only get one shot in this competition and I did a very large tattoo in a short amount of time.
I always base my voting for elimination on the three weakest tattoos. I don’t base it on who I think is the toughest competition or who I have personal issues with. You have to do what is right.
I think it was fair that Roman received a new skin. His original skin was very closed minded and would not let Roman do what he does. He received the same amount of time that we did and had to tattoo way later than all of us which must have been hard. He definitely deserved to win the Ink Challenge. He did a huge tattoo that looked awesome. It was super clean and the colors were super bright and really saturated. I was super stoked for him.