London on Best Ink 103: I wanted to make a statement.
When Roman announced that he was leaving, I really wanted to go with him.
My wife, who was at the time my fiancé, and my mom were big inspirations for me during the Flash Challenge. The concept of marriage was on my mind and that’s what I went with. It was a hard challenge though. Markers do not work well on canvas. So I wasn't able to draw or render anything as well as I wanted to. I thought about joining Roman when he quit! The tools we were given were not easy to work with. Most of us agreed it was all one big mess.
When we were given the Ink Challenge, I was looking forward to it. I had a client who came from Canada to get a memorial portrait tattoo of his daughter who died from a degenerative disease. The strength and optimism that he and his family showed was inspiring. He is a great guy who truly loves his family and lovely daughter. I was honored to do that tattoo.
I have to be honest it’s intimidating when Joe comes over to critique our tattoos! Joe is a pretty intense guy. I value and respect his opinion because he is brutally honest and holds tattooing dear to his heart like me. I know he was analyzing every detail of my work so it was definitely a bit nerve-wracking each time.
I was pretty pleased with my tattoo. My client asked for a Japanese-style fu dog tattoo. Even though I love Japanese tattoo art, I am not well versed in all of the strict rules that make up proper Japanese tattoos. I did my best to design my own version of the fu dog while trying to make it flow with my client's other tattoos.
I wasn't surprised by the judge’s feedback. I did nice clean work. I did what I was asked and utilized my time accordingly. The time allotted was minimal but I wanted to make a statement with this piece: big, bold, and vibrant. I felt that I did a nice tattoo that will hold for life.
When Roman announced that he was leaving, I really wanted to go with him. We discussed leaving together because we both were tired of the drama. But I decided I wanted to stay. I told him that we made it this far and that we could make it to the finale. He missed his kids and I couldn't talk him out of it. I was bummed because he is my buddy and my biggest competition in the show. I wanted to go to the end with him and do some biomechanical, color portraits and illustrative stuff against him.
Jon and Alexis are my biggest competition at this point. They are doing super clean and really nice tattoos each time. Charlie is smart and knows how to vote and manipulate, though, so she's one to look out for.