You may only just be getting to know the 12 contestants on Best Ink 2, but these artists have been doing their thing long before they appeared on your teevee. We've watched them practice their craft during the pressure-filled challenges—with specific assignments and those pesky "time limitations"—so we thought it might be interesting to see their work from before they came on show. You know when they could actually tattoo without a clock ticking away in the background.
Alli says: "I love this tattoo because it's of one of the most important historical figures! I also love the colors and the fact that I tattooed it on a history major as well."
Brittany says: "This my favorite tattoo because it was done on one of the most inspirational people I have ever met. Her name is Lauren Baxter. Lauren is 21 and was accidentally shot in the leg when her husband's gun went off last year before a hunting trip. She had to have her lower leg amputated and lost her foot (which was tattooed). She wanted to get an anchor symbolising her strength through such a difficult time in her life. Despite having gone through such a traumatizing, painful and life changing event, Lauren is one of the most positive and beautiful people I have ever tattooed. Tattooing her was an honor. She inspired me to be a better person and put things into perspective when I think I have it rough. You rule Lauren!!!"
Carolyn says: "This is a tattoo I did for my best friend Michael from Soulidium last year. We share an amazing relationship and both took on portraits of each other to commemorate our bond. The pose I used was his favorite from a photo shoot I did, and he asked me to add in a Latin quote from my hand tattoos which says 'Ars Longa, Vita Brevis' (translation: Art is Long, Life is Short)."
Jerod says: "I tattooed this piece at the Chicago convention this year for a client who already had tattoos from most of the great black/grey artists in the industry. He was a true collector, with hardly any bare skin left, except for his forearms. I'm honored to have a piece of my work amongst such an esteemed collection."
Dollarz says: "This young lady's brother was involved in a nearly fatal car accident and this tattoo symbolizes new beginnings. The blurry rose in the backround symbolizes the past being the past and the importance of moving forward. It's near to my heart because of my close relationship with my sister."
Ralph says: "This is one of my favorite tattoos because it is on a client who had no tattoos about a year ago and then became hooked on my work. Since then, we've done a chest-to-arm sleeve, a full back and this one. This piece was actually a portrait of his wife with day of the dead makeup on her face. Whenever someone comes in asking for a portrait there is always added pressure to make it perfect. Then to put the makeup on her and still have it look like the person makes it even more difficult. It meant a lot to me to have him put his faith in me to do this piece and put my style to it."
Don't miss the next brand new episode of 'Best Ink 2' on Wednesday, Apr. 17 at 11/10c!