Best Ink Blog

Deadly Sins Flash Challenge.

Alayna's Exit Interview: I Was Rooting for Darnell & Karly

Watch Pete Announce the Winner of 'Best Ink 3'!

1. Sabina Kelley and Laird Hamilton.

Sabina's Top 5 Highlights from 'Best Ink 3'

Darnell's Deadly Sins Flash Challenge from Episode 1.

Darnell's Exit Interview: "Karly Deserved It"

Brother and sister!

Hannah's Top 5 Highlights from 'Best Ink 3'

Judge's Corner: Joe's Final Blog of Season 3!

1. All the 'Best Ink' Season 3 artists!

Joe's Top 5 Highlights from 'Best Ink 3'

Winner's Chat with Karly: "I Didn't Think I had a Shot in Hell!"

The Final Ink Challenge

Darnell's Flash Challenge

The Street Shop Flash Challenge (PHOTOS)

Judge's Corner: It Felt Awful to Send Willy Home

Willy's Deadly Sins Flash Challenge.

Willy's Exit Interview: Being Eliminated Sucks

Alayna's Flash Challenge.

The Demolition Derby Flash Challenge (PHOTOS)

Darnell's Ink Challenge.

The 3D Photorealism Ink Challenge! (PHOTOS)

Judge's Corner: Joe Blogs about Shock, Awe, and Lara's Fatal Unpopularity

Alayna's Ink Challenge.

The Shock Art Ink Challenge (PHOTOS)

Darnell's Shock Flash Challenge.

The Shock Art Flash Challenge (PHOTOS)

Lara's Deadly Sins Flash Challenge.

Lara's Exit Interview: "I Live to Piss You Off"

Alayna's Ink Challenge (top 2)

The Pin-Up Couples Ink Challenge (PHOTOS)

The contestants and their significant others (and Darnell's blind date) gather for a photo shoot.

The Couples Flash Challenge (PHOTOS)

Joe's Deadly Sins Flash Challenge.

Joe's Exit Interview: I'm Not Cocky...I'm Amped

Judge's Corner: Sabina Blogs about True Pin-Up Tattoos and Joe's Demise

Sabina Kelley

Sabina Kelley Hits the Beach for Best Ink

Judge's Corner: Hannah Blogs about Surfboards, Lara's Mandala Fetish, and Romeo

Deadly Sins Flash Challenge

Romeo's Exit Interview: "Lara Should Have Gone Home Instead of Me"

Darnell's Ink Challenge

The Ocean-Inspired Ink Challenge (PHOTOS)

Contestants had to paint surfboards in the Ocean Flash Challenge.

The Surfboard Flash Challenge (PHOTOS)

Judge's Corner: Joe Blogs about Women in the Industry, Biomechanical Tattoos, and Danny's Goodbye

Meet Danny! And check out his Deadly Sins Flash Challenge.

Danny's Exit Interview: No More Tattoo Competitions!

Darnell won his face-off against Willy.

The Biomechanical Ink Challenge (PHOTOS)

Alayna's Flash Challenge

The Biomechanical Flash Challenge (PHOTOS)

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Pete Wentz Is Thinking About Getting Married Again

Judge's Corner: Sabina Blogs About Sci-Fi Stuff, Darnell's Weepy Moment, and May May's Demise

May May's Deady Sins Flash Challenge.

May May's Exit Interview: "I Couldn't Handle the Pressure"

Alayna's Ink Challenge tattoo.

The Sci-Fi Ink Challenge (PHOTOS)

It's the Sci-Fi Flash Challenge!

The Sci-Fi Flash Challenge (PHOTOS)

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Watch Pete Wentz Find Out He Won a People's Choice Award

The Deadly Sins Flash Challenge

Exit Interview with Anthony: I Wish I Hadn't Been So "Laid Back"

Darnell's Ink Challenge.

The Japanese Ink Challenge (PHOTOS)

Alayna's Flash Challenge

The Anime Flash Challenge (PHOTOS)

Judge's Corner: Hannah Blogs About Danny's Tantrum, Alayna's Comeback, and Anthony's Farewell

Alayna's Exit Interview: I Was Rooting for Darnell & Karly

Deadly Sins Flash Challenge.

Alayna was one of the more unlikely artists to compete on Best Ink. As a sweet, good-natured girly-girl who worked as an accountant until just a few years ago, people didn't expect her to become one of the top competitors on a tattoo show. But Alayna made a bold move to pursue tattooing, and she landed in the number 3 spot in this season of Best Ink! She was eliminated in the finale, but only after creating an amazing body of work and making loads of friends in the process. Scroll down to read her full exit interview! 

It was SO CLOSE! Did you agree with the judges’ final decision to keep Darnell and Karly, and to send you home?   

That was incredibly close. I honestly had no idea which way the judges were going to go.  I really thought I brought my "A" game for that final challenge and was really happy and proud of the tattoos I did during that long crazy day. I always saw Karly, Darnell, and Willy as the front runners throughout the entire competition, but for that last crazy Flash Challenge, I really did see myself right there neck and neck with Karly and Darnell and for the first time I thought I had a real shot at that $100,000. I think they are both incredibly talented and I'm sure the judges factored in each of our entire track records into their decision with which two to move forward. I had my ups and downs throughout the competition, and they were both so consistently good. As crazy as it sounds, I was rooting for those two, and I didn't want either of them to be eliminated!  But I was super proud of myself that last day (finally), and although I wasn't surprised to be sent home, I wouldn't have been surprised to move forward either!  

How did it feel to be one of the Top 3? Did you expect to make it that far going in?

It was incredible to make it to the Top 3! Being selected as one of 14 artists to compete was a huge accomplishment in itself and I was setting these mini goals for myself along the way. Once I saw the level of talent I was up against, I really just saw myself in the middle and was crossing my fingers to at least get to do a pinup tattoo (my way) and get an opportunity to showcase my personal style. I think it was around the bio-mech challenge when I was really pushed beyond my comfort zone, I started gaining some courage, confidence, and momentum. And after the mermaid tattoo, I was determined to at least get as close as I could to the top.

What did you take away from your experience on Best Ink?  

I've made a lot of major life-altering decisions in the past couple of years, and all have been really difficult and really challenging.  One was my career change. I was still working behind a desk doing accounting through 2010, so at only three years into tattooing, the decision to compete on Best Ink was another difficult and risky move for me. I'm still green in this industry, and I know I have a lot to learn and a long path yet to take.  I tried to see the Best Ink experience as almost like an apprenticeship graduate program. I knew it was going to be difficult, I knew I was going to be criticized (publicly), and I knew I was going to be uncomfortable. I didn't know it would be so intense or so emotional! But for me, the best part of being on the show was the validation that I made the right decision back in 2010. My journey is really just still beginning in this industry and I couldn't be happier.

Has your life/career changed since you were featured on the show?

The encouragement and support from my friends, family, clients, peers, and fans has been incredible and overwhelming.  It’s really awesome and equally motivating.  Right now I'm gaining tons of new clients, doing a bunch of new pinups, am booked out for months, and even have people flying to Los Angeles just to get tattooed by me.  Tattooing someone is already such a personal and intimate experience and I'm always honored to be chosen as a client's artist. Best Ink has definitely expanded my client roster and I'm so happy to meet all of these new rad people!  I also built some great bonds and friendships with the other artists from the show. And now Romeo is even working with me in L.A.  

Which tattoo are you most proud of from the show? How about the least proud?

My favorite tattoo was the mermaid.  I just freaking love everything about mermaids so much!  I never get tired of drawing them!  And I'd never done an eel tail mermaid, so that was super fun.  As for my least proud moment, there were a few that didn't meet the challenges but the only one I'm not proud of is the unfinished tattoo on Bleach. I just hope that experience didn't scare that poor girl away from getting it finished one day.  Her reasons behind the tattoo were just too important and personal to leave unfinished like that.  

What’s in your tattooing future?  

One of the many perks of tattooing is traveling and I will be doing a lot of it this year, tattooing at conventions and guest spots all over the country. I'll be at the NY Empire State Tattoo Expo in June, the Albuquerque Duke City Tattoo Fiesta in July, Boston Tattoo Convention in August, and Pittsburgh Steel City Tattoo Convention in September, plus a few more!  I'm also booking some guest spots at shops in Chicago, New York, and a few other cities.  I'll be posting dates and info on my website and social media (, , ,

Watch Alayna's exit interview video!

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