Charlie on Best Ink 101: My strategy going in was to think outside the box.

Personally, I have over 20 tattoos now that took about 100 hours.

I have always loved people and their stories, and of course art so tattooing seemed a natural avenue to express myself and work with a multitude of people from all different lifestyles. I got the idea to start tattooing sitting on my parents’ bed watching the Discovery Channel. I was watching a show on the history of tattooing and thought, “That doesn’t look so hard.”

My first tattoo I ever gave someone else was a Celtic knot. It was a cover-up over a 15 year old tattoo. The guy trusted me from watching me draw for months. I’ve been tattooing on and off for almost seven years now. I enjoy tattooing girly, flowing, feminine pieces that accentuate the body. Portraits are definitely the most challenging. Very stressful!

To win Best Ink would mean so much to me. It would validate all the sacrifices that I’ve made both with family and friends to where I am now. I would love to own a shop and work with other talented artists. I would love to provide an environment where we are always challenging each other to try new things and new techniques.

My strategy for going into the butterfly challenge was to think outside of the box. I aimed to create a butterfly out of something else. I was done with 10 minutes left to challenge and thought I had lost for sure. But then I won! Woohoo! This farm girl has got some drawing skills!

I’m glad I didn’t use my advantage going into the Ink Challenge to swap skins. She’s a redhead with my name. I couldn’t give her up! Regardless of the judges' feedback, my skin was blissfully happy and I was satisfied. Joe has his style, and I have mine. I’m going to keep my style and my customers.

After meeting all the other contestants and having two challenges, I think London will be the most competition for sure. He’s a true artist and sees life differently.

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