Nicky on Best Ink 102: I felt like I dropped the ball.

Hannah Aitchison

The pressure was really getting to me, especially after the skin’s switcheroo.

Before the Flash Challenge, I had never painted on bodies before but I did have an interest in it. My boyfriend’s good friend is a photographer/makeup artist and is known for her body painting. It seemed like something I would be interest in learning, but it was way intimidating doing it for the first time on television with no experience. I wanted to start with a base coat of one light color in order to have a foundation to work off of, but never having done this before, I couldn’t get an even coat of paint so that was quite frustrating. I was just winging it. I didn’t have a concrete concept of what I was going to do and I definitely didn’t really know what I was doing the entire time, honestly. I wish I had more time to think about a concept before diving right into it. It’s definitely stressful to perform on command like that.

For the Ink Challenge, tattooing pin up girls is actually one of my specialties. I am known for “my girls” as they’ve been called, but the pressure of the time restraint and the surprise switch up had my head spinning. I was already so stressed out working with the restraints given by the skin, and then to have my skin switched with someone else’s, as well as their artwork really threw me for a loop. I felt like I dropped the ball. I was pretty unsatisfied with my execution. I feel like I could have done so much more!

I was especially stressed out over Jess’ incessant whining over the switch. I gave her the original sketch that I designed, even though I wasn’t going to use it, because it was simpler and more generic. She was complaining that she couldn’t do my style, so I figured she would have more luck with my original design. Plus, whatever keeps her quiet is always a good thing.

I think it was only fair that Roman received a new skin. His original skin was very unreasonable. Why would you sign up for a show to get tattooed by someone and then have all these stipulations and parameters? It makes no sense. You’re getting a free tattoo by a world renowned artist and you have the audacity to complain about his vision? If I was Roman, I would have been way offended.

When it came time to show the judges my tattoo, I wasn’t really surprised by their critiques. I felt like I had kind of dropped the ball. The pressure was really getting to me, especially after the skin’s switcheroo. After feeling like I didn’t get much recognition in the first week’s challenge, I was a little discouraged. I was so close to winning the Flash and Ink Challenge, but no dice!

When we have to vote, my votes are mostly based on the execution of the tattoos done in that particular challenge. But that’s not to say that personal issues between fellow artists didn’t sway my votes…

I wouldn’t have been in the bottom four if I had voted for Kyle. Kyle’s tattoo was unfinished and consequently he was voted into the bottom by some of the other artists. Kyle is my boy, so I didn’t want to vote for him. I voted for Jon, knowing there was no way he would end up in the bottom. Basically I wasted a vote on purpose. This however turned out to be a stupid idea because Kyle and I tied to go into the bottom. So if I would have voted for Kyle, I would not have even been down there. But I like Kyle. I got the closest to him the quickest because we were two of the only original smokers, besides Meghan. So us the three would always bond over a cigarette.

Roman’s tattoo was mega cool, but it was a little confusing. It was a pin up challenge, and he basically did a color portrait. But hey, it was super well done, and it turned out awesome. I think that Alexis should have won, but then I could be a little bias since she's my BFF!

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