Tiffany on Best Ink 101: I used my elimination as motivation.

Before tattooing I was a fine arts artist.

I was going to college to be an art teacher. Then my father bought me a tattoo machine for my birthday and I ended up falling in love with this form of art and stuck with it ever since. Now it’s been about 3 years.

My first tattoo was the words, “God’s Image,” tattooed inside my arm. It’s the biblical meaning of my name and I believe I was created in God’s image. Now I have 3 tattoos and after my 12 hour rib tattoo session I don’t think I will be getting more anytime soon. But I sit on my tattoo ideas for a long time. If I think of an idea for a tattoo myself I will wait a year to see if I still like the idea. If I do, then it’s a go! Tattoos are permanent and I take permanency seriously. I’m still young; I don’t want to regret anything!

The first tattoo I ever gave someone was a zombie doll face that my co-worker wanted to get done. I was nervous and excited at the same time. I couldn’t even sleep the night before because I was so excited to do my first tattoo on someone. I remember doing my first line and saying, “Oh my God I’m tattooing right now!” with a cheesy smile and pounding heart.

I enjoy doing black and grey tattoos. Before tattooing I was a fine arts artist. All I ever did was draw on paper with a pencil and it’s something I am comfortable and have a lot of experience with. The most challenging tattoos for me involve color and are more of a comic/cartoon style. I work in an urban city area. Over here everyone gets black and grey work so color is something that I don’t do on an everyday basis. Also, I’m not a cartoonist so I seldom create, draw or tattoo things of this style.

I just want to make my family happy and show people what it is to be a female in a male-dominated industry. The exposure that comes along with it is a blessing because that is when more opportunities come your way and if you know me, you will see the passion I have for tattooing. I want my loyalty, passion and drive for tattooing to pay off already. I want the world to see it. This competition will make it happen for me. And let me tell you….winning $100,000 will be the best gift in paying off my $70,000 school loan that I’m dying to pay off! I want to open my shop and do bigger and better things in life, for my family and in the tattoo industry.

My biggest goal as a tattoo artist is to open my own shop, but also to be well-known around the world. That would be absolutely amazing. My goal is to be the Queen of Black and Grey tattoos someday.

If I could tattoo anyone it would be hip-hop artist Wiz Khalifa. But I’ve been saying this for years now and it has yet to happen! I have recently fell in love with David Beckham so I’d love to tattoo his body someday.

When we were asked to reinvent the butterfly, I wanted it to be elegant and expressive. I know butterflies have an expressionistic value and meaning and one thing I love to draw are eyes (which are also full of expression). So I put the two together and gave it a smooth flow. I didn’t want anything too bold and hard.

During the ink challenge, I was nervous to have to tattoo a zombie. Out of all things a zombie? The last time I tattooed a zombie was when I did my first tattoo on someone. Like I said I work in the city of Newark, NJ so you will not catch anyone coming into a shop wanting a zombie. And on top of that my “skin” wanted a cartoon/comic themed tattoo with an apocalypse background? These are all my weaknesses! I almost thought it was a setup. My very first challenge and this is what I get?

When I found out my skin had drank the night before I was like, “Wow...are you serious?” When you consume alcohol and get tattooed, your blood thins out. So then you start to bleed more than usual. She was bleeding like crazy, which made my session with her difficult because it was hard to saturate the color into her skin with all the bloody mess going on. It was almost as if the ink was being pushed out from all her blood and I couldn’t see how well I was putting in the color. I wasn’t happy with the finished product. I did not feel confident with it and I definitely could have used more time. I couldn’t put details or all the colors I wanted to add. However, I felt as though artistically it was different and at the end of the day all the words on her leg were covered up, so that made me feel good.

When I got the judges' feedback, I honestly envisioned myself taking off my high heel and throwing it at Joe Capobianco’s face. I did what I could do in the unfair to cover up my skin’s tattoo. Joe yelled at me like you would a child. I did exactly what my skin wanted. She was so happy with it and that’s all that matters!

At the end of the day, I know that I didn’t do one of the best tattoos in that specific challenge and I know that I wasn’t the best out of the 10 artists either. But honestly don’t think that I should have been eliminated so soon in this competition. Take ALL of the artists' tattoo portfolios and put them side by side and you will see what I mean! I think it was more about drama than talent. It actually was tough being the first to go. I didn’t have enough time to show the world my potential and I was embarrassed at first. But everything happens for a reason and it wasn’t my time. I still have my support team. I just feel blessed to even be chosen to be on the show. I used my elimination as motivation. I am ambitious and driven so I will never stop. I will be at the top soon. Just waiting for good timing ;) I promise.

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