Tattoo artist and expert Hannah Aitchison is the new judge to the table on Best Ink 2. Based on her, oh, scathing, assessment of the contestants' performances in the first episode, Joe Capobianco isn't the only outspoken arbiter at the table. But the newbie to the team was gracious enough to take a few minutes to chat with us and share her thoughts on the Season 2 contestants, working with Pete Wentz and how it is as a female artist in a male dominated industry.
Best Ink 2: You guest judged once for Best Ink—compared to last season, how does this group of tattoo artist contestants compare?
Hannah: Last season's artists were wonderful as well. This time around, though, I had the opportunity to watch them develop and meet each of the challenges, and even formed a few friendships after the season wrapped. There is so much talent in that group that it just served as a great reminder of what it is I love about this business!
What were you most impressed with seeing this season?
I was really impressed by the cast artists' overall level of professionalism and their determination to really shine each time around. They all had such a great attitude it gave me added inspiration to put as much as I can into my own work. Also, our production team was incredibly spot on each and every day. It's not my first TV rodeo, so I was excited to work with such a group of consummate pros. It made the whole experience so much smoother.
What were you least impressed with?
Hmm, not sure if there's anything I have to offer here! The only thought I would have might be if the judges (as tattoo artists) would have a bit of input as to the Flash Challenges and be able to make suggestions. They were all really fun, but ohh boy, I know Joe and I would have a few sneaky ideas up our sleeves to offer if given the chance!
What was it like to work with Pete Wentz as the host?
Hannah: Pete's a fellow Chicagoan and I know we connected a lot on that level. He's very warm, funny and unpretentious—a really genuine, sharp guy with a great sense of humor. I liked how interested he was in understanding the tattoo process and our criteria, as judges, and to contribute his ideas to the show day to day.
It was mentioned in the Episode 2 that it’s hard for female tattoo artists to be taken seriously in the industry. What have your experiences been like?
I think my experience has been kind of unique as my brother Guy was already a recognized figure in the industry by the time I was getting started. Because of this I had relatively easy access to some of the greatest names in the business at that time, but it also did mean that expectations were incredibly high for what kind of work I might produce. If anything, I was taken too seriously for someone who was more inclined to fall on her face than anything else right out of the gate!
In one sentence, give the viewers your best sales pitch as to why they should watch Best Ink 2.
This season, not only do viewers get to watch some of the best new talent in the tattoo business go head to head for a major cash prize, but they also get three of the most amazing, incisive, witty and charming judges on tv to weigh in each week and render the occasional bon mot. See everyone Wednesday nights!!
Don't miss the next episode of Best Ink 2 on Wednesday, Apr. 10 at 10/9c!