Exit Interview with Izzi: "I Wish I Had More Time to Show My Range"

By Oxygen

Izzi's time on Best Ink was definitely memorable. The Louisville, KY tattoo artist made quite the impression with her bold attitude, and for fighting with May May from the get-go. On Episode 3, she worked with Alayna on a collaborative tattoo, but her shading didn't meet the judges' mark. We had to say goodbye to her tonight, but she's holding her head high -- and even starting her own tattoo shop! Check out our exit interview with Izzi. 

What have you been up to since filming Best Ink? 

Since filming Best Ink I have been working my little booty off 24-7 trying to catch up with all the tattoos & art commissions I was unable to fulfill due to filming! I have a few businesses I'm starting as well as my very own tattoo shop! I'm super excited to dive right back into the craziness of my career. It's my life.

Did you agree with the judges’ decision to keep Amy and May May, and to send you home?

I can't honestly say I agreed with the decision. I felt as though I took their critiques week after week and applied them and kept doing better and better work. I've always taken responsibility for my mistakes and never attempted to put them off on anyone else, but that decision was never for me to make. So be it.

Describe the challenges of completing your collaborative tattoo.

Probably the hardest part of doing the collaborative tattoo with Alayna was trying to stay out of each others’ way!! I felt very blessed to be paired with Alayna, She's an amazing artist who enjoys drawing beautiful women as much as I do and is herself such a beautiful person. We were on the same page the entire time.

If you could go back and do the tattoo differently, would you? If so, what would you do differently?  

Of course I would love to go back and have more time on the piece. I'm a very slow and methodical tattooer, unfortunately. We misunderstood our time division and it hurt us in the end. I respect Joe, his body of work and his opinions, I always attempted to take the critiques and better my work with them. I appreciate them all.

Do you have any other thoughts about your time on the show, in terms of your work, your relationships with other contestants, etc.?

I consider myself very blessed to be one of the few artists on this planet who can say they had this experience and this opportunity. I wish I had more time to show my range. My own propensity to help others before myself hurt me on a few occasions, as it is a competition, but I'm fine with that. I would rather go home with my integrity than play some Machiavellian chess game in order to win. I still speak regularly with the majority of the cast. I'm glad we ALL had this opportunity.

If you could have planned your own Best Ink challenge that would tailor to your strengths, what would it be?

I would probably want to do something totally horror-inspired. I love horror movies and have worked as a special effects makeup artist for a number of haunted attractions over the years, so blood, guts and gore are definitely my favorite things to tattoo. Maybe something wickedly beautiful to incorporate my love of tattooing/drawing women's faces. I love anything DIFFERENT. 

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

Stick by who you are and what you believe in, no matter who or what may induce you to do otherwise. Use your mistakes as building blocks. They may try to make a villain out of you, but at the end of the day I live by the old adage of "what does it gain a man to gain the world yet lose his soul?" and the more contemporary: "real recognizes real". 

What’s in your tattooing future?

I'm looking forward to continuing with the mountain of projects and tattoos I've been asked to do. I'm in the process of building my very own tattoo shop/art gallery which I am so ecstatic about. I will be working at conventions in Europe & North America all next year. People can contact me for appointments and appearances at my Facebook artist page or by e-mailing me at izziecho@yahoo.com

Get more Izzi in this exit interview!

Tune into a new episode of Best Ink 3 on Wednesday, Jan. 1!

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