Judge's Corner: Sabina Blogs about True Pin-Up Tattoos and Joe's Demise

By Sabina Kelley

Tonight’s episode was my favorite, because it had to do with photography and pin-ups -- which are two things that I love! Plus, I got to host the Flash Challenge this episode, which was a lot of fun. There are six artists left, and the competition is getting super intense. It’s at the point where all the artists left are really good and they are beginning to take things extremely seriously. Judging is even harder, because the artists are incredible and we are having to be very nit-picky.  There is no room for mistakes anymore in this competition. One little tiny mistake could get you sent home.  

The Flash Challenge I think was pretty special for all the artists.  It was really touching to see everyone get emotional when they saw their significant others. It seriously almost made me cry. Darnell was super cute with his blind date, too. The Flash Challenge was photographer Cobra Snake taking pics of each of the couples, and then the artist had to paint themselves with their significant other on canvas. The top two were Karly and Alayna, and Alayna was ultimately the winner.  I felt that was a hard decision because I really liked both Karly and Alaynas pieces.  

Onto the Ink challenge. Pin-up tattoos! I'm an international pin-up model and I have a bunch of pin-up tattoos on me, so this challenge was one that I really took to heart.  A pin-up is cute, sexy, not trashy, fun, has personality, curves, is usually a woman, has great facial expressions, great proportions, perfect pose, and a cute outfit. All of those need to come through in a good pin-up tattoo. It can be in color or in black and grey. 

For the Ink Challenge, the artists had to do couples tattoos. The man had to get a pin-up rendition of their ladies, and the women got a complementary tattoo. The artists got five hours for the pin-up tattoo and two hours for the complementary tattoo.  Alayna's advantage was that she got to take 30 minutes away from two artists during the pin-up tattoo. So, being smart she chose Willy and Joe who are really strong artists, but, everyone finished their tattoos in the time that was allowed.

At elimination Joe and I got into it over Darnell’s tattoo.  His tattoo is in no way a pin-up tattoo. Day of the dead style tattoos are NOT pin-up! Go look up pictures of pin-ups and good luck finding a day of the dead girl.  Darnell did a great tattoo, but I do not feel he met the challenge. I know that is what his skin wanted, but it was not a pin-up. Joe had to argue with me, and say look at his portfolio, but Joe's work I do not consider all pin-up.  Some of it yes, but the rest of it is sexy cartoony girls. He just calls them pin-up, which he can do since he created his own style. So with that being said I do not agree with Darnell winning this challenge. I truly feel that Alayna or Karly should have won. Both of their tattoos were the most pin-up in my opinion.  

The bottom two artists were Lara and Joe.  I agree with that decision. We decided to keep Lara because Lara has been very consistent through this whole competition. Joe, we let go because he was slowly going down hill.  I do feel that Joe's cockiness got in the way of his work. He was a little too big for his britches. I would have thought from the beginning that Joe would have been one of the last two tattoo artists standing, so it was a little shocking.  t was more shocking to all the artists that Joe was let go, and Lara was saved.  I think that scared the crap out of all the artists, letting them know you can be an incredible artist, but if you do not follow the rules you will not win Best Ink. 


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