Sabina Kelley: living pin-up, tattoo buff, and Best Ink judge. Don't let the pretty face fool you...she's not letting the contestants get away with anything this season. The model and tattoo removal shop owner brings a client's perspective to the judge's panel, and she makes criticism look good. We asked her all about Season 3, about her latest ink, and about the celebrities who recently popped into her shop, Bombshell Tattoo Removal. Scroll down for the full Q&A, and tune into the Season 3 premiere Wednesday at 10/9c!
What about this season differed from previous seasons?
I feel like this season, there is a very even playing field. You can't guess right at the beginning who is going to win or who the top two artists will be. We also have 14 artists this season, which is more than we have ever had, and the challenges are new and exciting!
What should viewers look forward to the most this season?
The viewers should definitely look forward to a fun-filled, drama-filled, not-what-you-would-expect season. It will for sure keep you on the edge of your seat. We have a great Season 3 cast!!!
Have you ever considered getting a tattoo from a Best Ink contestant?
Actually I haven't. Not because I don't want to, but probably because I really do not want anymore tattoos right now and I am very very picky about my tattoos. I have my specific artists that I stick to.
What can a tattooer learn about real life tattooing from being on the show?
The artists can learn a lot from being on the show. They learn the pressures that could happen in everyday life, where people change their mind at the last second, dealing with a difficult skin, dealing with time restraints, and overall stressful situations. It also teaches you to be a well-rounded artist and be able to tattoo and push yourself to learn all styles of tattooing. It teaches you to be an artist -- not just a tattoo artist -- and you get to be critiqued by some of the biggest names in the industry to just help you improve your skills. The artists should not take away a negative experience from the show, whether they win or lose. They should leave knowing they were amazing enough to be on the show, and take everything they learn and put it toward bettering their career as a tattoo artist, and take full advantage of the exposure the show gives them.
Do you feel like Hannah and Joe balance you out, or bring something different to the table than you do?
Yes, I do feel that Hannah and Joe balance me out. Joe and Hannah are more of the technical judges. I know the technical side, but am not a tattoo artist. I have owned tattoo shops, I do laser tattoo removal, I am heavily tattooed, and am a tattooed model who works as the spokesmodel for tattoo conventions all over the world, so I am far from new in the tattoo industry. I feel I am the judge that sees things more like the normal person who watches the show would see things, except I have more knowledge in the tattoo world than the normal viewer. I also look at things as it relates to more of the themes of the tattoos, placement, proportions, colors, and the overall look of the tattoo and that the skin got the best tattoo of what they wanted.
What have you been up to? Any new ink? How’s the tattoo removal business?
I have been crazy busy modeling. I will be the spokesmodel for the New Zealand and Melbourne tattoo conventions later this month. My new 2014 calendar just came out and can be purchased on my goodies page off of my website. My new T-shirt with Famous Stars and Straps (Sabina Backseat) and my shirt with Dirty Rotten Rides (Beauty Queen) just came out.
As far as new ink, I got one side of my neck tattooed with three roses by the incredible Chuey Quintanar, and I also got a "PMA" (Positive Mental Attitude) tattoo on my hand by the amazing Franco Vescovi.
The tattoo removal business is going great. I have only been lasering a couple times a month by appointment only, but I really enjoy it and am really good at it. I just lasered Tera Patrick and Holly Madison!
Tune into the 'Best Ink 3' premiere Wednesday at 10/9c!