Best Ink Season 3 premieres tonight at 10/9c, and who better to give advice to the new contestants than Season 2 winner Teresa Sharpe? We caught up with Teresa to find out what she's up to these days, what she's doing with her prize money, and what the Season 3 tattooers should learn from the competition. And guess what? She lost to DJ in another competition on the convention circuit! Click "more" for the full Q&A!
What advice do you have for the contestants going into Best Ink 3?
Be willing to learn from your mistakes. Keep the time in mind when you are drawing up the design. Don't bite off more than you can chew, but always play to your strengths as an artist. Also don't be afraid to tell the client "no." They will trust your confidence more than your indecision.
What was the most challenging part about being on the show, and how did you overcome it?
The most challenging part is the grueling pace as well as the complete and total lack of ability to plan ahead. You have to be good at working under pressure on the fly!
How did you learn to deal with all drama with the other contestants?
You just can't let other peoples' opinions of you shake your confidence. Do what you do best: do art! In the end you can only be who you are, so don't try to be something you're not! It can be hard to not get swept up in the emotions of others. That's why it's so important to focus on your work and just do the best tattoo you can do, Because in the end, that's what is most important.
What has the exposure from the show done for your career?
Exposure from the show has definitely made it easier for me to not only travel the country, but the world. I have been able to take my career global with very little struggle. It has been a very rewarding experience. It has also been very beneficial to my shop. There are more tattoo requests than I can handle every day in my inbox. It's great to be able to turn some clients onto the amazing art that goes on in my shop around me!
What have you done with your prize money?
Updated some electronics, paid taxes! [laughs] ...and I'm getting a hot tub for Christmas! But also I'm a boring responsible adult, so I'm trying to save it for my brother's education, and for my future as well!
Aside from the money and exposure, how did you benefit from being on the show?
I definitely learned a lot about myself, and how I deal with working under pressure. I also discovered just how competitive I am! I still try to stay in contact with DJ, Tylor, Jerod, and Brittany when time allows. DJ and I actually worked the Virginia Beach Tattoo Festival together which was so much fun! We competed for "Tattoo of the Day" a couple times and DJ took first both times...but I was close on his heels with a second place. He is an amazing artist and it's always fun to work with him!
Are you going to tune into Season 3? I bet that’ll feel pretty insane to watch!
Of course! I need to see who I might go up against if they ever do a "Best of Best ink" competition! [laughs]
What advice do you have for the winner?
Stay humble, and continue to learn even after this experience. There is always someone better than you. Support other artists and use this new found fame for good. Educate people about good tattoos, and help your local community, especially the art community that helped you get where you are. Also give back to the clients and coworkers that helped you get to this point in your career. And dont spend all your winnings in one place! Use this experience to take you further in your field!
Watch the finale of Season 2 below, and watch the premiere of 'Best Ink 3' tonight at 10/9c!