INK MASTER: EPISODE 1

As I’m sure most of you can imagine, time has been pretty scarce since the airing of “Ink Master”.  Prior to the show I was pretty bad about updating my blog, however I really feel as though now, more then ever, it is important for me to stay connected to you all.  My intention with these blog posts is to show you the work I did on the show as well as explain anything that may have not been explained.  Hopefully this will help clear up any questions you guys might have as to why I did some of the things I did on the show:)

THE MORGUE:  SNAKE AND DAGGER TATTOO ON FAKE ARM

 

The first day on the show was super overwhelming. I’ve never been a big fan of being in front of cameras and they pretty much miked us up and threw us to the wolves. My anxiety was through the roof and I was really concerned as to whether or not I’d even be able to tattoo in this state. Prior to arriving at the morgue I was unaware as to who else was going to be on the show, so once they dropped us off I quickly looked around to see if there was anyone who I recognized. Right off the cuff I saw Tatu Baby and Ron Givens. Tatu Baby and I had been friends prior to the show so I was super excited to see that I had a friend in the mix. Ron and I had never met in person but we had spoken numerous times via the internet. Aside from the two of them the rest of the cast was a mystery to me. Being that there are so many awesome artists hitting the scene these days, I was pretty confident that there was definitely gonna be some talent scattered amongst the group.

So we’re all standing around introducing ourselves to one another when Dave, Chris and Oliver come out and tell us what our first challenge is. I’m really trying to pay attention, but my mind is racing so much that all I remember hearing is Dead People, Snake and Dagger tattoo, and three hours. I immediately start drawing the tattoo design in my head. Knowing that I’m not the fastest tattoo artist in the world, I realize that I’m gonna hafta dumb the design down a bit so that I can get something on there of substantial size. I typically do larger scale work so drawing up a design that I can do in 3 hours is gonna be hard for me to gauge.

Eventually the Judges stop talking and invite us into the morgue. Prior to this point I honestly thought we were going to be tattooing dead people. I’ve never seen a dead person before so I’m kinda freaking out a bit.  Between seeing a dead person for the first time and being on national television, I seriously thought I was gonna pass out. Dave, of course, announces that we’re not tattooing dead people so now all I gotta do is deal with the cameras.  We finally get let loose on the fake body parts and for the first time since the show started I felt focused. I buckled down, sketched a snake and dagger on the arm and started tattooing. I was feeling pretty good about the sketch I had down and went to run my first line.  The fake arm was really difficult to tattoo. I had to go over every line a couple times just to get it in. Initially I was kinda freaking out a bit, but I took a quick gander around and noticed that everyone else was having the same problems.

Three hours passed very quickly, but I was pretty happy with what I had gotten done. At this point I was more concerned with laying a solid tattoo and not embarrassing myself on national television then I was with winning the flash challenge.

TATTOO CHALLENGE: TATTOOED VIRGINS

We get back to the studio and Dave tells me that being that I won the flash challenge I’ve been given the opportunity to hand out all the skulls and decide which tattoos go to each artist.  I wasn’t aware of this twist, so I immediately go from being stoked to pick out my canvas, to freaking out that I’m about to make a bunch of enemies on day one.  Luckily, I really didn’t know what any of the artist’s weak points were so they really couldn’t take it too personal when I handed them a shitty tattoo.  My first priority was just to make sure that I had a piece that I could have fun with.  I ended up scoring a canvas who seemed really open to my suggestions.  She had some mild ideas as to what she wanted, but really enjoyed my work so it was pretty easy to bend her.  Prior to the show I had a concept that had been floating around in my brain for awhile.  It was called “Three Blind Vice”.  The initial concept didn’t really consist of Mice, but the client really liked my rodents so she asked if we could get some in there.  The concept was supposed to illustrate things that distract us (or blind us) from moving forward.  The vision I had for this concept, prior to working with my canvas, was going to consist of humanoid characters blinded by Money, Religion and Technology, but once my client and I started brainstorming she suggested drugs as a blinder.  I really liked that idea so I put everything together and the above tattoo was the result.  I articulated the concept on the show, but I guess they didn’t have enough time to include it;)

 

  1. LOOSE SCREW TATTOO
  2. 3313A W.Cary St
  3. Richmond, VA 23221
  4. 804.342.1981
Open Daily
12pm - 8pm

Glitch Gallery

About

Jesse Smith has been tattooing since June of '96 and is known for his quirky, colorful, illustrative based art. He has won numerous awards for his tattoo work and has been featured in almost every tattoo publication out there. He is currently tattooing at Loose Screw Tattoo in Richmond, Virginia's very own Carytown and although he is no longer taking on any new clients, he is always taking submissions for future clients. If you are interested in possibly getting tattooed by him one day, you can do so via the contact section.