Results tagged “Oxygen Network”

Apr201303
07:33 AM
best-ink-2-cast.jpgThe times they are a'changin, my friends.

Over the past few years, when I'd interview tattooers, many--if not most--would decry "the scourge" of reality TV in the tattoo world. I've done it myself. But recently, the cries have become more muffled, even muted.

It could be a shoulder shrugging "if you can't beat them, join them" mentality. It could be that a lot of our friends are on the shows. It could even be that the shows have gotten a bit better.  For me, it's all three.

The shows are here to stay. My non-tattooed neighbors watch them. My dentist watches them. My mother watches them. Polite dinner party conversation has moved from Nathan Lane on Broadway to Ami James on NY Ink.

And so, considering the vast audience these shows have, perhaps it's time to help shape them and offer a better representation of tattooing, through constructive critique and support of strong artists featured.

Which brings me to the second season of Best Ink, premiering tonight, April 3rd, at 10PM ET/PT on the Oxygen network.

For those who may have missed the first season, Best Ink is one of the tattoo competition shows in which twelve tattooers compete in different art and tattoo challenges to be the last one standing, winning $100K and a feature in Tattoo magazine.
 
Best Ink Hannah.jpgI got a preview of the show and jotted down my Top 5 Pros and Cons based on the first episode. Here they are:

PRO:  Renowned tattoo artist Hannah Aitchison joins the awesome Joe Capobianco and Sabina Kelly as a judge. When I talked to Joe about the show, he was particularly excited about this too, saying:

My personal favorite new addition to this season is judge Hannah Aitchison. I'm a huge fan of Hannah's work and was insanely jazzed that she agreed to take on the role of the third permanent judge this season. I think that she added an educated, almost 'teacher' approach to the judging that Sabina and I sometimes lacked in the past season.
CON:  Hannah's got a lot of teaching to do, as many of the tattooers are young, with only a few years in the industry under their spiked belts.


PRO:  Pete Wentz replaced Kimberly Caldwell as the show's host. Pete actually has more than one tattoo! He appears cool and comfortable on the set, and more of an insider than an American Idol contestant hanging with the cool kids.

CON: I have no cons about Pete at this moment. He's just too cute.


PRO:  There's a lot more discussion on the design process and what the judges are looking for to create a solid tattoo. It's more educative to the general public, and hopefully, will lead to more educated clients.

CON:  There's a lot more discussion on the design process, and what the judges are looking for to create a solid tattoo. And this will likely lead to more people thinking they know how to tattoo by just watching a TV show.

Best Ink .jpg
PRO:  Joe will make contestants cry.

CON: Contestants do stupid things that makes Joe make them cry.


PRO:  The tattoo clients--or "Skins"--bring the drama. It's a "pro" if you like that kind of thing. Joe thinks it adds to this season, explaining:

There will be a bit more emphasis on the "Skins" (tattoo clients) story this season, which is really cool. Some of these folks have really heartfelt and interesting stories. The show also does quite a bit of background on the artists themselves. My hat goes off to these guys for stepping up to the challenge of the skins' sometimes crazy requests, as well as the Flash and Ink Challenges.
CON:  Not every tattoo has to have a story. The public should also be aware that many of us get tattooed simply because we just like the way it looks. Alas, that doesn't make for a compelling show for the masses.


So, how can we make it more compelling for us? 
 

Best Ink Bingo [And/Or Drinking Game].

I made this simple, sample card below, which you can remix if playing against others. Every time the scene noted in the card plays out on the show, mark an X and take a drink. When you get five across, vertical, or diagonal, finish the bottle. Caveat: based on the choices, you'll be hurting in the morning. [For non-drinkers, take a sip from a frosty protein shake.] You can download a slightly bigger bingo card here on Flickr.

Cheers!

best ink bingo head.jpgBest Ink Bingo 3.jpgPhotos above by Ben Cohen for Oxygen Media.
Dec201108
04:01 PM
INK-MASTER_Spike-CAST.jpgI know. I know. You're upset.

The magic and mystery that tattooing once held has faded into the ether leaving us with, well, Dave Navarro. The heavily tattooed, perfectly manscaped rocker with the smokey eyeshadow is now the arbiter of body art, holding the fate of ten tattooists in his hand as he decides who will be ... "INK MASTER." [!!!]

If only someone who really feels the tattoo passion could command such fate, someone like Kimberly Caldwell ... wait who? Oh, she was the seventh place finalist on the second season of American Idol, who is hosting Oxygen's own tattoo competition, "Best Ink." But we'll get to that.

"Ink Master" is Spike TV's version of Project Runway produced by Original Media, the ones you have to thank for Miami, LA & NY Ink as well as The Rachel Zoe Project and BBQ Pitmasters. Like these shows, "tension and stakes are high" as tattooists battle it out for $100,000 and a feature in Inked Magazine. Here's more from their PR peeps:

"Ink Master" contestants will compete in various tattoo challenges that not only test the artists' technical skills, but also their on-the-spot creativity, where they must create and execute an original tattoo on command. Challenges focus on different tattooing techniques, such as shading, line and proportion, and styles including photorealism, Tribal, American traditional, and pin-up.
Ok, that doesn't sound too bad. Essentially, it's a Hollywood version of the first and most wonderful tattoo competition series, "Tattoo Wars," which was never picked up because people with tattoos actually liked it.

In addition to Navarro, Chris Nunez ("Miami Ink") and Oliver Peck (Elm Street Tattoo) make up the show panel with guest judges, like tattooers Scott Campbell and Jack Rudy, weighing in on certain episodes. Other guest judges are Inked creative director Todd Weinberger, "Auction Hunters" Ton Jones and NBA player Chris Andersen [because reality stars and basketball players are the taste makers in fine art tattooing.]

Considering the roster of artists competing, which include many well respected tattooers -- some who are friends of ours -- we have hopes for Ink Master, or at least we don't think we'll be getting as drunk as we do with our NY Ink Drinking Game.

That said, we'll just pretend this show trailer ever happened. And let's forget the tag line "You don't get to be a master without drawing some blood." Instead, click the videos with our girl, Lea Vendetta and Brooklyn's own Al Fliction. Here's the full artist list:

  • Al Fliction, 42 - Owner and artist at Bklyn Ink in Brooklyn, NY.
  • Jeremy Miller, 27 - Owner and artist at Pigment Demographics and Fine Art in Austin, TX.
  • Tommy Helm, 38 - Owner and artist at Empire State Studio, Oceanside, NY.
  • Shane O'Neill, 39 - Owner and artist at Shane O'Neill Tattoo shops in Middleton, DE and Willow Grove, PA.
  • Brian 'B-TAT' Robinson - Owner and artist at Moving Ink based out of Essex County, NJ.
  • Heather Sinn, 41 - Co-owner and artist of The Tattoo Room in Simi Valley, CA,
  • James Vaughn, 38 - Owner and artist at Straight A Tattoo in Asheboro, NC.
  • Bili Vegas, 29 - Owner and artist at Sacred Tattoo in New York, NY
  • Lea Vendetta, 40 - Artist at A Stroke of Genius Tattoos in Boca Raton, Fl.
  • Josh Woods, 30 - Owner and artist at Black 13 Tattoo in Nashville, TN.

Ink Master premiers January 17th. We'll make a drinking game for this one just in case.

Oh, and yeah, that competition show for the Oxygen network. Well, it's pretty much the exact same thing -- ten artists compete for $100,000 and a spread in a magazine, but in addition to the American Idol non-winner, the awesome Joe Capobianco and Sabina Kelly hold court. Oxygen's PR machine is a bit behind on Spike's, but when [more] photos and videos are out, we'll be posting them, especially if they come with kicky taglines. Best Ink premiers January 30th.

UPDATE:  Tattoo magazine has a cover feature on Best Ink. For more, check the Hope Gallery Blog.

UPDATE 2Best Ink site has a few pics on their site with more content to come.
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