Ink Master – Illustrative Blackwork

Victor J Webster Tattoos

Another episode of Ink Master, another twist for the artists. Looks like competition will not get weeded out that easily, just because only nine teams started.

“It’s like the Hydra,” Ulyss Blair comments, “every time you cut a head off another one springs up.” A good comparison, I’d say. After Thicker Than Blood got eliminated last week, the remaining teams walked into their flash challenge to learn that a new team will be joining the fight. And this will keep happening… until Dave Navarro announces otherwise.

New teams, old competitors

The new team hails from Arizona, from the shop Old Town Ink. However, only one of the members is new to the show. The other is eliminated Season 4 contestant Bubba Irwin. His name doesn’t ring any bells for the rest of the teams, but who he brought in with him raised some eyebrows. Bubba has partnered up with DJ Tambe, who is well known in the tattoo world. We will talk about them more when their time comes though. For now, let’s just say they came in swinging.

Bubba and DJ of Old Town Ink
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DJ’s creativity shone through already on the flash challenge. The teams had to show their fundamentals – drawing, linework, shading, etc. – with nothing but Post-It notes! The newcomers created a bold, symmetrical tiger across the whole canvas, which brought them the win and the advantage of assigning the human canvases for the elimination challenge.

Theme of the day – linework

An additional rule also came with Bubba and DJ. It states that in that week everyone will be judged on what the newly returned artist was previously eliminated for. In the case of Bubba – linework. For that purpose, the style of tattooing this week was Illustrative Blackwork. Once again, it was a tag-team tattoo. That means no shading, no blending, and no solid black. Just crisp black lines, one after the other.

Or five at once, if you have the balls to go for it. Which DJ apparently has, because he was the only artist using magnum needles while everyone else was labouring with liners. The others protested in private and in the open and even voted Old Town Ink to the bottom for ‘cheating’. This yielded one big nothing, with an added scoff from Oliver Peck.

The next ones to go from Ink Master

In the end, it was The Marked Society‘s unsatisfactory tiger tattoo that became the next hydra head to be chopped off. The Georgia duo was at the bottom again last week and the fact that there was a personal tragedy in one of the member’s lives did not help them get back on track with this challenge. With 17, and 5 years of practice behind them, Wes Hogan and Mike Petroskie sounded like a solid team. Wes is known for photo realism, black & grey, and high contrast. Mike specializes in illustrative tattoos in bright bold colours. Unfortunately for them, they did not get to show off their best work. Whether it was poor luck, bad timing or bad artistry, we’ll let you decide for yourself.

Artistic Skin Design
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In the meantime, Artistic Skin Designs (above), who were given a complicated rib cage piece, won tattoo of the week for the second time in a row.

Check out the elimination tattoos of all nine teams…

as well some of Wes and Mike’s best works:

Black Anchor Elimination Tattoo
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Tri Cities Tattoo
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Pinz and Needlez Elimination Tattoo
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