Flash Challenge: Semi Nude
When I found out what the flash challenge for this episode was I was super excited. I've done a substantial amount of airbrushing in the past and camouflaging a human into the wall seemed like a really fun idea. The question I've been receiving the most since this particular episode aired is "why did you choose the grey wall of shame?". The reason I chose that location is because it was in the shade and the producers (as well as myself) were concerned about my bald head getting sun burned. They offered to give me a hat to wear during this challenge, but the only one they had laying around was a Rock Star Energy drink hat and I really wasn't tryin to rep Rock Star on national television. The second question I've been getting a lot is "why did your piece suck so bad?". My piece sucked so bad because my airbrush broke about 10 minutes into the challenge. The producers were kind enough to give me another airbrush, but me being the genius that I am, broke that one as well. I was then forced to complete the duration of the challenge painting the model with my hands. I eventually got to the point where I realized that there was no chance that I was going to win this challenge so I decided to have a little fun with production and draw some googley eyes with teeth on the models ass as well as a "Rock Star" logo on her upper back (you'll notice that they blurred out the yellow star so that you can't see the actual logo). Needless to say, production didn't find that funny;)
Tattoo Challenge: Cover-up
Cover ups have always been a thorn in my side ever since I started tattooing, so once I heard that we were doing them as a challenge, I really wasn't all that excited. On top of that, Kay Kutta had also made it pretty clear that he was gunnin for Steve and myself so I knew I was gonna get a hard one.
When Kay started handing out skulls there were two canvas' that I definitely didn't want. One was the one that Steve got (a bunch of random vines and flowers) and the other was the one that Jaimie got (I honestly don't know what the original piece was, but it was jammed into a little place on this ladies chest with no room to breath). Mine wasn't the easiest of the bunch, but luckily my client was very open to my ideas so it made things so much easier.
On a side note: I just wanted to say that although Kay Kutta comes off as a dick head on the show, I, personally, enjoyed his company. He definitely came at some of the cast members pretty abrasively, but there is a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes that they don't show. Pretty much everything negative that you see about each character on the show is typically counter balanced by a lot more positivity that, from what I can see so far, isn't shown. Whether you enjoy his personality or not, Kay was one of the few people on the show that was consistently staying up late to work on his tattoo design for the next day. He put everything he had into everything he did and for that I have a lot of respect for him.
Although the photo above makes the tattoo look super faded, it was actually still pretty dark and bold. I honestly had no idea as to how I was going to cover it up. There wasn't much space to the left and right of the tattoo to counter balance the dark that I was going to have to put over the clover to cover it up so I was forced to figure out a design that would lure your eye above and below the dark space. I originally had talked to the client about doing some sort of bio-mech, but once I got into sketching "Al the Acid eating Angler Fish" was the only thing I could see.
The judges really didn't seem too interested in the story behind this tattoo and Terrell Suggs kept calling it the "Finding Nemo" fish, but to those of you who care to hear about it a bit the story goes as follows:
"Of the few angler fish that reside in the lower depths of the Creotic Sea, Al is the one that all the squirrel tell their youth to keep them from following their greed and pursuing the wealth of the golden acorn. Getting eaten by an angler fish is never fun, but getting eaten by an angler fish on acid is even worse. Al grew up eating squirrel just like most of his kind, but somewhere along the way his taste for squirrel became rancid. Before long, he couldn't stand it. The thought of squirrel began to drive him mad. He eventually got to the point where acid was his only way of escape. It started out as a few hits here and there and eventually turned into something he did daily. Psychotic thoughts of torturing squirrel swirled through his head regularly. The thoughts soon festered up to reality and every squirrel who crossed his path lived long enough to regret their pursuit for wealth."