The Man Without a Canvas

Josh has apparently come to the show with the idea of using reality show survival techniques to play against his rivals. This is pretty obvious by now, and it is not making him any friends among the other artists. He does, however, have good people skills, something he demonstrates on his human canvasses.

People skills are one of the facets of an Ink Master that some of the contestants keep overlooking. In the first two seasons we have seen some really, really difficult canvasses. Some of them want work that exceeds the time allotted, some are just fucking nuts. Unfortunately for the artists, they have to work with these people, get them to co-operate. It is an integral facet as we found out last night.

Flash Challenge

The cast assembles in a lingerie store where they are told they will be tested on texture. They will get a canvass and select a garter for her, but the tattoo must incorporate all of the texture of the original. And it must be done in four hours, with the worst texture going home early.

James Danger does not get off to a good start in any way. His canvas is making ridiculous demands, then his stencils don’t come out, forcing him to go free-hand.

Garter by Joshua Hibbard

Garter tattoo by Josh Hubbard

Maddie was judged to be the worst, so despite the fact that Tatu Baby didn’t even finish her garter, she was sent packing. Everyone knew she wouldn’t make it far, better to get rid of her early.

This is not the view of many of her fellow artists, however, but Tatu Baby is a rather special case. America decided she was worthy of a second chance, and to see someone of her demonstrated ability be kicked off the show for carelessness while someone who struggles as much as Maddie does to be allowed to continue…that would have been unacceptable. Likewise, she cannot continue to fail.

Elimination Tattoo

Special guest judge Tony Hundahl came around to see what kind of color the artists were putting out with their texture challenge this week. And to make it fair, everyone would have to tattoo a phoenix giving the judges another apples-to-apples comparison. None of them went for the groin this time, however.

Going into the elimination round Josh has the power to assign the human canvasses and it is clear that he enjoys this power. It seems obvious that he watched the show before becoming a contestant, and his Game seems much the same as Kay Kutta‘s. The difference, of course, being that Josh has much more experience than Kay does at tattooing.

He gives New Skool master Jime Litwalk a realistic piece, tosses Kyle a New Skool job, and Tatu Baby wins the booby prize with an 80 year old canvas whose previous experience was limited to 2 hours.

Phoenix by Tatu Baby as worn by an 80 year old canvas

Phoenix by Tatu Baby as worn by an 80 year old canvas

Mark finds himself dealing with another difficult canvas in the person of Natalie who wants a phoenix with no detail. The conflict between them just kept escalating til the point where she left.

The judges investigated by talking to him, then her, then watching the tapes. I sided with Dave Navarro on this one, that the canvas is a fucking nut and Mark should get some slack. The judges, however, stopped him cold by saying “We’re store owners. You do not drive away business.”

That is a tough argument to refute.

In the end, however, Mark had no tattoo to display since his client left and he wasn’t willing to tattoo himself.

Tops and Bottoms

Phoenix by Craig Foster

Phoenix tattoo by Craig Foster

Despite his vociferous protestations, James had nothing to show them aside from a crappy garter. And that wasn’t enough to keep him here.