NEPA Scene Staff

Kingston tattoo artist Ryan Ashley Malarkey becomes first female ‘Ink Master’ in live TV finale

Kingston tattoo artist Ryan Ashley Malarkey becomes first female ‘Ink Master’ in live TV finale
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From a press release:

“It’s time that a strong, dedicated woman isn’t afraid to be herself and work hard for this title.”

This quote from Shavertown resident and Kingston tattoo artist Ryan Ashley Malarkey was used in promotions leading up to the “Ink Master” Season 8 live finale on Tuesday, Dec. 6, and she lived up to her words that night.

For the first time in “Ink Master” history, the popular Spike TV show has a female winner. Malarkey earned the ultimate bragging rights of the title of Ink Master, taking home a cash prize of $100,000, a feature article in the premiere tattoo publication Inked, a brand new Dodge Charger, and a guest spot at Oliver Peck’s Elm Street Tattoo in Dallas, Texas.

This season it was Oliver Peck vs. Chris Núñez as the judges picked their own teams of tattoo artists to advise throughout the competition. 30 of the top tattoo artists from around the country were whittled down to two teams of nine, who battled it out all season in permanent ink in various tattoo challenges that not only tested the artists’ technical skills, but also their on-the-spot creativity, with competitors creating and executing original tattoos on “human canvases.”

Each week’s challenges focused on a different tattoo technique and style. After every challenge, the contestants faced a tough panel made up of musician, filmmaker and artist Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction as well as world-renowned tattoo artists Núñez of Hand Crafted Tattoo and Peck of Elm Street Tattoo.

The final three contestants – Kelly Doty, owner and artist at Helheim Gallery in Salem, Massachusetts; Gian Karle, traveling tattoo artist from Puerto Rico; and Malarkey, artist and co-owner of The Strange and Unusual oddities parlor in Kingston – were each assigned a master canvas and sent back to their home bases to complete a 24-hour chest piece tattoo.

In addition, the three finalists also completed seven-hour tattoos leading into the live finale. During the finale, fans voted to determine who completed this challenge the best, with the most votes earning a spot in the Top 2. After thousands of tweets, it was determined that Malarkey had the best live tattoo of the evening, which secured her spot in the final two. After the judges reviewed the artwork, Karle earned the second spot in the final two.

As they revealed their master canvases to the judges – and America – in the end, Malarkey was named the Season 8 winner of “Ink Master,” making Northeastern Pennsylvania and ladies everywhere proud.

As she said in the very beginning, she “didn’t come to be in second place.”