NEPA artist and ‘Ink Master’ champion Ryan Ashley Malarkey stars on new show
Source: SpikeInk Master: Angels NEW Official Trailer - ‘A Brand New Form of Competition’
On her road to becoming Ink Master on the eighth season of the hit Spike reality TV show last year, Kingston oddities parlor and tattoo studio owner Ryan Ashley Malarkey developed a lasting friendship with three of her fellow female contestants.
Now that bond unites the four artists as they star in a new show that takes them across the United States and carries with it a message of passion and creativity.
“Ink Master: Angels,” which features Malarkey alongside Kelly Doty, Nikki Simpson and Gia Rose, premiered last night and follows the women as they travel city to city challenging some of America’s noteworthy artists to compete first against each other and, for the winner of the first challenge, against an Angel of their choice, each week.
Artists, both male and female, will be vying for a spot on “Ink Master’s” upcoming 10th season.
“With this structure, it allows artists from all walks of life to showcase themselves and their art on a national platform,” Malarkey said. “We get to spotlight artists that don’t get the recognition they deserve.”
Malarkey said while there is a positive spin on the game, emotions still run high.
“There are definitely crazy instances that happen,” she said. “Friction happens in any competition. Art is about passion, and when people are passionate, it causes adrenaline and crazy things happen, because artists want to stand strong behind their artwork.”
Malarkey said her relationship with Doty, Simpson and Rose, which developed into both an alliance and a sincere appreciation of one another while they were on “Ink Master,” grew because of the nature of being a female tattooer in a traditionally male-dominated industry.
“Touring the country with these girls, it was amazing,” Malarkey said. “Even on the longest day with the craziest schedule, I knew I wasn’t in it alone. I was there with women I love and respect so much, and it made the experience so much better. Who wouldn’t want to experience something like that, of that magnitude, with some of their closest friends?”
“Ink Master: Angels,” Malarkey said, features regular appearances by special guests whom the Angels “love and appreciate,” but at the heart of the show are the four tenacious competitors who became one unit that represented a wealth of talent and a campaign of female empowerment during the “Ink Master” season that yielded its first lady champion.
“Our bond is genuine,” Malarkey said. “It’s not produced or forced. It’s real. You can’t fake that.”
Malarkey said the group’s tour of 11 cities over three months — which included an appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards where Malarkey was voted among the worst dressed and wore the status as a badge of honor and individuality — showed her places she fell in love with and gave her a new perspective on her home.
“I ended up appreciating Pennsylvania and our area, because of all the aspects of our community that you don’t find everywhere else,” she said.
Whether potential viewers are fans of “Ink Master” or not, Malarkey said they should give the new show a try, because of the courage it took for the Angels to operate within the show’s structure.
“We’re not just standing around and pointing fingers and judging,” she said. “We’re actually putting ourselves back in the ring and competing against artists as peers. It’s really unexpected what happens all season long. It’s really worth checking out and tuning in.”
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.
‘Ink Master: Angels’
About: The ‘Ink Master’ spin-off stars Ryan Ashley Malarkey, Kelly Doty, Nikki Simpson and Gia Rose as they travel the United States looking to spotlight talented tattoo artists and offering them a chance to compete on season 10 of ‘Ink Master.’
When: Airs at 10 p.m. Tuesdays
For more information: Visit www.spike.com