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Watch these Queens tattoo artists compete on this season of ‘Ink Master’ –

Posted in Tattoo Shop on Jun 29, 2017

Queens resident and tattoo shop owner Richard Made Rich Parker is competing on season 9 of Ink Master for a chance to win $200,000.

Parker, the owner of Think Before You Inkat167-16 Hillside Ave. in Jamaica, will be competing alongside his co-worker DTatStar. Both artists grew up in Queens and have a combined 24 years of experience in the tattoo industry.

Parker, 29, was also on Season 3 of the show and is looking to redeem himself after what he sayswas a disappointing appearance.

First off, I decided to come back on the show because it was a great business opportunity, but personally, I was also very unhappy with how I handled my first season, Parker said.I didnt want that to be anyones last memory of me on a international platform like Ink Master. I was very timid and carried myself more so as a fan than a competitor. That same thought had me think about my son and how I want to raise him. I want to make sure he seizes all opportunities that come his way, confidently. So this was a perfect time for me to correct my season 3wrongs.

The show, which airs on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on Spike, pitstattoo artists against each other for a chance to win money and a feature on INK magazine. This season includes a twist, with pairs competing together to represent their shops.

Season 9 is also different because each time a shop is eliminated, the show introduces a veteran from a past season. The season officially started on June6, and contestants must prove they have technical skillsand on-the-spot creativity. Each episode focuses on a different style of tattooing.

Parker began tattooingin 2007 and attendedWagner College in Staten Island where he graduated with a degree in fine arts. He got professional experience by working at DTatStars tattoo shop, One Stroke Tattoo, in Rosedale.

After tattooing in my dorm room for a while, I saw the kind of money that being in this business could easily bring, he said. Being self taught, working in that shop also helped me develop my tattooing etiquette.

But after 10 years, the shop was in financial trouble and thats when Parker decided to open Think Before You Ink. Eventually, Parker invited DTatStar to work at the shop as a partner.

Parker said his style is constantlychanging and that he doesnt like to define his art.

Even if you do have some sort of classified style, youre always tweaking it so styles are forever evolving, he said. Instead of pigeonholing myself into one classification, I just do things how I like to do them. If you like it, then lets rock. If not, then the shop has plenty of other artists you can shop through.

He has lived in Queens for his entire life and said that living in the Worlds Borough has taught him that art is subjective.

Nothing is perfect about our borough, but thats whats beautiful to me about it, Parker said.Its so culturally diverse. So just like the borough, I try to take different elements that I believe to be visually appealing and apply them to skin.

Though Parker has experience competing on the show, he said its extremely stressful.

Everyone in the competition has the ability to tattoo; thats a given, he said.What youre unprepared for is being away from everything you know, dealing with your competitions opinions, the judges, rules being bent its a game show. You leave the competition feeling like a patient out of Arkham.

But the show also helped Parker build friendships and contestants learn tips and tricks from each other when they werent competing.

Other nights, wed have organized drawing sessions, and when it came time to design our elimination tattoos, wed actually help each other on design elements, he said.A lot of the things Ive picked up from the other artists are things Ive even brought back home to my shop. If you allow it to, that competition can be much like a sports team.

Watch the trailer for the new season below:

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Watch these Queens tattoo artists compete on this season of ‘Ink Master’ –

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