Best Ink

Watch Best Ink

  • 2012
  • 3 Seasons
  • 6.4  (370)

Best Ink was a reality tattoo competition show that aired on Oxygen from 2012 to 2013. The show followed twelve tattoo artists from across the United States as they competed in various challenges to showcase their skills and creativity in the art of tattooing. Each episode, the contestants were given a new challenge and a theme to work with, ranging from portraits to elaborate full-body tattoos. They had a limited amount of time to design and execute their tattoos on a client provided by the show. The judges, led by renowned tattoo artist Joe Capobianco, would then critique the designs and decide which artist was the winner of the challenge.

The judges also included tattoo model Sabina Kelley, who provided a different perspective on the artwork, and musician Pete Wentz, who didn't have much experience in the tattoo world, but added an interesting dynamic as an outsider looking in.

Throughout the competition, the contestants lived and worked together in a loft, creating a dynamic environment of camaraderie and competition. While some artists formed strong bonds with each other, tensions ran high as the pressure mounted to deliver their best work and avoid elimination.

The stakes were high in Best Ink, with the winner of the competition receiving a cash prize of $100,000 and a feature in the tattoo magazine, Inked. The losing artist each week had to leave the competition, with Capobianco delivering the final verdict each episode as he eliminated one or more artists.

What made Best Ink stand out from other tattoo shows was its focus on the creative process of tattooing. Rather than just showing finished tattoos, the show provided a glimpse into the artistry and vision of each artist as they worked through their designs and executed them on their clients. The show also highlighted the technical skills required in tattooing, such as shading, line work, and color theory, which was informative for viewers who were not familiar with the art form.

In addition to the challenges, the show also featured behind-the-scenes footage of the artists outside of the competition, including their personal lives and journeys to become tattoo artists. Many of the artists had compelling backstories and motivations for pursuing the art form, which added depth to the show and helped viewers connect with the contestants.

Overall, Best Ink was an entertaining and informative look into the world of tattooing, featuring talented artists competing to prove their worth and showcase their creativity. While the competitive element added drama and tension, the heart of the show was the art itself, with each episode highlighting the beauty and complexity of the tattoo medium.

Best Ink is a series that is currently running and has 3 seasons (30 episodes). The series first aired on March 27, 2012.

Best Ink
Filter by Source

The $100,000 Tattoo
12. The $100,000 Tattoo
February 26, 2014
The remaining finalists compete in their final challenge at Venice Beach, CA, and the winner is announced.
Crash and Burn
11. Crash and Burn
February 19, 2014
The artists compete in a demolition derby, and must later create 3-D tattoos.
Shock and Awe
10. Shock and Awe
February 12, 2014
A shock-art performance tests the artists. Also, tension erupts among the contestants.
Sexy Pin-ups
9. Sexy Pin-ups
February 5, 2014
The six remaining artists are surprised with an emotional visit from their significant others before creating sexy pin-up tattoos with a twist.
Life's a Beach
8. Life's a Beach
January 29, 2014
The artists create nautical themed tattoos; surf legend Laird Hamilton makes a guest appearance.
Man and the Machine
7. Man and the Machine
January 22, 2014
The ink artists are educated about bio-mechanical tattoos from Guy Aitchison. Also: The competition turns personal.
Science Friction
6. Science Friction
January 15, 2014
The artists attend a science-fiction convention in San Diego. Also: a tattoo is placed on a unique part of the body.
Quittin' Time
5. Quittin' Time
January 8, 2014
The pressure mounts as the contestants must create Asian-inspired artwork.
Pain in the Ribs
4. Pain in the Ribs
January 1, 2014
The contestants head to Hollywood's Viper Room and attend a surprise performance. Later, painful rib tattoos could jeopardize one skin artist's future in the competition.
Fight Club
3. Fight Club
December 18, 2013
The artists compete in the Best Ink fight club and are paired up. Street artist Justin Bua guest judges.
Playing Dirty
2. Playing Dirty
December 11, 2013
The artists cover bad tattoos with better designs.
The Seven Deadly Sins
1. The Seven Deadly Sins
December 4, 2013
Host Pete Wentz guides 14 of America's best tattoo artists through artistic ink challenges based upon the seven deadly sins. Face-Off's Glenn Hetrick is guest judge.
Where to Watch Best Ink
Best Ink is available for streaming on the Oxygen website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Best Ink on demand at Amazon, Vudu, hayu, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    March 27, 2012
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (370)