Ink Master exclusive: Allisin Riot on alliances, elimination and returning artists

human canvas

Pinz and Needlez was our first ever all female team to be on Ink Master and they didn’t disappoint. Allisin Riot and Jessy Knuckles consistently brought us solid tattoos and they were one of the few teams this season that didn’t get wrapped up in the drama or alliances going on in the house. They were there to focus on their artwork and go home with the prize.

Unfortunately, the judges sent them home last week, but we are at a point in the competition where all of the artists left are really solid and we are seeing good tattooers going home, so we think that Pinz and Needlez have a lot to be proud of making it this far. We had a chance to talk with Allisin about her time on the show, how alliances weren’t a priority, and some of the very real challenges that come with being on Ink Master. Check out some of what she had to say about her experience below.

CarterMatt: After making it pretty far in the competition, was it hard to process going home?

Allisin Riot: At first, I didn’t think it was going to be a hard transition at all. I got to come home and be with my husband, cuddle with my cats, and play video games! I was actually excited to be coming home. I am extremely proud with how far we were able to make it in the competition, I had no regrets about being eliminated. But in reality it was tough. Being gone for so long, even in a stressful situation, it becomes normal. Your regular daily schedule doesn’t seem so regular anymore after coming back. Not to mention how insane my schedule became once my books were opened back up. But all in all I’d like to think that this experience made me a stronger person and a better artist, and I am getting back into “normal” life nicely.

While there was a lot of alliance-talk and drama between shops, how were the two of you able to keep your head low and focus on the work?

We went into this competition wanting to stay true to ourselves and do the best artwork possible. I think that mindset really helped us out in the end. We were competing against some of the best shops in the world, and luckily, some of the most awesome people I’ve ever met. We didn’t care about the alliance, or a better chance of getting the nicer skull picks, we wanted to let our artwork speak for itself and show everyone what we could do.

Was there any advantage that came from being on the show from the beginning, and having an established momentum against the artists coming in later — or was that canceled out by there being returning artists?

In a competition like Ink Master, the slate is wiped clean every week. In the end it doesn’t matter if you were in the bottom last week or had tattoo of the day, once the new artists returned and the flash challenge began, it was a brand new game. The beginning artists definitely wanted to stand strong against the returning vets, but it’s hard to gain momentum with fresh competitors coming in every week.

Going into the judges’ critique this past episode, who did you think was going home?

Even when you do a good tattoo and you think you killed it, you never know what the judges are going to think. They look at everything, every small detail and pick out every imperfection. We knew that we made it far enough in the competition that even good tattoos could be justifiably eliminated, so we really didn’t know. A few tattoos that week got really rough critiques, but we had faith in our design. In the end I don’t think that we necessarily had the worst tattoo of the day, but I respect the judges decision.

What’s the one tattoo that you are the proudest of from the show?

I would have to say the Vulture. Not only did we win Tattoo of the day, but I feel like it was the challenge that best showed how well we could collaborate. The freehand drawing that Jessy did was perfect, I’ve had stencils that didn’t look that clean. She drew a design so well laid out that I could really focus on bringing it to life and making that tattoo amazing. It was so much fun to do, and I am in love with the final product.

What did you find to be the most challenging about the whole Ink Master experience?

The most challenging things for me were the time restraints. I really only got into art about 5 years ago, so it’s safe to say that I wasn’t the quickest at coming up with designs. I was competing against some amazing artists with years under their belt and I am still blown away by the amount of artistry that I was surrounded by. It was really intimidating to try to come up with equally impressive artwork in such a short period of time.

How can clients contact you for tattoo appointments?

Any tattoo inquiries can contact me through


We want to give a special thanks to Allisin for talking with us about her Ink Master experience. It was great to see an all female team on the show and make it so far into the competition. If you are looking for more scoop on the show, then head on over to the link here where you can read more of our interviews with the artists as well as reviews and previews for what’s coming up. (Photo: Spike)

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