Ink Master: Angels exclusive: Nikki Simpson sets up new series, talks travel component

Ink Master AngelsNikki Simpson was such a huge character on Ink Master season 8, so when we heard that she was going to be one of the stars for Ink Master: Angels we were beyond thrilled! Not only does she have a big personality, but she is also fearless and brought us some of our favorite tattoos from the Ink Master franchise.

When we learned that we were going to have a chance to interview Nikki we were incredibly excited. This is someone who tells it like it is and we love that kind of candor in interviews since it’s something that we don’t often get. In speaking with Nikki, we were pleased to see that she is exactly like she was on the show: Smart, unafraid and unfiltered.

CarterMatt: How did you feel about the idea of doing Ink Master: Angels when you first heard about it?

Nikki Simpson – I was completely for it. There were some ideas that were tossed around and we didn’t know what the show would be. All we knew was that us four girls would love to be together again on-camera working on a creative project. We all connect on that level.

You had a chance to work with Ryan, Gia and Kelly again on this show after building an alliance and friendships on Ink Master. Did it make your friendship stronger?

Definitely. We had all been really close ever since Ink Master. We text every single day so the relationship was always strong, but traveling together and being around each other for months on end you really get to know each other in a different way outside of just filming in the loft for Ink Master. I feel like we connected more as friends than other contestants who were just sharing the same house. We really had so much fun and created a lot of awesome memories.

So you’re going to be seeing different artists compeiting on the show: What are some of the qualities that you are looking at for when it comes to competing artists?

Just from how we had our own experience on Ink Master and how we tried to learn from the judges, we wanted to find someone who was versatile and who can tackle any kind of weird challenge we throw at them. That’s what you’re going to see on Ink Master: Angels — we don’t want to see somebody who is just there to throw their portfolio at us. We want to see that they have what it takes to go through all of the crazy s–t you’re going to see when you go through to the challenges. Adaptability is huge and having a good attitude is important. You can very easily get discouraged just from how difficult those challenges were.

After being judged for your tattoos on Ink Master what was it like to be on the opposite side with this show where you are the one in control?

I won’t lie — it was pretty cool to have that power (laughs). Back on Ink Master we had a jury of peers to determine who would get sent to the bottom, so we already had a sense of that [process]. All we tried to do was channel the judges on Ink Master and think about how objective we need to be and how fairly we need to judge these tattoos. We also looked at how we were judged. I think we had to put our heads together and judge on the same playing field for every single person.

What makes each episode of the show unique from the next?

The great thing about our show is that we travel from city to city, so you’re going to see the culture, the different parts of the city, and all of the different artists who have art specific to that city. We also like to do challenges that are specific to the where we are. Each city is special in its own way and we can’t wait to show people that part of it.

What was your favorite overall part of doing Ink Master: Angels?

It was just like an awesome big-girl summer camp where we got to explore each city and find these amazing artists and have so much fun. Every day something unexpected would happen and we loved being blown away by some of these artists we had never heard of and how great some of these cities were that we’d never been to before. I think a big part of the experience was like ‘I did not expect myself to enjoy this so much and to find so many great artists.’

If there’s an opportunity, would you want to come back and do this show again?

I would do this show a hundred times over.

Is there anything that you took away from doing this show that you’re going to use going forward as an artist?

The great thing about this show is that we’re not just judging people on their tattoos; we’re putting our money where our mouth is. What we are critiquing some of the artists on are things we have to be able to apply in our own artwork. If we’re calling someone out for sh–ty linework, that means that the next tattoo that I do better have the best linework possible. It really pushed me to be as perfect of an artist as possible. I know we’re not all perfect but it definitely gave me that extra kick to make me the best artist that I can be.


We want to give a special thanks to Nikki for her time and candor about the show. Ink Master Angels is premiering on Spike October 3 at 10 pm, so be sure to tune in and check it out.

How excited are you to watch Ink Master: Angels? Leave us a comment in the CarterMatt comments section below and tell us what you are looking forward to with this show. If you are looking for more scoop on Ink Master Angels head on over to the link here and check out more of our coverage including some of our interviews with the other angels.

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