A Warsaw native is enjoying the national spotlight today. Teresa Sharpe, tattoo artist at Studio 13 Tattoo in Fort Wayne was named the winner of Oxygen Network’s show Best Ink.
Best Ink, which returned on Wednesday, April 3 for its second season, is a reality series hosted by Fall Out Boy bassist and tattoo enthusiast Pete Wentz that invites 12 of the best tattoo artists from around the country to compete for $100,000. In addition to taking away the cash prize, Sharpe will also be featured on the cover of the upcoming issue of Tattoo magazine.
Sharpe, who has worked at Studio 13 for five years, states in her biography featured on Oxygen’s website that, due to circumstances surrounding her family, she worked to become independent quickly. As a result, Sharpe was named the custodial guardian of two of her siblings and adopted her younger brother, Brandon, whom she raised.
According to Oxygen, though Sharpe was always drawn to artistic pursuits, it wasn’t until she obtained a piercing apprenticeship during her time in college that she realized her true passion for ink. During last winter Sharpe went on tour to work in shops around the country. Oxygen states that though her passion is in tattooing, Sharpe also paints, draws and sculpts.
Sharpe went to college at Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., and graduated with her BFA in 2007. Sharpe states that while she has only been tattooing full time for a few short years, she is extremely dedicated to her art and is constantly improving upon her skills.
The competition was judged by world-renowned tattoo artist Joe Capobianco, who also acted as a mentor to the contestants, Sabina Kelley, owner of a tattoo removal shop, and Hannah Aitchison, a fellow tattoo artist renowned for her work with pinup and portraits in the tattoo medium. Sharpe competed against DJ Tamble and Jerod Ray in the season finale. Halfway through the episode Ray was eliminated leaving Sharpe and the more experienced DJ Tamble to compete head to head for the win. In the final competition both contestants were asked to tattoo a celebrity. Sharpe provided a tattoo for Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean who requested a tattoo in honor of his daughter.
Sharpe stated on her Facebook following the announcement of her victory, “Thank you to everyone that watched me on Best Ink! Your support has been amazing! I can’t believe how many emails, messages, phone calls and well wishes I have received. A major thank you to the amazing clients that I had to reschedule last fall so I could film Best Ink! You all stuck with me when I couldn’t even tell you why I had to reschedule your appointments. I have awesome clients!”
After appearing on the show, Sharpe revealed via Facebook that she has received an overwhelming amount of requests to schedule a tattoo appointment with her. Sharpe states that those interested must first visit her website at teresasharpeart.com and submit their idea through the contact link on her page. Following receipt of submissions, Sharpe will then review requests to determine which projects she is interested in taking on.
Though many are clamoring to go under Sharpe’s needle, there are ways to increase the likelihood you will be selected.
According to her Facebook, “Teresa normally takes on a project with fewer restrictions on design and body placement before she chooses something that has very set in stone parameters. Bringing her a great idea will get you noticed quicker than things that must be done a certain way in the tattoo. Larger themed projects and tattoos on clean skin normally receive scheduling priority. Lastly, Teresa is looking for clients that are dedicated enough to put forth the time and financial investment that is necessary for them to receive the best possible tattoo.”
Sharpe charges $150 per hour with a 3 hour minimum for tattoos. According to her page, the majority of projects she takes on cannot be finished within one session. Sharpe asks that her clients start each project with a minimum of a 4 hour session, but prefers that you schedule a 6-8 session to start your tattoo.
To learn more about Teresa Sharpe or to view her portfolio visit her website at teresasharpeart.com.