Ryan Ashley Malarkey

Ryan Ashley Malarkey ‘Ink Master’ Stars Journey from Tattoo Artist to Fashion Designer

Ryan Ashley Malarkey, the season 8 champion of Ink Master, wowed viewers with her exceptional tattooing abilities.

What surprised me was how quickly she had honed her skills. She’d gotten into tattoos after spending half her life making clothes. Her inherent abilities to envision, develop, and implement her ideas appear to have aided her in achieving the title of ink master.

I Studied Fashion Design

Malarkey’s flawless jewelry tattoos undeniably represent her creative side as well as her conscientious approach. Her talent for such art, on the other hand, arose from her years of experience as a fashion designer.

Before making a name for himself in the tattoo industry, the tattoo artist worked as a fashion designer.

She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2007 as the Critics Choice Award winner of her class, having been born on June 17, 1987.

She worked as an in-house fashion designer for a private label apparel firm in New York City, designing dresses for retailers such as Chico’s and Boscov’s.

However, she left the fashion world in 2011 and began working full-time in the tattoo industry.

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After winning Ink Master, He Skyrocketed to Fame

The experienced tattoo artist moved back to her birthplace, Pennsylvania, after abandoning fashion designing.

She became interested in tattooing and began an apprenticeship in a private tattoo studio. She established her distinct technique in black and gray tattoos after a year of practice.

Austina Obscure, a friend (tattoo artist) who knew her during her formative phase, lauded her eye for details and told the Timesleader that she knew Malarkey “would be spectacular.”

I knew she was going to be fantastic from the start because her work was already on spot, which is always a tremendous plus. It’s amazing to see her progress in such a short period.

Ryan Ashley Malarkey Ink Master Star
Ryan Ashley Malarkey Ink Master Star (source: Ingenio Virtual)

Following her schooling, Malarkey opened The Strange & Unusual in Kington with her then-boyfriend, Joshua Balz — the two later split up, and Malarkey married Arlo DiCristina.

In 2016, she competed in Season 8 of Ink Master as a member of Team Peck, which was managed by judge Oliver Peck.

Malarkey’s involvement in the show brought her to the attention of the public as a professional tattoo artist. Her celebrity grew even more when she became the first female winner of Ink Master in 2016. She was even crowned “Tattoo Queen.”

Following her success, the Pennsylvania native was named presenter of the spin-off show Ink Master: Angels in 2017, with Kelly Doty, Nikki Simpson, and Gia Rose.

In 2019, she relocated to Colorado and joined the Elysium Studios in Grand Junction.

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Won Ink Master with a Tattoo that Contrasts with Her Style

Malarkey’s distinctive style is characterized by her black and gray tattoos influenced by jewelry, couture, and antique themes. She is a prolific creator of detailed and three-dimensional details, although she rarely creates bright tattoos.

However, in the season 8 finale of Ink Master, her competitor, Kelly Doty, challenged her to create a 90s news school-themed tattoo.

Accepting the challenge, Malarkey moved outside of her comfort zone to create a skull tattoo with brilliant color play.

The 33-year-old mastered the test in a way that impressed the judges while also demonstrating her ability to handle any style if necessary. With only five years of tattooing expertise, she prevailed against fellow artists Gian Karle Cruz and Kelly Doty that season.

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