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Local tattoo artist takes talent to TV
Article by: SlingerVille Staff
March 28, 2013

Local tattoo artist takes talent to TV                                  


Studio 13 Tattoo artist Teresa Sharpe, a Warsaw native, will be on the second season of the tattoo competition TV show “Best Ink,” which begins at 10 p.m. next Wednesday on Oxygen.  On the show, Sharpe will be competing with 11 other tattoos artists from all over the United States for a $100,000 prize and a cover story in Tattoo Magazine.


“I went back and forth about doing the show a lot,” Sharpe says. “You constantly worry about what if I do something horrible or say something really stupid. My friend put it best: ‘The worst that could happen is that you’ll be on TV.’ ”


When Sharpe watched the first season of “Best Ink”, she couldn’t see herself being on the show.  According to, a fellow artist recommended Sharpe for the show.


“When someone tells you you should try out, you kind of feel like you should really try out,” she says. “I didn’t really think I was a TV personality.”


Sharpe always loved art; she received her bachelor of fine arts degree from Millikin University - studying drawing, ceramic art and painting.


“For a while, (art) was a way to escape, and be my own person as a kid,” she says. “As I got older, it became a way to talk about myself.”


At only 19-years-old, Sharpe had to leave college and became the custodial guardian for her teenage brother and sister and the adoptive mother for her newborn brother after her father passed away.  This left Sharpe to become the sole provider for her family.


“I’m one of those people who adapt easily,” she says. “I can be very logical and rational. It just made sense.”


After moving back to Warsaw to take care of her brothers and sister, Sharpe started working full-time and took general education courses to stay on track for graduation.  Over the summer, she began working for tattoo shop as a piercing apprentice and would watch the tattoo artists in her spare time.


“I like the challenge of it. It’s not like someone is just asking for a painting; they are asking you to mark them for life. It takes a special kind of person to sit down and say, ‘OK, I can do that,’ ” Sharpe says.


When her brother graduated high school, her sister went to live with her aunt, and Sharpe and her 2-year-old brother moved back to Millikin so she could finish college.


“My senior show was a lot better than if I hadn’t had a kid,” Sharpe says. “He helped me stay on task a lot. I just couldn’t go out and party.”


In 2007, Sharpe graduated from college and moved back to Indiana to start working.  She brought her portfolio to Studio 13 and although she had little experience, her drawings showed potential and that she had been a trained artist. 


So for 5 months, Sharpe observed other artists, took classes on blood borne pathogens, and learned how to set up a machine properly, all the while never tattooing a client.


According to, by 2009 Sharpe was a featured artist at Studio 13; some of her first tattoos were for family and friends.


“It’s very nerve-racking for the first year,” she says. “You don’t have any muscle memory yet, so every time feels like the first time you’ve held the machine. You have to have a pretty good poker face working with clients.”


Working as a professional tattoo artist, Sharpe has developed her “illustrative realism” style. Sharpe also When she is not working at Studio 13, Sharpe travels overseas and across the country to tattoo clients, according to


Sharpe is both anxious and excited for the show to air, but all and all she is ready for it.


“Every artistic experience is a way to grow,” she says. “It forces you to make a new decision about your work.”


To see some of Teresa’s tattoos, click here!



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Posted By: mizceedub | 4/01/13 1:14 PM
Her work is absolutely beautiful! Im so happy for her and would love some ink done by her!!!!! Congrats and good luck! Ill be watching you!!
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