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Trouble in Tattooland

Amy Nicolleto and Aubry Fisher kicked the theatrics of LA Ink into high gear Amy Nicolleto and Aubry Fisher kicked the theatrics of LA Ink into high gear

Like most reality shows, LA Ink seems incredibly unreal. There’s endless backbiting, second-guessing, and suspicions among the ink-stained artists who staff the frenetic High Voltage Tattoo parlor in Los Angeles. 

It makes you wonder: Who are these people? And how do they stay sane?

“I eat lots of jellybeans,” laughs Aubry Fisher, a blonde and buxom inker caught in the buzz saw of TLC’s hottest show.

LA Ink follows sexy shop owner Kat Von D as she makes a go of it as an entrepreneur.  The show’s central cast of characters regularly gets into heated “discussions” that typically devolve into enough arm waving, threats, and f-bombs to make a sailor blush.

Yet, despite this rowdy mentality, there is some extraordinary artistic work done in the stylish shop. Corey Miller and Kat, in particular, deserve every ounce of their considerable reputation as among the industry’s best tattoo artists.

Last season, Aubry and Amy Nicolleto joined the show, adding considerable drama to the tempestuous tattoo turf. Raven-haired Amy is serious straightedge—doesn’t drink or do drugs—and revels in the rawness of punk music. Her artistic influences include everything from the delicate engravings of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci to the foreboding illustrations of Chet Zar.

Aubry, meanwhile, is a self-described “mean girl” who admits to being “great at starting a fire,” which is not surprising to anyone who has seen her as a human time bomb on the show. She also runs a karaoke service called Crazy Bitch Karaoke, which links her two passions: “Music is my great love. That, and throwing parties.” She also has a thing for younger men, whom she calls her “puppies.”

Neither woman seems much worried about the reality show competition. “I haven’t watched TV in more than five years,” says Amy. Really? What about Aubry? “I’ll sneak away to watch ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ and ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians,’” she says. Good girl.

Both agree, however, that making it in the male-dominated tattoo industry ain’t easy. “But don’t ever give up,” says Amy. “Don’t let them break you.” And that, reality show fans, is about as real as you can get.









Photography by Daniel Jenkins

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Last modified on Wednesday, 03 August 2011 23:33

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