Yep. I've been eliminated...#notrauma / by Justin Nordine


And there it is. Done. Finished. Over. Bye Felicia!!! Are you as shocked as I was?!?


Ive been wondering what this day would feel like when the world saw out of the competition. Not only out, but this early. I had high hopes that I was going to do well. I had a plan going into the show, but after the first episode, my plan was out the window.

This is a type of show that isn’t really about strategy. It’s about adaptability and not necessarily the art. And that comes from deep within yourself. Unfortunately I sucked at being adaptable. I learned a lot going and doing something like this. I learned I place WAY too much substance on others view of me and my work. I think that is a valuable lesson to take away from this experience.

As an artist, we either specialize or are known for “something”. You do that something well and it becomes your identity. We are praised from it, we are sought after for what we do and almost placed on a pedal stool of greatness. So then you go on Ink Master, and your work is looked at under a microscope to find ALL flaws. Add the pressure of filming, etc and then you are completely ripped apart and then do it all again. If you aren’t prepared or not able to adapt, you crumble. I crumbled. I can openly and honestly admit that.

The coaches said time and time again, “don’t let it get in your head”, I often wonder if I was able to calm my mind, would I still be apart of the show?

The “trauma” wasn’t what got me eliminated. It was myself and the inability to adapt to my surroundings. Thats the truth. I will stand by this piece and saw there was no trauma. My coach said it, she saw it up close and personal. Cam will always have been, in my opinion, one of the worst of the day and did not meet the challenge. He knows it. But Cam played the game very well. Poker face baby! I however, did not.

Many have questioned if Chris Núñez had it out for me? I can’t honestly answer that as my only interaction with him and the other judges were in the critic and elimination room. I do feel like he made it very clear he was not a fan of my style and that’s his right. However, I think personal likes and dislikes should void any type of criticism and focus on what was asked of the design, elements and execution not personal tastes. It was hard to hear all three say they would wear mine of the other two but the whole “trauma” aspect was ended up sending me home. Didn’t make sense to me.

I think if I was ever asked to come back, I would go in a much different player. I would be confident in my work, take the criticism the judges gave me with a grain of salt, pick myself up and kill it again the next day. I just unfortunately got in my head and it destroyed me. So much is not shown, this environment is so unbelievably difficult that if you aren’t careful, it’ll eat you alive.

I can not thank you all enough for the love and support. It’s never easy to put yourself out there and what I have learned, Twitter houses a lot of keyboard warriors!! I am and will always be proud of who I am as an artist and the career I have been able to create. I applaud those that are a master of many, but for now, I will be a master of one. Best of luck to all the others on the show and Ill be back for the finale!

Who knows, maybe Ill get back on someday and redeem myself a bit. But if not, my suggestion to you all, take opportunities as they come, don’t let them define you, but allow it to grow your character.

Much love.