To act as the embodiment of Inked magazine involves a lot more than just looking pretty in pictures. A winner is someone that tries to make a difference, someone who brings to the world a positive and uplifting spirit and is an ambassador for tattoos, wherever they go. Although it was a knockdown battle to the bitter end, we are pleased to crown Tash the winner of Miss Inked 2013. Articulate, friendly and a uniquely beautiful person, she is the perfect person to act as a voice within the magazine for the next year and we welcome her into the family.
The Winner: Miss Tash
One of the things Tash is eager to talk about is the need for the community to put time, thought and effort into choosing their tattoos, artists and concepts. She says that “tattoos are becoming more common and I won’t stand for them not to be taken seriously by those who don’t understand what it means as a lifestyle choice. Whether you have one small piece or you’re covered, they’re art and they should be personalised and executed as such.”
Tash believes that when it comes to placing ink under the skin, the tattoos choose her. Struck and enraptured by a lyric, piece of art or a concept, she feels compelled to transfer that energy into herself. “When I first came across artist Sylvia Ji’s sultry Mexican women I knew I had to have one”, gushes Tash, but she says, “Emotional upheavals in my life definitely contribute to a large percentage of my tattoos. I guess it is my own personal closure or tangible memory. My style is mostly traditional. I have been wary against tattoo trends and fads and tend to swing towards pieces that won’t age, style-wise or with my changing interests.”
While her entry into Miss Inked 2013 can be placed down to luck, with her stumbling across the competition “super hung over” and feeling a little sorry for herself, her tattoos are all completely planned. Her first tattoo, two large matching roses on her thighs, were done by Shep from The Body Art Shop. When she was 16 years old she fell in love with Shep’s work, but not looking into rushing the process, she counted the days till she could legally get tattooed at 18, when she says she “could begin the progress of covering my skin in my long-time coveted roses. I’m not sure I was aware how highly addicted I would become but I am extremely proud that I still feel the same way about my first pieces as I did after that first session – bloody, feeling like the queen of pain, full of adrenaline and wrapped up in cling wrap like a steak.”
So what makes Miss Inked 2013 Tash tick?
Summer – For the seasonal fruit (I am an avid fruit enthusiast); the daytime drinking that usually ends with you and your friends regressing to that obnoxious group at the bar; for the warm night bike rides to get gelato, which usually ends in it melting all over you; wearing shorts that resemble denim underwear; and for the Moonlight Cinemas that screen cult classics like Pulp Fiction and The Rocky Horror Picture Show that make for magical nights in the garden. I intend to chase this season around the globe when I have the money!
Fitness – I am a gym junkie. God help those who endure my company if I haven’t spent my minimum of four workouts at the gym that week. Aside from that I love hiking Mount Lofty (thank you Adelaide) and running. I am happiest dancing – pole dancing, club dancing, go-go dancing, burlesque. With vodka in hand I am in my own slice of heaven when I am trying to channel Beyonce like a red-hot mess. Performing, or just tearing it up for fun, it truly sets my soul alight. It has a huge piece of my heart.
Women – Self-explanatory. I don’t understand them. But I love them.
Literature – If you go home with someone and they don’t own any books, don’t sleep with them. I love words. I love extensive vocabularies. A sentence with perfect syntax turns me on. It’s probably why I am covered in so many script pieces; my body will read like a Bukowski poem one day.
Travel – I have big desires, big plans. I crave experience and cultural shock more than materialistic objects. Europe, I am coming for you!
Expect to hear more from Tash over the next year!
Pop onto our blog to read more…
The Runner-Up: Miss Michele
Michele Madden is infectious. Not in a viral way, but like a smile where you just want to be part of the mischief and join in. When the votes were counted, recounted, and then checked again it was so very close, but with Michele pipped at the post we moved the post a little. A unique voice, and a talented and amazing human being, we decided to double the action and see what made our amazing runner-up tick.
To many, Michele needs no introduction. With a full music career with her bands Saint Cecilia and her LA-based band Meldrum, it is music that she is best known for and something that is the one thing in her “senseless life that actually makes sense”.
Tiaras and gowns are far from the Michele aesthetic . What drew her to Miss Inked was that the magazine isn’t about “10 fat chicks in too small corsets every month, bleating about their ‘journey’. That shit makes me want to climb a bell tower with a semi-automatic and start picking people off while listening to Slayer. So yeah, when a well-rounded magazine says that the winner of its Miss Inked competition can write as part of the prize? That sealed the deal for me.” And write she will! Michele is joining the magazine to help us with our many music interviews. Having just started on a new TV show she’ll be getting in the face of everyone she can, and doing her best to be a hybrid between Hunter S Thompson (pre-gunshot wound) and Sir Henry Rollins with a rack. It can be guaranteed that when the chips fall, she’ll be the one asking someone “about those two cheerleaders and the Jacuzzi full of jello in Tulsa…”
Even Michele admits, “most of my interviews end up being one long fart joke or rambling dialog about obscure bootlegs, so I am fortunate to have a good editor”. Be prepared!
An under-ager when she first let a man stick her with ink, Michele says the biker – after taking in her youth and inability to know what to do – helped guide her choice. She won’t say what, she won’t say where, but she still has it – “no cover-ups here”. Lucky to spend a lot of her life on the road, she has crossed paths with some amazing artists. From Peter Campbell in San Pedro, California, who did her matching Hello Kittys on her back, to Mick Medusa from Bondi who did her upper sleeves, she has gathered a plethora of marks as she’s moved through life. Michele believes that the one she owes most credit to is Luke ‘Bones’ Downey, taking on her “endless requests for symmetry with a smile”, his patience, she says, is nothing short of astounding.
When she’s not working on becoming a Manga character, Michele has been doing a lot of press for Meldrum after the release of their new album – Lifer. The album is a tribute to Michelle Meldrum, the founder of the band who passed away in 2008, so getting it out there was the most important thing for herself and drummer Gene Hoglan (Testament, Death, Fear Factory, Dethklock, SYL), one of the busiest guys in the business.
While she won’t get out of bed for more than $10,000 a day, or maybe just a coffee/red bull/tattoo, her PM is when she shines – writing, reading, and recording; and when the AM returns, it’s nighty night. On the days she wakes up and decides that today is a tattoo day, more often than not the tattoo is music related. “I have a heap of music ink from Black Flag to Pantera to the Stones. My most recent one is some Rock Erickson lyrics across my collarbone.”
With 2013 holding such sweeping aims such as “keeping my hair out of my face if I am sick” and “staying out of jail”, she is more likely to take over the world with her zeal and music as she tours and experiments! Above all, Michele says, “I am a lucky woman. I get to do what I want so that alone keeps my inner Hemi ticking over.”
Words by: Vanessa Morgan
Photos by: Jason Ierace