Ryan Ashley Malarkey
Ryan Ashley Malarkey became the first woman to win "Ink Master." Spike

Ryan Ashley Malarkey made history Tuesday night when she became the first female tattoo artist to win “Ink Master,” a reality show competition on Spike where people from around the country vie for the coveted title of “Ink Master.” Malarkey beat out fellow artists Gian Karle Cruz and Kelly Doty during the live finale in New York City.

Malarkey, 29, is a black and gray tattoo artist based out of Kingston, Pennsylvania. She is the co-owner of The Strange & Unusual Oddities Parlor, an antiques, taxidermy and novelty shop. The tattoo artist graduated from Fashion Institute of Technology in 2007 with a degree in fashion design. She is engaged to keyboardist Josh Balz.

Malarkey was the first person to make it to the final two on the live finale. “Ink Master” had Twitter users vote who made it to the finale by voting through hashtags. Malarkey garnered more than 70,000 voters through with #InkRyan.

Even though she was in the middle of a television show, Malarkey made sure to hop on Twitter to prompt her fans to vote for her. “My amazing supporters, NOW IS THE TIME I NEED YOU MOST! Tweet #InkRyan to vote me in the final 2 RIGHT NOW, only a few minutes left,” she tweeted. The message alone was shared more than 6,500 times by her 61,300 followers.

Malarkey was a member of Team Peck, which means she was hand-picked by renowned artist and “Ink Master” judge Oliver Peck. “Ryan’s portfolio really stood out, because she had her own style, but there was a little bit of versatility in there too,” Peck said, according to Times Leader. “Her artistic eye was obvious. There are a lot of people who are tattooers and a lot of people who are artists, but she seemed to be the right combination of both.”

Season 8 was much different than past seasons, with the women of the show forming a female alliance to try to knock out the men. Even though executive producer picked the cast, she was surprised with Malarkey joined forces with Dotty, Gia Rose and Nikki Simpson.

“I think going into a season of ‘Ink Master’ — at least as a reality television producer — I never go in with a pre-conceived notion with what I think is going to happen,” Richer told International Business Times Oct. 18. “I think you pick great characters, you pick great artists and you wait and see what happens.”

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