Ryan Ashley Malarkey
Ryan Ashley Malarkey
|Born||1986/1987 (age 33–34)|
|Alma mater||Fashion Institute of Technology|
Ryan Ashley Malarkey is an American tattoo artist known for her appearances on the television shows Ink Master and its spin-offs. Her signature style reflects her training and experience as a fashion designer: Malarkey specializes in black-and-gray designs with beadwork, lace detail, and ornamental jewels. Malarkey won Ink Master's season eight competition in 2016 and in the following three years, hosted two seasons of a spin-off show (Angels) and served as a judge in another spin-off (Grudge Match). Malarkey also owns two oddities and antiques shops in Pennsylvania.
Early life and career
Ryan Ashley Malarkey was raised in Dallas, a small borough in northeast Pennsylvania. Her single mother worked at a fast food restaurant while taking night school in accounting. Malarkey's mother, who was also an artist, taught her how to draw. She graduated from Fashion Institute of Technology in 2007 and spent five years as a fashion designer in New York City at a private label, where she designed beadwork, lace details, embroidery, and appliqués for garments. Her intricate tattoo style would later reflect these themes.
Seeking a career outside of a traditional office environment, Malarkey returned to Pennsylvania to apprentice as a tattoo artist. Her experience working at a street shop (a tattoo parlor that takes walk-in requests) convinced her to only work by appointment. Malarkey and her companion opened a shop in Kingston, Pennsylvania, in 2013, The Strange and Unusual Oddities Parlor. Malarkey tattooed from the back of the shop while the front featured their collection of taxidermy, objects, and restored antiques for sale. The latter had been a hobby from her youth, when she had attended yard and estate sales with her mother and grandmother. The couple opened a second shop in Philadelphia with taxidermist business partners.
Malarkey's signature black-and-gray tattoo designs feature beadwork, lace detail, and ornamental jewels. When designing filigree, she references Victorian furniture scrollwork. She references bridal accessories and chandeliers for her beading designs, and old, illustrated wildlife books for animal and bird designs. Her clients have included rock musicians Maria Brink and Ash Costello.
In late 2016, Malarkey appeared on Ink Master, a reality competition television series in which tattoo artists participate in artistic challenges to outlast other competitors and receive the season's title and monetary prize. Malarkey was the eighth season's champion, the first woman to win the title, and as of August 2019, the only female champion in its first eleven seasons. Mic noted the occasion as a moment for female tattoo artists, who are subject to social stigmas in a male-dominated profession. Under Malarkey, the women on the show formed an alliance to outlast their competitors. The show's executive producer said it was the first time such an alliance had held throughout the season. With only five years of tattoo experience, Malarkey won the title as a relative newcomer. She entered the show to develop new areas of tattooing expertise and test herself. Malarkey had been approached to participate in previous seasons of the show, but declined for scheduling conflicts.
Malarkey is featured in the two seasons of Ink Master: Angels, a spin-off from Ink Master in which Malarkey and two co-competitors from the main series' eighth season traveled across the United States to face off against local tattoo artists. Winners received spots in the next season of Ink Master. The show appeared on Paramount Network in 2017 and 2018. Angels was originally planned as a one-hour special with the same premise, but expanded into a full-season spin-off. Malarkey later served as a judge in another spin-off, Ink Master: Grudge Match (2019).
Malarkey was formerly engaged to Josh Balz, former keyboardist in the metal band Motionless in White. She married tattooer Arlo DiCristina in late 2019. Their son, Atheus, was born in May 2020. She announced both her relationship with DiCristina and her pregnancy on covers of Inked magazine.
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- "Interview with Motionless In White's Josh Balz, co-owner of The Strange and Unusual Oddities Parlor". Alternative Press. November 2, 2015. Archived from the original on July 9, 2018. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
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- Mattei, Matt (December 6, 2016). "Ryan Malarkey, of Shavertown, wins Ink Master title, $100,000 in New York". Times Leader. Archived from the original on July 13, 2017. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
- "Ink Master Season 12: Female Tattoo Artists Prepare for Battle". Female Tattooers. June 10, 2019. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
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- Mattei, Matt (September 29, 2017). "NEPA artist and Ink Master champion Ryan Ashley Malarkey stars on new show". Times Leader. Archived from the original on October 2, 2017. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
- Petski, Denise (May 7, 2019). "'Ink Master' Renewed For Two More Seasons; Spinoff 'Grudge Match' Ordered By Paramount Network". Deadline. Archived from the original on May 8, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
- Roessler, Peter (January 2019). "All My Love". Inked Magazine (95). p. 53. ISSN 1555-8630.
- Preston, Devon (October 15, 2019). "Ryan Ashley and Arlo DiCristina Tie the Knot!". Inked Magazine. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
- Pettigrew, Jason (February 12, 2019). "Josh Balz talks life after Motionless In White". Alternative Press. Archived from the original on February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
- Preston, Devon (May 18, 2020). "Ryan Ashley Gives Birth to Healthy Baby Boy". Inked. Retrieved May 20, 2020.