Since we first talked to Tatu Baby, AKA Katherine Flores, a whole hell of a lot has happened. Namely, she landed on the cover our People issue, became a worldwide Twitter trending topic, and generally rocked season two of Spike TV's Ink Master.
In fact, Flores captured America's interest so much that despite her elimination by the judges, she was invited back for season three. Way to do Miami proud, girl. And since we're super stoked about her success, Cultist talked to Flores on her favorite parts of the show, the impact of fame, and how she's just a simple girl trying to make good.
Cultist: What was your favorite moment on the show?
Tatu Baby: One of my favorite moments began with Yoda. I think that I felt like I hadn't shown my viewers yet what I was capable of. I had already started, I had shown some decent tattoos, but I wanted to show something that was going to drop everybody's jaw. I looked it up and I had a good reference, so I felt great about what I was about to do. I knew if I accomplished the way I imagined in my mind, it was going to drop everybody's jaw and it did! It came out amazing I think, and it was a tattoo that everyone will remember from the season. It was my favorite moment because I finally accomplished what I wanted to go on the show for.
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Any least favorite moments?
My least favorite moment was, of course, when I got eliminated. And I did say this on live TV, I understand my tattoo had its flaws, but I didn't feel like it wasn't the worst one. So it was a complete shock to me to have gotten eliminated. If mine was the worst, I would have sucked it up and taken it. But because I felt like it wasn't the worst one, I kind of felt a little bit played and misjudged. So it was a very sad moment.
So how did you feel about the decision to bring you back for season three? Well, during the live finale, America gets to vote somebody back, and at this point I've already been on top of my social networks and I've seen how people have been responding to my work and toward me. I knew I was gonna have a couple people show love. When I found out I won the second chance, the exciting part wasn't just coming back, but knowing so many people believe in you. That was amazing.
How was your relationship with the other contestants?
I think that another great thing from the show was meeting such great friends. Thank God we were able to set apart it being a competition and not taking things personally and still having a great friendship. I left there with a lot of great friends, people I'm gonna know for the rest of my life. I feel very happy that I competed with them. I still talk to most of them. It was great to be reunited with them and have fun at the party afterwards. Most of us didn't win but we all felt like winners. We all celebrated and we had a blast.
How do you feel that Chris Nuñez (one of the judges and another Miamian) called you "the hit of the show?"
That's pretty crazy, too. I don't know. It's just exciting to be getting all this positive feedback. Even though I didn't win the $100,000 and the title, I feel like I still came out a winner.
How did you react to your name being a worldwide trending topic on Twitter?
I felt overwhelmed, like that's crazy. I feel like I just come from Miami. I'm a small girl, I just have big dreams. I just went to tattoo and show everybody my skill and to find out how big of an impact it's made. It's very humbling, and, of course, I'm very happy for it.
What do you expect for next season?
Personally, I expect it to be a lot more challenging because people are gonna expect more from me because I already went through this, especially the judges. I feel like they won't give me any mercy. I'm going to train like this is going to be a boxing fight. Once I go in there I'm going to be mentally and physically ... prepared.
When does shooting start up again and what are your plans before then?
I'm not sure yet, I think in April. All I know is, I do know what my weaknesses are and I'm gonna focus on them and train to make them better.
How has this changed your life?
I think it's made me a lot stronger. The more people believe in you, it feeds the soul. It just makes you wanna be stronger and push harder and accomplish more. I feel like it's changed my life in a positive way and it's made me a lot more a lot more motivated, a lot more excited to do what I do.