The Ink Master: Battle of the Sexes winner is finally crowned. Of all of the talented men and women tattooers, Laura Marie's art stood above the rest, winning her the title of season 12's Ink Master, the feature in Inked Magazine, and a cash prize of $100,000.
Season 12 of Ink Master went a different direction, making it a battle of the sexes competition. Nine men and nine women lived in a house together and competed in challenges to showcase design, style, techniques, and mastery in tattooing. The men and the women were nearly tied neck and neck in the competition until the finale. In the top three, there was Creepy Jason, Dani Ryan, and Laura Marie. Of the women, Dani and Laura were the ones who stood out above the rest very early on. The other team saw them as threats and would try to give both Laura and Dani the more difficult placement of tattoos on the canvases as well as the harder and more complicated designs. However, due to Laura's adaptability, versatility in tattooing styles, and background in design, she had no problem rolling with the punches and winning many tattoos of the day.
The finale ended with the deliberation of the final tattoo competition, where the three artists were to create a back piece tattoo in 35 hours on master canvases. Creepy Jason was assigned black and grey realism, in which he chose the subject to be a sexy pirate woman in front of an ocean scene with a pirate ship in the background. The judges thought that while Creepy Jason did an amazing job making the tattoo tonal and that he created an overall great tattoo, they felt the design was more illustration than realism and lacked contrast. Dani was assigned the tattoo style of biomechanical. The judges thought that while it was a very strong tattoo and nailed the style of biomechanical, the tattoo lacked in tonality towards the bottom of it and wasn't as cohesive as they'd like it to be. Laura was assigned traditional Japanese, where she chose to highlight a powerful ancient Japanese thunder god, Raijin, striking lightening down. The judges thought that the background of Laura's tattoo wasn't as strong as the subject in the foreground, but couldn't deny the power that the tattoo had.
The judges acknowledged that it was a close call, which forced them to make a very tough decision to eliminate someone out of the competition immediately. They chose to eliminate Creepy Jason from the competition, which narrowed it down to the two women - Dani and Laura. The fact that two women swept the competition brought cheers from the women's team. The battle of the sexes was over at that moment, realizing that there will be another woman winning Ink Maste, the second time in the show's history. The judges acknowledged that since Dani had never taken on biomechanical style before, it was still one of the best biomechanical tattoos the judges have ever seen. However, the power and overall mastery in design and execution of Laura's tattoo blew the judges away. The judges deliberated - one vote Dani and two votes Laura - making Laura the winner Ink Master: Battle of the Sexes.
Laura had made it clear since the beginning of the competition that art is her entire life and that said that she finds nothing more enjoyable than learning from judges and bettering her craft. She is now the second-ever female winner of Ink Master, as Ryan Ashley being the first. Since the whole concept of Ink Master: Battle of the Sexes was to remove the stigma that women aren't as valuable or taken as seriously in the tattooing industry, having the top two tattooers being women proves that gender doesn't play a role in art in the least. Laura had beat out 9 men and 8 other women to win the title, which shows that her artistry, talent, and hard work rightfully earned her the title of Ink Master: Battle of the Sexes.