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Getting to Know Ink Master Season 8 Artist Princess Hilla

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Dan Lorenzo: Even though you're happily married with children, you told me you sort of agree that having children... umm, changes your relationship with your spouse, right?

Princess Hilla: Oh absolutely... It only makes sense that it would change things. It's not about you two after that point, it's about that new little person you created and all their needs...but it is the most fulfilling and wonderful kind of team work. Honestly being a parent has been the biggest and best blessing of my life. I wouldn't change a thing.


That's great. Most marriages today end after a few years. How have you and your husband stayed happy after twelve years of marriage?

No one ever said we've been happy all these years. [laughs] In fact, I'm a bit surprised we haven't starred on an episode of Snapped yet, but he's my best friend and I'm his. I think that's the most critical part of marriage. The love part goes in, swells like the ocean. Some times are real high, some times are real low. But we're committed, we're loyal, and we're honest with each other. And the common thread is that at the end of the day, this person is your best friend. And you never want to hurt your best friend, right? So you learn to communicate. To compromise.. to chill... and to sacrifice for each other. And you gotta stick to it, never give up and if that person matches your effort... how can you not be happy?

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And you met in a theme park?

Yes! We're a legitimate fairy-tale... we met at the Disneyland Resort in California. I was performing as a princess and he was backstage/show support... we crossed paths and I asked him to go to karaoke with me and my friends, and he actually showed up!


What are your thoughts on religion?

Well...that's a really big question, but to generalize my views, I love the idea of religion. I happen to believe in God and am very spiritual myself. That belief has gotten me through the darkest of times and given me hope, but I'm a very open-minded person; I very much appreciate hearing and learning what others believe and how's it beneficial to their life. I see God's work on the daily... in the beauty of nature, in the purity of a baby's smile, in the actions of good Samaritans, in the powerful colors of the sunset... I happen to think He's a dope artist and I'm on his team for sure.


You don't look like a typical mom. How hard is it for you to stay looking young?

[laughs] No I definitely don't look like your typical mom.. not to mention, I'll be gathering the upgraded title of grandma this fall, which is so awesome and hilarious because I look even less like a grandma. This is what the new generation of moms and grandmas look like. We wear our colors out loud and don't feel the need to conform to other people's ideals of beauty, and I love it!  I think what's making us stay younger looking is living so happily. I take care of my skin. I don't drink and try to stay hydrated, although I much prefer coffee to water. And I hide from the crispy rays of the sun.. I don't want to destroy my skin, but I really think happiness is the key to youth.


I've never watched the tv show Dexter. What am I missing?

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You're missing everything! Dexter is the best!! I've watched the entire series at least four times. I'm obsessed with the show and the cast. How can you not love a Robin Hood type serial killer? Seriously though, if you like crime and a little suspense and a great cast, that show is bomb!

You told me you're a "girly girl"... but you like horror movies. Which ones?

I know.. I'm a strange one. I'm a super princess-y girl, and I love fairy tales and romance movies, but I definitely love my horror movies. Anything with serial killers, vampires, zombies, possessed people... The most recent one that I liked was The Witch. Oh my God! So good and so crazy! Spiritual ones freak me out the most.... [laughs].


Females in the tattoo business used to be rare. How did things change?

We've always been there, they just never used to spotlight us. I think reality TV has really changed the game. Exposing America to female tattooers like Kat Von D. really helped open things up for the rest of us, and I think it's fantastic! The females in the industry now are absolutely killing it and it''s so great to see the girls getting treated better and respected more than we were 10-15 years ago. There's a huge market for us. I've heard sooo many a time my new clients saying, "I've been searching for a female artist.... I think the boys are getting a run for their money nowadays."


What percentage of clients are a pain in the ass to work on?

I really love my clients. For some reason I seem to get the sweetest and coolest people to work on. It's rare when after working on someone, we're not  "friends" after the experience. I'm really gentle and love distracting my clients when it's a tough spot. I talk 'em through it, I'm like a cheerleader and tattooer in one. Tattoos hurt. Tattoo shops are intimidating. It's our job to not only create beautiful life-lasting art on these people, but to give them a good experience. I really love my clients and catering to them. There's so many tattooers to choose from. I'm thankful when someone wants my art on their body for their whole life. That's a big deal and I respect it tremendously.

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What should clients know when they want to get a tattoo?

They should know that they hurt. They're not cheap. And please know what you want before you ask for a price. [laughs]


What ink do you like best?

I'm an Eternal ink girl! I love them and I'm loyal.


What machines do you use?

I'm obsessed with my machine made by Eddy Munster. His machines are dope, and he made me a custom one a few years back and to this day it's my favorite lil' beast! If you guys want sexy, handmade machines by a really talented and really good guy, go look up Eddy Munster!


Where will we find you 20 years from now?

Ohhhh how fun. Twenty years from now, you'll see me happy, smiling, and owning more than one shop. You'll see me teaching seminars. Painting still.. Doing some kind of community outreach or charity involvement in a big way. And my dream would be coming  back and collaborating with the company that made me want to be an artist in the first place: Disney. And for sure you'll see me world traveling with my hubby, kids, and grandkids. I'm putting in the hard work now, so that my retirement years will be just as dope as my youthful ones!


For more on Princess Hilla, visit @princess.hilla