Miss Reno Ink Cristal Bavaro
and the Artists who Inked Her Up

Published in the March 2012 RTT

  Cristal Bavaro

Photos Michael Polanski

Last September Cristal Bavaro competed against the lovely ladies of the 2011 Miss Reno Ink Pageant and won first prize of $1,000 and a cover feature in Reno Tahoe Tonight’s March Lady Luck Tattoo Arts Expo edition. Here Cristal talks about her tattoos and we introduce the talented local artists (most of whom are familiar to many of you) whose art adorns her body.

RTT: How did you become a collector and what do you love about tattoo culture in Northern Nevada.

CB: I've been surrounded by great friends that were and still are amazing artists for almost my whole life. I've either been their guinea pig, or I've just wanted to prove that body modification--whether it be implants, Botox, hair dye, shaving, piercings or tattoos--they’re all the same; they make you feel beautiful and confident. Tattoos for me do just that. And the tattoo culture here in Nevada is portraying that confidence. It's everywhere indeed, but this area is flourishing with beautiful art that will be carried our whole lives! That's something to be proud of.

RTT: Tell us about your experience at the Miss Reno Ink Pageant.

Gonz - Twisted Minds Vienna Cabrita -
Evolution Tattoo
Sean Soderman - Ruby Lantern Tattoo Johnny "Bravo" Bavaro - Evolution Tattoo
Michael Joseph Curatello aka MikeMare - Nightmare Studios Tattoo Mark Moots - Nightmare Studios Tattoo

CB: Surrounded by Reno's other hot tattooed women and being the winner for 2011, I was ecstatic and so proud! And I thank my artists. If it wasn't for their talent, I wouldn't look this good. They made me stand out with their beautiful art; I just have a hot canvas for them. Shout out to my guys at Nightmare Studio, Evolution, Ruby Lantern, Twisted Minds and Absolute. Thank you guys!

RTT: What does the rest of this year hold for you?

CB: Continuing getting tattooed of course. And I’m looking forward to my publications in more tattoo magazines like Skin & Ink, Savage and Rebel Ink--to name a few.

Gonz - Twisted Minds Slinging ink for 14 years. Originally from Southern California. I’ve been in Reno since August 2008 at Nightmare Studios. This March will be a year opening mine and "Bob Dog's" parlor Twisted Minds which is a glass/art gallery/tattoo shop. I'm influenced by J.C., Worm, Brent Vann, Anthony aka "tee" and too many to list! Thank you to all my mentors for guiding me in this direction that I also have paved on my way. Thank you Cristal for having me give you a lifetime permanent gift. .. ha-ha.

Vienna Cabrita - Evolution Tattoo
I started as a piercer almost 5 years ago; then started tattooing almost 2 1/2 years ago. When it comes to my style of tattooing all I push for is making clean and solid tats. What can I say, I'm in love with what I do. I feel very blessed to work with the crew that I work with. I hope to continue traveling and broadening my horizon as a tattooer.

Sean Soderman - Ruby Lantern Tattoo
I'm a self-taught tattoo artist professionally tattooing since November 2007. I mainly do neo traditional and traditional tattoos that I draw to create my own style, but love doing any and all styles of tattoos. I am thankful to my amazing family, tattoo family, friends and customers who have trusted and supported me. Without you all I wouldn't be here now.

Johnny "Bravo" Bavaro - Evolution Tattoo
I have been piercing for 12 years and tattooing for 3 years... Got my start at Distinct Ink and now my new home is Evolution here in Reno. I like doing neo traditional and traditional tattoos. I want to thank all the people I have tattooed and pierced over the years, most of all my family and friends. I play A LOT of video games, paint, draw, snowboard, go to shows with friends and love spending time with my wife and our dogs Cash and June.

Michael Joseph Curatello aka MikeMare - Nightmare Studios Tattoo
Born August 29, 1981 in Brooklyn, NY. Been tattooing since the age of 17. Started at a small shop on Long Island; tattooed in NY ‘til age 24 then uprooted my home base to Reno, NV. Opened Nightmare Studios with Brandon Collins and have been tattooing there ever since. My influences are Russ Abbott, Jeff Gogue, Tommy Helm, Shige and a long list of others that would take too long to list.

Mark Moots - Nightmare Studios Tattoo
Goes a little something like this... I started tattooing in 2000 at Distinct Ink. I now tattoo at Nightmare Studios and have for about 3 years now. I enjoy dark creepy stuff, bright colorful pretty stuff and combinations of the two.