Palm Beach County firefighter/paramedic Joe Nieves has another title to add to his colorful resume: Tattoo Titan.
The Pembroke Pines resident recently won CMT's newest ink reality competition, "Tattoo Titans.''
Nieves, who works at Twisted Heart Tattoo in Hollywood, out-inked three other artists during design challenges on "human canvases." Nieves won $10,000 and bragging rights.
"All my fellow co-workers are joking around calling me Tattoo Titan,'' said Nieves, 43, who is based out of Lantana for the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. "I am glad the show was more about the artwork and less about the drama between the artists."
Nieves said he signed up to show off his ink-credible tattoo skills. "Every tattoo artist wants some kind of recognition and that's basically what it was for, to test my skills,'' said Nieves, who has been tattooing for about 16 years, since he was a graphic design student at Florida Atlantic University.
When he began a tattoo apprenticeship at Twisted Heart during college, he was drawn to another calling.
"I always wanted to be an artist and this was a venue for me to pursue that and get paid for it. It's like instant gratification," he said. "When you tattoo someone, the person has your artwork. It's a permanent thing."
Nieves works three days a week as a tattoo artist in addition to his full-time duties with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. He said almost half of his tattoo clients are fellow firefighters and police officers, who account for 40 percent of his business.
On Nieves' episode, which aired Feb. 13, the artists had to create three tattoos, each with a different theme: "Badass Babes,'' "Brawn and Beauty'' and "Tattoo in Anime."
Because of the time constraints on each challenge — about three hours to custom-design a tattoo then ink it on a customer — Nieves had to drip-and-wipe fast on his feet. He also had to follow the rules of the game, making sure he designed what the customer wanted while staying within the required themes.
The panel of three judges noted his designs were "super clean,'' "technically sound,'' bold" and "super rad."
And when they named him the winner, Nieves held his arms up and shouted, "10 Gs, baby, 10 Gs! That doesn't come every day, so I'm very stoked."
His plans for the money? To share it with his family.
"They support me in everything I do," he told viewers. "I'll be happy to share the glory with them."
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What: "Tattoo Titans"
Airs: 11 p.m. Thursdays on CMT (Country Music Television)Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun