Meet the Contestants of “Ink Master” Season 4 – Premieres Tues., Feb 25

January 14th, 2014 by faziod

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GET READY FOR A STREET FIGHT WHEN “INK MASTER” RETURNS FOR SEASON 4 STARTING TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 25 AT 10 PM, ET/PT

  “Ink Master” was Spike’s Highest Rated and Most Watched Original Series in 2013

 Artists Battle It Out For $100,000, Editorial Feature In Inked Magazine &

The Bragging Rights Title of ‘Ink Master’

 New York, NY, January 14, 2014 – Spike TV’s hit original and the first tattoo reality-competition series “Ink Master” returns for a fourth season starting Tuesday, February 25 at 10 pm ET/PT, and this time it’s going to be a street fight.  Tattoo artists from around the country will battle it out in permanent ink and sometimes with each other for a $100,000 grand prize, an editorial feature in Inked and, of course, the bragging rights title of ‘Ink Master.’

Each week “Ink Master” puts artist through a series of tattoo challenges that are not only designed to test the artists’ technical skills, but also their on-the-spot creativity, where they must create and execute an original tattoo by command on a ‘Human Canvas.’  Each episode focuses on a different and distinct style of tattooing including realism, black and gray, geometric, neo-traditional, Asian and cover-up, among others.   The masterpieces these artists create will last a lifetime, but so will their mistakes.

After every challenge, the contestants face a tough panel made up of series host Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction) and world renowned tattoo artists Chris Nunez (“Miami Ink”) and Oliver Peck (Elm Street Tattoo) who are joined by a roster of guest judges including CC Sabathia, Rob Zombie and Brandon Rios.

Once again the Human Canvases, who volunteer their bodies to be tattooed by the “Ink Master” contestants, will have a say in who gets sent home.  The Canvases will form their own jury, deliberate as a group and pick one artist per episode who will be up for elimination.  In the jury room, viewers get an inside look at the heated arguments and wicked emotions as the Canvases defend or abandon their new ink and artist.

A new twist for Season Four is that the winner of each week’s Elimination Tattoo challenge will also get to put an artist up for elimination along with the Human Canvas jury and the series judges.

In the season opener the artists put ink-to-skin right from the get-go.  There are seventeen artists standing, but only one — Kyle Dunbar who was voted back to compete in the Season 3 finale — with a guaranteed spot this season.  It’s a cut-throat competition for the remaining 15 spots as artists take part in a “tattoo convention” and “show your artistic style” challenges.

The “Ink Master” Season Four tattoo artists are (listed in alphabetical order):

  • David Bell (@davidbelltattoo) –Owner/artist at TLA Tattoos in Fredericksburg, VA
  • Ashley Bennett (@ashleybtattoo) – Artist at Body Graphics in South Windsor, CT
  • “Gentle” Jay Blondel (@Gentl_jay) – Artist at Alchemy Tattoo Arts in North Bellmore, NY
  • Lydia Bruno (@inkbyLydia) – Co-owner/artist at Unique Arts Studio in Glens Falls, NY
  • Damon Butler (@hautedraws) – Manager/artist at Extreme Fantasy in Abington, MA
  • Keith Diffenderfer (@kdiffenderfer) – Artist at Honor & Iron in Rehoboth Beach, DE
  • Kyle Dunbar (@InkbyKyleDunbar) – Owner/artist at Almighty Tattoo in Flint, MI
  • Jim Francis (@tattooedjim) – Owner/artist at Milwaukee Ink in Milwaukee, WI
  • Walter “Sausage” Frank (@Sausagekingtat) – Artist at Club Tattoo in Las Vegas, NV
  • Halo (@tattoosbyhalo) – Owner/artist at Black Lotus Tattoo Gallery in Severn, MD
  • King Ruck (@therealkingruck) – Owner/artist at Black Spade Tattoo & Red Elephant Tattoo in Las Vegas, NV
  • Matti Hixson (@mattihixson) – Artist at Trinity Tattoo in Virginia Beach, VA
  • Bubba Irwin (@bubbairwin) – Owner/artist at Old Town Ink in Scottsdale, AZ
  • Scott Marshall (@smarshalltattoo) – Artist at Roselle Tattoo Co. in Roselle, IL
  • Melissa Monroe (@Monroever) – Artist at Homeward Bound Tattoo in Port Washington, WI
  • Roland Pacheco (@Roland_Pacheco) – Owner/artist at Xisle Custom Tattoo in Hawi, HI
  • Randy Vollink (@randyvollink) – Artist at Club Tattoo in Scottsdale, AZ

Viewers can find out more about each artist including biographies, photo galleries, artwork portfolios and artist introduction videos by logging on to inkmaster.spike.com .  Throughout the season fans can watch full episodes, video clips and are encouraged to take part in weekly voting polls tied to each episode.  Fans can ‘like’ the official “Ink Master” Facebook page and join in the “Ink Master” conversation by following @spikeinkmaster on Twitter and using #InkMaster.   The latest in tattoo culture and series news can be found on the “Ink Master” Tumblr and on Instagram @spiketv.

“Ink Master” was Spike’s highest rated original series in 2013.  Season three was its highest rated and most watched ever, averaging 2.1 million viewers and dramatically broadening the audience in its timeslot, posting a +243% increase with Men 18-49 and +257% with Persons 18-49 compared to the year ago time period.  In its Tuesday 10-11 PM ET/PT slot, “Ink Master” ranked among the top 5 in all key demos and the LIVE finale was the #1 original program in the time slot among P 18-49.   During the season, Cross Platform Video Views per week were up +38% versus the prior season.

“Ink Master” is produced for Spike by Charlie Corwin’s Original Media, with Charlie Corwin and Andrea Richter as Executive Producers of the series.

Sharon Levy is Spike’s Executive Vice President, Original Series with Chris Rantamaki is the  network’s Senior Vice President of Original Series.  Kevin Bartel, the Vice President of Series Development, oversees production of “Ink Master” for Spike.

Founded in 2002, Charlie Corwin’s Original Media has built a strong reputation for cutting-edge content and quality production. Original Media produces hundreds of hours of award-winning content across multiple media formats including Academy Award nominated feature films, reality television, scripted television and digital programming and currently has fifteen television series on air. Some of Original Media’s hit television series shows “NY Ink,” “LA Ink,” “The Rachel Zoe Project,” “Swamp People,” “Storm Chasers,” “Dual Survival” and “BBQ Pitmasters.”  Original Media produced the Academy Award nominated films The Squid and the Whale and Half Nelson. The company, headquarters in New York, is a subsidiary of Endemol USA.

Spike TV is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks.  A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.  Spike TV’s Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV’s press site at http://www.spike.com/press.  Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.

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Contact:

Debra Fazio                 Spike TV         212-767-8649              debra.fazio@spiketv.com

 

Ink Master Season 4 Contestant Biographies

January 14th, 2014 by faziod

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Season 4: Contestant Biographies

(in alphabetical order)

 ”Ink Master” Season 4 Premieres on Spike TV Starting Tuesday, February 25 at 10 PM, ET/PT

 

David Bell- Fredericksburg, VA
20 years experience
Owner/ Artist at TLA Tattoos (www.tlatattoos.com) in Fredericksburg, VA
Twitter: @davidbelltattoo
David Bell has been tattooing for more than 20 years and is widely known on the convention circuit.  A confident artist, Bell got his start apprenticing at a studio in Arizona and moved around to shops in California, Washington and Nevada perfecting his tattoo abilities.  Two years ago he brought his West Coast tattoo style and his love of black and gray work to the East Coast when he set up his own shop TLA Tattoos in Virginia.  Bell believes he had the fundamentals and creative experience to bring a real challenge to this year’s competition.

Ashley Bennett – South Windsor, CT
6 years experience
Artist at Body Graphics (http://instagram.com/Ashleybtattoo ) in South Windsor, CT
Twitter: @ashleybtattoo
Bennett takes great pride in what she’s achieved as a female artist in a male dominated industry.  An apprenticed and self-taught artist, she’s got a competitive spirit and fiery attitude.  Bennett has worked hard to gain the respect of her peers and clients wants to prove that women in the tattoo industry are just as good, if not better, than their male counterparts.  While she describes her style as colorful and bold Bennett enjoys tattooing traditional styled pieces. A native of Saratoga Springs, NY during the filming of “Ink Master” Bennett worked at True Tattoo Studio in Clifton Park, NY

‘Gentle Jay’ Blondel- Massapequa, NY
14 years experience
Artist at Alchemy Tattoo Arts (www.jayblondeltattoo.com) in Bellmore, NY
Twitter:  @Gentl_jay
Don’t let his moniker fool you,  Gentle Jay is no shrinking violet.  After brief stints in art school and as a party decorator Jay found his way to tattooing and body piercing in 1999.  He prides himself on his tattoo versatility, not sticking to just one style because his goal is to come up with something new. Gentle Jay looks at this season’s competition as his coming out party and believes his meticulous work and fine lines is what will set him apart from his competitor and prove that he can hang with the big boys.

Lydia Bruno- Albany, NY
9 years experience
Co-owner/Artist at Unique Arts Studio (www.inkbylydia.com) in Glens Falls, NY
Twitter: @inkbyLydia
Bruno’s motto is “burn your own path,” something she has done for herself ever since leaving a career in the mental health industry in order to deal with a whole different breed of crazy people – tattoo artists.   An artist since childhood, Bruno  learned her tattoo craft through an “old school” apprenticeship.  She specializes in black and grey photorealism and is particularly drawn to morbid imagery.   Bruno is poised and ready to defend her work and fight back on this season’s competition.  A go-getter with an adventurous spirit, Bruno’s got plenty of practice fighting back as she is also a boxer who has been told she’s “too aggressive” in the ring.  Lucky for her there’s no such thing as “too aggressive” when it comes to tattooing.

Damon Butler- Boston, MA
3 years experience
Manager/Artist at Extreme Fantasy (www.hautedraws.wordpress.com) in Abington, MA
Twitter: @hautedraws
Growing up in the projects of Boston, Damon Butler could have easily ended up another victim of drugs and violence. However, he could draw from an early age and earned a reputation in his neighborhood as a talented artist.  He was encouraged by his local peers to make use of his talent and eventually attended art school. Damon is a self-taught tattoo artist and clearly the determined and hungry rookie in this year’s competition, having bought his first machine three years ago and began practicing on fruit before working up to his first human canvas.

Keith Diffenderfer- York, PA
13 years experience
Artist at Honor & Iron (www.facebook.com/keith-diffenderfer) in Rehoboth Beach, DE
Twitter:  @ kdiffenderfer
Keith Diffenderfer has been relentless since he was young. As a high school student, he showed up at the same tattoo shop every day for a year until they finally agreed to give him an apprenticeship.  That apprenticeship is what Diffenderfer believes sets him apart from newbies who never paid their dues in the industry. He believes that the lack of art education and working your way up in tattooing is a disservice to the customer.  Diffenderfer has earned a reputation for bright and bold tattoos but refuses to categorize himself, he believes he can do it all.

Kyle Dunbar- Genesee County, MI
20 years experience
Owner/ Artist at Almighty Tattoo (www.facebook.com/almightykyledunbar) in Flint, MI
Twitter: @InkbyKyleDunbar
Kyle Dunbar is a self-taught tattoo artist who hasn’t built his reputation on being the nice guy.  He says that he worked at almost every tattoo shop in Genesee County, MI, his hometown, only to have been fired from every one of them because of his abrasive attitude.  Dunbar dislikes tattoo styles with strict rules and prefers to create his own world of “badass art” where he can control gravity and twist reality to his own liking.  Dunbar opened his own shop Almighty Tattoo in 2003 with his wife and has clients coming to him from all over to get inked in his signature extreme realism tattoo style. In last year’s competition Dunbar made it all the way to the final four before being eliminated. In the season finale fans voted Kyle Dunbar and Chris May back to face off in a first-ever live tattoo challenge, that Dunbar won, earning him a chance to redeem himself in Season 4.

Jim Francis- Milwaukee, WI
12 years experience
Owner/Artist at Milwaukee Ink (www.jimfrancistattoo.com and www.mkeink.com) in Milwaukee, WI
Twitter: @tattooedjim
After living life in the fast lane and spending time in both jail and rehab for drugs, Francis found stability in tattooing.  A self-taught artist who began his tattoo career in California, he is primarily known for his Japanese and black and gray photorealism tattoos, but he personally favors working in the traditional style.  Little do his clients or his fellow competitors know that he works his craft with a slight disadvantage, he’s partially color blind, but Francis has an uncanny ability to turn that weakness into a strength. He owns the only tattoo shop in the world located within a Harley Davidson flagship dealership in Milwaukee.

Walter “Sausage” Frank- Las Vegas, NV
13 years experience
Artist at Club Tattoo (www.facebook.com/waltersausagefrank) in Las Vegas, NV
Twitter: @Sausagekingtat
Sausage isn’t just a tattoo artist, he’s a true entertainer whose stage is the tattoo studio. He enjoys making people laugh and couple that with his meticulous tattoo work, Sausage is a much sought after and appreciated artist in Las Vegas where his specialties include HD realism, portrait and black and gray.  But don’t let his humorous ways fool you, he’s a solid and fierce competitor.  Having worked alongside last season’s winner Joey Hamilton, Sausage has picked up a thing or two about strategy and winning this competition.

Halo – Baltimore, MD
9 years experience
Owner/Artist at Black Lotus Tattoo Gallery (www.blacklotustattoos.com and www.tattoosbyhalo.com) in Severn, MD
Twitter: @tattoosbyhalo
After winning more than one hundred fifty awards within the past four years for his artistry and tattooing at two hundred conventions last year, Halo joins the cast confident and ready to claim his next prize. But this artist is more than just a winner in his art work, he’s a successful shop owner, but more importantly a cancer survivor. After his diagnosis Halo set out to break the rules by going a holistic approach to treat and cure his illness.  He also set out to make his imprint on the tattoo industry, working 24/7 practicing his craft and building a name for himself with his realism and new skool work.

Matti Hixson- Virginia Beach, VA
10 years experience
Artist at Trinity Tattoo (https://www.facebook.com/matthew.hixson1) in Virginia Beach, VA
Twitter: @mattihixson
Matti Hixson, speaks bluntly, but he claims it’s all in the name of artistic passion.  This self-taught artist from West Virginia, his devotion and respect for his craft sometimes can come off as abrasive, but he really isn’t interested in what anyone else thinks.  Well known on the convention circuit, Hixson is a well-rounded artist who thrives in color realism and likes tattooing with a dark twist.  He brings his passion and competitive spirit to this season’s competition openly acknowledging that he’s here for the notoriety, the money and of course the title of “Ink Master.”

Bubba Irwin- Scottsdale, AZ
7 years experience
Owner/Artist at Old Town Ink (www.oldtownink.com) in Scottsdale, AZ
Twitter: @bubbairwin
Irwin takes deep pride in the fact that he is a 100% self-taught tattoo artist. Everything he knows about the tattoo industry he’s learned through trial, error and practice, making him the confident artist that he is.  Competitive and determined by nature, Irwin attributes much of his business success to the work ethic instilled in him by his father while growing up. His ambitious nature is clearly evident in his quick rise from doing tattoos out of his home for friends and family to opening up his own shop where he specializes in realism and portraits.

King Ruck- Las Vegas, NV
6 years experience
Owner/Artist at Black Spade Tattoo (www.blackspadetattoo.com) and Red Elephant Tattoo (www.redelephantcompany.com) in Las Vegas, NV
Twitter: @therealkingruck
King Ruck is a former graffiti artist who has made a smooth transition to tattooing.  He went from bombing and painting on walls and building his reputation as a respected graffiti artist, to owning two of the premiere tattoo shops in Las Vegas. The nickname “King” was given to him by his mentors because of the dues he paid as a graffiti artist and “Ruck,” which is short for Ruckus, was the main name he used while getting up on walls. King Ruck is known for his fine lines, smooth grays and attention to detail but really enjoys the bold lines and bright colors as well and jumps at every chance he gets to do so.

Scott Marshall- Chicago, IL
15 years experience
Artist at Roselle Tattoo Co. (www.facebook.com/scottmarshalltattoos) in Roselle, IL
Twitter: @smarshalltattoo
Scott Marshall graduated from the American Academy of Art in Chicago in 1998 and apprenticed for one year before starting his own tattoo career.   A truly confident artist, he prides himself on being proficient and efficient in any tattoo style and knows that his customers value and appreciate his professional opinion. For Marshall its all about the creative process behind the tattoo.  He doesn’t work off of templates, but rather likes to get into the mind of his client and derive the tattoo design from that, making sure to adding their personality into the finished masterpiece.

Melissa Monroe- Farmington, WI
5 years experience
Artist at Homeward Bound Tattoo (www.homewardboundtattoo.com) in Port Washington, WI
Twitter: @Monroever
Donning platinum blond hair, a variety of piercings and countless tattoos, Melissa Monroe is a small town girl who proves herself to be bold. Her laid back demeanor of a sweet Midwestern gal only goes but so far, as she is always ready to push back. She finds herself lucky to work among men because she feels women tend to be severely more dramatic. Living in a small town, Monroe doesn’t have the luxury of specializing in one form of tattooing. She enjoys doing pin up, dark nature, traditional and neo-traditional pieces. Monroe is confident in her work and dares anyone to question her ability to rise above the competition.

Roland Pacheco- Hawi, Hawaii
8 years experience
Owner/Artist at Xisle Custom Tattoo (www.rolandpacheco.com and http://www.xisletattoo.com/) in Hawi, HI
Twitter: @Roland_Pacheco
Roland Pacheco is a 6th generation Polynesian, self-taught tattoo artist and published author from the Big Island of Hawai’i. He owns and operates Xisle Custom Tattoo in the historic town of Hawi where he has been practicing his craft and researching Polynesian tattoo for the past 8 years.  Art has been a part of Pacheco’s life from an early age  – he enjoys oil and acrylic painting, watercolor, charcoal, gyotaku, digital art and animation. As a child he created his own comic books to not only entertain himself but to further develop his artistic skills.  When he isn’t tattooing or writing, Pacheco enjoys restoring motorcycles, spearfishing and spending time with his wife, Anna.

Randy Vollink- Mesa, AZ
9 years experience
Artist at Club Tattoo (www.randyvollink.com) in Scottsdale, AZ
Twitter: @randyvollink
Randy Vollink is a former manager of various law firms, his love of art inspired to pursue more creative endeavors. Tattooing started out for him as a hobby and quickly became a passion.  A self-taught artist, Vollink has worked hard to earn his tattoo stripes just like everyone else, but he also had the added difficulty of being a gay man in a heterosexual male dominated industry.  He’s a confident artist who specializes in black and gray portraits and photo realism.
 

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Contact:          Debra Fazio-Rutt        Spike TV         212-767-8649              debra.fazio@spiketv.com

Ink Master Season 3 Finale

October 8th, 2013 by SPIKE Press

Ink Master Season 3 Ink Master Season 3 Ink Master Season 3Ink Master Season 3Ink Master Season 3 Ink Master Season 3 Ink Master Season 3 Ink Master Season 3 Ink Master Season 3 Ink Master Season 3 Ink Master Season 3 Ink Master Season 3 Ink Master Season 3 Ink Master Season 3 Ink Master Season 3 Ink Master Season 3

Joey ‘Hollywood’ Hamilton Named Season 3 Winner of “Ink Master” in Live Series Final

October 8th, 2013 by SPIKE Press

JOEY ‘HOLLYWOOD’ HAMILTON NAMED SEASON 3 WINNER OF

“INK MASTER” IN LIVE SEASON FINALE 

Season 3 Wins $100,000, Feature in Inked Magazine & Bragging Rights Title of ‘Ink Master’  

New York, NY, October 8, 2013 – In a live finale that was both intense and exciting, Joey ‘Hollywood’ Hamilton was named winner of Season 3 of “Ink Master.”  Hamilton wins a cash prize of $100,000, a feature article in the premiere tattoo publication Inked and the ultimate bragging rights title of ‘Ink Master.’ In addition, Kyle Dunbar was given a second chance at tattoo redemption and voted on to “Ink Master” Season 4 airing next year after being voted back by the fans during a LIVE tattoo challenge at the finale.

Sixteen of the top tattoo artists from around the country battled it out all season in permanent ink, competing in various tattoo challenges that not only tested the artists’ technical skills, but also their on-the-spot creativity where they had to create and execute an original tattoo on a ‘human canvas.’ Each week’s challenges focused on a different tattoo technique and style.   After every challenge the contestants faced a tough panel made up series host Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction) and judges, renowned tattoo artists Chris Nunez (“Miami Ink”) and Oliver Peck (Elm Street Tattoo).  The masterpieces these artists created will last forever, but so will their mistakes.   

The final three contestants: Katherine ‘Tatu Baby’ Flores, self-employed tattoo artist in Miami, FL, Joey ‘Hollywood’ Hamilton, tattoo artist at Club Tattoo in Las Vegas, NV and Jime Litwalk, artist at Hart and Huntington in Orlando, FL were each assigned their own master canvas.   They were sent back to their home bases to complete a 35-hour tattoo, where they had five, seven-hour sessions with their master canvas to create the best tattoo design of their career.

In the finale Flores, Hamilton and Litwalk revealed their master canvases to the judges and America.   After the judges reviewed the artwork, ‘Tatu Baby’ was eliminated from the competition.  In the end it came down to Joey ‘Hollywood’ Hamilton and Jime Litwalk with the judges in a close call, ultimately naming Hamilton the season 3 winner of “Ink Master.” 

In last week’s semi-final episode, a surprise twist was introduced for the 13 eliminated.  Series host Dave Navarro announced that all of the eliminated contestants would get a second chance to prove themselves worthy on “Ink Master,” where it would be up to the fans to vote for their top two favorite artists to compete in a LIVE head-to-head tattoo competition.  The two finalists were Kyle Dunbar and Chris May, with Kyle Dunbar ultimately being given the opportunity to compete on “Ink Master” Season 4.

“Ink Master” is produced for Spike by Charlie Corwin’s Original Media, with Charlie Corwin and Andrea Richter as Executive Producers of the series.  Original Media currently has seventeen television series on air including the hit shows “NY Ink,” “Comic Book Men,” “The Rachel Zoe Project,” “Swamp People,” “BBQ Pitmasters,” “Dual Survival” and “Mudcats.”  Headquartered in New York, Original Media is a subsidiary of Endemol USA.

Sharon Levy is Spike’s Executive Vice President, Original Series, Chris Rantamaki and is Senior Vice President of Original Programming for Spike and oversees production of “Ink Master” and Kevin Bartel serves as the network’s Executive in Charge of Production. 

About Spike TV:

Spike TV is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks.  A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.  Spike TV’s Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV’s press site at http://www.spike.com/press.  Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.

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Contact: 

Debra Fazio-Rutt        Spike               212-767-8649              debra.fazio@spiketv.com

Nicole Platt                 Spike               212-767-8855              nicole.platt@spiketv.com

 

 

 

 

 

“Ink Master” First Look At DC Comics Villains Challenge Premieres 9/10 at 10 PM, ET/PT

September 4th, 2013 by faziod

“Ink Master” – First Look At Season 3 Premiering 7/16

July 10th, 2013 by faziod

“Ink Master” Season 3 Sneak Peek

June 5th, 2013 by faziod

“Ink Master” Season 3 – Contestant Biographies

June 5th, 2013 by faziod

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 ”Ink Master” Season 3 – Contestant Biographies

(in alphabetical order)

 

E.S. – Bridgeport, CT
16 years experience
Artist at Forever Custom Tattoos (www.EStattoos.com)

Originally a graffiti muralist, E.S. credits this form of street art for teaching him how to direct his creative talents and how to stay in control of almost any situation.  Although he is based out of Forever Custom Tattoos, E.S. likes to take his talent on the road as he travels up and down the East Coast to tattoo clients.   He takes extreme pride in all of his original work and prefers his custom pieces over traditional styles which he feels are too easy and non challenging.  E.S. is predominantly known for his use of bold and hard lines, which creates a clean and timeless tattoo.

Kyle Dunbar – Flint, MI
20 years experience
Owner/ Artist at Almighty Tattoo (www.facebook.com/almightykyledunbar)

Kyle Dunbar is a self-taught tattoo artist who hasn’t built his reputation on being the nice guy.  He says that he worked at almost every tattoo shop in Genesee County, MI, his hometown, only to have been fired from every one of them because of his abrasive attitude.  Dunbar dislikes tattoo styles with strict rules and prefers to create his own world of “badass art” where he can control gravity and twist reality to his own liking.  Dunbar opened his own shop Almighty Tattoo in 2003 with his wife and has clients coming to him from all over to get inked in his signature extreme realism tattoo style.

Jason Clay Dunn – Montclair, CA
20 years experience 
Owner/Artist at Tattoo Alchemy (http://www.tattooalchemy.com and   http://www.jasonclaydunn.com)

Jason Clay Dunn is a professional fine artist and tattooist and from a very young age he always had a need to create. After a long, painstaking traditional apprenticeship at the early age of 19, Dunn set out on a journey to carve his niche in the tattoo industry.  Whether it be a work of art, or a business venture, he has found that the combination of both is what really inspires his passion for art, tattooing and life.  Dunn has always been, and still is, truly amazed by seeing colors beneath the skin.   Despite his life-long challenges with panic disorder and anxiety, Dunn has persevered to become a leading tattoo artist in the Neo-Asian styles.

Katherine “Tatu Baby” Flores – Miami, FL
6 years experience
Self-employed tattoo artist (www.tatubaby.com)

Tatu Baby isn’t shy when it comes to her looks and admits to have used her sex appeal to her advantage, but don’t judge this book by its cover, she’s got talent to back her up.  She became interested in tattoos after getting her first ink at the age of 14.  Tatu Baby has been tattooing professionally since she was 19 and proved herself right of the gate by taking home a “best of day” trophy at a tattoo convention.  Known for her work in black and gray and photorealism, she has a true appreciation for the way the body can be used as a canvas to express yourself.   A fan favorite in last year’s competition, Tatu Baby made it all the way to the final four before being eliminated.  In a first-ever surprise twist in the season finale, viewers went online and voted Tatu Baby back for a chance to redeem herself  in Season 3.

Craig Foster – Carlton, GA
18 years experience
Owner/ Artist at Skinwerks Tattoo (www.skinwerks.com)

After being incarcerated for three years, Craig Foster knew that he needed to turn his life around.  He immediately found the art of tattooing and has made it a full time career ever since. Being one of the few black tattoo artists in his region, Foster has felt that he has something extra to prove and thrives off of being considered an underdog by his peers.  A “working class” artist, Foster prides himself in his ability to relate to his clients and to never forget a face or tattoo he has worked on. Although he is primarily a “new skool” artist, Foster knows that his talents are balanced and can handle any challenge the judges give to him.

Joey “Hollywood” Hamilton – Las Vegas, NV
16 years experience
Artist at Club Tattoo Las Vegas (http://clubtattoo.com/artists/joey-hamilton/)

During a ten year stint in the US Air Force, Joey “Hollywood” Hamilton became widely exposed to tattoos and immediately fell in love with the art.  After getting out of the service, he began refining his technique in Florida before establishing himself in Sin City.  Today, Hamilton travels all around the country to promote his work and is primarily known for his realism and photo reproduction skills.  Although he may come off as arrogant, Hamilton really has a “Hollywood” laid back persona, but he is here to show that he is a fierce competitor who should not be underestimated.

James “Danger” Harvey – Sacramento, CA
8 years experience
Owner/Artist at Skin Gallery Tattoo (http://jamesdangerharvey.com)

James “Danger” Harvey has always had a passion for art. In high school it was common practice for him to turn in his math tests covered in doodles and funny character drawings.  He has always been a “Jack of all trades,” holding jobs such as junkyard puller, strip club bouncer / DJ, landscaper and carpenter. Danger was able to funnel his first love for art into tattooing and is the owner of Skin Gallery Tattoo. He dedicates all of his time and energy into art and tattooing, which he believes are one in the same and should be without boundaries.  He is not particular to any one style of tattooing and finds that his natural talent is proficient in all genres. Reflecting his middle name, Danger tends to live life on the edge as he is trained in the Israeli self-defense system, Krav Maga, an avid motorcyclist, and overall adrenaline addict.

Joshua Hibbard – Portland, OR
10 years experience
Artist at No Hope, No Fear Tattoo (www.nohopenofeartattoo.com and www.joshuahibbard.com)

It was only when he was homeless did Joshua Hibbard recognize the importance of being brash, loud, and a little cocky.  Hibbard used his art as a means of showing his personality, a way to express his pent up thoughts, and overall a way to survive. Today, he isn’t afraid to call anyone out and will constructively criticize the art work of his peers.  Hibbard believes that the tattoo industry needs to improve its professional standards because he is tired of how some “artists” make a mockery of the art. His work consistently challenges traditional pieces as Hibbard focuses on the contrast of layers and realistic color images.

Jackie “Ink Bitch” Jennings – Philadelphia, PA
11 years experience
Artist at Tru Blu (www.inkbitch.com)

Creativity has always come naturally to Jackie “Ink Bitch” Jennings.  Even at a young age, art was a way for her to express herself and she transformed that talent into a career in tattooing more than a decade ago.  Jennings doesn’t limit herself to any one tattoo style and is known for her versatility across a range of styles.  She creates custom pieces for each of her clients that are vastly different from tattoo work others do.

Ally Lee – Santa Cruz, CA
9 years experience
Owner/Artist at Hot Rod Alley Tattoo (http://hotrodalleytattoo.com/)

This heavy metal/rockabilly-listening mamma is obsessed with rebuilding old hot rods when she’s not busy tattooing in her own shop, Hot Rod Alley Tattoo.  When it comes to her tattoo work, Ally Lee is just as determined and strives to please her clients. Known for her photorealism and vibrant colored floral work, Lee is determined to show the world her expertise in all styles of tattooing.  A self-taught artist, Lee has refined her skills and transferred her love of drawing into a different medium, using a tattoo machine as a tool and skin as her canvas.

Jime Litwalk – Orlando, FL
20 years experience
Artist at Hart & Huntington Co. & Steadfast Brand (http://www.hartandhuntingtontattoo.com/
and http://www.jimelitwalk.com/)

With over 20 years in the tattoo industry, Jime Litwalk does his best to pass on his experience and knowledge to the other competitors. Fast-paced and precise, Litwalk has built up a solid clientele from his years of travel on the international tattoo circuit.  Litwalk works in Orlando at Hart and Huntington and at his private studio located at the Steadfast Brand headquarters. His tattoo and illustration career has brought him numerous awards, magazine mentions, and feature articles. While he is comfortable tattooing in almost any genre, Litwalk’s passion is in his signature animated “classic new skool” style. This married father of two is a true perfectionist and his work has been featured on multiple TV shows including, “The Real World,” “The Life of Ryan,” and “Nitro Circus.”

Madison “Maddie la Belle” Loftis – Greensboro, NC
5 years experience
Artist at Corrupted Arts Studio (www.facebook.com/tattoosbymadison)

A true Southern belle, Madison “Maddie la Belle” Loftis uses her charm and hospitality to maintain a large following of clients.  She is a self-taught tattoo artist and learned the basics of the industry underground in South Carolina.  Maddie is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy as she is out to make sure that she gets the respect that she deserves and consistently reminds the men to not underestimate her as a competitor.  She refuses to be damsel in distress and is not afraid to tell other girls to “buck up” when things are getting tough. Maddie’s work is extremely versatile, but she is often best recognized for her portrait work and her black and grey artistry.

Chris May – DeKalb, IL
16 years experience
Owner/Artist at Proton Tattoo (http://www.protontattoo.com/)

Clients of Chris May get a one of a kind experience as they receive a tattoo from him, complete with a comedic performance.  May is a trained stand-up comedian having studied at the world famous Second City Theatre in Chicago, IL.  While he is blunt when speaking with clients, he uses humor as a way to tell them that their idea won’t work.  His style focuses on illustrative and aesthetic pieces that use clean colors and detailed lines.  May refuses to tattoo according to the “Google style,” a generic style that is pulled right off of Google images. Although he has a light hearted attitude, competitors beware because he is serious about winning.

Frank McManus – New Cumberland, PA
6 years experience
Artist at Bryan Campbell Tattoo Studio (www.frankmcmanus.com)

Although he is still fairly new to the industry, Frank McManus is ready to prove that he can surpass tattoo veterans. McManus believes that it does not matter how many years you have been in the business, if you want it bad enough you will work for it. Outspoken and confident, McManus embraces his standoff-ish persona. He focuses on American tradition pieces and often uses bright and vibrant colors to highlight his work.

Richard “Made Rich” Parker -Queens, NY
5.5 years experience
Owner/Artist at Think Before You Ink (www.thinkbeforeyouink.comand www.maderichtattoos.com)

After he hung his football cleats up and graduated from Wagner College with a BA in Fine Arts, Made Rich worked in two different shops before opening “Think Before You Ink” in Long Island City, NY.  Competitive by nature, Made Rich was a long time athlete before taking his talent from the playing field to the tattoo machine. His competitiveness has helped him strive to better himself daily. Dark shadowing and shading are his specialties and argues that he can tattoo any style or genre with ease.  He rarely puts anyone before himself and will eliminate anyone who stands in the way of his progress and winning the competition.

“Mystical” Mike Paterek – Bronx, New York
8 years experience
Artist at Red Dragon Tattoo (http://wwww.reddragontat.com and http://www.injectintelligence.com)

After working his way up from the street shops on 6th Avenue in the West Village of New York City, Mystical Mike believes that he has possesses the talent to raise industry standards. Recognized for his detail saturated illustrations, he derives the majority of his inspiration from comic book superheroes. An intellectual with a passion for satire, Mystical Mike strives for excellence with his art; conveying his own unique interpretation with each and every client.

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Spike’s “Ink Master” Season 2 Ranks As #1 Original Series On All Of Cable

December 19th, 2012 by faziod

SPIKE’S “INK MASTER” SEASON 2 FINALE MARKS UP THE COMPETITION,

RANKING AS THE #1 ORIGINAL SERIES ON ALL OF CABLE

 

Finale Also Out Delivers All Competition on Cable in Time Slot,

Ranking #1 with Men 18-34, Persons 18-34 & Men 18-49

 

New York, NY, December 19, 2012 – The live finale of Season 2 of Spike’s “Ink Master” delivered 2.4 million viewers last night, Tuesday, December 18 (10:01 – 11:04 PM, ET/PT), making it the most-watched episode in series history and the fifth largest audience in network history for a non-sports original series telecast.

The one-hour live (ET) finale featured a victory by Connecticut tattoo artist and business owner Steve Tefft, was the #1 original series on cable last night among Persons 18-49.  The finale also out delivered all of the competition on cable in the time slot, ranking #1 with Men 18-34, Persons 18-34 and with Men 18-49.  Overall, the finale drew a 2.1 rating in Men 18-34, 1.7 with Persons 18-34 and a 1.7 with Men 18-49 and a household rating of 1.6.

“Ink Master” has furthered the network’s mission to create broader-appealing shows with real stakes involved.  Currently the highest-rated original series on the network, the Season 2 finale of “Ink Master” posted a 24% increase in total viewers and a 17% increase in Persons 18-49 versus last season’s finale.  “Ink Master” Season 2 averaged 1.9 million viewers, an 89% increase vs the YAGO time period, a 1.5 rating with Persons 18-34, up 159%, 1.5 with Men 18-34, up 122% and a 1.3 with Persons 18-49, up 137%.

In a finale that was filled with both controversy and surprise, series host Dave Navarro and judges Chris Nunez and Oliver Peck awarded a $100,000 cash prize, a feature in Inked magazine and the title of ‘Ink Master’ to Tefft.  In a first-ever series twist during the live telecast, viewers went online and gave one artist, Tatu Baby, a second chance at becoming “Ink Master,” putting her into the competition for Season 3, which is set to air next year.

The “Ink Master” live finale was also a hit on social media.   “Ink Master” ranked #1 on cable and #2 on all networks (behind only ‘The Voice’) on the day of the finale, its highest ranking ever  (Source: SocialGuide).  The show also trended on Twitter with #InkMasterLive and #TatuBaby making it to the top 10 trending topics in the US and worldwide

“Ink Master” is produced for Spike by Original Media, with Charlie Corwin, Jay Peterson, and Andrea Richter as Executive Producers of the series.  Original Media currently has seventeen television series on air including the hit shows “NY Ink,” “Comic Book Men,” “The Rachel Zoe Project,” “Swamp People,” “BBQ Pitmasters,” “Dual Survival” and “Mudcats.”  Headquartered in New York, Original Media is a subsidiary of Endemol USA.

Sharon Levy is Spike TV’s Executive Vice President, Original Series and Chris Rantamaki and is Vice President of Original Programming for Spike TV and oversees production of “Ink Master.”

Spike TV is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks.  A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.  Spike TV’s Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV’s press site at http://www.spike.com/press.  Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.

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Contact:

Debra Fazio-Rutt        Spike               212-767-8649              debra.fazio@spiketv.com

“Ink Master” Finale Photos – Steven Tefft Named Winner of Season 2

December 19th, 2012 by faziod
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