Spike TV Inks Season Seven of “Ink Master” And
Creates Spin-Off Series “Ink Master: Redemption”
“Ink Master’s” 16-Episode Seventh Season to Air Spring 2016
“Ink Master: Redemption” Premieres In September with Six Half-Hour Episodes
New York, NY, May 27, 2015 – Coming off its most-watched season to date, Spike TV has picked up a seventh season of “Ink Master,” the network’s hit, original tattoo-competition series. Season seven will feature 16 one-hour episodes, slated to debut in spring 2016. In addition, the network has announced a spin-off series, “Ink Master: Redemption,” which offers disgruntled former human canvases of “Ink Master” a chance to receive a new tattoo that leaves them happier than their last. The announcement was made by Chachi Senior, Senior Vice President, Original Programming, Spike TV.
The network will launch the newest installment of “Ink Master” – season six – on Tuesday, June 23 at 10pm ET/PT.
In “Ink Master: Redemption,” human canvases from previous “Ink Master” seasons, who left unhappy with their tattoos, return to the shop for a chance at new ink. The spinoff series, featuring six half-hour episodes, will debut in September.
Season 5 of “Ink Master,” which delivered an average 2.2 million viewers, was the show’s highest-rated season among Adults and Women 18-49. In its Tuesday 10-11 PM ET/PT slot, the series ranked in the top five among Persons 18-49, Men 18-49 and Men 18-34, and is currently one of Spike’s most gender-balanced programs. “Ink Master” generated 11.8 million total cross platform video views during the season, and the LIVE finale was ranked #1 on cable based on twitter activity.
“With Americans spending more than $1Billion annually on tattoos, ‘Ink Master’ has definitely hit a chord with viewers and has continued to grow as one of our most gender-balanced original series,” said Senior. “The show’s viewers are not only fans of the amazing artwork displayed, they are also invested in the human canvases and what happens when a client leaves unhappy with their tattoo. We have created ‘Ink Master: Redemption’ to help answer those questions.”
Each week, “Ink Master” puts artists through a series of tattoo challenges that are not only designed to test the artists’ technical skills, but also their on-the-spot creativity, as 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. The masterpieces these artists create will last a lifetime – but so will their mistakes. The series is hosted by Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction), and the series judges are world-renowned tattoo artists Chris Nunez (“Miami Ink”) and Oliver Peck (Elm Street Tattoo).
“Ink Master” is produced for Spike by Original Media (“Swamp People,” “Comic Book Men,” “Dual Survival”) with Steven Weinstock, Glenda Hersh and Andrea Richter serving as Executive Producers. Original Media is a subsidiary of Endemol Shine North America.
Sharon Levy is Spike’s Executive Vice President, Original Series, Chachi Senior is Senior Vice President of Original Programming for Spike and oversees production of “Ink Master” and Tori Socha serves as the network’s Executive in Charge of Production.
About Original Media:
Original Media is a subsidiary of Endemol Shine North America and is run by Emmy award-winning producers Glenda Hersh and Steven Weinstock. Producing hundreds of hours of programming across unscripted and scripted television, digital media and feature film, Original Media has built a strong reputation for cutting-edge content and quality production. Hit series include “Swamp People,” “Dual Survival,” “Ink Master,” “Comic Book Men” and “The Pool Master.” Original Media also produced the Academy Award-nominated films “The Squid and the Whale” and “Half Nelson.”
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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Season 6: Contestant Biographies
(in alphabetical order)
”Ink Master” Season 6 Premieres on Spike TV Starting Tuesday, June 23 at 10 PM, ET/PT
Coral Springs, FL
Owner/Artist, No Hard Feelings Tattoo Gallery
18 years’ experience
Mentor to Tyler Nolan
Chris Blinston started his tattoo career while in the Marine Corps, getting his first job at a tattoo shop a year later. After apprenticing for three years, he was able to open his own studio where he feels he is a goal-oriented leaded who is committed to his own success as well as those around him. Chris comes into the competition with Tyler Nolan, the 26 year-old that he mentored for five years. Chris feels his passion for artwork, which has led him to the pursuit of perfection, will also lead him to the title of ‘Ink Master.’
Artist, Skin Werks
23 years’ experience
Mentor to Craig Foster
Miami boasts 23 years’ experience in this industry and is ready to solidify his reputation as an accomplished artist. Garnering national exposure due to his tattoo of Michael Jackson on rapper Da Brat, Miami asserts he has what it takes to be a figurehead in the industry. This season he is challenged by Season 3 contestant and employee, Craig Foster. Miami’s on a mission to prove a point: that mentors always come out on top.
Grand Junction, CO
Owner/Artist, Black Pearl Tattoo
13 years’ experience
Mentor to Marisa LaRen
Erik views other artists’ self-promotion meaningless unless the tattoo work actually measures up. After a two-year apprenticeship, this Colorado native opened his own shop in a competitive tattoo community. He is unafraid to take risks, especially when it rewards well. His competition this season is Marisa LaRen, a rookie artist whom he hired following her apprenticeship with him. The two have spent almost every day together for the past four years and are constantly at each other’s throats. Erik believes he does not receive the respect he deserves from Marisa for building, what he believes to be, her entire career.
Owner/Artist, Mi Familia Tattoo
17 years’ experience
Mentor to Kito
Big Ceeze is an artist and entrepreneur whose work focuses on black and grey realism who believes his 17 years of tattooing experience will propel him through this season’s competition. He is challenged this season by Kito, his apprentice with whom he feels should retain his “student” status while he transforms his teacher title to the ‘Ink Master’ title. Big Ceeze carries himself with a sure-fire confidence and views this competition as a vital ingredient to solidify his ink reputation and once and for all, prove to Kito that he will remain on top.
Fort Walton Beach, FL
11 years’ experience
Apprentice of Earl Noble
Dave Clarke spent two years as an apprentice while in the army stationed in Germany before transitioning to a full-time career in tattooing. A tattoo artist with a military background, he’s not one to shy away from a fight and asserts that his aggressive personality is what defines his work. Clarke takes great pride in himself on beating his mentor, Earl Noble, in the past three tattoo conventions he has partaken in, making the claim that “the student is always better than the teacher.” Clarke does partially credits his career to Noble, but relishes in the fact that he knows his teacher’s tricks and how to make them even better. This season, he is looking to show Noble once and for all that he has surpassed his skills in ink.
Prince Frederick, MD
Artist, Red Octopus Tattoos
Website: (www.redoctopustattoos.com/duffyfortner.html )
12 years’ experience
Apprentice to Kruseman
Duffy dubs herself a tattoo brat since the age of six. Coming from a whole family of tattoo artists, she claims that the art of tattooing is in her blood. With a 10-month old at home, she asserts that is her passion and knowledge of this industry that drives her in this competition. She wants nothing more than for her child to look up to her success. Duffy is challenged this season by Kruseman, the Maryland tattoo shop owner a former mentor of hers. She is determined to outperform him this season and claim the title as the first female Ink Master.
Owner, Skinwerks Tattoo
20 years’ experience
Apprentice of Miami Burgess
A fan favorite from “Ink Master” Season 3, Foster landed himself a second shot at winning the ‘Ink Master’ title. 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. This season, Foster goes head to head with his mentor, Miami Burgess, to prove his worthiness as an independent tattoo artist.
Fort Wayne, IN
Owner/artist, Ryan Hadley Studio
15 years’ experience
Apprentice to St. Marq
Ryan Hadley has focused on realism, hyperrealism, black and white and Japanese during his fifteen years of tattooing. Hadley, a proud father of 6, feels tattooing should be taken more serious as an art form rather than something taken for granted since it is a lifelong commitment. Hadley’s challenged this season by his mentor, St. Marq, whom he criticizes for maintaining an old-school tattooing style. He believes St. Marq is way outdated in the tattoo industry and is ready to prove that he has the necessary skills and fresh outlook to win the title of ‘Ink Master.’ As someone who knows his mentor’s work, he has full confidence that he can outperform it.
Owner/artist, Fidolo Tattoo
10 Years’ experience
Apprentice of Big Ceeze
Kito has an incredible passion for tattooing, specializing in black and grey and lettering. He sees this competition as his outlet to display his talent to a worldwide audience. After practicing as a self-taught artist followed by apprenticing for two years, Kito mobilized his career as an artist and shop owner in Oklahoma. He has absolutely no problem telling it like it is, especially when it comes to tattooing. He claims he owes his success in part to his keen observance of his mentor’s “strengths and weaknesses.” He’s in it to win it, discrediting the level of expertise that comes with years of experience, something his former mentor and rival this season, Big Ceeze, holds over him.
Owner/Artist, Oldeline Tattoo
20 years’ experience
Mentor to Duffy Fortner
Kruseman boasts 20 years in the tattoo industry and argues that knowing how to actually draw is what that elevates him above other artists. This studio owner apprenticed for two years before becoming a full-time artist focusing on the traditional style. Kruseman finds a rival in Duffy Fortner, his former apprentice, who comes from an entire family of tattoo artists. Although he believes Duffy has produced decent work to back up her cockiness, he has no doubt in his mind that she does not have what it takes to beat him in this competition.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Artist, Vatican Tattoos
3 years’ experience
Apprentice of Erik Campbell
Marisa has more than just a passion for tattooing; she’s also a star fitness fanatic who ranked third in the 2014 Colorado State’s Fitness Competition. This goes to show her competitive, “I go and get what I want” persona. With just three years of tattooing under her belt, she claims her quick progressio” in tattooing levels the playing field among her competitors. Marisa goes head-to-head this season with her mentor, Erik Campbell, with whom she has been working with nearly every day for the past four years. Feeling like Erik still treats her like a rookie in the industry, she enters this competition ready to prove her worth as an artist.
West Lafayette, IN
Owner, New Breed
25 years’ experience
Mentor to Ryan Hadley
St. Marq has been tattooing for more than 25 years. As the owner of New Breed Tattoo, he has been featured in various publications including National Geographic and the New York Times. St Marq National Tattoo Associations’ Best International Tattooist. While specializing in Black and Grey, Realism, Large Conceptual and Epic Multi-Surface tattoos, St. Marq has a background of experience with many styles. His main competitor is Ryan Hadley, a Fort Wayne shop owner whom he formerly mentored. He believes his rival has a big ego without the experience to back it up.
Artist, Black Cobra Tattoos
5 years’ experience
Apprentice of Matt O’Baugh
Katie has been tattooing for five years in central Arkansas. Her style is bold and colorful with a traditional influence and has won numerous awards at tattoo conventions around the U.S. McGowan comes into the competition with her mentor, Matt O’Baugh, whom she works with in Arkansas. She feels her confident and competitive personality will help her strive in the competition and hopes to prove that women have an important role in the tattoo industry by being the first female to win the title of ‘Ink Master.’
El Paso, TX
Owner/Artist, Blue Panda Tattoo
6 years’ experience
Mentor to Brian Stephens
MV comes in full steam to this competition, expecting to be the last one standing among lesser artists. He’s got a string of tattoo convention awards to back up his reputation. He specializes in Black and Grey and realism and has been feature in tattoo publications in the past. This season, MV finds a rival in Brian Stephens, his former apprentice who thinks he’s amassed the skills necessary to beat his mentor.
St. Petersburg, FL
Artist, Black Amethyst Tattoo Gallery
10 years’ experience
Mentor to Dave Clarke
Earl Noble apprenticed for six months prior to starting his career as a professional tattoo artist. Specializing in stylized realism, the New Orleans native is challenged by Florida tattoo artist, Dave Clarke, whom he firmly believes would be nothing in the industry without him. Noble isn’t remotely pleased with Clarke’s lack of respect for the guidance he received and is determined to prove that the teacher will always come out victorious.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Artist, Vatican Tattoos
10 years’ experience
Apprentice of Chris Blinston
Tyler Nolan has always had a reputation for pushing the limits as witnessed via his hobby of venomous snake handler. He was previously mentored by Chris Blinston whom he left for an opportunity at another shop. This departure left unresolved tension between the two which Tyler plans to clear up during the competition by producing, what he thinks will be, better tattoos.
Owner, Black Cobra Tattoos
Website: (www.blackcobratattoos.com; www.mattobaugh.com)
14 years’ experience
Mentor to Katie McGowan
Matt O’Baugh has been tattooing for 14 years. After apprenticing for 1 year, the next 10 years of his career were spent working for various tattoo shops before opening his own, Black Cobra in Sherwood, Arkansas. Matt has been featured in many industry publications and has won many awards for his skill. Matt comes from a family of artists and attended art school where he majored in Sculpture. Matt also has experience in blacksmithing and knife making. In tattooing, Matt prides himself on his versatility and being able to dominate any style that comes his way. Matt comes into the competition with Katie McGowan, an employee of his, who prides herself on keeping up to date on what is relevant in the tattoo culture. Matt is determined to put the other contestant’s skills to the test as he battles for the title of ‘Ink Master.’
El Paso, TX
Artist, Dapper Ink Tattoo
3 years’ experience
Apprentice of MV
Brian Stephens has been tattooing for a total of three years with a focus on traditional and realism. Despite his relatively short experience compared to others’ in the competition, Brian has already collected his share of awards in traditional and color categories. His main competitor this season is MV, the El Paso shop owner who formerly apprenticed him. Brian is setting out to prove to his rival that he isn’t the new kid on the block any more and hopes winning the coveted title of ‘Ink Master’ will give him the same respect as more experienced artists.