Season 5: Contestant Biographies
(in alphabetical order)
”Ink Master” Season 5 Premieres on Spike TV Starting Tuesday, September 2 at 10 PM, ET/PT
Owner/Artist, Puncture Tattoo Studio
18 years’ experience
Rivals Match-up: “The Brooklyn Boys,” versus Cris Element
Angel is an artist and entrepreneur who focuses on many styles of color and grey wash tattoos. He believes that not specializing in one specific style distinguishes him as a well-rounded tattooist. This season, Angel finds a rival in Cris Element, the Brooklyn artist who once worked for him before quitting unexpectedly. While Element thinks he has surpassed the skills of his former mentor, Angel is furious at the lack of respect shown by Element and is determined to show him who’s really the boss.
Browns Mills, NJ
Artist, Ink Obsession
5 years’ experience
Rivals Match-up: “The Rookie versus the Veteran,” versus Caroline Evans
Julia Carlson apprenticed for six months and has been tattooing ever since with a focus in color and grey wash tattoos. Although she may appear to be small and sweet, Carlson sees herself as a tough and versatile competitor, and is setting out to gain the respect she feels she deserves in the industry. Carlson is challenged this season by Caroline Evans, veteran tattoo artist and fellow co-worker at Ink Obsession. While Evans claims that she’s pushing Carlson to become the best artist possible, Carlson feels that Evans’ feigned guidance is really rooted in jealousy and is tired of being targeted and disrespected by her.
Artist, East Providence Tattoo
3 years’ experience
Rivals Match-up: “Vying for the Top Dog in Rhode Island,” versus Ty’Esha Reels
LT is a tattoo artist who specializes in realism and black and gray. LT believes that he is overlooked and underrated, and covets the recognition reaped by his contemporaries. LT is challenged this season by Ty’Esha Reels, who is furious about having lost to him at a Rhode Island expo despite having twice the experience. Reels believes that LT has yet to pay his dues in the industry and is determined to redeem herself, but LT believes he has.
Jason Clay Dunn
Owner/Artist at Tattoo Alchemy
Website: (www.jasonclaydunn.com; www.jasondunntattoo.com; www.tattooalchemy.com)
20 years’ experience
Rivals Match-Up: “Season Three Returners,” versus Joshua Hibbard
Born with an innate passion for creation, Jason Clay Dunn completed a traditional apprenticeship by nineteen and set out to become a leading artist in the Neo-Asian style. Dunn competed on season three, tattooing through his personal battles with panic disorder and anxiety, but the shop owner fell short and ended up in sixth place. Now he’s back to battle Josh Hibbard, season three’s infamous instigator. Hibbard’s scheming tactics and penchant for drama didn’t sit well with Dunn, and their feud is sure to pick right back up this season as he clashes with Dunn’s no-nonsense personality.
Artist, Roses & Ruins Tattoo
6 years’ experience
Rivals Match-up: “He Disrespected Her on Her Home Turf,” versus Aaron Is
Emily Elegado spent three years completing a traditional tattoo apprenticeship before taking on her own clients. Other than her work in realism, Elegado considers herself infamous for having an in-your-face attitude. She enters the competition with a distaste for Aaron Is, the Tampa tattooist she first met when he did a guest spot at her shop. Elegado felt that Is had absolutely no respect for the industry, and matters were only made worse by his dating Elegado’s co-worker.
Artist, Leathernecks and Bullseye
Website: (www.criselement.com; http://instagram.com/cris_element)
8 years’ experience
Rivals Match-up: “The Brooklyn Boys,” versus Angel
Cris Element is a self-taught tattoo artist. Element does not believe in the traditional route; he openly regards old school tattoos as “outdated” and longtime artists as arrogant. His main competitor this season is Angel, the Brooklyn shop owner who once employed him before Element severed the relationship by quitting without notice. While Angel thinks that Element’s cockiness has gotten the better of him, his former employee thinks it’s time he demonstrated his artistic superiority.
Artist, Hart & Huntington
9 years’ experience
Rivals Match-up: “He Wants to Be Me,” versus Mark Longenecker
Ryan Eternal is a military veteran who picked up on the tattoo trade while stationed in South Korea. Originally from Stockton, one of the roughest cities in California, Eternal’s dreams of a career in ink were almost ruined when a car accident left his hand severely damaged, but the new school artist has recovered and feels ready to battle for ink’s ultimate title. Eternal’s competition is Mark Longenecker, the Cocoa Beach Surfer and artist whom he used to idolize. Despite looking up to him in the past, Eternal is out for Longenecker’s crown and his clients, establishing himself as a Florida circuit legend.
Bradley Beach, NJ
Artist, Ink Obsession
15 years’ experience
Rivals Match-up: “The Rookie versus the Veteran,” versus Julia Carlson
Caroline Evans has been a mainstay in a male-dominated industry. Besides her versatility in color and black and grey styles, Evans enjoys the challenge that a cover-up provides and has won awards for her corrections in ink. This season, Evans is challenged by newcomer Julia Carlson, a co-worker at Ink Obsession. Carlson believes that Evans is jealous of her talents and is out to prove that her experience is no match for the new kid on the block, but Evans thinks that Carlson still has a lot to learn and many years to go before she can ever reach her level of expertise.
Artist at Inspired Tattoo
10 years’ experience
Rivals Match-Up: “Season Three Returners,” versus Jason Clay Dunn
Formerly homeless, Joshua Hibbard believes that some tattoo artists are making a mockery of the craft that saved his life and thinks that the industry needs to improve its professional standards. He frequently criticizes others’ work and in doing so creates controversy, a tactic that cemented him early on as season three’s most notorious competitor. Back for another chance at the title, Hibbard is challenged by fellow season three competitor Jason Clay Dunn, who sees him as a flip-flopping instigator with a trace-and-tattoo technique that is less than legitimate. Hibbard remained in the competition just one round longer than Dunn, clinching the number five spot, and their feud is sure to pick right back up where it left off on this season.
San Diego, CA
Artist, Propaganda Tattoo
Website: (www.timleestattoo.com; www.4everutat2.com; www.propagandatattoo.com)
17 years’ experience
Rivals Match-up: “The Pride War,” versus Cleen Rock One
Despite having been homeless for two years as a teen, Tim Lees persevered through his hardships and became a self-taught artist. He specializes in surrealism and portraiture, and has won many awards on the convention circuit over the past two decades. Lees has a huge score to settle with competitor Cleen Rock One, the artist whose shop he helped to build. Shortly after the studio’s opening, the two had a falling out that resulted in Lees leaving the shop. Left feeling backstabbed and bitter, Lees is now out for vengeance.
Cocoa Beach, FL
Owner/Artist, Endless Summer
Website: (www.endlesssummertattoo.com; www.marklongenecker.com)
20 years’ experience
Rivals Match-up: “He Wants to Be Me,” versus Ryan Eternal
Mark Longenecker is a surfer and tattoo artist whose works have been exhibited in conventions on the world stage. Specializing in vibrant colors, the studio owner’s tattoos range in style from tropical to Japanese, and his artistic accomplishments have earned him what he describes as a “room full of trophies.” The Florida native is challenged by Dania Beach tattoo artist Ryan Eternal, whom he feels is trying to steal his customers and fame despite having only half his experience. Longenecker is furious that Eternal is encroaching on his territory, and is determined to do whatever it takes to defend it.
Co-Owner/Artist, Bloodline Tattoo
16 years’ experience
Rivals Match-up: “He Disrespected Her on Her Home Turf,” versus Emily Elegado
Originally an artist focused on watercolor portraits, Aaron Is spent two years as a tattoo apprentice before transitioning into a full-time career in ink. Is’ experience in photorealism, dotwork, and sacred geometry has landed him features in several tattoo publications, which has added to the notoriety he craves as an artist. Is enters with an enemy in Emily Elegado, the South Carolina artist he first met when doing a guest spot at her shop. The two were immediately at odds, and tensions were only made worse by the fact that Is was dating her co-worker.
Cleen Rock One
Las Vegas, NV
Owner/Artist, Chrome Gypsy Tattoo
19 years’ experience
Rivals Match-up: “The Pride War,” versus Tim Lees
Cleen Rock One was an Illinois shop owner whose neo-traditional and new school approaches to ink landed him guest spots in studios nationwide and features in several tattoo magazines. Years later, the artist and entrepreneur moved out West, opening a new studio and striving to leave a permanent mark on the Las Vegas circuit. Cleen finds competition in Tim Lees, the self-taught artist who helped him build and open his Vegas tattoo shop. The two had a falling out that resulted in Lees leaving Cleen’s shop a month after opening. Cleen feels that Lees didn’t meet his business’ professional standards, but Lees is outraged and determined to avenge himself against what he sees as a bold injustice.
Co-Owner/Artist, Tattoo Dynasty
8 years’ experience
Rivals Match-up: “Ink Master Fight Full Circle,” versus Erik Siuda
Don Peddicord is a self-made man who has learned to turn struggle into triumph, going from an unsuccessful apprenticeship to co-owning his own tattoo shop, where he specializes in neo-traditional, portraiture and realism styles. After a motorcycle accident left Peddicord severely injured, doctors estimated that he would not be able to walk again for over six months, but Peddicord persevered and proved the doctors wrong, doing so in less than three. Peddicord is challenged by Erik Siuda, the versatile New York shop owner he met during casting for season two. Neither man was able to stand the other’s arrogance over what each perceives to be subpar work.
Artist, 401 Ink Tattoo
6 years’ experience
Rivals Match-up: “Vying for the Top Dog in Rhode Island,” versus LT
Ty’Esha Reels is a Native American tattoo artist who specializes in color tattoos. After realizing her love of tattoos at a young age, Reels focused all of her time on becoming a better artist. She enters this season with competition from LT, the Rhode Island native who beat her for best black and grey tattoo at an expo despite having half the experience. Reels believes that LT has yet to pay his dues in the industry, and seeks to turn embarrassment into redemption.
Owner/Artist, Chapel of Love Tattoo
Twitter: @ RobbieRipoll
18 years’ experience
Rivals Match-up: “Absolutely No Brotherly Love Here,” versus Jayvo Scott
Robbie Ripoll got his start apprenticing at his father’s tattoo shop at the age of twelve, and was tattooing professionally long before graduating high school. After several years of working at the family business, the new school artist opened his own studio. Ripoll’s competition is his older brother, Jayvo Scott. Although they were close as kids, the two have grown apart due to jealousy. Scott’s struggling to catch up to his younger brother’s success and Ripoll is getting territorial about the turf he acquired long ago. The feud has gotten physical in the past, but both ultimately seek to impress their dad, from whom they both learned the art of tattooing.
Self-employed tattoo artist
13 years’ experience
Rivals Match-up: “Absolutely No Brotherly Love Here,” versus Robbie Ripoll
Although he was always around his father’s tattoo shop as a kid, Jayvo Scott didn’t get to working with ink until he was twenty-three. Now, after learning the ropes, Scott has become the owner of the family business. Scott’s main competition is a sibling rivalry with his brother, Robbie Ripoll. Although they were close as kids, the two have grown apart. Scott feels he deserves Ripoll’s respect and Ripoll gets territorial about the trade he’s worked since childhood. The feud has gotten physical in the past, but both ultimately seek to impress their father, from whom they learned the tricks of the trade.
Owner/Artist, Ghost Gallery Tattoo
Website: (http://instagram.com/ErikSiuda; www.facebook/GhostGallery)
18 years’ experience
Rivals Match-up: “Ink Master Fight Full Circle,” versus Don Peddicord
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Erik Siuda began his career as a graffiti artist before studying at the School of Visual Arts and apprenticing in New York City. Siuda prides himself on his versatility as an artist, focusing his work on pseudo traditional, new school, realism and Japanese styles. In addition to owning his own studio, Siuda also sells custom tattoo machines that he builds himself. Siuda’s rival is Don Peddicord, a Maryland shop owner that he met during casting for season two. The two didn’t get along from the start, unable to stand the other’s arrogance over what each perceives to be subpar work.
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Nicole Platt Spike TV 212-767-8855 firstname.lastname@example.org