Dave Navarro's respect for the art and culture of tattooing makes him perfect for host and judge of Ink Master. With his six-string skills best described as a merger between heavy metal, psychedelia, and modern rock, Navarro is one of alternative rock's first true guitar heroes. Best known as the guitarist for Jane's Addiction, the band recently released their highly anticipated new album The Great Escape Artist.
Chris Nunez sits on the Ink Master judge's panel along with Dave Navarro and Oliver Peck. Nunez, 38, is of Cuban descent and grew up in Miami, FL. He entered into the realm of tattooing after beginning his career as a graffiti artist. At 21, Nunez packed his bags for a short trip to Brazil and ended up staying for five years. He then traveled through Europe for three years, which enabled him to work with his favorite tattoo artists. The experience expanded both his artistic sense and his knowledge of tattooing. He was a star and fan favorite on the popular tattoo-reality series, "Miami Ink." Nunez is a partner in Ridgeline Empire, a strategic multiplatform content and media corporation, which operates the subsidiaries Ink Skins and Upset Gentlemen and an animation studio with two animated series in development, "Hoodbrats" and "Toothians." He is also getting ready to open a new tattoo venture to be based in his hometown of Miami.
Oliver Peck, judge of Ink Master, is an artist whose whole life revolves around tattooing. He began tattooing when he was just 19 years old in his hometown of Dallas, TX and has perfected his precise and traditional tattooing style making him one of the best and well-known 'old school' American style artists. In 2008, Peck inked his way into the Guinness Book of World Records when he completed 415 tattoos of the number 13 in a consecutive 24-hour period. He is one of the most traveled tattoo artists on the circuit, tattooing all over Europe including England, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Sweden and Norway and in the Far East, including Japan and Thailand. Peck is co-owner of Elm Street Tattoo in Dallas, TX and the owner of True Tattoo located in Hollywood, CA.
Tucson, AZ Artist, Metro Tattoo Instagram: @antmikes 7 years' experience Season 7 winner
Winner of Ink Master Season 7, Anthony Michaels is excited to show off his coaching skills. He is proud that he doesn't carry himself like a stereotypical tattoo artist - he thinks it's what sets him apart from the pack. Similar to Season 7, he predicts it will be the other teams losing sleep once they see the skill and perfection he hopes to influence his team with. Inspired by his sister, who persevered through brain damage and is now a Special Olympics gold medal winner, he's not going to stop until he's coaches his team to victory.
Las Vegas, NV Artist, Bad Apple Tattoo Instagram: @djtambe Website: djtambe.com 21 years' experience Season 9 winner
After winning the title of Ink Master and Master Shop season 9, DJ Tambe is confident he has the skills to coach the new artist to a victory. With his many years in the industry, he believes his tattoo capabilities speak for themselves. Best known for black and grey realism and color illustrative style, Tambe refers to his personal style as "exagger-realism."
A self-confessed "party guy," Steve Tefft is renowned for his personal sense of style including a wardrobe of designer shirts. Tefft specializes in black and grey tattoos and is best known for his realistic portraits and horror imagery. As winner of "Ink Master" Season 2 and an upcoming team coach, he believes confidence, working well under pressure and the ability to quickly adapt to any situation will put his team on top..
Amanda Leitch is a fiery red head who believes she has worked hard and paid her dues to make it in the tattoo industry. She is a strong willed, stubborn chick who knows if she wants something, she's going to get it. Leitch 's favorite styles of tattooing are realism and color work but she says she can handle any tattoo you put in front of her. Competing on Ink Master is her way of proving her skills as female artist in the industry.
Daniel Silva grew up poor and found himself homeless and in jail at 19 without his parent's support. With just $300 saved up, he purchased tattoo equipment with a dream of making it big. Now, as a well-practiced artist with his own shop, his styles consist of geometric work, animal faces and black and grey. Silva says he won't take constructive criticism very well because criticism is just someone's personal opinion and at the end of the day he believes his opinion is always right. He says he's been working harder and harder every day and is ready to show his Ink Master competitors that he is the best.
Deanna Smith believes she's just short from mastering all styles and claims to be one of the most talented realism artists in the Dallas area. With just three years of experience, she had a tough time getting shops to take her seriously. Now, she plans to succeed on "Ink Master" to show everyone who told her she couldn't make it, that a female tattoo artist can tattoo just as badass as any male.
Fame, which he says is short for "f*ck all my enemies," is ready to tear down the competition. He says he's been waiting to compete on this show for years and now the stars have finally aligned. Fame, who specializes in realism tattoos, is excited to prove to the world that this is "Fame's World" and everyone else is just living in it.
Frank Ready had a difficult life growing up homeless. After all he's been though during those difficult times, he feels there's not a single thing that can break him. Since he was a child, he knew he wanted to become a tattoo artist but it wasn't until his son was born that he fully committed to the art, leaving behind his passion for boxing. As an artist, he's known for black and grey realism and black and grey illustrative tattoos. Ready is loud spoken and has no problem telling someone their tattoo looks bad. He believes he will be one of the most competitive artists to beat this season.
Garrett "the florist" Bisbee might be young, but he is ready to use that to his advantage. With only four years of experience, his style focuses on neo-traditional and Japanese's flowers. He believes he will surprise his competitors with his advanced drawing skills and tattooing ability. Growing up, Bisbee was the black sheep of a family full of doctors and scholars. Now, he's ready to prove to his family that his tattooing is on par with their success.
Gary Parisi has over-the-top swagger and feels he will probably be hated at first sight by the other artists. He's a self-proclaimed versatile artist that can tattoo all styles with a specialty in photorealism. He also considers himself a perfectionist who will run his mouth to the top of the competition. Parisi says, "It's the bearded villain's season to destroy this competition."
Jason Elliott feels he will blow you away with his crazy personality. He's confident that viewers will not forget his name after seeing his work. Elliott believes his fusion/geo-trash style will make him a unique artist throughout the competition. Though he is aware of his cocky attitude, he want's people to know he does have a sweet side as well. He's competing on "Ink Master" for his grandma who suffered from bone cancer and wants to prove that he can be as strong and composed as she was.
Jeremy Brown says when he walks into a room, his presence is known. He believes his strength entering the competition is his ability to tattoo every style. If he had to pick his favorite style, it would be surrealism. One thing Brown can't stand is people who have "rock star attitudes." After the loss of his 4-month old son, he learned how precious life is. He is focused on winning the title of "Ink Master" for his two young daughters who motivate him every day.
Josh prides himself on speaking his mind, and allowing his artwork to showcase itself. He is loud and dominant personality, but he is confident in his work and abilities and isn't afraid to play the mental games as well. Payne has mastered multiple styles and is excited to showcase his versatility in this competition. He has no problem with his straight forward shooting personality because he knows his tattoos will back up any opinions he holds. His motivation to win Ink Master is to prove that all the hard work and countless hours were worth it, and have a little fun in the process.
Juan Salgado is proud to be representing Puerto Rico on "Ink Master" this season. His style is self-titled "Juan Salgado style" which includes tons of color saturation and black and grey work. Salgado is entering the competition confident that he will make it to the top. He wants to make his hometown Puerto Rico proud and serve as a role model to younger kids growing up on the island. He has already started planning his victory and hopes to open up shops worldwide after winning the competition.
Katie Rhoden knows she can come across as a bitch and plans to use that to her advantage. If someone decided to talk smack, she isn't afraid of speaking her mind. She overcame a lot to get to where she is including being a young single mom and battling depression. Despite these obstacles, things have made a turn for the best in the past year and her next goal is to win "Ink Master." She's confident in all traditional and neo-traditional challenges and ready to win.
Atlanta, GA Artist, Cap Szumski's World Famous Timeless Tattoo Instagram: @lildtattoo Twitter: @lildtattooer 24 years' experience
Lil' D notes that his signature hat helps people notice him in a crowded room. He is a very opinionated southern punk rocker who isn't afraid to share his feelings. Tattooing during a time where there was no social media, he believes he worked harder to make a name for himself than some of the younger artist had to. Lil D refers to himself as a true hustler and an "evil genius" when it comes to traditional tattoos. He's willing to do anything to take the title home, even if he needs to cast a spell on his competitors.
Linzy Michelle is a spunky Italian chick who knows exactly how to defend herself – literally. She is studying to become a lawyer and is a tattoo artist who isn't afraid to speak her mind. If anyone criticizes her tattoos, Linzy knows just how to talk her way out of it better than any other artist. Her style puts a modern twist on traditional work and she appreciates bright bold colors and outlines. She's confident that if she made it through four years of heated arguments in law school, she can outlast the other competitors for a few months.
Manhattan, NY Co-Owner, No Idols Instagram: @he_draws Twitter: @hedraws 4 years' experience
Matt Buck's first memory of wanting to become a tattoo artist was at the age of 5. When he attended summer camp, his friend asked him to draw a dragon "tattoo" on his back and Buck drew it with a blue ballpoint pen. Since then, Buck has come a long way – he is an illustrator who was trained by some prominent names in that industry. Buck draws upon his rigorous training to freehand most of his work and refers to his style as "illustrative realism". At just 28 years old, he is ready to prove to the world that he deserves the title of Ink Master.
Mike Diaz embraces his Mexican heritage and says he has the dance moves to prove it. He is known for his pure, realistic tattoos and claims that his work is always a reflection of his personality – bold, strong, and smooth. Having been raised by a single mom, Diaz is driven to succeed and make his dad regret leaving him. He's ready to show everyone that he is the best and has already prepared a victory dance if he wins.
Roly is a husband, dad, and tattoo artist who is confident and passionate about everything that he does. Growing up he didn't have the strongest bond with his family and they thought that becoming a tattoo artist was a poor career choice. Because of this experience, Roly became determined and did whatever he had to do to become the best Tattooer he could be. He specializes in black and grey realism work and is ready to bring his skills and talking to the competition.
Sparks claims to be the loudest person in his shop and says that you can't shut him up. He loves being a jokester and enjoys making people laugh. At heart, Sparks is a nerd who loves to tattoo anything pop culture or Star Wars related. His motivation comes from his wife and four children whom he works to support. Going into this competition, he is pumped and ready to win.
It’s the biggest Ink Master competition ever as 24 artists fight for a spot on one of three teams coached by returning Ink Masters Steve Tefft, Anthony Michaels and DJ Tambe. But in the end, only one artist and one coach will win.