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.
Flying high at 6 feet 9 inches tall, Turk is a presence in any room. A tattoo veteran of more than 20 years, he started tattooing at the age of 20. After growing up in a tough Southern California neighborhood, Turk learned the importance of standing up for what you believe in. Not afraid to walk away from a job, his work is a testament to his strong values -- never compromising in the face of adversity. Crediting his family, including a son with autism, as his main inspiration, Turk is ready to take his expertise to Ink Master where, he's hoping, a win would change their lives for the better.
Amanda Boone is who she is: a fun-loving, adrenaline-seeking, Bourbon-drinking girl out to have a good time. A traveling artist who previously worked at shops in Ohio and Tennessee, Boone now drives the East Coast convention circuit in her conversion van. While her preference is neo-traditional, she's confident she can pull off anything thrown at her with her signature solid line work and bold use of color. A strong personality, Boone plans on being a force to be reckoned with on and off the competition stage.
Angel Rose isn't like most 22-year-olds. Having wanted to be a tattoo artist since she was 10 years old, she's since become "addicted to work." As the owner of a private studio, Rose's clients seek her out based on her reputation for impeccable artistry. Her pieces have a story to tell, as she aims to make people feel something through her attention to detail and composition. She knows everyone may write her off as an underdog because of her age, but this no-nonsense firecracker has something to say to anyone who dares to question her worth.
Having made it through tough times in his life, Austin Rose has emerged as a fighter -- both on the MMA mat and in the tattoo studio. Behind all the trash-talking is the heart and soul of a martial artist who wants nothing more than to win. Currently working at ROBOT Piercing and Tattoo in Portland, OR, people seek Rose out because he's an artist with versatility. Whether you want realism, traditional, neo-traditional, black-and-gray -- whatever he does, he does it at the highest level.
Chris Shockley wants nothing to do with the other competitors. This lone wolf from Jersey is as independent as they come; accustomed to doing what he wants, when he wants -- and good luck to anyone who stands in his way. After a brief detour into engineering in college, Shockley soon realized that he was better suited to other endeavors. No matter what tattooing challenge you throw at him -- color, traditional or black-and-gray -- every tattoo features his signature clean lines and bold texture. When it comes to being on Ink Master, Shockley is ready to do him and let his work speak for itself.
Christian Buckingham comes from a conservative family of Air Force officers and always felt like the "black sheep" before he discovered tattooing. This season, Buckingham is back and is ready to tackle anything that the competition throws at him. Coming off the heels of an intense competition in Season 9, Buckingham's shop made it to the final three but was eliminated in the finale, unable to face off in the master canvas challenge. Coming back after his shocking elimination, he is determined to lead his team to victory this time around. While his past Ink Master competitor is his rival once again this season, Buckingham feels he is ready to take home the title with the support of his wife, children and grandchildren.
Once an Illinois shop owner and now one of the franchise's most popular contenders, Cleen Rock One has his fair share of tattoo experience. After a devastating loss in "Shop Wars" on Season 9, this multi-season veteran is ready to finally take what is rightfully his. After being eliminated in Season 9 right before the finale, Cleen is back this season for revenge. Through his neo-traditional and new-school approaches to ink, he has been able to gain the attention of viewers and judges alike. Thanks to his history with the show, Cleen has a leg up on the competition for Season 11 as he returns as a coach.
A former graphic designer, Jamie Lee Parker started getting tattooed by Mike DeVries and eventually was asked to apprentice for him. He continued to work with DeVries for the next eight years. Having since switched shops, he wants to establish a name for himself among color-realism artists. Parker wants to win Ink Master to prove that he is a talented artist and to showcase his artwork to a larger audience. His unique "dark surrealism" style paired with his use of contrasting colors and bold designs makes him a cutthroat competitor. Parker is ready to cash his check and take home the title.
Jess Cavazos is big, bold and confident. The owner of his own company, Tattoo FX, Cavazos loves all things related to tattooing, sculpture, airbrushing, digital, painting and F/X. Known for his realism and portrait tattoos, Cavazos has made a name for himself with his bold color choices, attention to detail and artistic eye. A regular at tattoo conventions (with 20 awards to his name), Cavazos loves competition and sees Ink Master as his next opportunity to show the world -- and his opponents -- what he's got.
Jimmy Snaz is not afraid to be a villain. His previous battles with drug addiction have afforded him a new view on life, making him fearless, willing to take chances and do whatever it takes to succeed. He taught his brother Kyle to tattoo, and if you ask Snaz, his own experience and well-rounded approach give him the upper hand over his younger brother this season. Having come up on the Boston graffiti scene, Snaz's artistry transitioned seamlessly to tattooing. His bold images are readable from across the room and he's created his own signature traditional/neo-traditional style. For Snaz -- having put his addiction issues behind him -- healthy competition is his new high. He can't wait to walk in, stir the pot, come out on top and be able to help pay off his mother's house. Plus, competing against his little brother on national television is an added perk.
As an avid follower of the Ink Master franchise since day one, JP Roldan has his strategy down. He’ll do whatever he has to in order to win. At a young age, Roldan decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an artist. Before tattooing, he was an oil painter for eight years. He has established himself in Houston, and now he’s ready for the world to know his name. Roldan has two children, and he pushes himself to work hard for them. The possibility of winning Ink Master and making them proud is what drives him.
When Kasey Gonzalez, known as "Gonzo," found out he was going to be a father at 19, he put all of his passion and focus into tattooing in order to build himself and his future son a better life. Now, at just 25 years old, Gonzo is happily married, a member of five professional teams and tattooing at conventions around the world. While Gonzo prefers to tattoo black-and-gray surrealism, he is proficient in every style. His main motivation for competing on Ink Master is to be an inspiration to his son.
Kyle Mackenzie has paid his dues in the tattoo industry by having a formal apprenticeship for two years before becoming a full-time artist five years ago. Growing up, Kyle had a passion for art, but none of his teachers in school saw any promise in him, often kicking him out of class for drawing. He has two daughters and, though he's only 25 years old, Mackenzie has grown up quickly and says that people are often surprised when they learn his age. His temper has gotten the best of him in the past, but on Ink Master, he wants his tattoos to speak for themselves. Mackenzie has a fire lit under him he hopes fuels him to win the competition as an ultimate "f**k you" to everyone from his past who's doubted him.
Oba Jackson is who he is without apology. He is outspoken, supremely confident and (when the situation calls for it) extremely petty. An artist his entire life, Jackson also paints, draws and sculpts. He traded his artwork for tattoos at his local shop for years until the owner finally convinced him to work as an apprentice. He looks at tattooing as a way to extend his fine art background and is heavily influenced by classic and modern artists. His work as a graphic designer lends itself well to his signature styles: black-and-gray, portraits and ethnic tattoos. He’s adaptable and versatile, which makes him a threat in the competition. He knows that people are going to try and get inside his head, but Jackson knows exactly who he is, what his strengths are and what he needs to do to win.
Stacy Smith has blonde hair, a killer body and the nickname “Spacey Stacy,” but underestimate her at your own risk -- because she is one fierce artist. Used to being written off in the industry, Smith has put her head down and worked hard to establish herself. After first picking up a needle 10 years ago, she now owns her own shop, was voted one of the top 10 tattoo artists in Charlotte, NC, and has a signature watercolor/boho vibe style that is all her own. All of her pieces are custom, play with tonal values and hues, and result in what look like paintings on the skin. She’s ready to make some “TV money” and put her shop on the map by taking the Ink Master crown.
Teej Poole is ready to take home the W. He believes that second place is tied for last and the sole purpose of being on Ink Master is to take home the title. Poole has always been artistic and majored in Visual Arts and Design in college. He pays close attention to detail and has clean lines in all of his tattoos. While his specialty is black-and-gray photorealism, Poole wants to prove that he is a well-rounded artist. Growing up without a father figure, Poole’s family means everything to him, and winning the $100,000 would change their lives for the better. This family man with southern swag is ready to show up and show out for North Carolina!
Tiara Gordon knows how to take care of herself and the competition. She's been in the game for 14 years and prides herself on her efficiency, focus and ability to crush a custom design. Tiara's known at Ink and Style for being able to do everything: new-school, color, neo-traditional, black-and-gray, realism, etc. Winning Ink Master would be the icing on the cake of Tiara's success story and a middle finger to those who think women tattoo artists can't hold their own.
11 years' experience, 2 years apprenticed Growing up in a racing family, it's clear that competition is in Tiffer Wright's blood. He
himself raced motocross growing up, turned professional at 18 years old and then raced AMA Supercross for five years. Wanting a change of pace, Wright decided to do a tattoo apprenticeship in his small hometown of Lubbock, Texas. After five years, Wright burned out and left the tattoo business to go to college to study radiology, but after a friend stepped in, he decided to pursue his passion again. Wright is now the owner and full-time artist at Folklore Trading Co. in Dallas. He's known as the "Cat Daddy" because he does a lot of cat tattoos, but he is well-versed in all areas of tattooing. Winning Ink Master would mean giving tattooing one last shot was not in vain and would show his son that if you work hard, it pays off!
When Tim Stafford walks into a room, people notice. Primarily a new-school artist but confident in his all-around skill, if his composition or artwork is attacked, he'll be sure to defend his work. He puts thought into every detail of his tattoos and won't let anyone try to tell him otherwise. Although Stafford's only been tattooing for five years, he has already made a name for himself in the tattoo industry and does guest spots at some of the most popular shops in the U.S. Stafford wants to continue to put himself out there, dominate the tattoo industry and show everyone what he's made of -- and winning Ink Master is the perfect way to do all of that.
Tony Medellin could tattoo before he could drive, which is why he’s so outspoken about his talent. He had a rough childhood, and the fact that he bought a home with the money he earned from tattooing and can act as a role model for his younger brother is all the motivation he needs to keep going. An artist at Lasting Dose Tattoo in Reno, NV, Medellin is one of the Reno tattoo scene’s darlings. From various first-place convention awards to being named the best tattoo artist in northern Nevada, his work is both aesthetically pleasing and built to last, which is why he’s sought out for everything from traditional to neo-traditional, Japanese and even black-and-gray. Medellin refuses to be a one-trick pony or to do anything without a plan. Anyone who knows him knows that he’s as straightforward as they come. Medellin will either be your most loyal ally or your fiercest enemy, depending on how you treat him. If you bite, he won’t hesitate to bite back. Having worked hard from the time he was 16 to make a name for himself in the industry, Medellin’s going to protect his art and reputation at all costs.
About Ink Master Season 11
Two of Ink Master’s most legendary rivals return for an epic grudge match. Christian Buckingham and Cleen Rock One both fell short in prior seasons, but now they’re back to settle the score as coaches for two new teams of Ink Master hopefuls.