‘Ink Master’ season 12, titled ‘Battle of the Sexes,’ the tattoo reality competition kicked off its ink-soaked journey on June 11, 2019. Playing host and judge, the iconic Dave Navarro brings a thrilling twist to the canvas, pitting two teams of nine artists against each other, their battleground defined by gender. Adding another layer of intensity, ‘Ink Master’ winners and veterans stepped into the fray, taking on the roles of coaches in individual episodes.
The twist? The males coached the women’s team, and the females took charge of the men’s team, injecting strategic mentorship into the creative chaos. Venturing beyond the well-known canvases of the competition, these artists have etched their presence into the industry, transforming their passion into thriving livelihoods. These ink maestros, now architects of their destinies, have woven the threads of creative exploration. Let us take a look.
Laura Marie Now Owns Her Studio, Tattoos by Laura
Laura Marie, winner of season 12, is the proud owner of Tattoo by Laura Marie. Her vibrant presence at the Flower City Tattoo Convention and the Philadelphia Tattoo Art Convention showcased her prowess in the tattoo world. Notably, Laura’s dedication was unveiled in a masterpiece – a painting that unfolded over two years, a testament to her artistic patience and vision. Beyond tattoos, Laura extends her creativity into the world of merchandise, adding another layer to her multifaceted artistic journey. After leaving an indelible mark at these conventions, Laura continues to captivate with her unique blend of skill and passion.
Dani Ryan has Become a TikTok Sensation Today
Dani Ryan, a standout finalist in the competition, is now the artist at the renowned 1001 Troubles Tattoo Studio. Beyond her impressive tattooing skills, Dani has emerged as a TikTok sensation, captivating audiences with her creativity. Not confined to the studio, Dani shares her diverse talents by posting engaging content on DIY home projects, showcasing a different facet of her personality. Actively participating in various events and attending expos, Dani extends her influence beyond the studio walls. Her journey goes beyond the competition, leaving an impact that resonates in both the tattoo world and the digital realm.
Creepy Jason has Crafted the Innovative Board Game, Dystopian Knights
Season 12 witnessed the extraordinary talents of Creepy Jason, a standout contender and now a proud proprietor of House of Madness, honored as Hampstead’s top tattoo establishment for an impressive dozen years running, Jason’s mastery of the tattoo craft transcends the commonplace. Venturing into the realms of creativity, he crafted the innovative board game, Dystopian Knights.
Proudly affiliated with the Helios Tattoo Pro Team, Jason positions himself at the forefront of premium tattoo supplies, demonstrating his unwavering commitment to excellence. Amidst personal tribulations, including his sister’s valiant battle against breast cancer, Jason’s journey took on a deeply emotional chapter. Further enriching his diverse portfolio, Jason actively participated in the lively atmosphere of the Philly Tattoo Convention, leaving an enduring mark on the vibrant tapestry of the tattooing community. He also appeared later in season 14.
Jake Ross Operates from his Private Studio, Everlast Tattoo Co.
Jake Ross, a standout artist operating from his private studio, Everlast Tattoo Co., efficiently runs his business through a dedicated website, showcasing his commitment to professionalism. His skill and artistry caught the eye of Skin and Ink Magazine, earning him a feature in their prestigious Fall 2023 Special Edition. Adding a touch of personal connection to his journey, Jake’s life partner, Brandi, shares his passion as a fellow tattoo artist, creating a dynamic and artistic partnership that enriches their shared world of ink and creativity. In the unfolding narrative of the show, Jake Ross brings not just talent but a unique blend of entrepreneurship and personal connection to the vibrant tapestry of the tattooing world.
Pon DeMan is the Proud Owner of World Fair Tattoo Today
Pon DeMan AKA Antonio DeCaro made a lasting impact on the television landscape with notable appearances in the initial and subsequent installments of season 12, followed by a compelling venture into the competitive realm of ‘Ink Master Grudge Match.’ Antonio has collaborated with esteemed brands like World Famous Ink, Sani Derm, Hustle Butter Deluxe, and Good Guy Supply to increase his influence over the tattooing world.
Antonio also assumes the role of a dynamic entrepreneur, steering the ship as the proud proprietor of World’s Fair Tattoo. His journey, characterized by an interplay of ingenuity and skill, unfolds as a vibrant chapter not confined to the competitive stage but seamlessly woven into the fabric of the ever-evolving tattooing industry.
Cam Pohl has Added a Romantic Flare to his Life
Cameron Phol, an exceptional artist, operates seamlessly within the confines of his private studio. Renowned for his specialization in black and grey tattoos, Cameron’s work is a testament to his unique artistic flair. Adding a personal touch to his journey, he recently celebrated his union with Bethany Grace in a memorable September 2023 wedding. Outside the realm of tattooing, Cameron finds solace and creativity in the world of piano, where his love for the instrument intertwines with his artistic endeavors. As he steps onto the stage of the show, Cameron Phol brings not only technical expertise but also a rich tapestry of personal and artistic dimensions that promise to captivate and inspire.
Holli Marie is the Owner of Flat’s Tattoos Today
Holli Marie, a resilient artist featured in season 12, establishes her artistic legacy at Flat’s Tattoos. Dedicated to her craft and supported by her partner Alexander, Holli Marie demonstrates that the challenges faced in the show are mere chapters in her ongoing and vibrant tattooing journey. Holli Marie brings not only her talent but a narrative of perseverance and commitment that adds depth to the canvas of the competition. She couldn’t get to the top but she later appeared in season 14 to give her luck a chance again.
Janelle Hanson Now Co-Owns Starkweather Tattoo
Janelle Hanson, not just an artist but an Air Force veteran, brings a unique blend of discipline and creativity to the tattooing realm. Specializing in Neo-Traditional and Mixed Style Tattoos, Janelle co-owns Starkweather Tattoo, a creative space that reflects her passion. As a proud member of the Pro-Teams for Hustle Butter Deluxe and Electrum Ink, he aligns herself with top-tier brands, showcasing her commitment to excellence.
In the face of personal loss, Janelle’s journey took a poignant turn with the passing of her father in January 2023, adding a layer of emotional depth to her artistic endeavors. Having graced various expos, including the prestigious Golden State Tattoo Expo, Janelle’s vibrant presence on the competition stage promises not only skillful artistry but a narrative woven with resilience, dedication, and the spirit of exploration.
Alexis Kovacs has Stepped into Cosmetics Microblades and Medical Tattooing
Alexis Kovacs, a standout on the show, has ventured into a unique and thriving path beyond the world of tattooing. Embracing beauty, cosmetic, and personal care, Alexis, being featured in renowned magazines, has become a certified artist specializing in permanent cosmetics microblades and medical tattooing. Stepping into a new realm, she is now the proud owner of Electric Cheetah Tattoos and Permanent Cosmetics LLC. Alexis Kovacs’ journey post-show not only showcases her artistic versatility but also highlights her commitment to providing personalized and lasting beauty solutions.
Ash Mann Now Runs Phoenix Tattoo
Ash Mann, now owner of Phoenix Tattoo, not only showcased her talent on the show but also demonstrated savvy entrepreneurship by running her thriving business through a dedicated website. Post-show, her journey took an upward trajectory as she successfully expanded her business, leaving an indelible mark on the tattooing industry. Beyond the ink and needles, Ash is a devoted spouse to Keef and a loving mother to two children, adding a personal touch to her dynamic and multifaceted life. Although she suffered through a critical illness in August 2023, which halted her growth, she came back stronger, fulfilling all her professional and personal aspirations.
Fon is the Licensed Tattoo Artist of The Art Asylum Studios Today
Taquan Carr, the award-winning licensed tattoo artist and proud owner of The Art Asylum Studios, brings a unique flair to the show’s stage. Known for his skills in award-winning linework tattoos, Taquan’s studio and Tattoos By Fon, stand as a testament to his dedication and artistry. Beyond the ink and needles, Taquan is a loving father to his daughter, Madison, and his deep affection for her adds a personal and heartwarming layer to his artistic journey. As he contributes his talent to the show, Taquan Carr embodies not only artistic excellence but also the warmth and richness that family brings to his dynamic and evolving narrative.
Where are the Rest of the Contestants?
In the vivid tapestry of tattoo competition, some contestants, though eliminated early, found success and fulfillment beyond the show. Tito Zambrano, affiliated with Saniderm Tattoo Care, carved a niche in the tattoo care industry, contributing his expertise to the craft. Ashley Anoneison, now the proud owner of Requiem Tattoo, not only embraced her artistry but also found a life partner in fellow tattoo artist Matt Griswold. Their union mirrors the permanence of ink, intertwining their personal and professional lives.
Pony Wave, the creative force behind PW Gallery•Tattoo Studio, paints a collaborative masterpiece with fellow artists. His studio becomes a canvas where diverse talents converge, transcending the boundaries of individual artistry. Justin Nordine, the owner of Justin Nordine Tattoos, turned his early exit from the show into a springboard for personal success. His tattoo studio stands as a testament to the resilience and the transformative power of ink. Big Jaz, now co-owner of Norfolk Ink Gallery and proprietor of Brooklyn Jaz Tattoo, transformed early setbacks into dual ownership of tattoo sanctuaries. His journey reflects the resilience needed to coalesce art and business in the tattoo industry.
Elva Stefanie, an artist with a nomadic spirit, now owns The Blank Slate, a private studio. Her self-proclaimed status as a traveling tattoo artist mirrors her continuous exploration of creativity and the ever-evolving canvas of life. Tim Lease, the proprietor of Golden Tarot Ink Club, not only masters his craft but also imparts knowledge by taking on apprentices. His studio becomes a haven for learning, blending artistry with mentorship, ensuring the legacy of tattooing thrives through the next generation.