Ink Master Season 5: Where Are the Tattoo Artists Now?

From l to r - Contestants: Tray "Big Daddy" Brenham (plaid shirt), Mark Matthews, Cee Jay "Inky" Jones and Jamie Davies; judges Oliver Peck (red plaid shirt), Dave Navarro and Chris Nunez; contestants Lalo Yunda (sleeveless black shirt), La Ron "Ron" Givens, Thomas "TJ" Halvorsen and Clint Cummings (mohawk). Front row, l to r: Contestant Sebastian Murphy, Steven "Kay Kutta" Givens, Nick D'Angelo, Sarah Miller, "Little Mike" (black t-shirt with photo), Katherine "Tatu Baby" Flores, Jesse Smith and Steve Teft.

In the ink-stained battleground of creative expression, ‘Ink Master’ season 5 emerged as a thunderous clash of artistic titans. Set against the backdrop of buzzing tattoo machines and pulsating adrenaline, the show unveils a fierce competition among top-notch tattoo artists vying for the coveted title of ‘Ink Master.’ Hosted by the indomitable Dave Navarro, the fifth season kicked off in 2014 with a twist that set the stage for unpredictable challenges and intense rivalries. The ink-slinging maestros faced not only the scrutiny of the judges but also the pressure to outshine their peers in an array of mind-bending tattoo genres.

Alliances were formed, egos clashed, and masterpieces emerged and the season became a thrilling canvas of skill, strategy, and, of course, a permanent gallery of jaw-dropping body art. As these contestants moved out, their popularity soared way up from before and they got involved in flourishing their individual businesses. But where are these contestants now? Let us delve into their lives to know more about their current whereabouts.

Jason Clay Dunn Now has a Tattoo Studio and Art Gallery

From the electrifying stages of season 3 to the intense showdown of season 5, Jason not only battled his way but conquered the ink-soaked arena to claim the illustrious title of the “Ink Master.” The victorious journey paved the way for his ownership of Tattoo Alchemy, a realm where artistic prowess intertwines with tattoo mastery, creating an immersive experience at his Tattoo Studio and art Gallery. With an artistry that transcends skin, Jason has been busy brewing a collection of old and new prints, which are soon to be unleashed for art enthusiasts.

But his creativity doesn’t stop there. Jason’s canvas extends to wearable art, collaborating with Native Southwest Jewelers to bring forth unique, handcrafted pieces that resonate with the spirit of the Southwest. The ink virtuoso’s talents caught the discerning eye of Inked Magazine, securing a feature that showcased his exceptional skills to a broader audience. As Jason continues to captivate with his ink magic, the art world eagerly awaits the release of his upcoming prints, a testament to the enduring legacy of an ink master.

James “Cleen Rock One” Steinke has Many Studios Under his Name

From the highs of competition to the zenith of victory, James “Cleen Rock One” Steinke’s journey in season 5 paved the way for a triumphant return in season 11, where he clinched the coveted title of “Ink Master.” Beyond the screen, He finds solace in his passion for bikes, tinkering away in his garage. Cleen Rock One has now also become a titan in the tattoo industry, presiding over Golden Skull Tattoo, Chrome Gypsy Tattoo, Nevada Tattoo Company, and Cleen Supply Company. His influence stretches across state lines, with the Chrome Gypsy Compound leaving an indelible mark on Illinois.

However, life’s canvas isn’t always smooth. In November 2021, Cleen Rock One faced a personal loss with the passing of his father. Embracing life’s twists, Cleen Rock One showcased his resilience by participating in the Virginia City Round Up Chopper Show, a testament to the indomitable spirit of an ink master. The ink maestro doesn’t just paint on skin, he’s a multifaceted artist. In 2023, Cleen Rock One delved into the world of tattoo art festivals, making a vibrant mark at the inaugural event in Orlando. Cleen Rock One is also a family man, passing down the legacy of creativity to his son.

Erik Siuda Now Owns 8 Golden Falcons Tattoo Company

Erik Siuda’s journey from the shadows of financial setbacks to the limelight of ‘Ink Master’ is nothing short of remarkable. Forced to bid farewell to Ghost Gallery, he found a silver lining when the call from the show changed his destiny. Erik soared to the top three, etching his name in the annals of tattoo history. Today, he stands as the proud owner of Brewster Tattoo Co and 8 Golden Falcons Tattoo Company, solidifying his mark in the inked world.

Beyond the competition, Erik showcased his artistic prowess at the Hudson Valley Tattoo Fest. Diving into a different realm, he authored the Creative Haven Modern Tattoo Designs Coloring Book, sharing his artistic vision with a broader audience. While Erik Siuda keeps his personal life under wraps, his professional journey is an open book, marked by resilience, talent, and an unwavering passion for the art of tattooing.

Mark Longenecker Expanded his Tattoo Company to Palm Bay

Mark Longenecker, already a force in the tattoo world as the owner of Endless Summer Tattoo in Cocoa Beach, took his entrepreneurial journey to new heights on ‘Ink Master.’ Alongside partner Raelene Manning, his business soared to new heights and expanded his Tattoo company to Palm Bay. But Mark is not just an ink master, he’s a man of many talents. A surf aficionado, DJ, and yoga teacher, he has seamlessly blended his love for diverse passions.

Beyond the ink and needles, Mark’s artistic soul finds expression in collecting and painting old skateboards, adding a vibrant touch to his eclectic interests. In a unique move, he decided to launch exclusive shirts for the Villain Arts, showcasing his commitment to merging art and fashion. Mark’s journey didn’t go unnoticed. His compelling narrative unfolded on the Shifting Perceptions Podcast, where he delved into the nuances of his transformative journey. With a performance on ‘Ink Master’ that left an indelible mark, Mark continues to ride the waves of success, embodying the spirit of a true artistic maverick.

Cris Element Has Now Catapulted his Business to New Heights

Cris Element, the visionary owner of Bullseye Tattoos and Cartiel Needles, catapulted his business to new heights after a standout performance on the show. His artistry not only left an indelible mark on the canvas but also translated into a flourishing business post-‘Ink Master.’ Beyond the ink-stained world, Cris finds joy in family life, being a devoted husband, and a father to a son. His creative prowess, combined with his entrepreneurial spirit, cements Cris’s status as a dynamic force in the tattoo industry, where every stroke tells a story of success and passion.

Aaron “Is” Michalowski has Now Ventured into the World of Freelancing

Aaron “Is” Michalowski, after leaving his mark on Villain Arts, has ventured into the world of freelancing as a dynamic tattoo artist. Embracing the digital canvas, he crafts his masterpieces through the lens of Instagram, showcasing his evolving artistry to a global audience. Not content with solitude, Aaron actively engages in collaborations with fellow artists, fostering a vibrant community. His passion for the craft extends to tattoo festivals, where he continues to leave an indelible impression, post-show. Aaron’s artistic journey is one of constant evolution and collaboration, painting a colorful narrative of creativity and innovation.

Don Peddicord Now Sells his Work Online with an Etsy Shop

Don Peddicord, having left an artistic imprint on the show, has seamlessly transitioned to a digital canvas. Co-owner of Tattoo Dynasty and now a prolific artist, he designs and sells his captivating works online, with an Etsy shop as the hub of his creative empire. Harnessing the power of social media, Don strategically promotes his art, connecting with a broad audience and cultivating a community of admirers. His performances resonate not just on the skin but through every stroke of his virtual brush, affirming that Don Peddicord’s artistic journey knows no boundaries.

Joshua Hibbard Dove into the Realm of Music

Joshua Hibbard, the tattoo virtuoso from Portland, Oregon, took his artistic brilliance beyond the inked canvas. Renowned for his mastery in large-scale realism, he seamlessly dove into the realm of music, adding his artistic touch to the cover of “The Noose” by Perfect Circle. Joshua’s talents didn’t stop there – he has done a  music video for the song “Already Dead,” infusing the visuals with the same magnetic energy that defines his tattoo artistry. His post-show journey is a symphony of creativity, where every brushstroke and beat tells the story of a multidimensional artist leaving an indelible mark on both skin and screen.

Emily Elegado is Now the Proud Owner of The Hen House at Foolish Pride 2 Tattoo Co.

After her compelling stint on the show, Emily Elegado continues to carve her artistic legacy. Now the proud owner of The Hen House at Foolish Pride 2 Tattoo Co., Emily has found success not only in her professional life but in her personal one as well. She got married in 2019. Undeterred by the challenges, Emily stands tall in her tattoo passion, still gracing tattoo conventions with her artistic prowess.

Julia Carlson Now Lends her Skills to The Seance Tattoo Parlor

Julia Carlson’s artistic journey extends far beyond the confines of her time on the show. Continuing to weave her tattoo magic, she now lends her skills to the Seance Tattoo Parlor, where every stroke tells a story. Amid personal challenges, having lost her husband in 2015, Julia’s resilience shines through. A mother of two sons, she balances the complexities of life with her unwavering passion for ink. Julia’s performances echo not just in the inked masterpieces but in the fortitude she brings to both her craft and her personal narrative after her participation in the show.

Where Are the Rest of the Contestants?

The ‘Ink Master’ season 5 alums, who may have exited early from the show, proved that their talents transcended the competition, flourishing in their respective realms of tattoo artistry. Angel Bauta left an indelible mark, notably known for his work in the movie Lost Cos. Ty’Esha Reels emerged as an award-winning tattoo artist, showcasing her skills as a traveling freelance artist. Robbie Ripoll not only owns Rad Ink Florida but also initiated the Rad Movement, turning tattooing into therapeutic sessions.

Ryan Eternal, associated with the American Tattoo Society, continues to impress at Built 4 Speed Tattoo. Tim Lees, based in Melbourne, has gone from strength to strength, establishing his own studio. Jayvo Scott, now a multifaceted talent, delves into acting and voice acting while running True To You Tattoo Studio. His film ‘Riviera‘ earned him the Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Movie at the Central Florida Film Festival 2021. Elton “LT” Duarte proudly owns Owta, and Caroline Evans wears the dual hat of Goliath Needles and Radiant Energy Tattoo. Each artist’s posT show journey is a testament to their exceptional talents, turning early eliminations into springboards for continued success.

Read More: Ink Master Season 6: Where Are the Tattoo Artists Now?