‘Ink Master’ season 7, which premiered on March 1, 2016, continues the reality competition series’ exploration of tattoo artistry. The show brings together skilled tattoo artists who compete in various challenges to showcase their creativity, technical skills, and adaptability in different tattoo styles. With Dave Navarro as the host, season 7 featured a diverse group of contestants, each vying for the title and a cash prize. The challenges ranged from traditional styles to more unconventional and avant-garde themes, testing the artists’ versatility.
The judging panel, consisting of renowned tattoo artists Oliver Peck and Chris Núñez, along with a rotating guest judge, evaluated the contestants’ work and decided who would be eliminated each week. The viewers were intrigued not only by the talents but also the personalities of the contestants. After the end of the season, fans often wonder about the whereabouts of the contestants and what they are currently doing. We have found the information for you. Let us know more.
Anthony Michaels has Opened his Tattoo Studio, Twenty-Five Twelve
Anthony Michaels, the victorious artist from ‘Ink Master’ season 7, proved his mettle as a tattoo virtuoso. Since claiming the title in 2016, he’s been on a remarkable journey. In 2018, he proudly opened his tattoo studio, Twenty-Five Twelve, showcasing not only his artistic prowess but also his entrepreneurial spirit. Michaels expanded his footprint in the industry with Hustle Butter Deluxe, his line of tattoo supply products. Diving into the world of collaborations, Anthony’s talent caught the eye of Inked magazine, leading to multiple features. His creative flair extended to the high seas as he collaborated with Inked at Sea and left his mark at the Premier Tattoo Conference for Artists in Miami.
Michaels, true to his artistic roots, curated the 2512 Collective Art Show, spotlighting his distinctive tattoo art. Beyond the studio, Anthony worked with notable personalities, including basketball phenom Zion Williamson. His influence transcended the tattoo machine as he took on the role of a jury member in one season and made a triumphant return for ‘Ink Master: Return of the Masters.’ While his personal life remains discreet, his professional journey continues to captivate, making Anthony Michaels a prominent figure in the tattoo realm, both on and off the ‘Ink Master’ stage.
James “Cleen Rock One” Steinke Showed his Skills in the Virginia City Round-Up Chopper Show
Finalist of season 7, James “Cleen Rock One” Steinke’s journey embarked in Season 5 and also saw a return in Season 11, emerging as the ultimate winner. Cleen Rock One has grown into a prominent figure in the tattoo industry as he has many companies and studios under this name, like Golden Skull Tattoo, Chrome Gypsy Tattoo, Nevada Tattoo Company, Cleen Supply Company, and also the Chrome Gypsy Compound.
In November 2021, when he was at his peak in his career, he lost his father, and his support but his undaunted resilience showed when he participated in the Virginia City Round Up Chopper Show, showcasing the unyielding spirit of an ‘Ink Master.’ Continuing his journey, In 2023, he immersed himself in the dynamic realm of tattoo art festivals, making a significant impact at the inaugural event in Orlando. Rooted in family, Cleen Rock One shares the joy of creativity with his son. Also, away from the spotlight, his love for bikes provides a retreat, spending hours tinkering in his garage.
Christian Buckingham is a Proud Owner and Artist at Time Warp Tattoo Today
Christian Buckingham, a seasoned presence in the inked world, left his mark on ‘Ink Master’ in seasons 7, 9, and 11. Beyond the competitive stage, he is the proud owner and artist at Time Warp Tattoo, a creative haven for his artistic endeavors situated in the vibrant locale of Kissimmee, Florida. Christian’s artistic prowess didn’t just stop at the stage; he took his skills to renowned events like the Villain Arts Orlando Tattoo Arts Festival and the Spooky Empire Tattoo Convention, where his talents shone bright, earning him a remarkable eight awards.
In the sunny climes of Florida, Christian has anchored his personal life, being happily married to Malinda Anne Buckingham, and together, they are nurturing a family with two kids. Beyond the ink and competitions, Christian’s journey continues to unfold, both as a dedicated artist and a family man in the heart of the tattoo community.
James Vaughn was Featured in the First Issue of Villain Arts Magazine
James Vaughn, a standout contender from the inaugural season of ‘Ink Master,’ showcased his tattoo prowess as a finalist, leaving a lasting impression on the competition. Post the show, his journey continued to captivate the ink community. From gracing the Richmond Tattoo Convention to navigating the challenges of a bout with COVID, Vaughn’s resilience mirrored his artistry.
Distinguished in the tattoo world, James earned a feature in the first issue of Villain Arts Magazine, solidifying his presence as a notable artist. Taking on the role of an artist manager at the American Tattoo Society Fayetteville in 2020, he diversified his contributions to the industry. Vaughn’s passion for the craft extends beyond studio walls, as he frequently travels, hosting and participating in tattoo events. Through his post-‘Ink Master’ endeavors, James Vaughn continues to make his mark, evolving as an artist and contributing to the vibrant tapestry of the tattoo community.
Matti Hixson is Now a Freelance Artist
Matti Hixson, the talented artist hailing from Richmond, made his mark in the tattoo world through his appearances on the show in seasons 4 and 7. Beyond the competitive stage, Matti seamlessly transitions between his roles as an artist and a resident of Richmond. As a freelance artist, he brings his skills to various studios, collaborating as a guest artist, notably with places like The Hero and Ghost Tattoo Studio.
In his personal life, Matti’s story intertwines with both joy and sorrow. Despite experiencing the loss of his daughter, Cora, in 2021, he found solace when in May 2022, he tied the knot with Amy Bernadette Hixson, a former tattoo artist herself. The couple welcomed a son in December 2022, marking a new chapter in their lives. Matti also has a daughter, Joulie, from a previous marriage, whom she loves a lot.
Jesse Smith Now Owns Carkayous, a World of Illustrations
Jesse Smith has carved out his own realm of creativity with Carkayous, a world of illustrations that he owns. Beyond the canvas, Jesse is deeply connected to the Richmond tattoo scene and has been a notable presence at the Richmond Tattoo and Art Festival. Collaboration is a key element of Jesse’s artistic journey. His collaborative illustrations with The Art by Leonardo Socorro showcase the fusion of talents within the art community. In association with FK Irons Worldwide, Jesse took part in special Veteran Day interviews, adding a meaningful touch to his artistic endeavors.
Jesse, father to an adorable boy, also participated in the Reinventing The Tattoo event with Nick Mitchell and gave a three-part seminar at the Paradise Tattoo Gathering in Jiminy Peak, Massachusetts, showcasing his commitment to sharing knowledge within the tattoo community. His presence at the Party in Paradise Tattoo Expo further underscores his active involvement in the industry.
In the digital realm, Jesse embraced the world of NFT art, collaborating with fellow artists to explore new avenues of expression. However, his journey wasn’t without its challenges. In 2021, he faced backlash when pictures circulated of his work with animals. It turned out to be an April Fools’ stunt to attract animal lovers to his work, showcasing Jesse’s unique approach to engaging his audience.
Walter “Sausage” Frank Expanded his Business at Revolt Tattoos
Walter Frank, affectionately known as Sausage, has become a prominent figure in the tattoo scene, stationed at Revolt Tattoos in Salt Lake City, Utah. Expanding his artistic empire, he’s successfully ventured into multiple branches, collaborating and participating in various tattoo artist events, such as the notable Sandy Utah Tattoo. Sausage’s creative endeavors extend beyond the tattoo chair. He contributed to the captivating film ‘Ink Journeys,’ a beautiful and powerful project featured on the Saniderm YouTube channel.
His commitment to sharing the art form goes beyond the screen as he returned to the ‘Ink Master’ stage in Season 12, this time as a coach, adding a new dimension to his journey. Recognition for Sausage’s artistry reached new heights when his work secured a spot in Inked Magazine’s prestigious Top 20 Tattoos of All Time. This accolade further solidifies his standing as a tattoo artist of exceptional skill and creativity. Outside the studio, Sausage proudly embraces the role of a father, expressing gratitude for his three sons, Kodah, Keeghan, and Parker.
Jime Litwalk is Now a Brown Belt
After the show, Jime Litwalk achieved a significant milestone in September 2022 by earning his brown belt. Renowned as the owner of Built 4 Speed Tattoo, Jime specializes in the vibrant styles of New School and watercolor, showcasing his versatility in the art form. Recognized as Orlando’s best in 2020, his artistic prowess extends beyond the tattoo chair. In the realm of expression and conversation, Jime appeared in the DIP&RIP podcast, where he engages in discussions that delve into the diverse facets of the tattoo industry. He actively participated in the Pitrow Expo, immersing himself in the tattoo community and staying attuned to the latest trends and innovations.
Jime’s journey includes a notable stint on ‘Ink Master,’ where his skills and creativity were put to the test. He continues to make waves with his dedication to both the craft and the community. From earning his brown belt to leading Built 4 Speed Tattoo to new heights, Jime’s post-‘Ink Master’ endeavors reflect a dynamic artist constantly evolving and contributing to the vibrant world of tattoo artistry.
Megan Jean Morris Runs her Own Studio Today
Megan Jean Morris has carved her own path as a distinguished artist and business owner. Owning her own studio and website, she showcases her exceptional work, offering a glimpse into her artistic prowess. Megan has extended her influence to tattoo awards, lending her expertise as a judge. Her journey includes a feature in Freshly Inked magazine, where her distinctive style and talent have been recognized and celebrated.
Megan’s dynamic presence goes beyond her studio, making a mark in the wider tattoo community through her role as a judge and her features in prominent publications. From her early days, including any potential stint on a tattoo-related show, to her current ventures, Megan continues to shape the tattoo landscape with her creativity and influence. Her post-show endeavors highlight not only her skills as an artist but also her commitment to contributing to the broader conversation and recognition of tattoo artistry.
Sarah Miller Continues to Leave her Mark in the World of Tattoos
Sarah Miller continues to leave her mark in the studio, showcasing her skill and creativity. After her time on the show, Sarah has expanded her business, demonstrating a commitment to growth and innovation in the tattoo industry. Her presence extends beyond the studio walls, with participation in notable events like the Queen City Tattoo and Art Festival, where she connects with the broader tattoo community. In her personal life, Sarah, alongside her partner Zac, welcomed their daughter Olivia into the world in February 2020, marking a joyous chapter in their lives. However, life’s journey also holds challenges.
In June 2022, Sarah faced the heart-wrenching loss of her little brother, Daniel E Miller. Despite the personal hurdles, Sarah’s resilience and dedication to her craft persist. In the ever-evolving world of tattoo artistry, a group of talented individuals, despite not claiming the top spots on ‘Ink Master,’ are flourishing in their unique ventures. Alex Rockoff is not just the proud owner of TBA Tattoos but is also on the brink of expanding his family, adding a touch of anticipation to his success. Mark S. “St. MarQ” Agee, co-founder of HOLY WATER, has seamlessly transitioned his ‘Ink Master’ journey into a compelling Grudge Match, showcasing tenacity and passion.
Picasso Dular, stationed at Vishnu Bunny Tattoo & Piercing, doesn’t just master tattoos but also rocks the worlds of music and professional gaming. Ashley Velazquez ventures beyond the ink with her online platform, Art by Ashes, while Cris Gherman explores micro and eye tattoos outside the conventional studio setting. Corey Davis, a true entrepreneur, steers two thriving studios, City of Ink and Permanent Goods Co., proving that success after ‘Ink Master’ is about navigating diverse paths with resilience and creativity at the helm.