InkMaster – Casting GuideContestants: 12+
Top Prize: $100,000
Selectivity: 3 Star
InkMaster is the SpikeTV reality competition that features tattoo artists competing to be the top artist each year. This is a season long, elimination competition with the winner receiving the top prize. In addition to the monetary award, the winner also receives a spread in a leading tatoo magazine, and a huge spike for their work after the show. This show is amazing for all contestants as it can really boost the career of a contestant who goes home early. They key is to demonstrate you have good work on air, and it’s almost certain that you’ll have people looking for you after the show airs.
Ink Master Strategy Guide and OverviewThis is the original tattoo reality competition, and it remains the most popular both in terms of the number of viewing audience and the impact on the artists career who appear on the show. The show has now had five regular seasons featuring the season long elimination style format and a a two episode holiday special in which some previous contestants were brought back as all-stars for the chance to win redemption and $10,000. The vast majority of the information here will be dealing with the traditional season long version of the show, and we will create a separate smaller guide for the holiday specials if Spike chooses to create a version after the 2015 season. One of the major challenges of this show is that the artists are required to master all different forms of tattooing. While the basics of color saturation and line work are similar across the various formats, the specific elements often trip up the contestants. Early in an artists career, they will often have to become a jack of all trades simply to feel their time by creating any design that the customer wants. However, as the artists mature in their craft, they will often be able to have a client list who seeks them out for a specific style of tattoo. This means that the more experienced artists often get a lot of practice in a few areas of the field.
- Use Social Media to Get Experience and Publicity Prior to appearing on the show, you should look post on FaceBook and Twitter that you are trying out for the show. You can have specific days where you do each type that you feel are your weaknesses and offer people a discount other promotion item to them. One great perk may be taking a picture with them that appears on your facebook wall/twitter page. If you are selected for the show, they will have a great story.
- Bring Two or Three Machines One aspect of the show that is very different than working in a shop is the immense time pressure. Because of this you want to take all equipment issues out of the equation by bringing multiple machines. One artist was greatly impacted when his machine had some mechanical problems that ate up a lot of his time.
- Find Images Sites in Advance Artists are allowed to use a tablet or PC to find images as reference. Having some items picked out in advance can really help in communicating high level ideas to the canvas. It’s possible to go through many more options by comparing images that are already complete.
- Sell the Canvas This tip was demonstrated by Josh Hibbard who was a complete master at convincing the canvas to change either the placement or design. Josh understood the time restrictions and what is possible to get done. Everyone loses if the artist agrees to do a tattoo that ends up looking bad. The contestant is likely to be sent home and the canvas has to wear it for the rest of their life.
- Do the Challenge One fact that is amazing is that even after five seasons, there are still contestants who choose not to do the challenge or try to go too far out of the box. Designs like Japanese, American Tradition, and Photo-Realism have very strict guidelines. It’s far better to design a reasonably quality piece in the style requested than try to wedge your specialty into every challenge
- Avoid Making Enemies The skull pick process is designed to create conflict between the artists. It’s good to be near the top of the pack, but if you are consistently the person who wins the challenge you’ll also be targeted so that you’re eliminated before the finale. Over the last two seasons neither Sausage nor Cleen won the show.
- Be Friendly There will be 16 contestants on each show and the winner will be set for life. However, there are 15 people who won’t win. This means that 93% of the people who are cast won’t be leaving with the prize. Regardless, appearing on the show can blow up a career either in an upward or downward direction. If you come across as a jerk or difficult to work with, it’s possible that people will avoid working with you. You’ll have to be on your best behavior in the real world because people will be looking for you to lose it. Conversely, if you are nice and friendly on the show, then people will have a bias in the other direction and chalk up any rudeness on your part as merely having a bad day.
- Best Overall: Each episode concludes with a single person being the MVP of the week. This is the person who did the absolute best on both camera and food creation.
- OBe a professional Tatoo Artist
- Be able to spend six weeks on set)
The application process for this show is currently closed as the 2015 season is being filmed. We will update this page for artists for the 2016 seas as well as the application process for human canvases for the upcoming season.
Finally, if you applied to be on this show, we’d love to hear your story whether or not you were selected to appear on air. Feel free to click the link below to share your story with us and our readers.