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The Best 'Ink Master' Winners, Ranked

Updated June 10, 2021 25.8k votes 5.2k voters 76.2k views12 items

List RulesVote up the best 'Ink Master' winners.

Admirers of fine tattoo skills everywhere certainly have opinions on the past winners of Ink Master. The Paramount Network program seeks to help talented tattoo artists nationwide gain the recognition and funding needed to bolster their careers. Contestants have shown off some seriously impressive work throughout the series, but who are the best Ink Master winners? Help decide below! 

Being a tattoo artist can be intimidating as you're responsible for drawing a permanent image on a client's body. Ink Master artists are faced with the particularly tough task of coming up with and implementing a design under tight time restrictions. Not only that, but oftentimes artists are challenged to create tattoos outside their comfort zone by trying new and unfamiliar techniques. Successful contenders have to be highly adaptable and willing to use their creativity to develop their repertoire quickly throughout the series. The winners below really rose to the occasion. From surreal designs to realistic drawings, the most popular Ink Mater winners used their unique range of talents to rise to the top spot in the competition. Browse this list of winners and vote up the best artists! 

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  • 1
    3,096
    1,175

    Ryan Ashley Malarkey

    Winner: Season 8 (2016)
    Winning Tattoo: Chest tattoo featuring a skull, racing flags, and cars 

  • 2
    2,569
    968

    Anthony Michaels

    Winner: Season 7 (2016)
    Winning Tattoo: Full chest dragon tattoo 

  • 3
    1,213
    502

    Laura Marie

    Winner: Season 12 (2019)
    Winning Tattoo: A traditional Japanese back piece featuring Raijin, the Japanese god of thunder.

  • 4
    1,462
    798

    Old Town Ink (Bubba Irwin & DJ Tambe)

    Winner: Season 9 (2017)
    Winning Tattoos: One color back piece depicting a dragon and one black and gray back piece depicting a woman's face 

  • 5
    1,231
    670

    Joey Hamilton

    Winner: Season 3 (2013)
    Winning Tattoo: Aquatic scene depicting partially nude mermaid

  • 6
    1,191
    760

    Josh Payne & DJ Tambe

    Winner: Season 10 (2018)
    Winning Tattoo: Chest tattoo featuring a snake, a dragon, and an eagle

  • 7
    979
    788

    Scott Marshall

    Winner: Season 4 (2014)
    Winning Tattoo: Multicolored back tattoo depicting surreal imagery including a woman, heart, and serpents 

  • 8
    1,010
    819

    Steve Tefft

    Winner: Season 2 (2012)
    Winning Tattoo: Full back horror tattoo depicting a woman and a skull

  • 9
    769
    769

    Tony Medellin

    Winner: Season 11 (2018)
    Winning Tattoo: Multicolored back tattoo depicting a Viking-helmed icy skull wreathed in stylized flame.

  • 10
    767
    860

    Shane O'Neill

    Winner: Season 1 (2012)
    Winning Tattoo: Japanese calf sleeve

  • 11
    528
    985

    Dave Kruseman

    Winner: Season 6 (2015)
    Winning Tattoo: Scene of a ship framed with nature imagery such as roses and feathers 

  • 12
    559
    1,293

    Jason Clay Dunn

    Winner: Season 5 (2014)
    Winning Tattoo: Japanese-inspired cartoon of a girl riding a tiger