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The Best Ink Master Winners, Ranked

Updated October 3, 2019 22.2k votes 4.1k voters 58.8k 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
    Anthony Michaels
    2,239
    814

    Anthony Michaels

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

  • 2
    Ryan Ashley Malarkey
    2,771
    1,024

    Ryan Ashley Malarkey

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

  • 3
    Laura Marie
    888
    341

    Laura Marie

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

  • 4
    Old Town Ink (Bubba Irwin & DJ Tambe)
    1,365
    678

    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
    Joey Hamilton
    1,046
    610

    Joey Hamilton

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

  • 6
    Josh Payne & DJ Tambe
    1,093
    677

    Josh Payne & DJ Tambe

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

  • 7
    Scott Marshall
    888
    664

    Scott Marshall

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

  • 8
    Tony Medellin
    751
    634

    Tony Medellin

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

  • 9
    Steve Tefft
    805
    710

    Steve Tefft

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

  • 10
    Shane O'Neill
    571
    725

    Shane O'Neill

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

  • 11
    Dave Kruseman
    457
    855

    Dave Kruseman

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

  • 12
    Jason Clay Dunn
    485
    1,064

    Jason Clay Dunn

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