Each week "Ink Master" puts artist through a series of tattoo challenges that are not only designed to test the artists' technical skills, but also their on-the-spot creativity, where they must create and execute an original tattoo by command on a 'Human Canvas.' Each episode focuses on a different and distinct style of tattooing including realism, black and gray, geometric, neo-traditional, Asian and cover-up, among others. The masterpieces these artists create will last a lifetime, but so will their mistakes.
After every challenge, the contestants face a tough panel made up of series host Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction) and world renowned tattoo artists Chris Nunez ("Miami Ink") and Oliver Peck (Elm Street Tattoo) who are joined by a roster of guest judges including Joe Manganiello, Tommy Montoya and DeAngelo Williams.
Once again the Human Canvases, who volunteer their bodies to be tattooed by the "Ink Master" contestants, will have a say in who gets sent home. The Canvases will form their own jury, deliberate as a group and pick one artist per episode who will be up for elimination. In the jury room, viewers get an inside look at the heated arguments and wicked emotions as the Canvases defend or abandon their new ink and artist.
In the season opener the artists put ink-to-skin right from the get-go. There are eighteen artists standing, including season three rivals Joshua Hibbard and Jason Clay Dunn, and each of them are forced to collaborate with their biggest rival in a tag team tattoo challenge (right away as they are challenged to tattoo as a tag team).
The "Ink Master" Season Five tattoo artists are (listed in alphabetical order):
Angel (@Angel_Bauta) –Owner/artist at Puncture Tattoo Studio in Brooklyn, NY
Julia Carlson (@julzcarlsontat2) – Artist at Ink Obsession in Brown Mills, NJ
LT (@lt_doart3) – Artist at East Providence Tattoo in Providence, RI
Jason Clay Dunn (@JasonClayDunn) – Owner/artist at Tattoo Alchemy in Montclair, CA
Emily Elegado (@EmilyElegado) – Artist at Roses & Ruins Tattoo in Summerville, SC
Cris Element (@CrisElement) – Artist at Leathernecks and Bullseye in Brooklyn, NY
Ryan Eternal (@Ryan_Eternal) – Artist at Hart & Huntington in Orlando, FL
Caroline Evans (@tatugirl) – Artist at Tattoo Obsession in Cookstown, NJ
Joshua Hibbard (@_JoshuaHibbard) – Artist at Inspired Tattoo in Portland, OR
Tim Lees (@Timstat2) - Artist at Propaganda Tattoo in San Diego, CA
Mark Longenecker (@longnecktattoo) – Owner/artist at Endless Summer in Cocoa Beach, FL
Aaron Is (@AaronIsTattoo) – Co-Owner/artist at Bloodline Tattoo in Tampa, FL
Cleen Rock One (@Cleen_Rock_One) – Owner/artist at Chrome Gypsy Tattoo in Las Vegas, NV
Don Peddicord (@DonPeddicordArt) – Co-Owner/artist at Tattoo Dynasty in Baltimore, MD
Ty'Esha Reels (@Ty_Tattoos) – Artist at 401 Ink Tattoo in Providence, RI
Robbie Ripoll (@RobbieRipoll) – Owner/artist at Chapel of Love Tattoo in Melbourne, FL
Jayvo Scott (@JayvoScott) – Artist at Honor Ink Tattoo Gallery in Melbourne, FL
Erik Siuda (@ErikSiuda) – Owner/Artist at Ghost Gallery Tattoo in North Bethpage, NY
Viewers can find more on each artist including biographies, photo galleries, artwork portfolios and artist introduction videos by visiting inkmaster.spike.com. Throughout the season fans can watch full episodes and video clips, and are encouraged to join the conversation on social media. Each week fans can interact with the show by using #InkMaster for the chance to have their tweets featured on-air, and by participating in real-time polling through custom hashtag battles. The latest in tattoo culture and series news can be found on the official "Ink Master" Facebook page, on Twitter @spikeinkmaster, Tumblr and on Instagram @spiketv.