Season Three of Ink Master featured sixteen tattoo artists: Ally Lee, Chris May, Craig Foster, Frank McManus, Jackie Jennings, James Harvey, Jason Clay Dunn, Jime Litwalk, Joey Hamilton, Joshua Hibbard, Katherine 'Tatu Baby' Flores, Kyle Dunbar, Madison 'Maddie la Belle' Loftis, Mike Paterek, Richard 'Made Rich' Parker and Yovan 'ES' Barraza.
Season three marked the first time in the series that a contestant returned for another season. Tatu Baby was eliminated in season two, but was brought back by Ink Master's Facebook voting.
Episode 1 - Baby Got Back (aired July 16, 2013)
The Skill of the Week was Flexibility and the Flash Challenge involved tattooing a prisoner using a single needle tattoo machine, which Joey won.
For the Elimination Challenge, the tattooists had to cover-up a previous design on their human canvas. Tatu Baby won Best Tattoo, while the human canvas jury voted Maddie as having the worst tattoo. Maddie's tattoo lacked detail, Mike did a bad tattoo on top of only bringing one machine for the competition, but Frank's tattoo was poorly executed with rough edges from the color and a bad outline, so Frank was eliminated.
Episode 2 - Thrills for Grills (aired July 23, 2013)
The Skill of the Week was Precision and the Flash Challenge involved working in teams of three to draft and create a custom automotive grill plate, which Jackie, James and Joey won.
For the Elimination Challenge, the tattooists had to ink realistic medical anatomy. Craig won Best Tattoo, while the human canvas jury voted Mike's tattoo as the worst. Chris and Maddie were in the bottom as both their pieces had equal shortcomings, but Mike's tattoo lacked anatomical realism and texture so he was eliminated.
Episode 3 - Tattoos and Lace OR Fire and Lace (aired July 30, 2013)
The Skill of the Week was Texture and the Flash Challenge involved create and inking a realistic, sexy leg garter on a live model, which Joshua won. In an Ink Master first, Maddie was actually eliminated in the Flash Challenge for having extremely basic texture for her leg garter tattoo.
For the Elimination Challenge, the tattooists had to ink a Phoenix. Although there was no winner actually confirmed during the episode, the Ink Master website later stated that Craig had won Best Tattoo.
James' canvas did not see eye-to-eye with her artist and walked out, resulting in no canvas for James' to showcase his ability upon. The judges interviewed both the canvas and the artist to see what the problem was; it was determined that James could not handle the nagging personality of his canvas. The judges agreed that as Ink Master, one would need to know how to instill confidence in their client that they could deliever what was requested. They also looked back on James' texture in the garter tattoo, stating that it was poorly detailed and rough. All this combined resulted in his elimination.
Episode 4 - Elysium Challenge (aired August 6, 2013)
The Skill of the Week was Linework and the Flash Challenge involved assembling a tattoo machine and tattooing a barcode (inspired by the movie Elysium), which Craig won. Both Ally and Tatu Baby failed to assemble their machines in the given time, making it impossible for them to ink their canvases.
For the Elimination Challenge, the tattooists had to ink a Celtic design. Joshua won best tattoo, while the human canvas jury voted Ally as doing the worst tattoo. Ally, Jackie, Chris and Jason in the bottom for failing to be consistent and symmetrical with their Celtic tattoos. Ultimately, Ally was eliminated.
Episode 5 - Baby Beats Down (aired August 13, 2013)
The Skill of the Week was Values/Black and Gray Shading and the Flash Challenge involved tattooing evenly shaded designs over a scar on the clients' bodies, which Tatu Baby won.
For the Elimination Challenge, the tattooists had to ink black and gray tattoos in a Day of the Dead art style. Jime won Best Tattoo, while the human canvas jury voted Craig as doing the worst tattoo. Overall, the judges were unimpressed with this challenge; Jackie and Jime were the only two who were given praise. Chris, Craig, Jason and Rich's tattoos were overly dark, with Craig drawing additional criticism for using black mixed with white ink for his gray shading, which is a no-no in the industry when it comes to black and gray tattoos. Tatu Baby executed a good design but failed on the detail, despite having a satisfactory design and skill set applied. Joshua, Joey, and ES came up short on their usage of black, their tattoos were too light and their line work could have been improved with more detail. The judges ultimately decided Chris had the worst tattoo.
Episode 6 - Animal Instinct (aired August 20, 2013)
The Skill of the Week was Detail and the Flash Challenge involved painting a model with the pattern of a randomly chosen animal, which Kyle won.
For the Elimination Challenge, the tattooists had to ink an Asian themed, detailed tattoo. According to the judges, none of the artists were qualified to win as they displayed neither the talent nor the ability to complete a traditional Japanese tattoo challenge.
The human canvas jury voted Joshua as doing the worst tattoo, he had a basic mask design which was placed on the butt crack of his canvas. Joey's tattoo had a lot of detail, and decent artwork, but was not what the judges were looking for. Jason's tattoo had good detail and a good design for the challenge, but was non-anatomical with limbs coming from unknown sources. Tatu Baby had a good tattoo, but the design of her lion was poor. Kyle executed decent detail but could have done more; he spent too much time coloring when he should have used it for line work. Jackie failed to execute detail in a legible fashion, her lines were wavy and hid the tattoo. Jime had an unorganized background and his inconsistent shaping caused the design to be iffy. Craig's tattoo had a poor background with mediocore details but a decent design overall. ES's tattoo had poor detail, and his work was cluttered and hidden within its own design. Made Rich's was simplistic and lacked any detail, and he was eliminated for his tattoo failing to met the standards of the challenge.
Episode 7 - Monumental Mistakes (aired August 27, 2013)
The Skill of the Week was Dimension and the Flash Challenge involved each tattooist designing 2 tattoos for Dave Navarro: one good-luck design, one bad-luck. Then two of the artists, chosen by Dave, tattooed one of their designs on him simultaneously. Jason and Tatu Baby's designs were chosen, with Jason winning the challenge overall.
For the Elimination Challenge, the tattooists had to ink a landscape depicting a realistic landmark. Joey won Best Tattoo, and was complimented for his shading, line-work and the detail in his black and white rendition of the chosen subject.
The human canvas jury voted Tatu Baby as doing the worst tattoo: her work had good shaping and was well executed, but her shadows failed to show realistic detail and dimension. Craig was able to create a decent piece, but needed to have a background to show perspective. Jackie's work was too dark, which took away from the realistic portrait she was going for. Jime created a cartoonish work that appeared unrealistic, the use of black would have resulted in a better piece. Kyle had a well-structured tattoo with good detail in the beginning, but the longer he worked, the more lax he became. Joshua's tattoo had a good outline, but he showed no detail nor dimension. Jason's tattoo lacked realistic shading where necessary. The details in ES' tattoo all appeared to be of similar size and did not show as much dimension, so he was eliminated.
Episode 8 - Baby Don't Go (aired September 3, 2013)
The Skill of the Week was Proportion and the Flash Challenge had the tattooists working in teams of two. Each artist designed their own tattoo, which their teammate would ink on them. The winners of the flash challenge were awarded with a fully paid trip to Germany to visit the Jägermeister facility and receive a private tour. The teams were:
- Jime and Tatu Baby
- Craig and Joey
- Joshua and Kyle
- Jackie and Jason.
Joshua and Kyle were the winners.
For the Elimination Challenge, the tattooists had to ink a pinup, using season two artists as their canvases. Craig had Kay Kutta, Jackie had Nick D'Angelo, Jason had Ron Givens, Jime had Mark Matthews, Joey had Cee Jay Jones, Josh had TJ Halvorsen, Kyle hadSarah Miller and Tatu Baby had Clint Cummings.
Jime won Best Tattoo, while the human canvas jury voted Joshua as doing the worst tattoo. Jime received positive feedback for his cute work and realism to the stance vs body posture while Joshua did not have enough black or outlining.
Joey's tattoo was praised for its good proportions and sexiness. Craig had an overall decent work, but his pin-up was unappealing and his black and grey shading was poorly executed. Kyle's design had good legs but the right foot was out of proportion. Tatu Baby's was not well proportioned overall. Jason's tattoo had unrealistic hands and feet, it was unevenly blended but had an alright design. Jackie's tattoo had good proportions until the midsection.
Tatu Baby stated that she was ready to drop out due to her embarrassment over her poor work in previous episodes and that she was disappointed in herself, but the judges convinced her to stay. Josh and Craig were also emotional about their own short-comings. Ultimately Craig was eliminated for his lack of skill in black and grey tattooing.
Episode 9 - Skulls and Villains (aired September 10, 2013)
The Skill of the Week was Consistency and the Flash Challenge involved carving a design into a replica human skull, which Josh won.
For the Elimination Challenge, the tattooists had to design and ink a super villain from the world of DC Comic books with consistency being the primary focus. After winning the flash challenge, Josh handed out the best of the tattoos on the list to the ones who hated him most, and the artists who consistently performed at the bottom were handed the hardest designs, in a deceptive twist to keep his rivals guessing. Despite their objections, Josh had logic in his choices. Joey won Best Tattoo for having a nicely detailed tattoo with skills in shading, highlighting, and straight lines; while the human canvas jury voted Jime as doing the worst tattoo since he designed Poison Ivy in a new school style that looked nothing like the comic artwork.
Kyle's tattoo had nice detail, showed excellent depth control and had great blending though his background was unfinished. Joshua had a consistent design with good highlighting that was very similiar to the original art. Tatu Baby's tattoo had good linework, shading and coloring, but came to a sudden stop. Jason's tattoo was consistent but the judges were undecided about its colors. Jackie's tattoo had a lot of bad linework on top of the image being flipped so that Two-Face was scarred on the wrong side, so she was eliminated.
Episode 10 - Eyes of the Beholder (aired September 17, 2013)
The Skill of the Week was Accuracy and the Flash Challenge involved tattooing a client's eyelid, which Jime won.
For the Elimination Challenge, the tattooists had to ink a portrait on a client, using a live person as the portrait reference. Tatu Baby won Best Tattoo, as her work was extremely accurate, though she added a few highlights to make the piece really pop. Kyle, on the other hand, was voted as doing the worst tattoo by the human canvas jury for overworking his tattoo, making it overly accurate to the point of being unflattering.
Josh was given a rather difficult tattoo, but he captured it well and was praised for it, though he was chided for not showing enough depth on the face. Joey's design was a little too dark but was well done overall. Jime's tattoo was also a little dark; he stated that he hadn't done portraits in a few years, which was slightly evident. Jason's tattoo looked good overall, but the blending of the hair could have been more accurate. Also, while inking the design Jason changed a few of the subject's features, which really showed when compared to a photo of the model. Because of this, Jason was eliminated.
Episode 11 - Heroes and Heads (aired September 24, 2013)
The Skill of the Week was Finesse and the Flash Challenge involved engraving personalized dog tags for veterans and families of fallen soldiers, connected to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Jime won.
For the Elimination Challenge, the tattooists had to ink the head of a client. Jime won Best Tattoo for his design, which was well done especially considering that his canvas had a scar in the way. The human canvas jury voted Tatu Baby as doing the worst tattoo, though she did a decent piece. The colors were good, but the linework was lacking and the anatomy was not up to her usual standard. Joey had a design that followed the curvature of his client's head well, though Chris chastosed him for his anatomy and inaccuracies in the appendages as well as his linework. Kyle's tattoo had less detail than the judges were looking for and they told him that from a distance people would be unable to tell what the tattoo was supposed to be. Josh's work drew mixed reactions from the judges. One side liked it, another despised it. Throughout the season he was constantly critisized for his lack of drawing ability, which was apparent in the episode's work. As a result, Josh was eliminated.
Episode 12 - Enduring the Pain (aired October 1, 2013)
The Skill of the Week was 'all aspects of tattooing combined', and there was no flash challenge for this episode
For the Elimination Challenge, the tattooists had to ink a design created by one of the season's previous guest judges.
- Chuey Quintanar's went to Jime
- Seth Ciferri's to Kyle
- Troy Denning's to Tatu Baby
- Corey Miller's to Joey.
Each tattooist had to apply their tattoo to the same canvas at the same time within a three hour time limit. Immediately after, they had to apply a custom tattoo of their own design to other canvases.
Jime won Best Tattoo(s). For the first design by Chuey Quintanar, Jime's shading and line-work were on par. For his second tattoo, Jime did his speciality (new school) and his skill showed: the line-work and coloring combined with the shading proved to be one of his best works.
Tatu Baby was unable to finish her first tattoo designed by Troy Denning; though the shading and line-work were well done in the areas she completed. Her second tattoo was well done with strong lines, even shading and good coloring.
Joey's first design by Corey Miller was decently applied. The judges stated that it was a little too dark in the background and the shading didn't give enough definition. His second tattoo was well done, even if it wasn't totally anatomically correct.
Kyle's first tattoo designed by Seth Ciferri had a simple, bold design and was well executed. In his second tattoo, however, the judges were criticized the overall design as it was difficult to read. Because of this, Kyle was eliminated.
Episode 13 - Ink Master Live: The Epic Finale (aired October 8, 2013)
For the Elimination Challenge, Jime, Joey and Tatu Baby had to apply a tattoo incorporating each skill they'd been tested on throughout the season. They were able to choose the location and style of their tattoo and had 35 cumulative hours to complete their work.
The eliminated artists with the highest number of votes were apply to compete to return as a contestant for season four of Ink Master. (Maddie was excluded due to her pregnancy and James did not want to return for unstated personal reasons, also, he was not present during the finale - though a very pregnant Maddie was!) Unlike in season two, the audience votes had been counted ahead of time resulting in Chris and Kyle having the opportunity to perform a live tattoo battle for the fourth season spot.
All the artists save James were in attendance, with Jime, Joey and Tatu Baby being the last to come on stage. The judges offered the chance to season three and previous season's tattoo artists to voice their reasons and experiences for applying for and partaking in Ink Master. Josh was given solemn advice by the judges and other contestants in regards to his attitude, with Chris Nunez at one point stating, "No one will ever want you [to work with them]." Ironically, this was untrue as Josh was wanted by Ink Master since he returned for season five!
Some of the human canvases from the season attended the finale to comments. Some of the comments were more argumentative toward their artists (particularly Ally's Celtic canvas and Kyle's portrait canvas, though the latter was more contemptous towards a fellow canvas) while others were appreciative.
Near the end of the finale, Kyle and Chris' tattoos were critiqued. Kyle was told that work could have used more black, but was very well done. Chris received a good review as well, and both artists were asked why this quality work wasn't produced during the season when it could have led to their crowning of Ink Master. Chosen solely by the audience, the recipient of the season four seat was Kyle with over 170,000 votes.
Also, the tattooist with the highest number of votes throughout the season received a guest artist spot at Elm Street Tattoo and Love Hate Tattoo (Oliver Peck's and Chris Nunez's respective shops), which Joey won as he was voted the most popular artist of the season.
|3||Flash Challenge||Maddie La Belle|
|6||Black and Grey||Chris May|
|10||DC Comics||Jackie Jennings|
|11||Portraits||Jason Clay Dunn|
|12||Head Tattoos||Joshua Hibbard|
|13||All Skills||Kyle Dunbar|