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Preview seven male artists before 'Ink Master' returns on February 25

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Fans cannot wait for Spike TV’s mega-hit “Ink Master” that will be returning for a fourth season on February 25. Prior to the start of this series, meet the seven male tattooers, who are not shop owners. Their experience ranges from three to fifteen years and each will be vying for the title of “Ink Master,” editorial feature in Inked and a cool $100,000, that surely could help finance their own shop if they want one of their own.

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“Gentle Jay” Blondel is a New Yorker currently working at Alchemy Tattoo in Bellmore, Long Island. A born artist, he has been tattooing and piercing since 1999. With no distinct specialty, he is a well-rounded artist who loves his work and knows that his canvas will be wearing his work forever, so he prefers to do custom tattoos that will be worn proudly. See his work here.

Damon Butler has the least experience of all the artists in this season’s competition. He grew up in the projects of Boston, Mass. Fortunately for him, he had artistic qualities that enabled him to avoid the drugs and violence of the mean streets of Boston and attended art school. He currently works as manager and artist at Extreme Fantasy in Abington, Mass. This rookie may give the veterans a run for their money. See samples of his work here.

Keith Diffenderfer has 13 years experience and is from York, Pa. He is an artist at Honor & Iron in Rehoboth Beach, Del. This determined tattoo artist learned how to do it all after his persistence during high school earned him an apprenticeship. He can do it all after his years of experience, but his bright and bold designs garnered him his great reputation and earned him a ticket into this competition. See samples of his work here.

Walter “Sausage” Frank is from Las Vegas, Nev. With 13 years of experience is an artist at Club Tattoo in Vegas; the same shop where last season’s winner, Joey Hamilton hails from. Sausage loves detail and his customers continue to return and bring family and friends who all admire his work. He probably picked up a few tips from last season’s “Ink Master,” so fans can expect to see a lot of him. Check out his gallery here.

Matti Hixson, originally from West Virginia practices his craft in Virginia Beach, Va. at Trinity Tattoo. With 10 years experience, Matti is abrasive, makes no excuses and chalks his attitude up to his passion and competitiveness. This self-taught artist specializes in color realism and tattoos with a dark twist, see some of his work here.

Scott Marshall, is an artist at Roselle Tattoo Co. with 15 years experience. He is a graduate of American Academy of Art in Chicago. His customers know that his dedication to his craft is evident in his creativity, confidence and style. He derives his tattoos from the personalities of his clients without using templates. Check out his work here.

Randy Vollink, from Mesa, Ariz. comes to the competition with a diverse background. As a military kid, he has lived in many places, he managed law firms and has always had a passion for art. He found his calling in tattooing and works at Club Tattoo in Scottsdale. With nine years experience, in a hobby that became a career, this self-taught artist who happens to be gay, strives to make a name for himself in a genre dominated by heterosexual males. By winning the title of “Ink Master,” his point will be made. Check out his work here.

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