DeKalb tattoo artist competes on Spike TV's 'Ink Master' beginning July 16


A Dekalb tattoo artist will compete for the title of "Ink Master" when Spike TV hit returns for a third season in July.

Chris May, the owner and a tattoo artist at Proton Tattoo in Dekalb, decided to audition for the competition series after almost becoming a cast member on another Spike TV series, "Tattoo Nightmares."

"I got an email from a friend saying, 'You should audition for "Ink Master,"' so I did," May said. "I really didn't think much of it until I got called back for a video interview."

Out of thousands of entries, May was chosen as one of 16 contestants to battle it out on the show for a grand prize of $100,000 and an editorial feature in "Inked" magazine.

"I would say that I was the good guy [on the show]," May said. "It gets really heated everyday and it can be hard to dodge everyone's stress. I just tried to be as humble and as nice as possible."

The 37-year-old Creston resident said he started his career as a tattoo artist at 19 years old, after being propositioned for an apprenticeship at a tattoo parlor that he frequently visited as a customer. May, who does stand-up comedy in his spare time, said he studied improv and writing at Second City Theatre in Chicago.

"I like making it a fun experience and to make people feel comfortable while they get a tattoo," May said about incorporating his comedy skills into his work as a tattoo artist.

As the only contestant from the Chicago-land area, May said he will most definitely be representing for the city. His good-guy charm, humor and tattooing skills could be a lethal combination for the Illinois resident in the competition.

Tune in to the Season 3 premiere of "Ink Master"  at 9 p.m. CT July 16.

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