Inking a Deal
Local Tattoo Studio Owner Competes on Spike TV’s “Ink Master”
Olde Line Tattoo Gallery owner and artist Dave Kruseman of Hagerstown never dreamed he would have an audience of millions watching him create ornate, stylized tattoo art. But that’s exactly what happens next week as Dave, along with 17 other tattoo artists carefully selected from across the U.S., converge to compete in the sixth season of Spike TV’s original reality-competition series “Ink Master” for prizes including $100,000, an editorial feature spread in Inked magazine, and the coveted title of ‘Ink Master.’
The highly-rated, popular show puts artists through a series of tattoo challenges specially designed to test their technical skills and spontaneous creativity, where artists are challenged to design and execute original tattoos by command on “human canvases,” who also have input into who stays and who gets ousted.
After each challenge, artists face a tough panel of judges, including host Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction) and world-renowned tattoo artists Chris Nunez (Miami Ink) and Oliver Peck (Elm Street Tattoo) and this season’s guest star roster, including Avan Jogia (Tut), Khaseem Greene (Chicago Bears), Tony Jefferson (Arizona Cardinals), Keith Pough (Cleveland Browns), Allen Robinson (Jacksonville Jaguars), Darius Slay (Detroit Lions), and Kamerion Wimbley (Tennessee Titans.) The series premieres Tuesday, June 23 at 10 p.m. EST on Spike TV.
Dave attempted to appear on “Ink Master” twice before and was coaxed into trying a third time by his daughter. “It would have been a mistake not to do it. I went for it and took the plunge and here we are. I am stoked and super excited,” shares Dave, who has 20 years tattoo experience.
Once he got through preliminary auditions, including sending a portfolio of his 20 best tattoo creations, Dave had Skype interviews with Spike TV reps. His interviews and portfolio review lead to his selection. He was then given the roster of where he needed to be and when for his “Ink Master” appearances. “It was an unreal feeling,” he relates about his finalist selection. “I thought, ‘Am I being punked by my buddies?’”
Dave shared his news only with wife Kim, also his business partner. Everyone else at Olde Line Tattoo Gallery and Kruseman family members were kept in the dark. “That was the hardest part keeping it under my hat,” Dave remembers. “I knew it would be a benefit in the long run, but I had to ignore the outside world except Kim while I did this.” The Krusemans agreed to tell family and associates Dave was away on medical leave to keep his participation secret.
“Thankfully, once everyone found out once I completed my part with the series everyone was extremely supportive and excited.”
During this season, artists compete not only with each other but also with their own personal tattoo rival, either their master or apprentice. Dave’s apprentice Duffy Fortner of Red Octopus Tattoos in Prince Frederick, Md. also appears in this “Ink Master” season. “We hadn’t seen each other in years. It was a cool experience. I have a ton of respect for her no matter what and I’m sure she feels the same about me.”
Dave learned much about himself through his “Ink Master” experience. “I was tested in ways not tested before. Taking something you do and thinking you have mastered it won’t get you far. You have to go outside the box and your comfort zone and keep stepping up your game. It’s been a wonderful experience and I am thankful to my wife, my family and my crew who held down the fort while I was away. My favorite thing out of all this is that I made my kids proud. That means the world to me,” Dave shares.
Come out and celebrate Olde Line Tattoo Gallery artist and owner Dave Kruseman’s appearance as a contestant on the sixth season of Spike TV’s “Ink Master”
9 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Break Away II Sports Lounge
13726 Pennsylvania Ave.
Hagerstown, MD 21742
Olde Line Tattoo Gallery will give away five $200 gift certificates and lithograph prints of Dave Kruseman’s art to random attendees during the premiere party.
For details, call 240.347.4827 or visit Olde Line Tattoo Gallery’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/OldeLineTattoo