Halvorsen is an alpha male of the group. He’s got a colorful past of serving as a sniper for five years in the U.S. Army and being professional comic book artist for both Marvel and DC Comics before dipping into tattoo art. He says that tattooing is the hardest of all art forms since the canvas moves, screams, bleeds, and sometimes even cries.
With india ink and a sewing needle wrapped in thread, a 12-year-old Givens gave himself his first tattoo. To say that he’s come a long way is an understatement. After an eight-year stint in prison, he chose not to return to a life of crime—and he credits tattooing, specifically photorealism, with keeping him on the positive side of society.
Tefft has a shot at the finals if he doesn’t get out of hand between tattoos. The “party boy” in designer shirts will have to get used to the grind of competition as he bangs out black-and-gray portraits and horror imagery in record time.
When Cummings was 15, he was getting himself into trouble—so his dad bought him a tattoo machine, thinking it would give him an outlet for his restlessness. It did. He’s not in this competition to make friends; he is focusing on his art and is in it to win it.
Davies is an oddity in that he’s a veteran tattooer with only one piece of ink on his skin. As a self-described obsessive-compulsive workaholic, he says that he’s too busy focusing on his clients’ tattoos to design and get another one himself. He started out as a comic book artist but grew bored with its repetitiveness and transitioned into the world of tattooing ...