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

  • Chris May, owner and tattoo artist at Proton Tattoo in DeKalb, Ill., is one of 16 contestants on season three on tattoo competition show, "Ink Master".
Chris May, owner and tattoo artist at Proton Tattoo in DeKalb, Ill., is one…
June 17, 2013|By JoVona Taylor | RedEye

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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