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Tucson tattoo artist wins 'Ink Master'

Posted at 12:57 PM, May 25, 2016

Tucson tattoo artist Anthony Michaels was named the Season 7 winner of Spike TV's 'Ink Master' Tuesday night during a live finale. 

Michaels says he was born and raised in Arizona and has been a tattoo artist for the last five years. He currently works at Metro Tattoo on Speedway Boulevard. 

The excitement of his win could be felt Wednesday at the store. 

"The further he got on the season, lots of calls, a lot of people want to talk to him and try and get tattooed by him," said Ridge Young, one of Michaels' coworkers at Metro Tattoo. They said they've definitely seen a spike in business and they're excited that he won. 

Michaels competed against 15 of the top tattoo artists in the country to win the coveted title. As the winner, he will also receive a $100,000 cash prize and a spread in Inked magazine. 

He had to create a master canvas as part of the finale that consisted of a chest piece and a sleeve. Michaels says he drew inspiration for his design from living in Arizona and specifically thought about his favorite view point on Mount Lemmon. 

"I definitely wanted to share Arizona with the rest of the world and what better way and place to do it than on the grand stage you know," said Michaels. 
 
He flew back to Tucson Wednesday and said the excitement of his win still hasn't sunk in. 
 
"I am overjoyed and definitely now hungrier than I was before to better my craft and produce better work," he said.
 
Michaels is married and says he has five children. His wife and other family members attended the live finale with him and were in the audience when he won. 
 
He says he'll be right back at work Thursday and good thing because he already has appointments booked through next summer. 
 
"I'm in debt to Tucson forever," he said. "I can't thank everyone enough for the support and for voting and for trusting in me to do what I do and to help me get better at my craft. I love everybody there."