Kyle Dunbar – Ink Master season 3
In this Artist Spotlight we caught up with Kyle Dunbar of Almighty Tattoo located in Grand Blanc, Michigan. If you are a fan of Spike TV’s Ink Master series than you know Kyle from season 3. You have not seen the last of this talented artist yet either as he won the ink challenge on the live finale show of season 3 earning a second chance on season 4. We caught up with Kyle before heading to NY to start filming the new season.
AnoTat2: When did you start tattooing?
Kyle: I started when I was 22.
AnoTat2: How did you get started?
Kyle: A close friend of mine, Colen Jinks got my foot in the door. He was a tattoo artist that had seen my artwork and thought that I’d be good at it.
AnoTat2: Have you always been interested in body art?
Kyle: I have always been an artist and it wasn’t until I got a tattoo on my chest that I realized that tattoos were an art form, I have been loving body art since then.
AnoTat2: How old were you when you got your first tattoo?
Kyle: I got my first when I was 13, it said “I rule” on my arm that my brother did it with a needle and thread. It was a terrible tattoo idea and had it covered quickly needless to say.
AnoTat2: What were you thinking when you got selected for Ink Master season 3?
Kyle: Please don’t let me be the first to go home.
AnoTat2: Watching the season we liked the tattoos you were turning out and think you should have gotten further along in the competition. It was great news when it was announced you will be back for season 4. How will you approach this season compared to season 3?
Kyle: I am hoping to give the judges exactly what they are looking for this season, last season I felt the need to impress them and show them everything I can do in each tattoo. This season I have an advantage, they already know I’m a solid artist. So I can focus on each challenge 100%.
AnoTat2: During the show you talked about issues happening at home; has everything worked out for you?
Kyle: Everything is great now, in fact my wife had us a new place before I even got home from filming. Our outlook on it now is “hey, at least we finally got that basement cleaned out”. It did suck to lose everything but I’m happy that we still have our family. I remember when she called to tell me, she was in Oklahoma at a tattoo convention, she was crying and was worried to tell me something. All I could imagine was that something terrible had happened to my kids or mother. When she said that the bank cleaned out the house and we lost everything, I was nothing but relieved to hear that. I told her we can get new stuff, she was really upset though. We lost lots of things that are irreplaceable but I’m extremely thankful to still have my family.
AnoTat2: Do you believe this extra stress led to you not being in the final 3?
Kyle: What led me to not be in the final 3 was doing something I wanted to do instead of what the judges wanted to see. I should have done something different. It’s just that I got excited when they said I could do anything. I hope to show something better this time around.
AnoTat2: How do you classify your style of tattooing?
Kyle: A beautiful dark surrealistic world.
AnoTat2: What artists have influenced you?
Kyle: Marshall Bennett hands down, I feel I wouldn’t be where I am right now if I hadn’t met that guy.
AnoTat2: What tattoo conventions do you attend?
Kyle: I attend conventions all over the United States. I have been on the Ink Life Tour for a while now and plan to continue with them, and I do others however my favorite is Detroit Motor City Expo. I have attended the last 7 years and plan to be there every year. I will also have a list of all upcoming convention dates on my Facebook page (here). I will be attending at least 14 so far this year so I’m sure I will be close to many people that are trying to get a tattoo from me.
AnoTat2: We have to ask; did “Mystical Mike” really only have one tattoo machine or was that part of the show?
Kyle: “Mystical Mike” lol did only have one machine… but it was a hawk.. so that is sort of like having more than one machine since you can use it for everything so I’m not sure why he used the one machine as a defense. However you better hope it don’t break down (I think that’s what Oliver was getting at by stating he never leaves with less than 8). So I’m not sure why he used the one machine as a defense, I’m still confused on that. I packed 10 machines last season and this season I plan on taking 16.
AnoTat2: Besides season 4 of Ink Master what can we expect from you in the future?
Kyle: Lots of traveling. I love it!!!
Tune into Spike TV’s Ink Master season 4 to watch Kyle compete once again for the title of Ink Master.~ ☠ AnoTat2 ∴