What does it take to be a master of ink? There’s no governing body in the world of tattoos, no Jedi council of wise artists to confer such a title. It’s the twenty-first century; such ideas seem archaic in this modern world of high speed internet and drones equipped with flamethrowers. In this day and age, such honor and prestige can only come from one source — reality television.
Oliver Peck has been a judge on Ink Master since its premiere in 2012. Alongside fellow tattoo artist Chris Nunez and rockstar Dave Navarro, Peck has been bestowing the title of ink master on contestants for eight seasons. It would stand to reason that Peck himself must be a master of ink. But how did he get there without winning a reality TV competition?
Peck started tattooing at the age of 19 in Dallas, Texas. Over the years, he developed a highly precise traditional style. His skills took him around the globe several times over as a guest artist, with stops in Thailand, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and Italy to name a few.
Peck’s work is extremely bold and very clean, the images seem to jump right off of the skin. Not only does his work display amazing depth through the use of shading, but his use of color is, in a word, masterful.
Peck rose to fame with a series of appearances on Miami Ink, which in turn led to him being selected as one of the judges on Ink Master. This gig has led him to easily become one of the most famous and recognizable tattoo artists on the planet.
At present, Peck co-owns Elm Street Tattoo in his hometown of Dallas and is the sole owner of True Tattoo in Hollywood, California. Besides appearing regularly on television, the mustachioed master has lived a dream of ours and seen his name inked in the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records for completing 415 tattoos in the span of 24 hours.
Maybe there is an analogy to the Jedi council in the world of tattooing.
If there is, it’s broadcast on Spike TV. I think Navarro is Yoda, and Nunez is likely Qui Gon, but I’m fine with Peck being Mace Windu. But, even if you personally see him as more of a Kit Fisto, make no mistake about it, Oliver Peck is truly a master of ink.