Local artist Matt Stebly will be the first tattoo artist from Mississippi to be on the Ink Master television show on the Paramount Network.
By going on the show, Stebly is hoping to do his part to bring the tattoo culture to south Mississippi and raise the profile of the area in the tattoo industry. He’s a little weary of being on camera but said the show is a good opportunity for him and the shop – and beyond.
Stebly said being the first tattoo artist from Mississippi to be on the show is big because he wants to use his presence there to change the way people think about tattooing in general, people with tattoos, and the tattoo culture on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The show gives people a chance to see the process involved in tattooing and what’s possible with tattoos.
“I just want to bring more publicity to the culture, especially in Mississippi,” he said.
Stebly owns Twisted Anchor Tattoo and Fine Art Gallery in Ocean Springs and comes from a family of artists: his grandmother’s father was Walter Anderson and his uncle is Chris Stebly. His shop is a combination tattoo parlor and art gallery. He said that it’s not uncommon in the tattoo industry, but it’s a new thing in the local area, and he’s gotten good feedback from the community.
“I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” he said. “I knew exactly what I wanted the feel to be.”
Stebly will be one of more than 20 tattooers to be on Ink Master, which is entering its 11th season. The show is a reality competition style featuring tattoo artists competing in various challenges to assess their tattoo and artistic skills. Through the competitions, they are judged by experienced tattoo artists and are eliminated or move on to the next round. The winner is named Ink Master and receives $100,000 as well as an editorial feature in Inked magazine.