‘Ink Master’ exclusive: Duffy Fortner on elimination, Kruseman and her favorite challenge

Duffy Fortner was a force to be reckoned with on this season of “Ink Master”, and with a cast of 18 people that only included 3 female artists, we have to say that we are really impressed with how far she (and the other women) made it this season. The odds may be stacked against a female winner, but she showed us that women can still have a strong voice on this show – win or lose.

Unfortunately we lost Duffy in the finale five, but her mentor Kruseman is still in the running for the title! What was Duffy’s time on the show like for her? We have the answer to that question and many more in our exclusive interview with her below.


CarterMatt.com: Portrait week was really tough for you and Kruseman – what was it like being in the bottom up against your mentor?

I kind of always knew that was the challenge that I was going to over think the most. I can appreciate anyone who specializes in portraits, it’s a true gift! Being in the bottom with Kruseman was bittersweet. We were both bummed to have made it so far and then possibly be sent home, but we were both extremely proud of one another for as far as we’ve come.

What challenge did you find to be the most fun this season and why?

Episode 12 for sure. When we worked with the guest artists with Down Syndrome! It was an amazing uplifting day in the middle of a competition where we were stressed to the max. It wasn’t about us. It gave us a chance to put the competition aside and give our guest the best day possible.

With all of the alliances going on, what was it like not being part of that game play and do you think it helped your game not being part of an alliance?

The alliances didn’t affect me. I seemed to fly under their radar. They were extremely busy going after anyone but me. I had Kruseman’s back and he had mine, and that was the only alliance I ever planned!

Who do you think Kruseman’s biggest competitor is going to be if he makes it to the finale?

if Kruseman makes it to the finale, whoever the other 2 finalists might be will both be strong competition… you didn’t make top 3 if your weren’t strong!

With you, Marisa and Katie being such strong female artists this season, we were confident that we would see a woman in the finale this year. Why do you think “Ink Master” hasn’t had a female winner yet?

I definitely went into it seeing myself in the finale as well! Not sure why there hasn’t been a female winner yet, but there were only 3 female contestants out of a total of 18 (in my season specifically). Maybe if there were more females on the show we would have a better chance of seeing a female winner. But the tattoos speak for themselves, male or female.

Was there a tattoo style that you were hoping to showcase this season, but didn’t really have a chance to?

I had a big win in episode 12. The design, quality of work and overall end product was the type of tattoo that defines me the most. I like to make every line clean and perfect, all my shading smooth and the client happy! And that’s what I accomplished.

If clients want to book you for a tattoo, what’s the best way for them to get a hold of you?

I try my best to answer every email and social media message as soon as I can, but our website redoctopustattoos.com has all of my contact info.


A big thanks to Duffy for chatting with CarterMatt about her experience on “Ink Master”. It was disappointing to see her go, but are glad that we had a chance to see some of the very cool tattoos she created.

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