Roselle tattoo artist Scott Marshall truly is an "Ink Master."
Marshall won the title Tuesday night when he defeated two other finalists in the live Season 4 finale of Spike TV's "Ink Master" reality competition.
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Along with the title, Marshall won the $100,000 grand prize and will be featured in Inked magazine.
"I feel grateful and satisfaction and a year's weight off my chest and shoulders," Marshall said in a telephone interview Wednesday morning from New York City. "This has been the wildest ride and greatest experience of my life."
An independent tattoo artist affiliated with Roselle Tattoo Co., Marshall was one of 17 artists nationwide selected last fall for the show's fourth season after going to a casting call.
Filming began in October for 12 prerecorded weekly episodes that began airing Feb. 25.
At Tuesday's live finale, Marshall presented his masterpiece -- an original tattoo that he created in 35 hours during five, 7-hour sessions.
Marshall said the tattoo covered the back of his "living canvas" from her neck to her hips.
"I could do whatever I wanted on her, and she was willing," Marshall said of his composition that he said depicted love and heartache. "I thought it would be relatable to women, men and the judges."
His presentation gave him the final edge over his two remaining competitors, Matti Hixson of Virginia and Walter "Sausage" Frank of Las Vegas.
"All three (finalists) were very solid artists, and it was a very close race," Marshall said. "Matti and Sausage gave me a run for my money, and I have complete respect for both of them."
Marshall called the competition series "the hardest, longest job" he has ever done.
"The hardest part was that it was relentless and every day. You were living with your competitors," he said. "You could see one after one of my competitors lose it mentally because of the anxiety of the situation."
Marshall said he maintained his composure and stayed true to his own style.
"I didn't take the judges' critiques personally, but I took it as a learning experience," he said. "As the tattoos piled up, there was a flow and consistency."
A graduate of the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Marshall has been a tattoo artist for 15 years and gained a loyal following of clients locally and from out of state. The career tattoo artist, who is married with three children, said he will invest his winnings for the future of himself and his family, and take advantage of the opportunities his increased exposure brings.
"I believe it will open doors, give the freedom to travel and give me opportunities I never knew existed -- and it will push me to become an even better artist," he said.
Marshall said he also wants to share opportunities with others. While part of the show, he befriended competitor Lydia Bruno, who plans to move from Glens Falls, N.Y., next month to become an affiliate of Roselle Tattoo Co..
"Lydia is a great friend and a great artist, and I want to give her an opportunity in Chicago," he said.
Devin Stubbs, an artist at Roselle Tattoo Co., said he expects the shop to be busier than ever now that Marshall has been named "Ink Master."
"As the show drew to a close, we have been booking further and further out," he said. "I would expect Scott to be booked out a year."
Stubbs said he rooted for Marshall throughout the season and was confident he would win.
"It's really kind of revolutionary how he works," Stubbs said. "Whatever he has is really something special."