Janelle Hanson walked into a tattoo shop with her portfolio in hand when she was eleven years old in hopes of securing a job. Needless to say, her dream was shattered and after receiving a pep talk by one of the artists, he kindly gave her a ride home. After graduating high school and serving in the military, fourteen years later she became an apprentice at that very shop and earned her way into the artist's chair.


Her work ethic and dedication to making her dream a reality has helped her come a long way in just a short amount of time. She has now been tattooing for three years and enjoys tattooing neo-traditional, realism and the mixture of both combined. Janelle is very proud of her Scandinavian descent and she is even a self-proclaimed relative of Eric the Red. When she is not tattooing she loves to cuddle with her animals, watch movies and playing video games. Her obsession with Harry Potter is unhealthy, leading her to believe she really is part of the world. Ravenclaw all the way!

Madison, Wisconsin

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The first time Janelle Hanson got a note from someone associated with “Ink Master,” the hit Paramount Network reality show that puts tattoo artists in competition with one another for fame and fortune, she doubted it was legitimate.

Hanson, 31, a Duluth, Minnesota, native who came to Madison in late 2017 to work at Iron Quill Tattoo on the west side, knew the industry at its worst. She apprenticed when women were mostly unwelcome. If doors didn’t slam in her face, she was subjected to sexual harassment.


So what to make of the email from “Ink Master” in fall 2018 saying there was interest in possibly having her on the show?


Hanson spoke to her boyfriend, Andy Hyde, also a tattoo artist at Iron Quill.


“Do you think it’s real?” she asked him.


“Let them know you’re interested,” Hyde responded.


Three months and numerous messages later, Hanson left for New Jersey under strict orders to tell no one that she’d been cast in season 12 of “Ink Master,” which began airing in June.






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