‘Ink Master’ exit interview: Halo talks strategy, elimination and season 5

“Ink Master” season 4 has thrown us a few curve balls this season and last week definitely threw us for a loop when we saw Halo go home over two gorgeous flower tattoos. Halo not only brought us great tattoos this season, but he also brought us strategic play that we haven’t seen on this show before.

We were excited to have the opportunity to talk with Halo (via email interview) about his time on the show, the judges critiques, and how getting sent home over a cover up (that didn’t actually cover the tattoo) was surprising.

CarterMatt: It was great to watch you on the show this season because you had a strong strategic mind and played that angle beautifully. Did you come into the competition with this mind set or adapt as you got to know how the other artists were playing the game?

Halo: I definitely wanted to validate all of my wins by trying to take on the best artists I could.  This battle is more an internal battle then an external battle, so knowing that I constantly put myself head to head with the people who I thought were the best would definitely push me to try my hardest.  That was my strategy from the get go.  Along with telling everyone face to face what I was going to do.  Regardless of how far I made it in the competition I’m still proud of how far I went and even under the constant pressure I still held my integrity and morals… And that strategy was the most important to me.

You were the only contestant this season to really use the win advantages and target Scott Marshall, why do you feel other artists were reluctant to do the same?

I definitely feel like I was the only one who instead of bitching about Scott Marshall, I wanted to take him on head to head.  I definitely feel that if sausage got more of the flash wins he would have aimed at Scott too.

We were surprised to see you go home on two beautiful flower tattoos over Scott’s cover up that wasn’t completely covered or Matti’s blue roses – were you also surprised by this?

Those cover ups being barely healed definitely scared me, and I did not want them picking me at all.  I knew that no matter how well the artists did those tattoos were too fresh to completely cover, so I definitely thought I had the advantage trying to pick those flowers.  I was definitely pretty surprised when they told me that a cover up that does not cover trumped flowers because they were done a second time.

Especially when Jims first time at the bottom they told him it was a rookie move to use yellow over top of a cover up, and it sent him home first offense.

The judges critiques were not always easy to understand from a viewers perspective, were they helpful to you in the competition?

It is definitely unfortunate that the words cannot get more than one hour for the entire show.  I feel that everyone got good and bad critiques from the judges, and when you break that down into one hour it definitely seems harsher at times and lighter than it was.  I know that I have a long way to go and grow so I tried to take as much criticism as I can from friends and artists I look up to.  Being on the show definitely gave me a very unbiased opinion of my work which will help me grow tremendously and already has.

You did so many great tattoos this season, was there one that stood above the rest for you?

Honestly I liked all of the tattoos I got to do where the client was very open and let me have some free reign and trust over their work.  The rogue, warrior, turtle, eyeball, parrot and flower tattoos were my favorites.

The aquatic challenge was my least favorite due to the lack of wiggle room I was given.  12 things in one tattoo is not the easiest thing to do, especially when more than half of them do not belong under water.

If there is a chance for you to come back again for season 5 (maybe voted back in by America) would you compete again?

Sure!  Unfortunately I do not think it would be the same though.  There is something about the dynamic of the people you interact with the first time around, and I feel like doing it again with completely different people definitely adds on a stress factor that I did not have the first time.  That stress seemed to have broke Kyle Dunbar and Tatu Baby.


We are going to miss Halo in this competition tremendously and not just because he is a fellow geek. He brought a very cool strategic element to “Ink Master” that we wish more artists embraced. If you want to check out more from Halo, we highly recommend checking out his website Black Lotus Tattoos.

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