‘Ink Master: Rivals’ exclusive: Joshua Hibbard on rivalry, stress and motivation

Ink MasterJoshua Hibbard could have easily won this season of “Ink Master: Rivals” with the tattoos he was producing this season, but with one incident that went against the contract he signed with the show, he was eliminated without the title and the prize – but did Joshua really lose in this situation? We don’t think so. The controversy  has had everyone talking about him non-stop and as far as promotion, this seems to be working out way better then if he had actually won the show.

We had a chance to chat with Joshua about the stress of the Ink Master environment, his rivalry with Jason Clay Dunn and some of the accusations Emily made about his interlocking tattoo with Julia.

CarterMatt.com: During season 3 of “Ink Master” the judges eliminated you for “not being able to draw”: What did you do to prepare for this season?

Joshua Hibbard: I really took that to heart. I put 100% into improving my so called weakness. I did tons and tons of drawings, life studies, painting, and anything else that I could do that would ensure that I claimed the title of Ink Master.

What made you want to go back again and do “Ink Master” a second time?

To prove to myself that I did have what it takes to win. The first time around I was the Instigator, but no one ever remembers that I did some kick ass tattoos, they just remember someone who was confident and spoke his mind. I also wanted America, the judges, and other artists to see that I had become even better than I was in season 3 and make sure they remembered the tattoos and nothing else.

How had the competition changed since season 3?

It was my second time, so I knew what was coming, the long tense hours of competing, dealing with changing someone’s life forever is a  huge part of it. You have to be 100 percent 100 percent of the time and when people realized it they cracked. I just couldn’t believe how fast and hard people lost their minds. I just kept my eye on the prize and tried my best not to focus on anything else.

Since being on the show, how is your rivalry with Jason?

I am not sure [he] is my rival. I didn’t consider him that as much. I knew that when [I] went head to head that I would show him why it was a mistake to make me a rival. I respect him as a person and artist, but I know that I am at a completely different level.

Was the environment as stressful as it looks?

YES! yes, yes, yes. We are tattooing a human canvas, no oops, no do overs, you put that ink and needle to skin and it is there forever. Now add that you have to do some style that you [don’t] usually  do and on top of that do it in 6 hours. You have to please the canvas first, then satisfy the challenge, and finally doing it all better than everyone else so the judges do not send you home. Stressful it was.

During the interlocking tattoo challenge, Emily suggested that you picked portraits because you know them well and Julia didn’t: What is your take on that?

Not even close, just Emily trying to shine light on something other than her tattoo ability. In fact, Julia and I both worked together to come up with the concept and we actually had a great time working together. It wasn’t until she realized that she hadn’t performed at the best of her abilities did she start trying to place blame on me. It’s too bad she didn’t do a better tattoo, she might have thanked me instead of accusing me.

If people want to get tattooed by you, what is the best way for them to book an appointment?

It is super easy, go to my website Joshuahibbard.com and submit a tattoo appointment request. I am also going to be doing some travelling in 2015 that will be posted on my website.


A huge thank you to Joshua for  taking the time to talk with us (we are sure he’s inundated with interviews after all the controversy). He has easily been one of our favorite contestants from any season of “Ink Master” to watch and it incredibly disappointing to see him go.

If you are looking for more news on “Ink Master: Rivals” then head over to the link here where you can check out previews, reviews, interviews with eliminated artists (Caroline Evans, Elton “LT” Duarte, Jayvo Scott, Tim Lees, Ryan Eternal, Robbie Ripoll, Ty’Esha Reels, Angel Bauta, Julia Carlson, and Emily Elegado) and podcasts all about the show (or head here if you want to download our podcasts from iTunes).

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