‘Ink Master: Rivals’ exclusive: Cris Element on surprises, tattoos and Angel Bauta

Cris ElementCris Element was a tattoo artist that surprised a lot of people on this season of “Ink Master: Rivals” He may not have had the crazy amount of experience behind him as some of the other artists left in the competition but he certainly had the talent (we still think his black and grey American flag tattoo was one of the best of the season).

We had a chance to chat with Cris about his time on the show, his favorite tattoos, most difficult challenges and where his rivalry with Angel Bauta is now. If you’re a fan of Cris’, this is an interview you won’t want to miss.

CarterMatt.com Were you surprised that you were eliminated over anyone else and why?

Yes I was surprised.  I felt that I had one of the best tattoos, but the judges thought otherwise. I feel Mark’s tattoo did not compare to mine, his was generic and I tried to give the most creative interpretation of a grim reaper possible.

How did you end up being cast on Ink Master?

I applied for previous seasons since season 2. I have been trying to submit videos and uploading them to YouTube. I never gave up no matter how close I got or how close I thought I made it and it happened for a reason.

What was the most difficult part of being on Ink Master?

The most difficult part was defiantly the mental strain of being away from your family with little to no contact at all. And the constant doubting yourself that. You go thru and that the other contestants make you feel.

We thought your black and grey american flag was one of the best of the season, what was your favorite tattoo?

The flag was def one of my favorites, but my skull on the skull was by far what summed up my style.

Near the beginning of the season you said you had “given up”, do you think that hurt you through out the rest of the season with the judges?

I was young (in) the episode and immature and not thinking when I said that I progressed clearly to get to where I made it. I think they defiantly held that against me and I wish they wouldn’t have.

How has your rivalry with Angel been since doing the show?

Me and Angel mended somewhat but we never got a chance to go up against each other again and I would love to.

If clients want to get a tattoo by you, what is the best way for them to book it?

The best way to get a tattoo by me is to email me ([email protected]) or contact me via Instagram ([email protected] cris_element).


A special thank you to Cris for chatting with us about his time on the show. Making it to the final five is a big deal and it was cool to see Cris make it this far.

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, Emily Elegado, Joshua Hibbard, Don Peddicord, and Aaron Is) and podcasts all about the show (or head here if you want to download our podcasts from iTunes).

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