Come Tuesday night on the Paramount Network, the Ink Master season 12 finale will be capping off the season. Three contestants are entering it, but only one leaves with the title and the grand prize.
Could that someone be Creepy Jason? Entering the finale, we know what he brings to the table — limitless creativity and a legitimate passion for what he does. He’s not afraid to push the boundaries and showcase a lot of creative work; he’s had some high highs within the competition, but also some moments where he’s felt a little bit in danger. It’s ironic that he was one of the first people in danger this season and yet now, he’s the last man standing.
In our interview, Jason previews his path to the finale, his final back tattoo that he’s been working on, and also something wonderful that he does to give back to the community.
Jessica Carter – So, what made you want to do Ink Master?
Creepy Jason – I don’t really know, honestly. I was up for the challenge. That is probably the best answer. I got the email looking for casting and was just like ‘why the f–k not? I could use the extra business, I could use the challenge, it sounds fun.’
What was the moment that you felt the most afraid that you were going home?
The first episode when I was up for elimination. I didn’t understand how the show worked and I didn’t really understand what was going on. All I knew was that I was voted into the bottom by my own teammates and that I was probably going to be the first guy going home.
Here’s something I’ve been wondering all season long – why do you always take your hat off and put it over your chest when the judges are critiquing you?
It was just a show of respect — taking your hat off just seems like a show of respect. Feels proper.
You’ve mentioned your son on the show and how you’re a single dad – what would this Ink Master win mean to both of you?
It would probably mean more to me than it would to him — he’s just a 14-year old kid. I guess it would mean to him that I could buy him more video games (laughs). I did promise him that if I came home and I won, I would give him $1,000.
What were your initial thoughts when you heard Dani and Laura choose realistic black and grey for your final piece?
I think it was smart on their side. The one thing that I did the best at in the competition was working with my creativity; that and color tattoos are the two things I did really well, so they tried to take both of those away from me by giving me something in realism and then something in black-and-gray.
What was the process like preparing for the final tattoo and working with your canvas?
It was huge. The biggest problem was that when I came into the competition, I had already drawn up master canvas back pieces in preparation. But then, I get thrown the curveball of the black-and-gray realism. Everything that I drew, I couldn’t use. So basically, I had to take what I wanted to do and adapt it to this style of tattooing. So, from there, I designed what I did based on that and I’m pretty comfortable and happy. It’s a fun tattoo — it has a meaning behind it beyond just being a cool tattoo.
If you had gotten a choice to showcase any style in the final tattoo what would you have chosen?
Probably color, neotraditional. One of the designs that I had ready in advance.
When I was on your Instagram I noticed something really cool that I wanted to ask about. You have been doing reconstructive nipple tattooing for women that need that kind of work done and that you do it as a free service! Can you tell me a bit more about that?
There’s a tattooer who is pretty well-known in my area who does them, but he does them through a hospital. Then, he charges the women an exorbitant amount of money to do it. Then, they get reimbursed by their insurance.
But, I’m just like ‘why even charge them for something like this? Why even pay more for that?’. So I’m just like ‘I’m going to do it, and I’m going to do it for free. F–k it.’ It’s only costing me maybe $10 worth of supplies and maybe an hour’s worth of work. That’s it and it’s not that bad at all. I’ll sacrifice that time to change somebody’s life for the better, forever.
A big reason why I started doing this is that I had a client of mine come to me and she wanted to have them done and I told her ‘no. I don’t know how to do this.’ Then, she went and got it done by someone else, and she came back and showed me. It was awful. So, I regretted turning her down — if I would’ve just winged it, she would’ve got something better.
What have you learned about yourself and your art through this process?
I’m forty years old — I pretty much know who I am at this point. I didn’t learn anything new, other than that I look ugly when I cry on TV (laughs). I definitely learned a few new tricks in tattooing, I broke a lot of bad habits. I’ve tattooed for 14 years and I’ve developed bad habits. Going there, it forces you to break those things.
Was it because of the time constraints?
The time constraints were easy! Generally I’m a really fast tattooer, and you would think that would be beneficial to me on a show like Ink Master. But, at the same time if you tattoo fast, you get comfortable and that’s where you become careless. From there, I just learned to slooow the f–k down so I could take time doing my tattoos.
Are you rooting for Creepy Jason to win Ink Master season 12? Be sure to share in the comments below. (Photo: Paramount Network.)
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