Ink Master interview: Raul Ugarte on elimination, face-off challenge

Through Ink Master season 13, Raul Ugarte was able to have himself a nice run. Team West was one of the more dominant teams of the season, and he seemed to work well with a lot of his other contestants. He also showcased a lot of range and was willing to try some different stuff — he just fell victim to some tough times on this past episode as a double-elimination ended up sealing his fate. Now, Team West is dwindling and with Jason Elliott also going out the door, Team South is gone entirely.

In this week’s exit interview, Raul breaks down his time on the show, praises his fellow team members, and then also makes his thoughts clear on the recent Japanese tattoo face-off from this past episode.

Jessica Carter – How did you feel making it as far in the season as you did?

Raul – I feel really good making at as far as I did in the season. Of course I’m a little disappointed I didn’t go further. There’s definitely a couple heads I should have edged out but that’s not the nature of the game. Top ten in this highly talented group of artists is a great accomplishment and I was VERY ready to get home to my wife and kids!

Do you think working on a team like the West helped you?

As an artist I think we all prefer to do things our own way. That being said, in this environment I feel it did work to my advantage to have such a strong team as team West. I am a very planned, prepared artist and that attributes to much of my success. However, in this competition time is not your friend and I was able to lean on the spontaneous creativity of my talented teammates that greatly helped in the flash challenges. I became close with all team West and value the relationships I made with each of them.

Do you think you should have won the Japanese tattoo showdown, in retrospect?

I absolutely think I should have won the Japanese face-off! It was stylish, solid, flowed with the body (as Japanese tattoos should), and was applied right side up!! Kelly is a great tattooer; however in this case, it should have been a no brainer that a tattoo cannot be applied upside down in a competition setting. I’m proud of the tattoo I put up in the Japanese face off.

What was your biggest takeaway from this season as an artist?

My biggest takeaway from the season was friendships with my competitors. It was a really good group of people to get to know and be forced to live with. Also, as the oldest person in the competition, I walked away with a new thirst to keep learning and growing as an artist. You can never become complacent in tattooing or you will become obsolete. You can learn from other artists regardless of their age or experience. I definitely walked away with a few new tricks up my sleeve.

What’s the best way for people to reach out to you?

All questions and booking inquiries may be sent to me at on Instagram @raul_ugarte or come visit me at Roseville Tattoo Co. in Roseville.

Were you rooting for Raul Ugarte on Ink Master season 13?

Be sure to let us know now in the comments! Also, be sure to stick around for some other insight.

This interview was conducted by Jessica Carter.

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