Lynn is a contestant on season 12 of the Paramount Network competition that pits 24 tattooers against each other for a grand prize of $100,000, a magazine feature and the bragging rights that come with Ink Master status. He battled his way to a place among the final three contestants in the finale airing Tuesday night.
Their last challenge has been a take-home assignment. Between the end of regular-season filming a few months ago and this September, each finalist completed a large-scale back tattoo over several sessions back home at their own shop. Then the judging and the finale were taped live in Las Vegas in front of an audience of hundreds. When Lynn spoke with the Times on Sept. 20, he knew the results.
But until the show airs at 10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, he’s not telling anyone.
As each episode airs, he’s gotten to watch them along with everyone else. He didn’t get to see any of the finished episodes beforehand. He said he’s been enjoying the experience.
“I’ve been loving it,” he said. “The character that I portray, Creepy Jason is this, you know, charismatic, funny weirdo on television. It’s me to a degree, but I kind of ham it up a little bit extra. And they edit me that way because they like it, too."
The Creepy Jason on TV may not be the same Jason that friends and family know, but it has made him a fan favorite. Other contestants weren’t so pleased. “It definitely did go the other way for a lot of people," Lynn said, referring to how ‘Ink Master’ was edited to depict the tattoo artists. "So not many of us have been enjoying it as much as I have.”
Looking back on the show, his biggest accomplishment hasn’t so much been a single moment, but a consistent mindset.
“Just keeping my head in the game and not defeating myself, which is what happens a lot to a lot of people," he said. "They get in their own head. And then they take themselves out.”
“I came there to do good tattoos and play the game well,” he said. The competition overall, “I would say it’s more of a mental game than a straight skill test.”
When the finale airs, Lynn will be back home from his Vegas trip to celebrate with his local friends and fans. They’ve supported him through the whole process, he said.
“I was already kind of a big fish in a small pond. And now I’m like a big fish in a bigger pond. And just the support just grew exponentially," he said. “And it’s just been nothing but a positive experience the whole damn time and it’s made me very very grateful.”