He didn’t win it all, but Hampstead tattoo artist “Creepy Jason," aka Jason Lynn, was in it till the end in the Paramount Network’s tattoo art contest show “Ink Master,” earning a third-place finish in the reality show’s finale on Sept. 24.

Starting out as a small-town underdog from House of Madness Tattoo Emporium & Odditorium on Hampstead’s Main Street, Creepy Jason became a fan favorite, reached the finals and submitted as his final tattoo a sultry lady-buccaneer coming ashore, covering the entire back of a living canvass volunteer.

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“He really nailed it," the judges said of the work.

Now that the show is over, the Times caught up with Creepy Jason to learn more about this experience, how his newfound fame has affected his life and business, and what is next for Hampstead’s resident ink master.

"Creepy Jason" of House of Madness Tattoo Emporium & Odditorium in Hampstead on Tuesday, June 4.
"Creepy Jason" of House of Madness Tattoo Emporium & Odditorium in Hampstead on Tuesday, June 4. (Brian Krista / Carroll County Times)

Q: So I want to ask about your feelings about your finish, though I suppose it could be a little complicated since you had to keep a secret about the results for a while before the world could be clued in. Maybe you could tell us how you first found out how you had placed and what was going through your mind then, and how you’re feeling about it now that the final episode has aired?

A: I found out I was a finalist back at the beginning of March, that’s when we finished filming the season. I really wasn’t surprised, that’s how it was. Because my whole goal for going there was to get to the finals, and I did everything in my power to get to that point. I guess I was just satisfied with my achievement of making my goal of reaching the finals.

"Creepy Jason" shrugs as he's announced as the third place finisher during an Ink Master watch party at Johansson's in Westminster on Tuesday, September 24. Creepy Jason, a tattoo artist from Hampstead and the House of Madness Tattoo Emporium & Odditorium.
"Creepy Jason" shrugs as he's announced as the third place finisher during an Ink Master watch party at Johansson's in Westminster on Tuesday, September 24. Creepy Jason, a tattoo artist from Hampstead and the House of Madness Tattoo Emporium & Odditorium. (Brian Krista/Carroll County Times)

Q: When did you find out that you came in third in the finale?

A: We filmed the finale in Las Vegas the Thursday before it aired — it aired on a Tuesday — so like four days I had to keep it a secret, that was it.

Q: When you filmed that finale, can you tell us a bit how that felt considering you had already achieved your initial goal to just be there?

A: I guess I’d say I was disappointed. My goal was to be a finalist, but there’s nothing wrong with winning also, which is definitely what I wanted to do, especially considering the amount of effort that I had to put into that back piece to get it to be where I wanted it to be. So when I got knocked out and put in third place, man, it was definitely heartbreaking.

But there’s no losers when you make it that far in the competition and you’re on that stage in Vegas, there’s no losing. There’s a very big silver lining to look at from the whole thing.

"Creepy Jason" cheers himself on while surrounded by Tony LiFianza of Thurmont, left, and Samantha Christina of Haddon Heights, N.J., and other friends during an Ink Master watch party at Johansson's in Westminster on Tuesday, September 24. Creepy Jason, a tattoo artist from Hampstead and the House of Madness Tattoo Emporium & Odditorium, finished third in the season finale.
"Creepy Jason" cheers himself on while surrounded by Tony LiFianza of Thurmont, left, and Samantha Christina of Haddon Heights, N.J., and other friends during an Ink Master watch party at Johansson's in Westminster on Tuesday, September 24. Creepy Jason, a tattoo artist from Hampstead and the House of Madness Tattoo Emporium & Odditorium, finished third in the season finale. (Brian Krista/Carroll County Times)

Q: I know there had to have been some huge ups and downs during this whole journey. Can you tell us about some of your favorite moments? Maybe some of the biggest challenges you faced?

A: Oh my God, tons of them, dude. My whole path to kick to the finale was rocky at best. When I started off the first week being up for elimination and three weeks later I am getting tattoo of the day, and then I am up for elimination again, and then it’s more tattoos of the day. I don’t think there is any one person who was there that did better and worse than me at the same exact time.

Q: Is there any one moment beyond knowing when you learned you were part of the final that stands out as just an awesome moment?

A: Yeah, probably the fourth week. It was neo-traditional tattoos, and I guess the other team tried to throw me a curveball and stick me with a moose tattoo and then I ended up getting my first tattoo of the day off it.

It was all downhill from there, because they got to see that I do know how to tattoo. And I am a threat in this competition, more than just being the goofy guy.

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Q: I really have to ask, what are the conversations like with your “living canvasses” during the filming?

A: Oh totally, yeah. We don’t get to see them off camera, that’s the thing. The only time we’re with them is when we’re being filmed. But it’s like any other tattoo appointment, you b---s--- about stuff.

I guess the safe way to do it is if you want to have a conversation and you don’t want to be filmed, talk about stuff like movies that they can’t show. Talk about music. That makes the time go a lot faster and then you don’t have to worry about them airing any of that because it’s all somebody else’s intellectual property and they can’t show it. Pro tip.

There were several times that the canvasses would get me into a conversation talking about myself or my son or my shop that I know the producers are like, “Hey, ask Jason about this, ask Jason about that. We want to hear his story.” There were a couple of times they got me to talk about myself, but most of the time I just wanted to do my tattoos and not make it personal; keep it business.

"Creepy Jason" of House of Madness Tattoo Emporium & Odditorium in Hampstead on Tuesday, June 4.
"Creepy Jason" of House of Madness Tattoo Emporium & Odditorium in Hampstead on Tuesday, June 4. (Brian Krista / Carroll County Times)

Q: Has this changed your business? I’m curious about both the effect the exposure you’ve had has had on your customers and how they have related to you during the season and after the finale. How have things changed?

A: Everything has changed for the better. Everything has been so f------ good. Everything except how much attention I have to pay to social media right now, that really, really sucks. I was dedicating way too many hours a day just trying to respond to people and keep that momentum going, which is exhausting when you’re on television like that. Now that it’s done I can kind of plateau and relax a bit, thank God.

Other than that, my business is f------ great. I went from being just a couple of months booked out to being four months booked out and I’ve had to close my books. I’m not even taking new appointments any more. I am literally flying all over the world next year doing guest spots in tattoo shops because people want to get tattoos from me in Ireland, people want to get tattoos from me in Australia and California, which is f------ great.

My response from people on the show so far has been nothing but positive through the whole thing. I kind of went as this small town underdog that nobody had ever heard of and I definitely showed up and proved to them that us small-town tattooers can do the same things as the big-city folks. Coming out of this finale it was very much like a “Rocky” scenario — I didn’t win, but everybody thought I should have won. I’m like the peoples’ winner in that sense.

Q: Speaking of that, I understand Hampstead will be presenting you with some accolades on Tuesday?

A: Yeah, they’re going to give me the key to the town, which is fantastic. I’ve kind of always joked about wanting to get one and now I’m getting one.

Q: Did you ever imagine getting the key to a town because of your tattooing, because of your art?

A: I can’t imagine any of this every happening, honestly. I’m like a little small-town dude, I had a couple thousand followers on Instagram. Now my life is completely flipped, turned upside-down and I’m this pseudo-celebrity and everybody — I can’t go anywhere without people stopping and taking pictures of me just because I was on some dumb reality TV show doing tattoos and acting like a goofball. All of this has been very surreal. I don’t even think it’s all set it yet, like the magnitude of what has happened so far.

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Q: Well, that leads to the last question: What’s next, man?

A: Traveling, man, that’s it. This has opened up way more doors than I ever thought were going to be possible for me as a tattooer. I thought I was going to be stuck here in Carroll County tattooing until the day I die, but now? Like I said, I’m going to Ireland next year, and Australia. There doesn’t seem to be a limit to what I can do now as part of tattooing.

Q: Is part of that plan to keep a shop here in Carroll County for the local folks?

A: Oh, absolutely! I’m going to keep a shop here and then tattoo when I am home and keep my client base here strong, but just make that footprint that I have even larger now. Just tattoo people that I never thought I would ever meet.

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