Joshua Hibbard was definitely a front runner to win the title of “Ink Master” on season 5 of the Spike network show of the same name. Many believed Hibbard would easily win the title this time around, his second appearance on the hit reality show that pits tattooists against each other in a battle of skill. Joshua Hibbard is a native of Portland, Oregon and runs his own tattoo studio locally. The now-famous tattoo artist took a few moments to answer some questions for the Portland Reality TV Examiner about his elimination and what he plans to do next. Check out the interview to see how Joshua Hibbard feels about his elimination, the other contestants and the circumstances for his early elimination.
SF: Both seasons that you have competed, other artists have tried to bust you for cheating. This time they got you though. Were you surprised they took the “contraband” rule so seriously or even that they thought of marijuana as contraband at all?
JH: I am not sure anyone tried to bust me on Season 3 but I was not very surprised at the show seeing it as contraband. I just think they went way too far in removing me from the competition and having the competitors label me a “Cheater” was bulls***. I may have
broken the contract but that is all I did.
SF: What did you think of the viewers’ reaction to your elimination following the airing of the episode?
JH: I was very overwhelmed with the amount of support I received, my social media exploded, my fans crashed my website less than five minutes after the episode aired to read my take on my removal from the competition and I launched my Kickstarter campaign for Instigate Clothing. All in all, my fans have treated me awesome and let me continue to instigate!
SF: What about the reaction from other Ink Master contestants? The only ones who seemed against you are Erik and Aaron, the ones who ratted you out.
JH: I mean everyone says nice things or whatever but I like to see what actions take place, who goes out of their way to send me a text or give me a phone call. I don’t have time for naysayers or tattle tales.
SF: Even Oliver Peck had your back when he tweeted “Nobody would complain if @_JoshuaHibbard ‘s tattoos weren’t better than their’s !!! #InkMasterRivals” Are you surprised that pretty much no one cared except the guys who didn’t want to compete against you anymore?
JH: I am not really surprised. The competition is just that, a competition. They saw their opportunity to take me out and they did.
SF: #KeepJosh won on Twitter but you were eliminated anyway. Will you be making a comeback? If so, please tell us about it.
JH: I was so honored that my fans blew Twitter up and was trending worldwide. Yeah I would owe the fans at least that much if “Ink Master” had me back.
SF: You said you learned a lot during your time on Ink Master, can you share some of that with your fans? How have you grown as an artist and as a person?
JH: I became more aware of my weaknesses from the first time I was on so I put in the hard work drawing every chance I had, looking at art, discovering other mediums and talking to other well-respected artists in the industry. Not only just come back to compete but to come back and win the title of “Ink Master.” I think by doing all of that helped me grow personally as well.
SF: Do you have more plans with Ink Master? Or will you maybe get a tattoo show of your own?
JH: You never know. I could get a call asking me back. I think having my own show would be another great adventure but I would want to do something that really shows the nuts and bolts of great tattooing and those who create them.
SF: The statement you made on your website was really classy. How has this experience made you more of an advocate for marijuana legalization?
JH: The differing laws between states can cause some serious issues for medical marijuana patients where in one state is completely legal and the next you can go to jail! I have personally experienced these issues first hand. I did not go to jail but I was doing something that is completely legal in my home state and paid the price for not abandoning my medical treatment even though the laws are behind the times.
SF: Speaking of marijuana legalization, measure 91 just passed in your home state of Oregon and pretty soon recreational marijuana will be legal there as well as Washington and Colorado. What are your thoughts on that?
JH: I am happy for the people who voted either yes or no; the people had their say in what we do as a state. I am happy that people are finally seeing that trying to police marijuana was a mistake. It wasted millions of dollars, clogged up the court system and people’s lives were ruined all because of a plant. Now law enforcement can go after real criminals and make a real difference in the community.
SF: As a self-proclaimed instigator, you’re always starting something. Last night you started a Kickstarter campaign to launch a clothing line. What kind of plans do you have for your Instigator clothing line?
JH: I am so excited and stoked for this project. I see this as an idea I’ve had for the longest time then when Ink Master happened and I “instigated” the way the game was played, I knew that I could bring that message to others. I think people want to “Instigate” and what better way than to show others you’re feeling and thinking. I see it becoming a way to open lines of communication between people. I think that by expanding on these ideals Instigate Clothing is going to be an awesome success story. Sure it started with a t-shirt but who knows where it will lead.
SF: Do you have any other plans or projects coming up that you would want your fans to know about?
JH: I am painting more now since I have my own studio. I am focusing on getting my clothing line up and running. Also I will be doing some guest spots and getting tattooed around the country.