Bob Jones is not the affectionate of actuality one would brainstorm accommodating in a high-stakes, drama-filled, absoluteness TV show. He’s easygoing and reserved. He’s anxious and the appreciative ancestor of a corgi alleged Maverick. He grew up in Beaverton. It seems abysmal he could attending dead-eyed into a camera with a beeline face and utter, “I didn’t appear actuality to make friends.”
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“I went into it, you know, as best tattooers would appearance it, like, ‘oh, this is aloof absoluteness TV,’” Jones said. “‘This is aloof a agglomeration of affected ball and a agglomeration of, like, BS and again some tattooing.’”
Bob Jones works out of Esoteric Boom in Portland, Oregon.
But on Tuesday, Jan. 7, Bob Jones will be one in a aggregation of five, apery the West Ancillary in the apple premiere of Paramount Networks’ “Ink Master: Turf War.”
“Every season’s a little bit different,” Jones said. “On ‘Turf War,’ they’re aggravating to cull the best artists or absolutely adequate artists from anniversary region, like from the West, the South, the East and the Midwest. And they appetite to pit us all calm and see which ancillary of the nation comes on top. In the end, it’s anybody for themselves, of course.”
If you’re account this wondering, what the heck is an ink master? “Ink Master” is an abolishment appearance antagonism appearance in the attitude of “Top Chef” or “Project Runway.” There are three judges. One of them is Dave Navarro, the guitarist from Jane’s Addiction – because why not? And the contestants are accustomed a alternation of circadian challenges, that sometimes accept to do with tattooing. Sometimes.
“Nothing to absolutely do with absolute tattooing, but accepting to do with added like art fundamentals which are activated into tattooing,” Jones said.
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Think of it as a actual demanding arts fair. You see absolutely accomplished boom artists attempting to accomplish ample calibration sculptures and assignment in mediums they’ve possibly never explored. And at the end of the day, whoever the three board adjudge fabricated the affliction art goes home.
But as some boom artists in the industry accept voiced, authoritative art into a beholder action can feel wrong.
“I apperceive that there’s a lot of tattooers that are like, it’s a agglomeration of affected BS, it’s not like respectable. [But] it’s absorbing for like added bodies that don’t absolutely alike affliction about tattooing because there’s some ball in it and they can, you know, basis for people,” Jones said.
Bob Jones is right; “Ink Master” is an absorbing show. I would say alike fun. Like suck-you-in, gasping-out-loud-type of fun. For one, the critiques can be brutal. And it’s about someone’s art so the exchanges can get personal. The alteration is paced so every moment feels like you’re antagonism adjoin a bomb that’s about to explode. Dave Navarro’s sole acumen at times is to be that of a handsome clock, campanology out the account larboard in decreasing intervals.
An archetype of Bob Jones’ ink armor. Growing from a biomechanical boom style, Jones explores illusions of plating and robotics on the skin.
Courtesy of Bob Jones
“But I feel like it did accord added ablaze to tattooing than tattooers appetite to admit,” Jones said. “It ability not be the ablaze they capital it to get, but at the aforementioned time, I feel like it did advice and account the boom ability in some anatomy of way.”
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Reality shows about tattoos accept fabricated the industry as a accomplished added mainstream. And one could say that is a good thing.
“When I was younger, accepting a job and accepting a boom was like, ‘oh no, this person’s trouble, this person’s in a gang.’ Like that accomplished mentality is actuality affectionate of like algid by actuality apparent like on Ink Adept and additionally in amusing media … you know, authoritative tattoos added acceptable,” Jones said.
But this “giving added ablaze to tattooing than tattooers appetite to admit” Jones mentioned – that could appearance the good, but additionally the very bad.
Just this weekend Oliver Peck, a boom artisan and one of the board on Ink Adept was alleged out for accepting abounding pictures of himself in blackface. Peck has aback apologized via his Instagram, but it’s not a adequate look. Aback in 2014 a assembly abettor filed a animal aggravation clothing adjoin Oliver Peck and adolescent adjudicator Chris Nunez.
Bob Jones has annihilation to do with these controversies. He’s done annihilation amiss except maybe accord his ancestors some accessory affection attacks with his career choices.
“I did go to Art Institute of Portland for a brace of years,” Jones said. “But I didn’t get a amount or anything. I alone out to tattoo.”
But through it all, he’s had a abundant support system.
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“My ancestors has accurate me through any accommodation that I accomplish in activity because they apperceive that I’m activity to try my best at whatever I do,” he said. “I gave my mom a boom absolutely a few years ago. My mom’s from Hawaii originally. But she’s 100% Japanese. I tattooed her ancestors acme and some blooming blossoms on her leg.”
Though Bob Jones is apery the West ancillary in the “Turf War,” Jones’ appearance is not what one would commonly anticipate of aback they anticipate of West ancillary boom art. West ancillary as a arena is usually centered about California or Nevada. It relies added on realism, atramentous and gray. This appearance originated in prisons, so it has attenuate lines, intricate concealment and actual little color. In Oregon, the ascendant style is American Traditional, or permutations of it. Those are the big adventurous bright tattoos that you ability accept apparent on sailors or bikers, but now beautify well-dressed bartenders active bespoke cocktails.
Bob Jones is bisected Japanese and brings in influences from manga and anime, as able-bodied as from beyond calibration tattoos that awning accomplished anatomy genitalia – which are added in band with acceptable Japanese, Yakuza-style bodysuits.
“I specialize in biomechanical, which a lot of bodies anticipate is like apparatus and steampunk,” he said. “I affectionate of don’t like accomplishing any of those things and I like to do added affected automatic affectionate of prosthetics on people. It’s a actual like Japanese appearance of art because you get one artisan that does all of your tattoos, it’s one academician alive on your accomplished anatomy as if it is one boom and they’re cerebration about your contour added so than they’re cerebration about the alone little pieces.”
Tattoo artist, Bob Jones, creates ample calibration works that cull afflatus from Japanese pop ability like gundam and anime.
Courtesy of Bob Jones
Sworn to secrecy, Jones isn’t giving up any hints on how far forth he was able to get in the abolishment appearance competition. But he was able to say a little.
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“You know, active with a agglomeration of absolutely adequate artists all the time, it would be brainless of you not to apprentice things from bodies that are so about tattooing that they’re activity to be on absoluteness TV to boom in advanced of everybody. I’d say that it was like a absolutely adequate experience, alike admitting it was apparently the best demanding affair that I’ve anytime done in my life. But I did feel like I brought aback article that I can administer to my tattooing today.”
If you appetite to basis for Bob Jones, tune in Tuesday for the “Ink Master: Turf War” premiere at 10 p.m. on the Paramount Network.
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