I got the pleasure of interviewing Mark Longenecker, an artist in the running for title of “Ink Master” on this season of the show that has to do with rivals and his long time adversary is Ryan Eternal.
Igarin Idarraga: Hello Mark how are you?
Mark Longenecker: I am great, how are you?
Igarin Idarraga: Great thank you for asking, it is a pleasure talking to you, and Ink Master Rivals has to do with someone you have a rivalry with, is that correct?
Mark Longenecker: Yes.
II: And who is your rival?
ML: Ryan Eternal.
II: And how long have this rivalry been going on?
ML: Probably a few years before getting on the show.
II: All right, and what caused this rivalry to arise?
ML: Just from taking him to conventions, and hmmm…I felt he was taking advantage of my connections and my knowledge.
II: And how are the living conditions during the competition as you all compete against each other?
ML: How was it living together?
II: Yes, while you go head to head on these challenges.
ML: The living conditions are pretty crazy since we all have to sleep in the same room, we all had to take a shower and get our food, I don’t know if I am answering your questions correctly.
II: Yes you did, thank you. And how are things going with Emily, who seems to be talking trash to everybody?
ML: In the show she was pretty hard, not so much with me, but you know she is just a fierce competitor and I don’t really blame her for playing the game, I just think she is trying to get in people’s heads and playing the game.
II: So you don’t see that as her actual personality, but instead a way to play the game, get into people’s heads and throw them off their game?
ML: Yeah, just her way to compete.
II: Don’t you think that such attitude can turn back around you and put a target in your back?
ML: Yes, for sure.
II: And she does have a target on her back according to last night’s episode, well Tuesday night’s episode?
ML: Yeah right now, the way things are looking everybody wants her off.
II: Yes that was evident even from the judges and after all it is a fierce competition and you don’t need the added pressure?
ML: Yes, exactly.
II: And what about the other competitors, how do you feel about Josh and Jason, who were there on a different season?
ML: I feel they had a major advantage you know…it took me a while to adjust there figure out, if I was going tattoos that I like or the judges liked and to figure out what they wanted to see out of me, just took me a long time to figure that out, and as far as Jason and Josh they already had that out of the way. They had a lot of loses in their season and now they don’t on this season. Josh told me he had the record for loses on season three, the record for being at the bottom at least, not loses, but just being at the bottom just a big difference between both seasons, so they pretty much knew what was coming compared to the rest of us.
II: Yes, so you feel they have an advantage in the competition?
ML: Oh yes, major advantage.
II: And how do you feel when Christ said he had pretty much given up, do you feel he should have gone for saying that alone?
ML: Uh, no, at the end of the day I think the worst tattoo should send you home and everyone gave him a hard time about that attitude, but at the end of the day is not the attitude that sends you home, but the worst tattoo, the judges really have to look at that.
II: This week’ s challenge had to do with working on the gluteus maximus and you all were concerned about working on that sensitive part, correct?
ML: Yes, it is a very painful place, it is misleading some people think it is not going to be painful, but it actually is one of “the” most painful places in the body, and for us to be judged on technical precision in such a difficult part made the challenge even harder.
II: What about Aaron, do you think it was wrong for him to skip one day and chose to tattoo the next day and be safe?
ML: He said he couldn’t tattoo and I believe I said on the show that nothing would stop me no pain in the world at that point in the competition, I would have to tattoo through the pain, I guess it’s just a professional decision he made, I guess he figured he is not going to give her the best tattoo he can, but I think, that was a hard decision to make, because what is more important, you staying in the competition, or trying to do the best tattoo in that condition and you knowing is not going to be that good, so it is a hard decision to make, if it was me, I would have worked through the pain and do the best tattoo.
II: For those watching, it seems unfair that he sat for one day while you guys worked hard for two days?
ML: Yes, it was kind of unfair because at the end of the day they had to pick the worst tattoo and they only had one for him to be judged on and they did not even consider him to be in the bottom, so it did feel like he got somewhat of a pass on that day.
II: Where in Florida do you actually work?
ML: I work in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
II: What is your specialty?
ML: What I do is called Tropical Style, it is just basically a cross between Tropical with Japanese backgrounds.
II: All right Mark, thank you for speaking with me today and wish you the best of luck in what remains of the season, you have a great day.
ML: You do as well, thank you.
It was an insightful conversation with this great tattoo artist whose work can be found at www.endlesssummertattoo.com and www.marklongenecker.com