How did being on Ink Master affect your career?
Being on Ink Master was one of the best things to happen to the marketing of "Jason Clay Dunn" branding. It felt like I just put an amplifier on my business. In the sea of amazing talent out there it has given people the opportunity to tune into my social media and look at my work.
Do you think that television has helped educate people in what quality tattooing should look like?
I believe most artists might agree this is a catch 22 because it’s given the public just enough information to be dangerous.
What I mean is that television does not depict everything exactly how it works in the industry so often you will see people coming in to a tattoo parlor talking as if they have it all down trying to use lingo etc... or thinking a certain tattoo should only take this much or cost this much.
There are many variables people should understand and all artists are different and work different. I do believe it is heightening their ideas to what a good tattoo is and causing them to look closer and pay more attention to good lines/shading etc... I think this a good thing over all. So there are two sides to that coin.
Which tattooists have inspired or influenced your work?
As I have said many times, too many to really name names. I am looking at everyone's work real close and pushing my limits all the time. I like to steal from everyone and hopefully flip it so it doesn’t look like I took it directly.
I am not a natural artist with a natural style. My style has been developed over years of trying different things.
You disclosed that you suffer from both panic attacks and anxiety disorder. How did competing on Ink Master affect your condition, and what were some of your coping skills?
This was definitely a challenge for me since I am so used to having a sense of safety zones and areas that make me feel comfortable. For starters, I just had the challenge of getting there. I hadn't flown since I was 14 and I was in great fear of having panic on the plane. Not knowing what was about to happen on the show from one moment to the next was terrifying at times. I really dont like not knowing where I will be and what is going on etc...
There were times like the judging when I would take medication but for the most part I just tried to be friends with everyone and keep my focus on the moment. I think that is the most important thing to do is focusing on something to get rid of scary thoughts. I am not sure how, but I made it. Especially with the crowd, and being live and all, it was a big challenge. The whole thing was an amazing personal experience for me and now I know it was bigger than just me with all of the fans and friends pouring out their hearts to me and telling me what an inspiration I have become for panic sufferers all over the world.
Who knew going through years of extreme panic and anxiety would amount to a positive thing for my life. It was worth all the fear. I am finally living!
What challenge proved the most difficult for you on the show, and why?
Besides the challenge of not much sleep, I think as far as the tattoo challenges I was stuck with a few that I normally wouldn't have an issue with but the timing was a challenge.
Such as the scar challenge, I did not like putting such a small serpent on that guy and probably would have designed the whole thing different. I also felt I got the short end of the stick on a few other challenges that would have affected the outcome, but that’s the way it goes in TV land.
How did you become interested in the neo-Asian tattoo style and make it your niche?
I really became interested in Asian style work years ago and even in my entry into the tattoo world. I just love the simple imagery and the boldness and wearability it has on the body. I love working big so this has always appealed to my liking. I have grown up being more of a realist artist, especially using airbrush in some of the bikes and fine art I’ve done over the years, but there is something so beautiful about a full body well deigned piece that will not go out of style. Asian art also has many creatures and ancient meaning to the designs and this lends to a wonderful area to work in.
Which tattoo style have you strengthened since being challenged on the show?
I am not sure if an tattoo style necessarily has strengthened since I’ve been on the show. But I can say, being in the mix with a lot of talented artists and seeing what my limits are has helped me. I wouldn't trade any of that time with the other artists for anything. Worth way more than $100k to me.
Is there any one type of tattoo or style that you have been hoping to do but haven't found the right canvas for?
Not really I am really lucky that people are now seeking me out for full body pieces/back pieces / leg sleeves etc.. I do want to work on some more portrait work. I do it often I just don’t show them in my portfolio online usually as I am just niching my Asian work.
If you weren’t a tattoo artist, you would be?
I can’t see my life with out tattooing but I would love to be an inspirational speaker or comedian perhaps. Those sound like some of the hardest jobs out there to me. I just love the study of human behavior and have spent years working on my self and business. I also would mind being involved in marketing somehow.
Do you travel to tattoo conventions? What is your show calendar like for 2013-2014?
I am currently putting together a calendar for 2014. I have a few guest spots coming up in late November and Early December in New Jersey and Philly. I will have those dates available on my site. www.jasonclaydunn.com
Any new goals on the horizon?
Lots of new plans on the horizon for me. I am currently in the process of writing a book based on my struggles with anxiety and panic and talking about these issues from my perspective. A real down to earth book that I feel real people will be able to relate to and not just from a doctors perspective. I am developing my new online hangout show called "Talk Fu" I will be hosting and having fun with friends and celebrities in the art business and entertainment field. Just a simple show with fun conversation.
I am currently also working on a drawing book using all the Asian influenced art I do and want this to be a good reference book for all and in the tattoo industry. A go to book perhaps.
Besides standard T-shirt and swag I am always selling prints and fine art as well. I have an aftercare product call Metta that will hit the shelves soon, so keep a look out for that.
I can be reached through my website for all business ventures and inquiries