Phil Holt: For me, I think if I’m constantly studying and constantly trying to make things, then when the time comes where it’s like “Ooh, I need to say this,” I already have the formulas to say that. I’ve been practicing those words enough that I can articulate the whole sentence. But if you don’t ever practice those words you never get a chance to get into the conversation.
But then a lot of times what you’re saying is really only important to you. There are a lot of paintings that I could show you that I’ve done that you’re going to look at and be like, “eh, just looks like a study,” but to me it’s huge.
Matt Shamah: Right.
So then what happens is, if I gave it to you, you might not even get it. And I might not want to explain to you what it means. Do you know what I mean?
I actually do. I struggled with that today on the last tattoo I did. For me it was actually something and then, for the guy, he was looking at his tattoo like, “What the fuck is that?” You know? But I was like, “Well, I’m happy with it. See you later.”
So can we backtrack a little bit? Go into some old stuff?
So I sort of felt like, when you came to New School…you were there before I was, although I was guest-spotting at the same time. I would see your stuff, and that was kind of how I met you…
Back when I was in Chicago, and you were at Corey’s?
Yeah. So I would see your tattoos and I hadn’t seen Tim’s tattoos at that point in my life…
Yeah. But later when I saw them I thought that maybe there was some influence that maybe he had on your work. Do you feel like he was a pretty big influence?
(From the full article as seen in Tattoo Artist Magazine #24)
Phil Holt can be found at Red Letter 1 Tattoo in Tampa, FL.