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An Interview with Phil Holt

Phil Holt interview

By Nicki Kasper Lets start by telling those who don’t know you who you are, what you do, where you’re located, etc… My name is Phil Holt. I live in Tampa Florida with my four kids. I own RedLetter1 with my friend Jeff Srsic. We have three of our friends share the space with us where we all tattoo 5-6 day a weeks. Nick Stegall, Chris Reed and David Bruehl are the best shipmates Jeff and myself could ask for. I also sell my handmade pigment under the name “Old Gold Small Batch”. The batches are still “small” but it’s really gotten busy so the facility has grown and I have a lot of small batches brewing nonstop. How long have you been in the tattoo industry and what’s your tattoo history?  How did you come up in the trade? … My brother started bringing tattoo magazines around when I was about 12 years old. I think he was mainly bringing them around because back then, in the magazines like EasyRider’s you could see bikes and boobs… Not that I wasn’t impressed with boobies but I became mostly interested in tattoos. Then in high school I really sunk my teeth into art and tattooing.  I started making tattoos in 1996. In 1998 I moved to Ohio on a sink or swim mission to become a real tattooer and basically I moved every 20-24 months for a decade. In a surreal sort of way, every shop I worked at had an amazing ... Read More »

Quickie With Brooklyn’s Myles Karr

Myles Karr tattoo artist

By Crystal Morey I am a huge fan of Myles Karr. In a time where recycling ideas and styles is par for the course, Myles’ work stands out as fiercely unique. Plus he’s funnier that doorknob humpin’ monkeys… Where do you work and what’s your poison? I work at Three Kings Tattoo Brooklyn and I don’t understand the poison question part of this. Is this in regards to drinking, like a familiar way of talking about booze, because I take my booze and poison consumption fairly seriously…I also don’t really like people knowing what I consume, I often eat my breakfast in a brown paper sack, that I shove in my mouth as quickly as possible. I sometimes think about making a giant paper mache head that I can wear, so I can eat and drink in piece with a very neutral expression on my face…all the while, I’m disgusting and consuming underneath the veneer I created for myself… How would you describe your tattoo style? My tattoo style is best described as a failing comedy routine performed by 2 elderly men, one of whom decided right before the routine started that he hated the other comedian, and really doesn’t want to be there anymore…he keeps dropping his cues, and the punch lines just kind of hang in the air like a cloud of fetid smoke. If its a color tattoo, the smoke would be persimmon and the background would be paynes grey and there would be a lot of teal ... Read More »

An Interview with Dan Trocchio

Tattoo Artist Don Trocchio

By Nicki Kasper Tell us a little bit about yourself… Where are you from?  Where do you work? etc… I’ve been working in NYC since I moved there in 2000, however I’ve been doing a lot of traveling the last couple of years and six months ago I moved to Providence Rhode Island.  I’m still tattooing in NYC for a week or two at a time and it’s still primarily where I make my living, tattooing at Three Kings Tattoo in Brooklyn.  I think I’m going to move back in spring, or start traveling again. Were you primarily traveling here in the states or were you also working internationally? Any specific places on your bucket list? I was in Madrid and Barcelona, both amazing places. I love Spain. And to Bremen, Germany to see some good friends and do a little work. I took the train from Spain to Germany, I prefer trains. Looking out the window and being grounded is best. When i got back to the states, I took the train from NYC to Colorado, then to SF, then Portland. The West Coast train was awesome, the star light and the Zephyr. Though the train through the Midwest, I would skip… Not a very exiting landscape from the window of a train. I really want to go to Thailand, or any of those beautiful places where you can survive on 2$. Grand Canyon and Crater National Park are definitely on my bucket list, too. I’ve been staying put at the ... Read More »

The Justin Harris Interview

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By Kevin Miller http://www.tattoosnob.com I’ve wanted to interview Justin Harris for a while now. Justin was always down, but we could never work out the details. Well it’s finally happened, and I’m stoked. Justin recently moved to Philadelphia, and has been pumping out new work. Keep reading to hear how Philly is treating Justin, his advice for new tattoo artist, who you’re sleeping on, and why he changed his iconic Instagram name. Tattoo Snob: Let’s get the basic information out of the way. Who are you, where do you tattoo, and what other information do people need to know? Justin Harris:My name is Justin Harris, I currently am tattooing out of Deep Six in Philadelphia, PA. TS: You have an interesting story about your Instagram username, and why you eventually changing it. Can you tell us that story? JH: A lot of people have asked why the change in the name. People commonly referred to me as one of the “Bullies”, specifically @greenbaybully. I still and always will be a bully for life. My counter part Bobby Johnson (@glendalebully) started it and it stuck. As for the change in the name, it was mainly do to with separating from the IG persona and real life. Using the bully name was a good way for people to remember who you are. As any business traveler knows, names are hard to keep track of. We’ve all been there, and with that being said – it also can be a down fall having an alternate name. People would often ... Read More »

Forrest Cavacco Video Interview

Forrest Cavaco Video interview

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Jeff Gogue on attracting large scale tattoo clients

Jeff-Gogue

By TattooNOWTV Jeff Gogue, internationally known for his famed original tattooing style and amazingly popular tattooing seminars, talks about how to attract large scale tattoo clients including backpieces and sleeve tattoos. Jeff chats about how the Shige and New Skool Collective backpiece books and his own experience getting a backpiece have help open clients vision. He is also asked if he feel like his work plateaus, and about learning to tattoo better. Whether you are a tattoo collector or just someone vaguely interested, this is great advice from one of the worlds top tattoo artists. Avoid tattoo mistakes that are easy to make but difficult to fix! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aTqv6… to watch this 2 hour episode in its entirety which also featured famed tattoo artists Jeff Gogue and Nikko Hurtado who answered a number of fantastic questions via Skype and Canman who was in house and talked about his style and what he learned from Guy Aitchison’s painting critiques. Check out these other Gogue clips! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DJys5… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO1rep… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG-Ogj… Originally streamed from http://www.OfftheMapTattoo.com in Easthampton Massachusetts http://www.TattooNOWTV.com     Read More »

Victory Cult with Josh Egnew

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by Nicki Kasper Tell us a little bit about yourself… Where are you from? How long have you been tattooing?  What shop are you in now? Etc… I was raised in Florida, ended up in NYC where I’ve been for the past 10+years. I began tattooing just about 9 years ago and have been at Three Kings in Brooklyn for the last 6 1/2.  How would you describe Victory Cult, and what was the inspiration?  I’d call it sort of a sophisticated street wear brand. I grew up skateboarding and playing in bands, so I’ve always had a strong inclination towards graphics and the merch game. When I began tattooing It was just a natural progression to carry that on. With this project, I have begun with the basics (t-shirts,hats,hoodies,etc.), but I aim to eventually expand that scope. I also wanted to create a project that would treat the artists involved respectfully. I know a lot of us tattooers have been approached by companies that look at us as cheap labor, so I’m just trying to keep this all in the family and have everybody treated correctly. You know the old adage, if you want to do something right, you have to do it yourself.   How long did you sit on the idea before you decided to get it rolling?  Probably not long enough. Haha. I had always thought it would be fun to create a proper brand, but I had never taken the idea all that seriously. It took a ... Read More »

Propaganda Podcast: Joe Swanson with Josh Hagan

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Rotary vs Coil Machines: Joe Swanson with Clinton Crider

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Joe Swanson with London Tattooer Mil Martinez

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My Chat With Greece’s Heartbeat Ink

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By Marisa Kakoulas Having a Greek father who once told me that tattoos would never be accepted in the motherland, it’s with true pleasure (and a bit of “I told ya so“) to see a tattoo publication rise to international popularity, which happens to come out of Greece. HEARTBEATINK is an online tattoo magazine in English and Greek with excellent photography and videos, and thoughtful interviews with tattooists, musicians, and collectors. I’m honored to be among those collectors interviewed by the magazine’s most excellent editor Ino Mei. Our Q &A was just posted today. I first met Ino in person at the last NYC Tattoo Convention, where she beautifully captured the scene in her convention coverage for her mag. Then we got to hang at the London Tattoo Convention in September, for which she also took wonderful images and video. There, we found a moment to chat about a possible “tattoo gene,” the comparisons between tattooing & plastic surgery, tattoo law, and what happened when my dad did find out I was heavily tattooed (and more). It was a fun talk. Here’s a bit from it:  How did you get into tattoos? Me:  Ed Hardy once told me in an interview that he believes that there could be a “tattoo gene.” It made a lot of sense to me because, when you ask somebody who has a visceral response to tattooing — who sees tattooing and has an actual physical reaction and is attracted to it — that is something that’s ingrained; people can think back and say,  “Well, I’ve ... Read More »

Campfires & Carbon Episode 8: Justin Hartman

Campfires & Carbon’s mission is to have and promote real, unedited conversation with local tattooers.  Here’s their podcast of a conversation with Justin Hartman from Urban Art Tattoo in Mesa, Arizona… http://www.campfiresandcarbon.com/podcast/E008.mp3 Read More »

Dusty Neal // Anvil Made

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Interview by Jordan Tinney. http://www.falsecathedrals.tumblr.com Instagram: @jordandgrs Reblogged from: www.swallowsndaggers.com I’m going to say this only once: don’t blink. Dusty Neal is an American tattooist based out of Ft. Wayne, Indiana at Black Anvil Tattoo. This might sound a little fan-boyish, but Dusty is one of the best and most under rated in the game today. A fastidious worker, incredible painter and even more amazing tattooer. I recently had the chance to conduct a short interview with Mr. Neal; if you’re in his area don’t sleep on this guy. Jordan Tinney: What really got you into tattooing? Dusty Neal: I’ve always known I wanted to make art for a living, but I never really thought about becoming a tattooer until I was already in college and getting tattooed when I could. It was really hardcore and metal that made me interested in getting tattooed though. Just being into all that stuff, seeing tattoos on bands and at shows really made me think about tattoos. I didn’t grow up with it around me in any other form and I guess that’s what attracted me to it. When I came into it finally I was so naive about what good tattoos really were, and over the few years I’ve been tattooing my tastes and thoughts on it have changed so very much. JT: What year did you start tattooing professionally? DN: I made my first tattoo in January of 2006. JT: Did you have an apprenticeship in the traditional sense? DN: I apprenticed under Donny ... Read More »

Tony Nilsson Interview

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Interview by Ricky Williams Source: www.swallowsndaggers.com Tony Nilsson aka Tony Tox first came to my attention when I noticed Ricky Williams (The Family Business) was doing a guest spot at his shop, Blue Arms in Norway. The work Tony was turning out and the work coming out of the shop in general really blew me away. It’s great to find awesome tattooers flying under the radar in this day and age. I’d been looking to start a new interview feature with various tattooers interviewing their friends and this seemed like an ideal start. Ricky and Tony were kind enough to oblige me and below is the interview that came of this request. Ricky Williams: Hey Tony I’d like to say thanks for doing this interview with me for the Swallows&Daggers blog. I was lucky enough to come and work with you guys in Norway. How’s the shop going and what’s the story behind Blue Arms? Tony Nilsson: Were absolutely honoured to have you over buddy. I had a great time when you came over here; you’re a funny guy Ricky! Yeah the story behind Blue Arms is basically that the three of us (Christoffer Wøien, Morten Transeth and I) needed a place to work at the same time and were buddies from some time ago so we started looking at a place and it all went super-fast so after just a couple of days we signed the contract for our new studio, then we started looking into what we should ... Read More »

DEMETRA MOLINA INTERVIEW WITH LORETTA LEU

Loretta Leu

By Marisa Kakoulas Reblogged from: www.needlesandsins.com Influencing and inspiring the international tattoo community for generations, The Leu Family transformed tattooing, pushing it further into the realm of a fine art — and they’ve done so with openness and kindness, spearheaded by their wonderful matriarch Loretta Leu aka Y Maria. Our friend (and wine expert) Demetra Molina of The Hand of Fate Tattoo Parlor sat down with Loretta at the Montreal Art Tattoo Show in September and spoke about a myriad of topics, from Loretta’s travels, early days tattooing, her adorable dog, and the freedom of getting older. Here’s a taste from their talk: Demetra: I asked about all of the travel she had done over the years with her husband Felix and their four children. Was that a difficult undertaking? Loretta Leu: I had traveled a lot already in my life with my mother, I had traveled a lot with Felix before we ever got into tattooing. We didn’t start until we were thirty-five, both of us. Tattooing was really a Godsend; it saved our asses, because we always lived an alternative lifestyle, with four kids, already. So, it was always difficult finding ways of surviving. We didn’t want to go work in a shop, we found things to do, we made crafts, we went and lived in Spain, cheaper places, we would find ways of being able to carry on, the way we wanted to live with our kids…you know, without working for the man kind of thing…but it was always difficult. We got a bit of help from my ... Read More »

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