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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 »

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 »

Nick Baxter: Notes and Advice 9


By Nick Baxter “If you wish to make certain your painting will succeed, a minimum of three things must come from you–and only you. The first thing is knowing why you want to paint your subject, the second is an analytical grasp of what you see, and the third is the skill to control the process of painting.” –Richard Schmid This quote I recently came across, written by a wise and very accomplished alla prima realism painter, got me thinking about the underlying structure that comprises the task of creating art. Schmid divides this structure nicely into 3 primary, foundational elements. This striking simplicity belies the complexity inherent in most forms of art, especially realism, and that simplicity bodes well for artists and laypersons alike–the so-called “uncreative” types, those who mistakenly regard themselves as “not having an artistic bone in my body.” Here’s my interpretation of Richard Schmid’s quote, expounding on his 3 main tenets and how they (encouragingly) apply to everyone: “Knowing why you want to paint your subject” refers to concept and theory. In other words, the philosophical side of the craft, the ideas and meaning the artist is working with or wishes to communicate through their work (I’ve written a lot about this here and here, with a future post coming as well). This relates to the study of your own mind, to “knowing thyself” and formulating ideas about life and the world around you. I believe that everyone has ideas about themselves and the world around them, because our living brains ... Read More »

Possessed to Paint Art Show

By Jason Brown  S.T. Tattoo Studio celebrated their 15 year anniversary March 1st with a charity art show, featuring over 60 of the best artists in the industry. The show consisted of hand painted skateboards from throughout the country from some of our dearest friends in the tattoo industry, graffiti, and art scene. Despite the down pour that weekend we still had a great turnout. Over 200 people in attendance Saturday night, doors opened at 6:30 and the show went strong until midnight. Keeping track of 60 people, let alone 60 artists, was a feat in itself. Artists such as Bob Tyrrell, Big Gus, Chente Rios, Dan Smith, Josh Duffy, Allana Padilla, Jeb, Rich Pineda, Robert Atkinson, Josh Hagan, Dan Dringenberg, Johnny Quintana, Rick Clayton, Jimbo Phillips, Wes Humpton, Michael “Buck” Ramirez, Axis, and many more. Still we managed to get all the boards shipped out and returned with fabulous art work to raise money for the Heart of Los Angeles. (H.O.L.A) provides underserved youth with exceptional programs in academics, arts, and athletics, within a nurturing environment, empowering them to develop their potential, pursue their education and strengthen their community. S.T. Tattoo Studio in West los Angeles was founded in order to celebrate the fusion of punk rock and tattoos. Jason Brown and Mike Muir (Suicidal Tendencies) opened the shop together in ’98. After a few years, Brown bought out Muir, but the shop is still very much connected to the S.T. movement and the band. 15 years later the ... Read More »

Don Ed Hardy & Bob Roberts: “Exhibition Match”

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TCM #5: Available NOW!


Tattoo Culture Magazine #5 featuring Gunnar, Eric Inksmith, Shawn Barber and more is now available on the App Store at: Digital edition for all other devices/computer go to: Read More »

Nephews Skateshop + Gallery Presents Wild And Free January 25, 2014


Port Monmouth, NJ – January 17, 2013 Nephews Skate Shop + Gallery will be hosting WILD AND FREE, a group artist exhibit on Saturday, January 25, 2014 from 6pm to 10pm. The exhibit has been guest curated by Little Chris Smith. WILD AND FREE will feature all original works of local tattoo artists Erik Schmidt, Little Chris Smith, Pete Pederson, Chuck Ordino, and Bryan Keinlen. Nephews will be opening up their doors to the public to host an evening of inspiration, conversation and enjoyment. Erik Schmidt – “Erik has been tattooing in Neptune for several years after ‘doing time’ in Asbury Tattoo. He learned to tattoo under the guidance of Patrick Dean and Dave Shoemaker, following proudly in the tradition of those before him. His focus is clean, solid methodical tattooing, just like his mentors.” Little Chris Smith – “Little Christopher Smith hails from Sandy Hook, New Jersey.  He enjoys a radical lunch, surfing hella waves, skateboarding with buds, and entertaining hot chicks.  You will usually find his best girl, Leche (his baby dog), at his side when he is not tattooing at Neptune Tattooville, where he works for the most gnarly awesome bosses Patrick Dean and Dave Shoemaker.  Little Chris, or LC as his friends call him, prides himself on his ability to get wild and loves his mother like all radical dudes do.” Pete Pedersen – “Pete has taken the long road at achieving his tattoo skills. His background in art of all mediums has proven to be vital in ... Read More »

Watercolour Tattoos by Sasha Unisex

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Reblogged from: Russian (St. Petersburg) artist Sasha Unisex transports beautiful geometric watercolors on skin as permanent tattoos.  Find her works on Facebook and instagram.  @sashaunisex  *To see MORE and learn about some of the MOST AMAZING tattoo artists of our age, check out these deals from Tattoo Artist Magazine! There’s a reason tattooers themselves consider TAM the most informative and important tattoo magazine ever –   *Be sure to check out the digital issues of Tattoo Artist Magazine ON SALE NOW– JUST $2.99 – $7.99. TAM DIGITAL ISSUES And look at our $.99 collection of  TAM VIDEO Downloads available now! Either way, See the BEST TATTOOS from the BEST ARTISTS in the world. Add to your collection today! Read More »

Tattoo Age: Grime Part 3

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antennae of inspiration

By Marisa Kakoulas Source: A beautifully curated and styled collection of entomology-based artwork from around the world, Antennae of Inspiration: The Insect Art Project is yet another wonderful accomplishment of Jinxi Boo Caddel and her Out of Step Books. The cover artwork alone, by Jeff Gogue, is a perfect example of the stunning works on the pages inside.  In addition to images of tattoos, paintings, drawings, photography and other mediums, there are also engaging stories behind many of the works. Antennae of Inspiration is part of Out of Step’s Inspiration Art Project Series: beautiful hardcover publications designed to do exactly what the name says — inspire exciting interpretations of particular themes by presenting an ensemble of art in different mediums focused on those themes. This volume is all about bug art. Here’s more about it from Jinxi: “With a multitude of mediums included, our insect, snail, and arachnid friends are colorfully interpreted in over 1,650 different ways by 848 unique and talented artisans. This collective project brings together an artistic treasure trove of inspirational work to celebrate the wondrous world of compound eyes, aerodynamic wings, and versatile antennae. Antennae of Inspiration is a full color, hardback, coffee-table style, 480-page beauty of a book.” You can purchase the book online for $79.95. Such a compilation is worth so much more. Gorgeous examples of what you’ll find in the book are below. What is also particularly excellent is that a percentage of the proceeds of all book sales through Jinxi’s Out of Step Books goes to in an effort to ... Read More »

Trippin’ Balls Art Show: Toronto, November 28th


OPENING: NOVEMBER 28, 2013, 7PM-11PM RUNNING TO: DECEMBER 8, 2013 ………………………………………………………. Trippin Balls features paintings and print work by Toronto tattoo artists Alex Snelgrove, Kyle Hollindrake of Okey Doke Tattoo shop, and illustrator Paul Jackson. The exhibit features over a dozen bold and bright coloured vintage graphic designs, and vibrant psychedelic painted scenes pulled from the artists’ imaginations. We’d describe the works as nothing less then AWESOME!. HUNTCLUB will be displaying and selling original paintings, custom prints, and temporary tattoos. The opening reception is November 28 from 7pm – 11pm. The exhibition will remain on display from 1pm-7pm on weekdays until December 8 . About the artists: Alex Snelgrove has been tattooing since 2009. She has an extensive illustration background and continues to make art outside of the tattoo shop. Kyle Hollingdrake has been tattooing since 2001. He loves tattooing tigers, dragons, wizards, unicorns, motorcycles, buxom ladies, muscle bound warriors and anything else thats awesome. Paul Jackson is Toronto based illustrator and painter. For any inquiries regarding the show or gallery, contact Darlene Huynh at HUNTCLUB 709 College St. W Toronto, Canada  Read More »

Irezumi Japanese Tattoo Art Exhibition


Check out the IREZUMI art show at Space 15 Twenty in Hollywood, CA.  The show is up until October 20th. IREZUMI is a group art show featuring original Japanese Tattoo art works from around the world. Artists include: HORIYOSHI 3, BOB ROBERTS, HIROSHI HIRAKAWA, MUTSUO NAKABAYASHI, GANJI, NAMI CHANG, MIKE ROPER, MIYAZO, BRIAN KANEKO, SMALL PAUL & more!   Read More »

4 more days to check out Scott Harrison’s work in “The Pond, the Mirror, the Kaleidoscope


School of Visual Arts presents “The Pond, the Mirror, the Kaleidoscope,” an exhibition of emerging and established artists who graduated from SVA and are working in the Symbolist tradition. These “neo-Symbolists” make mythological and dreamlike pictures that challenge prevailing assumptions about narrative, subjectivity and figurative painting itself. As the exhibition title suggests, subjects may be environmental (“the pond”), societal and cultural (“the mirror”), or a post-apocalyptic, futuristic mash-up (“the kaleidoscope”). The exhibition is curated by Thomas Woodruff, chair of the BFA Illustrationand BFA Cartooning departments, and features work by alumni of that program as well as the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Department, which is chaired by Marshall Arisman. “Like the Symbolists, today’s neo-Symbolists are arguably eccentric and obsessive, and they use low-tech methods to tell new stories to new audiences,” says Woodruff. “They make art that is intellectually surprising, brimming with visions of the world as it is—or how it could be. And like the Symbolists, they are sometimes dismissed as ‘mere illustrators’ because they work in a figurative tradition.” More than 30 paintings, drawings and sculptures are on view at the Visual Arts Gallery from August 20 through September 14. Exhibiting artists are SVA alumni from the BFA Illustration or MFA Illustration of Visual Essay departments: Jean-Pierre Arboleda, James Bascara, George Boorujy, Michael Combs, TM Davy, Steve Ellis, Scott Harrison, James Jean, Mark Lang, Sakura Maku, Alison Moritsugu, Timothy Okamura, Mu Pan, Matt Panuska, Rachel Pontious, Lane Twitchell, Martin Wittfooth and Jason Bard Yarmosky. School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, ... Read More »

Ego Death Part 2: Just Fucking Do It!


So it looks like the Ego Death kickstarter project will be fully funded (thanks for your shares and support)! It’s still going until Wednesday at around 12:20pm Pacific time so I am doing some last mintue promotions to try and get more funds to make the show even better. I’ve never really put on an art ‘event’ before so I figure the more money, the better the show! I found myself strangely calm throughout the whole fund raising process. The stress didn’t set in until I hit my goal amount- ok, you got the money, now how the Hell are you going to make this thing happen? Where do you rent a bad ass coffin from, anyway? Actually, I have people helping me with this project and we did find a place to rent a coffin and Hearse among many other things. But as with anything I have never really done before, that spectre of anxiety starts to creep in: surprise, dumb ass- it’s your ego! Read More »

Chet Zar: Ego Death


By Chet Zar Ego Death- Part 1: The Concept From Wikipedia: “Ego death is an experience that is said to reveal the illusory aspect of the ego, sometimes undergone by mystics, shamans, monks, psychonauts and others interested in exploring the depths of the mind.” In the first few hours of the first day of 2013, I got a really good idea. That idea was the title and theme of my next solo show of paintings, Ego Death. Read More »

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