Coming up on his first decade of pushing ink, Phil Holt has paid his dues and put on some miles. Beginning in Florida, he then moved on to Ohio, Chicago, San Jose and back to Tampa, Fla. His well earned knowledge comes from more than just a few special people. From road trips to long winded telephone conversations he persisted and had the luck and good fortune to connect with many amazing individuals. Holt, in his unassuming way, feels privileged for those opportunities.
Lucky to have a wife who is in it for the long haul and kids who tend to suck up inordinate blocks of time as he focuses on their needs while hammering home a serious, no nonsense work ethic. There is no lazy layback slacker mentality goin' on here. He's an artist who feels that he doesn't spend enough time painting to do justice to the art form. Though, the thinking behind Phil's deeper pieces are kept under lock and key just for him to know. When he is at home he rarely spends time watching TV. Instead, he draws and paints with little time left for that ultimate luxury: reading. The list of others outside tattooing who he feels influence his work would include a lengthy array of folks from Stanislav Szukalski to [H.R.] Giger.
Phil Holt sees the ebb and flow of art imitating life and tattooing's effect on both as positive and negative. In an interview in Prick Magazine he said...
The more commercial tattooing becomes, the bigger the community gets. Which inherently brings more artists into the field, which breeds more fresh ideas into the community. It also brings in more and more people that simply want to cash in, kill it and move on. On one side it is art and on the other it is a paycheck. Obviously as an artist, one needs to feed oneself, but the paycheck should be a side effect not a driving force. Art should remain the core of the process. Making people happy, keeping yourself happy and attempting to become better everyday.
His hope for the future is to see tattooing pushed to a new level fueled by
the hard working throngs of tattooists out there today. Check out Suits Made To Fit as one such example.
Stop by and say hi at Phil Holt's studio, Redletter1, located in Tampa, Florida.