Our featured tattoo artist selected for the month of June is Phil Robertson for his flawless meshing of organisms with each other and machines.
Phil became interested in tattooing at a young age after seeing faded green numbers tattooed on his grandfather’s arm, possibly from the Korean War. As he grew up, he started skateboarding and playing in punk bands, so tattoos were pretty much everywhere he looked. He had been making art since he was around 5 years old, so he took the next step. “Tattooing seemed like a good medium to make the art I wanted to see in skin.” He has now been tattooing professionally for 13 years.
Phil Robertson got his apprenticeship G and G Tattooing in Willoughby, Ohio, a shop that has been open since 1969. “It has a lot of history, they even had an eagle in a big cage back in the 1970s biker tattoo era.” Phil now works at Reserve Tattoo in downtown Cleveland, a private appointment only studio. “It’s a beautiful space with a large salt water fish tank to stare at while you get tattooed.”
The styles Phil specializes in are bio-organic, bio-mechanical, and organic floral art. “I try to get the tattoo to flow and morph the body part that it’s on.” He also like tattooing nature based realism.
The artists that have been most influential to Phil Robertson are Guy Aitchison and Aaron Cain. His reason is that these two artists were the first to dive head first into bio-mechanical tattoos. “They developed the whole tattoo style of it, we owe those artists everything.” Phil also says that Guy has become a close friend of his and he has learned much of what he knows about art and tattooing from him. Phil is still actively being tattooed by Guy, also.
Phil’s advice for someone looking to get their first tattoo:
“I would make sure you do your research and look at portfolios. Don’t settle for mediocre street shop work. We, as an industry have surpassed that era a long time ago. Get a custom tattoo made for you and don’t pay attention to how much it costs. It will be with you for life.”
Phil’s advice for tattoo artists who are just getting started:
“Draw a lot, don’t copy other artists’ tattoos, and show some respect to your elders and the tattoo industry. Don’t just rehash Sailor Jerry tattoos, come up with your own ideas and draw, draw, draw. Also don’t be an asshole.”
Reserve Tattoo Co.
668 Prospect Ave, Cleveland Ohio
***DON’T FORGET TO MENTION YOU SAW HIM ON PERFECTTATTOOARTISTS.COM!
Images © Phil Robertson