Tattoo Artist Bio
Joseph John Phillips was born in Cardiff 1987, the much loved bastard son of a pair of Barry Town Crackheads.
Early life was certainly colourful. The oldest memories, were filled with drawing and creating as a way to find solace in imaginal worlds and to draw the attention of his wild family.
Age 10 saw him graduate to painting toy soldiers with his Dad and halfway though awkward teens, he would trace and colour Dobbin of Lledrod’s tattoo flash; The highly skilled biker technician was a true wizard and was a massive inspiration, setting a high bar that Joe didn’t dare approach until 18.
Drinking age and his first tattoo brought it all back. A legendary Cardiff punk tattooer helped him get started, and within a couple of years he was running his own shop at 237 Holton Road, Barry.
Early business was a bit of a manic, exciting shambles. Highs were partying around Europe as a tour tattooist, and dropping acid whilst working at Download festival with a bunch of Welsh tattoo legends. Lows included weekly stints with a stomach full of snakes- from dirty wizz- and the collapse of his shop team, with all the following drama you might expect. Still, there were lots of lessons in resilience and respect to be had, and after running the shop for 2 years, he passed the business on, to follow a lover to the Channel Islands.
Here, a 9 months residence at Black Star was a real turning point. Working with the brilliant Nico Dray and solid as fu*k Matt Burdett, he finally had the hands-on tutelage that he’d been yearning for. With immense gratitude for an updated skill-set and the imminent birth of his eldest child, he returned to Barry.
A new-born and a year in-and-out of a few of South Wales’ finest shops, put a real fire up his ass and when he opened Joe’s Custom Tattoo studio in 2012, he was determined to build a solid home. It took a divorce and the help of some great friends to get there and in 2014, Vere Street Tattoos was born.
Meeting his banger of a Mrs-come-shop manager, Charl, bringing in some excellent artists, guesting and hitting the convention scene connected VST with an amazing community of proponents of the British Tattoo renaissance! Within this scene he found his own voice with psychedelic-space and continues to explore Creativity and push the boundaries of his bio-psychedelic syntax.
Now, the new Vere Street Tattoos builds on this and is Joe’s greatest work to date. A massive collaborative effort to fulfil the vision, of an inspiring container in which him and his motley community get to take their craft to greater and greater heights.
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and if you'd like to dive deeper into Joe's fine art and Psychedelic space, you can find it here, at: