This very important write-up was sent our way, and we're passing it along to you. It talks not only about supporting tattoos within the military, but also highlights a local tattoo artist that we know and love by the name of Fozzi. Give it a read-through!
"Do not join the military if you do not expect to be sent on deployment," says Jay Holt; a 32 year old Florida-bred, quadriplegic veteran with military culture in his blood. After serving thirteen years in the army as an E-6 Staff Sergeant and Scout he settled down to become a family man. As he appreciates all that is around him, he reminds himself everyday, "When life gets you down, realize that it could always be worse." For Jay, being in the military brought lifelong brotherhood, camaraderie, provided extensive real life experience and brought him undeniable maturity. Although his life has changed tremendously, he admits if not for his injury forcing him to leave, he would still be an active soldier. The message he expresses is always, "Don't waste your capabilities when someone else is wishing they had theirs back." Getting tattooed has always been a love of Jay's and once he found himself retired, working on his bodysuit was fair game! Jay voices that he is a firm believer in not stiffening an artist's creative control when getting tattooed. "I don't believe in forcing an artist outside their comfort zone, you might not like the results." Although he is tattooed with a mix of different styles, the majority of them are American Traditional and have been done by Fozzi.
Fozzi is most well known for being an American Traditional Artist and full custom shop owner of Fat Ink Tattoo, in Wesley Chapel, FL. He divulges, "The traditional approach that I take in tattooing really expresses the old soul in me. I grew up drawing with my grandfather and talking about World War II and that really sparked an interest in me of the old times - the clothing, furniture, cars and tools used, and the art created by early America." As the years passed he made the transition from art on paper to skin. "I've always had an interest in the history of the American tattooer and I hope to continue to better the craft." But tattooing veterans is more than a coincidence for Fozzi, as he says, "I believe the vets that I tattoo are drawn to the style. The traditional approach really tells the story of the men and women who served. I feel it carries tradition from as far back as World War II, including designs such as eagles, flags, ships, and anchors as these tattoos were designed to hold up over time." He goes on to say, "Working with the veterans gives me a chance to hear their experiences and share the stories passed down to me from Pearl Harbor." These clients affirm his appreciation for their diversity and the stories they share.
With love for the craft and this country, the two came together like peas in a pod. When illustrating Fozzi, Jay announces, "He is a great artist but he's an even better friend." Finding an artist who you share a connection with yields trust and comfort bringing a positive collaboration when creating art.