There are infinite reasons to believe that cats are inherently evil, and we’re pretty sure tattoo artist Phil Hatchet is a firm believer in this as well. For starters, there’s that weird compulsion they have to swat at nearly everything in sight. A string hanging from your sleeve? Sure, why not? A piece of your hair? Absolutely. Then there’s their incessant howling that sounds more like a dying goblin and comes around with every full moon. You know, the ones that start at the 3:00 AM, and continue all night regardless of how much you spray them with a water bottle, and then come morning, it’s as if nothing ever happened. Like, “What howling? I didn’t howl last night. I have no idea what you’re referring to.” And we’re pretty positive it’s not just limited to house cats, as big cats have the same general look that they’re plotting to take over the world as well. Hatchet understands this completely, and it’s starting to shine through in his art. As his portfolio expands, his cats get more and more malicious.
Illustrating everything from big to small cats and everything in between, Hatchet knows his subjects well. Creating some of the most vicious felines we’ve ever seen, his work really is absolutely beautiful. Fashioning his subjects into samurai warriors, adorning them with barbed wire, and even a medieval flail, his cats are incredibly menacing. Everything Hatchet puts into his tattoos is carefully considered, especially the felines’ expressions. While each big cat is seen baring its’ fangs, the smaller cats are seen with blank expressions (presumably plotting to their owner’s demise).
The rest of Hatchet’s work delves heavily into American traditional subjects, all of which are made with impeccable attention to detail and artistry. Incredibly clean lines, bright colors, and a sense of somberness run throughout his work. Subjects like beautiful crying women, brilliantly executed skeletons, and gravestones all contribute to the tone of his work. Working out of Tahiti Felix’s Master Tattoo in San Diego, California, Hatchet has managed to make quite a name for himself among traditional artists. Regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of cats, traditional work, or maybe you’re just looking for an excuse to San Diego, Hatchet’s work is well worth the trip.