Straight lines and perfect circles. Forward-thinking designs. Hyper-realistic pieces. Pretty much any kind of tattoo you’re looking for, Jhay Colis has got you. While he prefers to focus on black and grey pieces and neo-traditional styles, he’s wildly a versatile artist. Colis works out of a small shop in Wharf Plaza in QC across the way from graffiti supply shop Carrot Bombing (which is probably why he recently did a Nemo design for one lucky customer).
Before he became a tattoo artist, Colis was a painter and performance artist, often doing public interventions focused on freedom of speech. But ten years ago, after getting his second tattoo, he got pulled into the world of skin art. With a cash gift after graduation, he bought his first tattoo gun and set about finding early victims to experiment on. After two years his work became presentable enough and he found an apprenticeship to bring his style to the next level. In late 2016 he finally opened the doors to Jhay Colis Tattoos, where he’s since worked alone with an apprentice. In the decade he’s been working, tattoo culture in the Philippines has exploded. “When I first started there was still a stereotype about tattoos, but people have become more open-minded now,” he explains. “Local events like Dutdutan helped a lot, but so did Western TV shows like ‘Miami Ink,’ ‘LA Ink,’ and ‘Ink Master.'”
His work has evolved into something of a catalog of recent styles. Paint splatters mixed with bold blackwork, small anime boxes, gothic realism. Colis has a steady hand and is versed in most of the latest techniques, so pretty much anything you’re looking for he can do. At Dutdutan last weekend, he even won second place in the neo-traditional category. Do not sleep on this man.