Schuylkill County’s local hotspot has become Hard Knock Ink located at the corner of Columbia and Berne Streets in Schuylkill Haven, PA. Fulfilling the artistic request of eager customers’ wishes of their fantasy tattoo is more than a job but a pleasure and a sheer delight to the owner Phil Sonon and his assistant Krisi Brady also known as “Miss Doodleface”.
Hard Knock Ink is not only home to Phil’s dream of owning a tattoo shop, let alone a high traffic tattoo shop. It is also home to artwork, t-shirts, bumper stickers, window clings and various art shows. He has always been an artist. He has been drawing since he was a child and tattooing since he was out of college, about twelve years ago. Plans of expanding Hard Knock Ink should be seen this summer. Additional retail space is in the making in the adjoining building where you will be able to buy artwork, Hard Knock Ink Merchandise and the sky is the limit!
“Matryoshka” is a Russian Nesting Doll Exhibit that Hard Knock is hosting on May 28, 2010 from 7-10 pm. The exhibit features 20 local artists that will be hand crafting dolls ranging in sizes from ½” to 6″ tall. This includes painting, carving, pencil coloring, sculpting, clay work and wood burning. The show also offers a silent art auction, live art demonstrations, prizes, giveaways, food and refreshments. Admission is totally free to the public!
“Noose Babies” was another first for the crew at Hard Knock Ink. This was actually their first event held on September 11, 2009. Customers were able to purchase a doll of their own paint and dress it to be judged and awarded. Phil actually ended up setting his on fire, intentionally of course. Entrance to this event was also free, and food and refreshments were accommodating. There was also a mannequin for visitors and artists alike to paint freely.
Phil’s dream of opening a tattoo shop of his very own came to reality in August of 2008. His tattoo apprenticeship was done at the former Dark Horse Tattoo shop located in Williamsport, Pa. His apprenticeship lasted for about two years before he started tattooing on his own. Each customer that comes into his shop today, has a special wish of a certain design. Phil and his artist Krisi both accommodate their clients with one hundred percent attention. They put their artistic abilities in to work full time. Phil will customize any creation needed by his client and so does his assistant.
He tells me as he is drawing his client, Marcus’ tattoo of “Invader Zim”, that he’s always loved drawing and seeing his tattoos on someone is another “expression of that love of art.” His talented creations go “everywhere that person goes” “everyone gets to see my artwork. I never do flash, I re-create it.” Marcus tells me that most of his tattoos, “about six or seven total came from this shop. Only one or two was done elsewhere.”
May 26, 2010. Interview Phil Sonon owner Hard Knock Ink, Schuylill Haven, Pa.