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Tacoma’s ‘Grit’ Inspires Local Artist Jason Holland

March 3, 2016

Tacoma artist Jason Holland has always been interested in art. Until recently, however, it was a hobby; a side gig. After all, it’s tough to make it as an artist. Jason worked a regular job, and spent some of his spare time doing freelance work. That is, until he was injured on the job. Call it bad luck, or maybe a blessing in disguise, but being unable to work gave him the opportunity to seriously consider becoming an artist.


Jason has been drawing as long as he can remember. In the 2nd grade, he won an art contest by drawing a picture of a classmate. When he described the feeling he said, “That’s when I realized I could do this. I chose to draw a portrait of a friend, and when I was finished, the drawing actually ended up looking like him!”


Born and raised in Tacoma, Jason takes the inspiration for his art right from the city. His current project, a 3-piece series called “Grit City”, features the unofficial city mascot: the giant octopus. Why the octopus? “The octopus is mysterious,” Jason said. “It’s a challenge to capture, but it also provides many perspectives and opportunities for subtlety.” Jason just released the second piece in the series (available in our shop), and the third entry is forthcoming.


Grit City_1   Grit City_2


‘Grit City’, Jason explained, is how he sees Tacoma. The city has always been known as a blue-collar town; and he believes that “roll-up your sleeves” mentality defines the attitude here. Many in the city are against the proposed methanol plant, and he admires the determination shown by opponents of the project.


If you like the Grit City Series, you’ll be excited to know that Jason is planning another series, for which he has “a lot of ideas rattling around”. We love supporting local artists, and we are very excited to have these pieces, and hopefully many others, in our shop.


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