The Early Hours Presents: Phil America

     Welcome back to the second interview in the new series from The Early Hours. This time around we spoke to Phil America, a working artist, writer, and activist from California. Phil's built an impressive body of work, touching on topics of class, race, and gender in the modern world. He has lived, worked, and exhibited in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Africa, with new work bringing him back home to Sacramento, where he's tying all 28 museums in the city together through temporary sculptures. Phil has given 3 TED talks, started numerous organizations to help the impoverished here and abroad, and has collaborated with the United Nations, International Labor Organization, World Vision, and much more. 

Needless to say, Phil is doing things and we are always looking forward to what he is doing next. Phil reached out to me several years ago simply asking about the brand, and after losing touch for a moment, I received another email from him out of the blue. He had just gotten out of a..."forced vacation" in Thailand, and was eager to get into some new work. I had been working on our disposable camera project, having a little trouble matching people up for the first edition. Phil put me in touch with some of his associates, and the first edition of The Early Hours Photo Project was born, featuring himself and Parisian tattoo legend Cokney. It's always refreshing to talk to him, and I hope you enjoy this short interview with him below... then check out more of his work at

1. Time is the most valuable resource. Do you agree or disagree, and why?

I think thats a tough question. Time is relative to whomever is observing it and through what lens so I would say it really depends on who you're talking to and how they define time. I think time is valuable but for me it is not the most valuable resource. I’d say it’s motivation or ‘heart’.

2. How DO you spend your time?


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3. Ideally, how WOULD you spend your time, if money were not an issue?

I would spend it exactly how I do now, more or less. Money is not a restraint for me. Not because I have lots of it but because I will work with what I have and make of my situation what I can.

4. How do you plan to get from where you are, to where you want to be?

I am right where I want to be- always. Where I want to be is forward and I'm always moving in that direction so as long as that continues I know I am ok.

5. What is the one biggest time wasting habit or thing you endure in your life? Could you reduce the impact of this if you wanted to spend the time doing something productive instead?

I don’t know that I ‘waste’ any time. My moments are spent focused on things I want to accomplish, create or achieve.

6. What one thing do you indulge in that takes significant amounts of time that others might see as a waste, but you see as a blessing or integral part of your life?

Communication. I stop to talk to people a lot and stay in touch with people I care about, even if other people see it as a waste of time. Those relationships, even if only existing in a single conversation, tend to be what propels me the most. 

Hope you enjoyed the second installment from this new series. Check back weekly for more...and check out the shop in the mean time at


Never Hesitate, Never Surrender