stephen Holmes

Portrait of Steven Homes (1992-2021)

The Portrait of Steve Holmes

Jacob Holmes with portrait of his brother StephenI love the adventure of creating portraits. I always have. Some portraits stand out, not just because they are amazing subjects, fun to paint, but because the story around their creation moves, touches and inspires me.

They say you can tell your barber anything. I remember, when I had hair, I developed treasured relationships with my barbers, over the years. My uncle Dominic was a barber all his life. My wife was originally a cosmetologist. Barbers have always held a special place in my heart.

Steven Holmes and his two brothers discovered being a barber to be a most fulfilling vocation. The relationships they build inspire them to new heights. Their high standards of excellence feed them and give their lives meaning. So much so, that Jacob Holmes and Kevin Young started a franchise, called Barbers Inc. Jacob’s brother, Steve, worked at the family business as one of their finest barbers. Currently, there are six Barbers Inc Solons throughout South Carolina. The three brothers have been an unstoppable force as their business has grown, inspired by doing impeccable work, creating personal hair fashions for their customers and building meaningful relationships along the way. The bonds the brothers share spill out into the many customers they serve. The future was bright indeed. That is until Steve stepped in front of the bullet intended for his apprentice, fired by a drive by shooter. Steve’s life was taken on February 13th, 2021. It was a senseless tragedy, far too painful for words.

Jose Crespo tile

Jose Crespo’s work in progress

So as a tribute to their brother’s life, Jacob and Kevin are putting original portraits in each of their solons, to remember their fallen hero. Every year on February 13th, to honor his life and legacy they will dedicate another portrait. This is the second portrait to be created.

Artistry is a Quality I Share with Other Professionals

One customer who loved Steve is Jose Crespo, the young man who has created a masterpiece in the master bathroom of our home. As Jose was working on our project, he occasionally poked his head in on my studio, where I was painting Steve’s portrait. Jose and I have formed a bond built on a mutual admiration of our common work ethic and the artistry and craftsmanship we both put into our product, very much like the impeccable work ethic that connected the Holmes brothers. It turns out, Jose had formed that same bond with Steve Holmes. Those who have honed a craft and turned their work into an artform share a special connection. As my portrait of Steve took shape, Jose began to recognize him. He thought to himself, “could that be my barber?” But he didn’t speak up, because the odds of his customer painting his barber just seemed so astronomical. Plus we both had work to do.

“Whatever you do, do it well.” Walt Disney

When Jacob came to my studio to see the finished portrait of his brother, Jose was busy putting the finishing touches on my bathroom. After Jacob and I communed with the portrait and told stories about his brother, we took a moment to admire Jose’s fantastic workmanship and how it was very similar to their work as barbers and mine as an artist, in terms of the integrity, craftsmanship and artistry. As he was leaving, Jose could no longer restrain himself, asking me if the subject of the portrait was a barber named Steve. I said yes and explained the circumstances of how the portrait came about. Jose ran to Jacob’s car, who was just about to pull away. Jose couldn’t believe his barber, his confidant, his fellow artist, his friend was no longer with us. In tears, Jose gave Jacob a deep hug and told him how much his brother meant to him. Here were three people, dedicated to their work, in awe of the amazing connection they share, relationships built on integrity, dedication and love.

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