GEORGE SIATOS a local St George boy who got his first tattoo at the age of 16 from a bloke named Bobby formally located in Allawah. George was instantly hooked!

Being an ambitious artist he wanted to make it a full time career and was fortunate enough to meet Chuck (Body Art) in Gosford who gave him an apprenticeship. George then moved to Panania for seven years before establishing Tat2it in January 2008.

George has a New Age Tattoo point of view wanting to portray the art more as a fashion statement or self expression. He found the best way to do this was to encourage his clientele to bring in their art work and ideas, preferring to do custom work rather than work off flat sheets or the wall. George prefers to draw, redraw or freehand the artwork, reason being in his words, “It gives the artist an opportunity to be more creative.”

George believes in the consultancy process which involves the artist sitting down with the client, getting to know them and work out what they want, and for the artist to make recommendations. After sitting with the client a true artist can already see the finished product. Without consultancy time you haven’t a clue and this is when stuff-ups happen!

George specialises in religious, fantasy and horror which pretty much covers the full spectrum. Sydney’s St George area has a large concentration of Christian Orthodox background clientele and he finds himself doing a lot of cultural and religious tattoos.

George prefers the arms to tattoo as they are the easiest with the best result. The shape of the limb can also give the tattoo a three dimensional effect. The ball shape of the shoulder is the perfect placement for something nice and round.

George says, “You can have a good tattoo but if it isn’t positioned right it won’t look right!”

The next best part of the anatomy is the ribs. People don’t like the ribs because of the pain but George says he’s fine with it and doesn’t feel a thing…

I asked George what he thought about tattooing the fairer sex. He said that most are pretty good but he prefers the blokes, mainly because they can sit there a lot longer and get larger work done. Although, he says, there are now far more women opting for larger work.

George prefers the larger tattoo saying, “Larger is better due to the fact you can add more detail. Smaller you can still get a good effect but less detail; it has its limitations. The finer the detail the more I like it.”

George has never been a fan of the sheet covering studios walls or the cumbersome array of books taking up table space. He has replaced them with computers and monitors giving waiting clients a slide show of work. He likes the fact that the computer makes it easier for the client to find the inspiration or a design with ease rather than flicking through a multitude of books or sheets. Each computer is itemised into themes, making it easy for the client to find the appropriate design. If you want a dragon tattoo, you go to the dragon folder and that’s all you get, not a mixture of art or fantasy, just dragons.

A member of the PTAA George is a fan of the Tattoo Shows and Conventions saying it’s a great opportunity to compare work and to see where you’re at with your craft. The events also take the art to the people, giving more exposure.

George says the popular TV shows have contributed to the acceptance and popularity of the art making it more acceptable. This has lead to an insurgence of clients which would at one time never have thought about having a tattoo. He tells me that one of his more memorable jobs was a Frangipani on a 76-year-old woman.

On the credibility scale George scores well because he rides a 100th Anniversary Harley-Davidson Deuce.

Tat2it, 328 Railway Parade, Carlton; 02-9587-1126.