Few can say that what they did as a bored teenager led to a successful tattoo business and colourful career. Pat Giles can.
Growing up in Windsor he and his friends would tattoo each other at lunchtime. Right away Giles says he was hooked.
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Three years ago, he opened Pattoos Ink, located in the heart of Windsor’s Via Italia.
“I’ve always liked Erie Street ever since I was a kid,” he says. “It was always really hustle and bustle (with) a lot of people.”
Giles wanted a bright, open and welcoming space in contrast to the stereotypical dark and hidden tattoo parlours. He found it with his colourful shop located at the corner of Erie and Marion Avenue.
“It was perfect. And we grabbed it as quick as we could,” he explained.
Giles has created a wide selection of tattoos, from small butterflies that might cover an ankle to large wizards that blanket a full back. Asked how much ink he has on his own body, Giles says it’s not a lot.
“I like to tattoo myself, so I can only tattoo one side of my body,” he said.
FIXING AN OLD, UNWANTED TATTOO
He tends to lean toward animation, cartooning and anything very colourful, but increasingly he sees people looking for help covering up an old or unwanted tattoo. The industry has evolved, he says, and both ink and needles have come a long way.
“We can paint over top of old ink or have it laser removed and then put an image over top of it that will completely get rid of it.”
An artist himself, Giles also envisions Pattoos Ink as a place for local artists to display and sell their work. The walls are full of paintings and there are racks of t-shirts with images from world-famous tattoo artists.
Pattoos Ink is also a family affair. Giles’ daughter has grown into the business and is now his apprentice.
THINKING ABOUT A TATTOO?
When it comes to people who have long considered getting a tattoo, Giles has a bit of advice.
“They’ve come a long way, and you probably will want to get one eventually,” he says.
“As soon as you get your first one, they’re so addictive…I’ve had people come in and say they’re only going to get one tattoo, and then they’re back for their seventh, eighth, ninth.”
If you are looking for your first or your tenth tattoo, you can find Pattoos Ink at 1101 Erie Street. You can find examples of Giles’ work on his Facebook site or Instagram .
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