Creative Collective: George Chestak

by  Christian A. Brown  |  September 3, 2017  |     5 Comments

An undertaking of mine this year has been to celebrate the milestone of completing the Feasts series with a very specific memento: a tattoo. I had Leo draft up an initial concept and brought it with me when visiting various tattoo parlors, putting down many a deposit that I may as well have burned, and generally being frustrated at trying to convey my vision for a specific piece of body art. Six months and many failed connections later, and it really started to feel as if this was one dream that I couldn’t achieve. My fortunes finally changed in February when I booked a ‘last hurrah’ appointment at Chronic Ink. The intake rep (Brianne) was lovely, organized and professional and we discussed my idea and browsed through the work of artists whom she felt would be a good match. That’s where George came in.

Now artists are a curious bunch, and after having had so many bad experiences with tattoo artists beforehand, I wasn’t sure what to make of his short sit-down, check out the design, say it looked like something he could do, then move on. But what you have to realize about artists, real artists, is that as present as their bodies may be, their minds are always elsewhere. Mine, usually lost in prose and fantastic set-pieces. George’s, on whatever line-work I’d likely pulled him away from at that moment. As well, what initially sold me on his work was simply the “look” of it. Prose and voice can be striking and unique and this is doubly-true for visual art, since its message is wholly conveyed through presence. I was enraptured by his dazzling sword & sorcery and superhero designs; hero-fantasy darkened with a Gothic twist. George’s attention to detail and sense for arrangement was mind-boggling to me, as was the notion that I could have such art on my flesh. Another deposit was made, and this one never to be a source of regret, for this is the masterpiece now upon my arm:


About George

Originally trained and schooled as an animator, George now works exclusively through Chronic Ink bringing images to life on people’s flesh. One among the dwindling purists who take the time to sketch, on paper, his pieces beforehand, he is a true adherent to form: a touch of classic artistry that translates into muscle-memory as those lines are later transcribed upon skin. When not creating extraordinary body-work, George works on his own body, and is a fitness enthusiast and healthy eater. Thoughtful, attentive and obsessed with detail, he is one of the rare creatives both gifted and humble. If you can dream it, he can ink it.
(On a personal note, I can’t recommend him enough, and if you live and/ or plan on coming to Toronto for ink–he’s the one you want. Spots are in demand, though, so expect a bit of a wait.)


Where to Find George


Chronic Ink (GET INKED!)


  1. Julie Frayn on September 4, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    That is one gorgeous tattoo. How many hours did it take?

    • Christian A. Brown on September 4, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      4 sessions of about 4-6 hours each. We had a bit of time left over on the last session so he inked the outline for the leg (1/2 sleeve). Oh, and THANK YOU for setting me up with David, he’s the perfect match. We both agree that you must have magical powers. (David is an editor, for those not in the know–that made me sound like a swinger!)

      P.S. Do you have a release date for your latest book yet?

      • Julie Frayn on September 4, 2017 at 2:48 pm

        So happy that you and David will work together! That is so cool.

        I want my next tattoo to be bigger and need more than one session. And more colour. Except for one blue Kanji character, it’s all black.

        I am awaiting edits and beta reader responses. Once I get those, it’ll be a month out. So I’m targeting Halloween (ish). What I’m not good at is picking a date then making it happen on that exact date. Which is why I don’t do pre-orders and why I launch softly… 🙂

        • Christian A. Brown on September 4, 2017 at 5:07 pm

          Haha, I always get myself into trouble by announcing a release date too soon. Feast of Darkness, for example won’t be ready by December. Won’t be too far behind, though it just won’t make the date with another 2 rounds of editing ahead (1 down, at least–the big edit).

          And I’m not surprised to learn that you’ve already been inked–what, where? They are quite addictive, though I’ll stop once George has done this series of four. At least I tell myself that…

          • Julie Frayn on September 5, 2017 at 1:01 pm

            I got my first tattoo at 40… 🙂 Post-divorce rebellion of sorts. I have 4. An eagle in flight on my hip. A phoenix somewhere private. 3 Kanji characters intertwined on my left shoulder (Bear (for my son), Princess (for my daughter), and Bird (for me)). And I have one of my own design on my right calf, a bear and princess holding hands (the eagles wings are the skirt on the princess and the fur on the bear). The intersection of their hands makes a rough heart. That one is my favourite.

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