Creative Collective: George Chestak

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!)