Art Studio Tattoos Bradford is a fairly recent addition to the Bradford community. Prior to its opening in June, owner, Guy Abergel had his studio in Aurora and before that, in North York.
After parting ways with his business partner in Aurora this past March, he decided to relocate his shop closer to his Bradford home, allowing him to spend more time with his family.
Abergel and his wife Ana moved to Bradford just over three years ago, looking for somewhere to raise their two young boys, Aaron and Miguel, ages three and four.
“They are both born Friday the 13th,” he shared. “I got to get that tattooed.”
Art Studio Tattoos is currently the only tattoo studio in town.
“It’s something Bradford wants,” he said of the town’s need for its own tattoo shop, noting that residents don’t need to drive to Barrie or Newmarket anymore to get inked.
Abergel has been drawing his whole life. One day, while shopping for art supplies, he came across an airbrushing kit and decided he wanted to try it out.
From there, he developed a passion for airbrushing and eventually found his way to odd jobs throghout the city, airbrushing murals and teeshirts. One job he found through the phone book, was at a tattoo shop in Concord, Ontario, looking for an airbrush artist to paint canvases.
"I was happening to look through the phonebook, and I had seen a tattoo shop that did airbrushing," he remembered. While working there, he became familiar with the tattoo industry and eventually taught himself how to do it.
He practiced his techniques on friends as well as grapefruits.
“It’s a good starter because it’s a round surface and it’s porous,” he explained.
“But it’s not like skin, because the grapefruit will suck up the ink, and skin you have to manipulate.”
He loves his job and says the hardest part about doing tattoos is the positioning and working with multiple dimensions.
“It’s tricky,” he said.
He enjoys doing realism and Japanese style tattoos.
“If anyone likes superhero or movie related, those are also my favourite,” he shared.
He works his schedule around pre-booked appointments, but wants people to know that he also accepts walk-ins, if he is not working on another client.
“I try to do as many as walk-ins as I can,” he said.
He says he has many clients who have followed him throughout his moves from Toronto, to Aurora and now Bradford. Some even coming as far as Mississauga and Pickering.
“I have clients from everywhere,” he said.
Before deciding to get inked, Abergel advises people to do a lot of research on “Both image and artist.”
When potential clients want to discuss a tattoo idea, Abergel invites them to come in for a free consultation to discuss and create a design together.
“So when they’re happy with the design, we start.”
The shop is located in the downtown core and open Tuesday-Saturday. You can check out their recent work , on Instagram @wiseguytattoo and can be reached by phone at (905) 551-4953 or on their Facebook page on their Facebook page here.