More Ink than a Squid: Hooligan’s Custom Tattoo Now Open on Duckworth

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Locals thinking about their next tattoo have one more option as of this week: there’s a new parlour at 116 Duckworth Street, that specializes in custom drawn tattoos. It’s called Hooligan’s.

Run by artists Don Callahan & Andrew Fizzard, the shop is finding its footing this February, and plans to have an official grand opening the first week of March.

Don and Andrew met during Don’s apprenticeship at a shop Andrew used to run. “He mentored me throughout my apprenticeship, “Don says, “and we connected quickly, having very similar beliefs in the trade practices, such as the standards a shop should maintain.”

For Don, the standards he wanted to achieve were a revelation from time he spent travelling in Germany. “One of my best tattoos, and personal experiences, came from travelling throughout Europe, particularly Berlin. The opportunity to visit, and to get tattooed there was amazing enough, but the level of quality, combined with the standards at which the shop operated, was far superior to anything I’ve experienced in North America.”

While they share a business vision and work ethic, they differ in specialties. “I personally do a lot of black work, and realistic black and grey,” Andrew says, “though I also enjoy neo-traditional tattooing a great deal. Whereas Don really has a hard focus on traditional.”

Andrew says he’s been drawing since forever, “but I got into  painting and illustration when I was working at a cinema, running the projector. The owner there would paint these Bob Ross style landscapes that I thought were amazing. After that I was a landscape painter for a stint, haha.”

From there, Andrew took an interest classical painting, “and one thing led to another.” Including one of his own tattoos! “I have a portrait of Michelangelo the sculptor on my arm,” he says, “because Michelangelo has been constant inspiration for me. (He probably has been for everyone else also!)”

Don has been drawing, painting, “or creating something artistically on various mediums” since he was very young too, and pairing his desire to create art with “being able to interact with amazing people everyday” is what led him to a career in the tattoo industry.  Don describes his specialty as “bold traditional style tattooing.”

As for the shop name, Hooligan’s Custom Tattoos, Andrew says it came about while he was having a chat with his friend, Cassy Drake. “We were going over all these different names and trying to find one that had the right vibes. I suggested Scalywags, and she suggested Hooligan’s. When I heard it I thought: That’s exactly it!”

Hooligan’s Custom Tattoo is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 11-6. “We offer professional tattooing in a positive, clean environment,” Don says, “and we proudly offer original, custom work executed with unbeatable passion and friendliness.”

Echoing that, Andrew adds “We are a 100% hand drawn custom tattoo shop. I hope that we bring something that people really enjoy, because we really enjoy what we do.”

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Chad Pelley

Chad Pelley is an author, songwriter, and journalist who wrote for publications like the Globe & Mail and The Telegraph-Journal before founding The Overcast. Now he spends 25 hours a day keeping up with his email, and has no time to be his former self.

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