Walking into Electric Tattour, you’re was met by the music of Underoath, the smell of a sanitized work place, sample art on an old brick wall and Metallica action figures hanging on the opposite brick wall still in their boxes.
Then there is the owner, Anthony Patorti, preparing his equipment and inks to finish a sleeve tattoo. Patorti has been a traditional-style tattooist for three years and has tattooed over 100 people in the past year alone. His shop is in Whitehall, N.Y., but Whitehall wasn’t his first choice.
Patorti wanted to open up shop in Castleton where he lives, but two things were holding him back: Vermont health regulations and bad blood. In the state of Vermont you need to work as tattooist or apprentice for three years prior to applying for a license. He originally worked as an apprentice at Body & Soul in New Jersey for three years, but a falling out with ownership left him without their needed endorsement.
They refused to validate his apprenticeship, he says, out of spite. But this setback hasn’t discouraged him one bit.
“I have to tattoo in New York for three years now. New York has no criteria to be a tattoo artist,” explained Patorti as he worked on the sleeve. “The way for me to get a license now is to work three years and pay taxes to be a legal business and to have proof I’ve been tattooing legally.”
So, although he wanted to have a shop in Castleton, because of New York’s loose regulations, he set up shop April 1 in Whitehall to get his documented experience. But after three years he wants to be in Castleton. He said to be able to keep tattooing and earning money, he had to move.
“It’s illegal to tattoo anyone in Vermont without a license and you can get a $2,000 fine,” Patorti continued. “New York isn’t were I wanted to be, but I gotta be because I have a family (to support).”
Patorti said he hopes to open a shop in Castleton and keep the Whitehall shop too, splitting the work from both shops. He hopes that if he has a shop in Castleton, he’ll be tattooing every day, like tattoo artists in other college towns in America and Vermont.
“It’s like a little city during the school year and makes it a prime location and college tattoo shops make a killing,” said Patorti, who currently does all his tattoo work by appointment and has been working primarily on people he knows.