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What is up my Tattooed and Non-Tattooed people! This is the world famous Tony G. Ha-Ha I kid, I kid, but soon to be world famous. I am here to let you know a little about myself and how my journey got started in this wonderful world of tattooing.
Let’s start with a little insider information about myself. First and foremost I am a God loving man, without the blessing that God has given me I would not have the talent I have to create the amazing tattoos on all you beautiful people. I am very thankful everyday for the favors God has given me. One of the many blessings I have received is being a father to three beautiful, smart, funny, confident girls (Yep 3 girls). Each one is a blessing and they have all changed my life for the better. Each one has a unique personality and I am super proud to be their Dad.
Now let’s dive in a little deeper into my world. I am proud to say I am a first generation Florida Boy, that was born and raised right here in sunny Fort Myers. Lee County is a great place to grow up. There are so many fun outdoor adventures to be had all year around. It makes me super happy that we Floridians get to share all that there is to explore in this beautiful County with all you northern folks.
Time to get down to business. My journey into this amazing, crazy, and fun industry all started when I was 15 years old, back in the late 90's. That is when I walked into my first tattoo shop. That moment is when the sparkle in my eye for tattoos appeared. That tattoo studio just so happened to be one of Bill Hannong’s tattoo studios. Yea, yea I know what some of y’all are thinking “what is a 15 year old doing in a tattoo shop?” Just so you know I was very charming back then (still am). I won the hearts of all of them. I made sure I made them laugh and did whatever task they asked of me just so they would not kick me out.
Over the next few years I got to know Bill, Theresa, and all who worked there very well. Also, they got to know me and my family. During these years I developed my art skills a little so one day if I was lucky enough I would be able to call myself a Tattoo Artist. In high school I made sure I took art class. Some of the projects I was assigned to do in art class I would take to the tattoo shop to get the guys there to critique my artwork. They would tell how it looked to them and would give me some pointers on how to improve.
Once I became of age, I inquired about the process of learning how to tattoo. I was told I would need to take a four year apprenticeship. I obviously wanted to be part of all that. When I asked if Bill would take me on as his apprentice, Fortunately for me I was not told yes right away. After about a year of me being persistent and showing everyone I was serious , Bill finally agreed to take me on as his very last apprentice. This is something I am very honored and proud to be able to say that I was Bill's final apprentice. The waiting on that yes helped me fully understand and appreciate the opportunity I was given to be able to be apprenticing under Mr. Bill Hannong. Thank you sir!
I started my four year apprenticeship in mid 2001. I am proud to say I have never tattooed for anyone other than Bill. Also, I have never been tattoo by anyone other than Bill or the Tattoo Artists that have worked for and/or apprenticed under Bill. During all these years I did take a few years off to explore what other things I could accomplish. Bill had a very big part in helping me become the man I am today. Because of his Love and guidance I felt I could conquer anything. Along with being a Tattoo Artist, I was a Deputy Sheriff for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for over 5 years. I resigned in good standings. I also learned about the HVAC industry, the Pool Service industry, along with a few other industries. No matter where I went I always felt something was missing. My heart and passion is for tattooing and I wouldn’t want to work under anyone else other than Mr. Bill Hannong. Now I get to tell people “I have a little information about a lot of careers but tons information about tattooing.” Here is to another eighteen plus years of tattooing.
Well that is all you are getting out of me today. Y’all are going to have to come visit the beautiful sunny Fort Myers Beach and stop to get a tattoo by the World Famous Tony G at Fort Myers Beach Tattoo Studio. Thank you for taking the time to read a little bit about me. I can hardly wait to meet you or see you again. While you’re sitting in my chair looking out to the ocean, I’ll tell you some more of my crazy adventures. As Bill would say “Thanks for looking.”
World Famous Tony G (one day)
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