STEREOTYPICALLY speaking, one would assume fine art is associated with the more highbrow types and tattoo art with the grungy or rebellious.
It might be rare for these people to cross paths, and rarer still for the artforms to intertwine.
Belgrave's Symon Elvey proudly straddles both camps and has combined his two passions, which most people would place at opposite ends of the social sphere.
"Whenever I had discussions with tattoo
artists about fine art, they'd call me a wanker. And whenever I'd speak with fine artists about tattoo art, they'd call me a hoodlum," he said.
"I had to make a place that's a conduit for both."
The 40-year-old father of two and his wife Kath have opened Inklenation, a business in the heart of Belgrave that doubles as an art gallery and a tattoo boutique.
In the front section, local artists can exhibit their work for free; out the back, locals can be tattooed.
Some people who come in to get a tattoo are "confused" when they walk into an art gallery but are impressed with what they see,
After graduating with a degree in fine art and sculpture in 1996, he still harboured a strong ambition to work as a tattoo artist.
By incorporating fine artwork with tattoo art he hopes to rid the "tough guy mentality".
From this, Inklenation has already set up a strong female client base.
Elvey makes reference to the "untapped potential" of artists in the Yarra Ranges and likens the area to another flamboyant area in Melbourne.
"It's Brunwick with a better environment ... we've got the hills vibe without the pretentious people."
Local artists are encouraged to apply to exhibit their work at Inklenation.
Elvey said exhibitions of work are completely free. The gallery charges a 30 per cent commission on sales.
For more information visit inklenationgallerytattoo.com