Victoria's oldest commercial street is getting inked up  — a character statement surrounding retailers hope will bring a little more attention to the area.

The artwork, designed by tattoo artist Gerry Kramer, is going right on the crosswalk at Fort and Blanshard Streets in downtown Victoria.

Kramer, who owns the Tattoo Zoo just up the street, says the process of designing a tattoo on a person and on a street is almost the same.

"It is about taking the space and working with the given constraints and finding something that fits, that still kind of has a little bit of movement and flow and works within a budget," he explained.

Kramer is keeping it monochromatic with white paint on asphalt to ensure businesses and property owners remain happy.

He says creating the semi-floral, tribal street tattoo has been surreal, especially since it was his first tattoo not designed to go on a person.

"This is scarier, because potentially it could last longer than a tattoo. I don't know how long crosswalks last for," he said 

The idea for the tattoo originated with the Fort Street Business Association. The funding came from 30 surrounding businesses, a grant from the city and a contribution from the Downtown Victoria Business Association.

The ink job is expected to be completed in a few weeks.

To hear the full interview listen to the audio labelled Downtown Victoria street gets ink done on CBC's On the Island.

With files from Keith Vass.