The human mind is capable of astounding things.
There are so many things in the world that an individual can do. Take art, for instance. Tattooing to be specific. With the proliferation of the internet, a new cohort of media companies, watched keenly by traditional media outlets, began to shape the tastes, interests and hobbies of a new generation who were consuming information from not just TVs, print media and the radio, but also through videos, audios and written content on the internet.
With multiple people from multiple cultures from around the world interacting with each other, it wasn’t long before common themes began to become global. Think, the hip-hop culture spreading all over the world. Think, influencers transcending national borders. Think clothes, tattoos, style and music spurred on by social media. India, already a diverse nation, is no stranger to this phenomenon. Professions that couldn’t even be thought about a decade back, especially in the arts domain are now mainstream.
The art of tattooing, like a lot of things, is very old, going back at least three to five thousand years. You can decide to get one done after considering many factors like its acceptability among your parents (in case they’re orthodox), friends and work colleagues (in case you work with people who think tattoos promote devil worship or some other unscientific reason), while dreaming about designs that adorn the bodies of your favourite celebrity.
We spoke to Navi Mumbai’s first tattoo artist. His interview excerpts are below.
Tell us about yourself, what do you like most about your field of work?
Tattooing is a combination of art and science and is a very unique experience. It requires a different kind of skill to master and perform this art form. Here the best part is that the canvas (the human body) itself becomes an endorsement of your art as it moves. This art form is about an artist who has to carve his or her art with needles on people’s skins. It also involves a personal touch as tattooing speaks a lot about the persona of an individual that can be in the form of personal dedication, a personal story or ambition. This art form requires a lot of brainstorming sessions so that the client gets the most out of his or her tattoo design and hence makes this art form a very challenging one. Tattoo artists should be very sound in art and also very knowledgeable about body chemistry and hygiene. This makes tattooing very unique, as a combination of a lot other than just being an artist.
Your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before choosing this field?
Before jumping into tattooing as my career, I was working as an art assistant in a TV show called Mad from POGO. I pursued art as my career and possibly did everything just to become a tattoo artist. This was the only focus that I wanted, to make tattooing as my full-time career.
How did you land up doing what you do now?
From a very young age I was inclined towards art and drawing and starting up is a very different kind of art form which I was really fascinated about. So I was always keen on making this as a career. The best part about tattooing is your Canvas is always on the move, an art form which beautifies the body of a person and tells a lot more about the person which made me feel that this is the ultimate job which I wanted to be in. In my young age, I have seen tattoos right from my grandparents, biker clans, wrestlers and celebrities which I was always fascinated about. This created my interest more towards tattoos. That’s when I thought, if I am good at art then I could manage to do tattoos and it will be like following my passion and making it into a profession. I always knew art is a base so I pursued my art course from an art school for 5 years. With that, I also made sure to keep up with all the technical information required for tattoos
If not the current profession, what would you have been?
I was keen on becoming a tattoo artist way back in my school times and I have not jumped into this career by watching any tattoo shows on TV or following any trend as this job is supposed to be a little cool one. So I thought of becoming a Tattoo Artist and I have not thought about anything else as a second option
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
My day starts a little late as I and my team work late at night. So I could say we are a little late back because we work when everybody is sleeping. As soon as I enter my studio, I mostly try to repair our setups and clean the studio so we could welcome the clients and make them comfortable at the shop. We call up all our clients who have booked an appointment and be prepared with their designs beforehand so we can start with the process of tattooing and have enough time to help them with most of the information required for the tattoo. Sometimes when there are no tattoos, we teach our students about the restoration of their tattoo machines and tattoo equipment. We also pre-prep on the artwork of existing clients so that we can give them some options about their tattoos. In spare time we do provide training to the students and the aspiring tattoo artist. So most of the day is busy doing all the stuff for the clients, students and artists.
Any regrets till now? If yes, will you like to share it with our readers?
I am really thankful that I took the right decision to become a tattoo artist at a very early age. It was a peak time of my career and I really don’t regret choosing this as my profession. Tattooing has provided me with everything I ever dreamt of and I am really proud of being the first tattoo artist in Navi Mumbai. Absolutely no regrets about pursuing such a beautiful career which I am really passionate about.
If you were given a choice of meeting any person you want, who will be that person?
If this question would have been asked 5 years ago, I would have had a really long list about who all I wanted to meet. Obviously, this list would have included a lot of tattoo artists but thankfully visiting most of the conventions happening internationally, I have met very powerful and crazy tattoo artist. I have met more than 500 tattoo artists who were in the list I was excited to meet and have collected each and every artist greeting cards and have stuck them on my work desk. We receive a lot of compliments by the young tattoo artist as they see their favourite artist cards on our counters and they feel astonished that I have got a chance to meet and have a conversation with one of their favourites or the legend tattoo artist in the world
What is the biggest misconception that you think people have about you?
The biggest misconception about people towards tattoos are that they would not get a job or they will not have a proper family life and it will be really difficult for their career. But I feel times have changed. I have personally done tattoos on people who are at the managing level and the CEO level. We have done tattoos on doctors, engineers, bankers and many others from different fields. So I feel getting tattoos will always motivate and boost your confidence.
Any message that you want to send to your readers?
My message to all the readers will be, following your passion and dreams and working truly and humbly towards it is always going to give you back a lot more than what you think about. Everybody should follow their dreams and put efforts to achieve it. I will be a small example to motivate and boost. I will be really glad if my article helps anybody to start something of their own as a career.
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