21 EMERGING TATTOO ARTISTS OF INDIA
Author | Krutika Bhanushali | Aliens Tattoo
Body art to Indians isn’t new. We’ve been witnessing different forms of it since the beginning of the time. Today, it has evolved to such an extent that it’s potential has no boundaries. It wasn’t more than 10 years ago, when there were only a few tattoo legends who were well established, setting benchmarks for all the newbies in the industry. And now, tattoo industry isn’t just about those legends and their styles but so many emerging artists with their own styles who are doing wonders time and again.
These artists are going way beyond the traditional tattoo genres and creating new styles and quality quotient in the industry. We’ve seen so many such artists growing from scratch and thus, we’ve been wanting to share our take on the most dedicated and talented artists.
It’s really difficult to pick a few but this isn’t the end :)
Allan Gois has been proving to be that one example who inspires youth because of his dedication. Losing path is common in our early 20’s and that’s what was about to happen to Allan. Allan Gois, a student at Maac animation institute, had lost his interest in animation and thus, joined Aliens to explore other forms of art. Ever since, he has never looked back. Allan has picked up amazing tattoo skills at an unbelievable pace. He wears many hats at Aliens today. From managing all the activities, client’s requirements to delivering best tattoos and excellent customer service, he aces at everything.
It would be safe to say he had soon become Master Sunny’s right hand. Talking about Allan’s specialisation, this guy kills it in every style he adapts. Watercolour, portraits, realism and dot work are some of the styles that fall under his forte. Allan has been winning awards in conventions and tattoo festivals over the years.
There comes a time when you want to do some self analysis and search the deeper meaning of life. When you aren’t content with what you do and just want to snap out of it and go back to your roots – something you once loved and wanted. Well, that’s the approach Karthik has on life. His initial inspiration comes from his folklore and his hometown Mangalore, when he used to interact with the artists who carved, painted and that’s where he found his growing interest in contemporary style. Snapping out of his corporate career he began tattooing in Bangalore and there was nothing that could stop him.
Karthik Bengre, now, is a proud owner of Sculp tattoo studio in Bangalore which is four and a half years old. The artist has his own signature style – the compulsive abstract outlook on every piece. Compilation of various styles and genres is his forte. “Art is my soul food and I hit rock bottom to be where I am today, happy and content” says the artist.
Sometimes you just get into something while trying to get rid of something else. Debanjali Das says that “tattooing just happened out of frustration, trying to get rid of the corporate environment”. Although Debanjali was never into something extremely different, she was always inclined towards art and fortunately had full support from her father. She took her education from the Government school of art and crafts Kolkata. From being a professional graphic designer she switched her career to tattooing in pursuit of more creative freedom. She started her career in tattooing at Calcutta Ink under Tshering where she learned her basics. She then got a chance to work with Lizards Ink’s team and learned most of her skills there. The artist gives Lizards’ team the credit of moulding her tattoo art. Today, Debanjali owns her own Studio called the Guiding Monks. The artist says that her greatest inspiration and idol in the tattoo industry is Jeff Gogue.
People don’t always realise the potential of their long gone interests and let them fade away. But this bud didn’t let it all fade away. Another growing tattoo artist with tremendous potential is Amritraj who merely considered sketching in his childhood but sooner happened to realise his growing interest in it and started working on it. It was only an interest which could at the most turn into passion until Amritraj thought of learning tattoo and took up a course in tattooing from a freelance tattoo artist in Mumbai. His hard work reflects in his success today. The artist does a great job combining realism with his own abstract concepts. Amritraj owns two tattoo studios in the central Mumbai (Mulund and Thane) by the name Insane tattoos Mumbai.
Nobody really knows what one would actually be once grown up. You imagine a lot of things as a child but things don’t always go the same way. Life is uncertain, but if one’s optimistic it could be serendipitous. The story of Navjot Singh somewhat explains that. Navjot, an art lover, had always been inclined towards it but had never considered it as a career. Due to some financial crisis in the family, he took up a job at a temporary tattoo making studio where he learned to make temporary tattoos. Thinking about tattooing seriously as a career he chose to take up an apprentice at Mr Manjeet Singh’s studio, it would be safe to say he fell into the right hands. He is now a part of Manjeet Tattoos’ team in New Delhi and takes pride in working in one of the top 100 studios in the world. Navjot aces in realism and new school tattoos.
Some individuals are born with art and somehow they manage to keep their talent alive. Kshitij always considered art as a career option. He, however, shared interest in football and wanted to make it a career but unfortunately had some injuries and because of that became more sure about his artistic career and took up tattooing. “Tattooing is a way to express himself” says the artist. Kshitij started tattooing as a freelancer and over the years developed his skills. He then worked with ACE TATTOOS where he got his major experience and now owns a tattoo studio called RADIANT TATTOOS. He shares that his major inspiration during his learning years was from Ketan Saindane (Inkholics tattoos), Yogesh Wagmare (Leo Tattoos) and John (Jads Tattoos). The artist likes to work on creating different textures, portraits and looks forward to create his own style in the tattoo world.
Kovit Rai is an amazing young tattoo artist from Nepal who started his tattooing career in INKS INC. Nepal. Pure love for traditional art is what has made him tattoo artist by profession. He shares his keen interest and passion in tattoo art from an early stage in life. He has learned and refined his art under the supervision of amazing masters, Binay and Karma (reputed tattoo artists from Nepal). He wishes to travel and explore his true inspirations and ultimate destiny of life and through his journey of exploration he wants to spread his art through tattooing.
Art is his way of life and there’s nothing that he does which doesn’t have an artistic essence. Inheriting the art genes from his family, Raghu always had a strong fascination towards art. When he saw his grandma having a super cool hand poke tattoo, there was nothing else he wanted to do more. Getting inspired from nature and even people in his day to day life, he finds tattooing a unique way to give perspectives a form. His first eureka moment was when he joined Lizards tattoo studio and worked with the finest artists.
Raghu isn’t someone who has limited his work to his own venture and town. He keeps traveling and loves guest spot opportunities around the nation. However, when he’s back in his hometown, he is seen tattooing at Sculp tattoo studio.
We all have had our own share of hard times. Well, that’s when you learn in life and growing out of it creating your own path is what you gotta do and that’s what counts. Here’s to our calligraphy artist, Pramod! From being inspired by a friend’s tattoo, he started small, doing tattoos on his friends in 2011. He got his tattooing knowledge from Sandeep Kadam and shares Yogesh Waghmare and Gaurave Sarwara being his true inspiration. A major turning point in his tattooing journey was when he was offered an apprentice at Yogesh Waghmare’s studio. Pramod aces in Devanagari calligraphy and has its unique style of etching scripts.
A born artist, a dentist by profession, took up tattooing as a career only a couple of years ago and who would say so looking at his tattoo work. Here’s about Abhijit Varpe, a dentist who started tattooing at his dental clinic initially. There’s no limit to where one can find their true passion and Abhijit has proven it. He set up his own studio about a year ago in Borivali (Mumbai) called Moths and Owls, which he runs along with his wife Esha and is doing great specialising in illustrative realism. Abhijit shares that tattooing was more of an indulgence to him and he is mainly influenced by works of Niki Norberg
Here’s to another artist whose passion for art made her want to see her art on walking canvas and not on dead walls. “Tattooing is a way to believe in life and being a Tattoo Artist for me is “MERAKI” meaning to do something with Soul, creativity and love, to put something of yourself into your work” says Jessie. The thought of tattooing first occurred to her when she was on her vacation in Goa and came across a temporary tattoo artist. Totally unconvinced with his way she thought of doing it herself. The person sitting next to her happened to be a tattoo artist from Brazil. Well, he was a tattoo artist for real. That Brazilian artist made Jessie think of tattooing seriously as a career and Bingo! Nothing kept her away from tattooing thereafter.
Jessie shares that a major turning point in her career was when she attended a workshop at Aliens Tattoo and her conversation with Sunny Bhanushali was an eye opener which made her realise that tattooing isn’t something that you opt for to get rid of something else. It’s meditation and her learning entirely took a different turn from that point. Today, she is a proud owner and artist of Verve Tattoo Studio which she started 5 years ago.
Life is uncertain and some tragic events in your life can drag you down. If you are smart and sincere enough, you’ll soon see a second chance coming to you. Our truly inspiring artist, Akash Chandani is the best example for the same. After the loss of his father at an early age, Akash had no choice but to give up on his dreams and do what’s best to support his family. His journey from selling clothes at the foot path to being a salesman at woodland and many other outlets somewhere lacked his dream, his passion – the art.
Getting his first tattoo from a local fair, he realised he could do so much better in the tattoo industry. That’s when he considered tattooing and practiced his first tattoo on his own arm. He started tattooing as a professional artist in 2012. Akash shares that the workshop held at Aliens Tattoo by Sunny Bhanushali and Mukesh Waghela helped him change his outlook and learn better techniques. His forte is colour realism and is best known for religious and portrait tattoos. The artist is greatly inspired by Mike Devries and Sunny Bhanushali from India.
PINKU BIJOY GHOSH
He is a man with experience of almost 10 years in tattooing. Being a jewellery designer at his father’s jewellery store, he kept his art alive. In 2008, he professionally began tattooing under Kevin Andrade (owner of Shoryuken Tattoo) and learned his major tattoo techniques from him. He started his own venture in 2013 by the name INKKRAFT TATTOOS in Hyderabad. The artist though belongs to Mumbai. Pinku Bijoy shares that there have been two major turning points in his life – the first when he decided to take up tattooing as his career which changed him as a person altogether and second when he started his own studio INKKRAFT TATTOOS. His major inspiration comes from his teacher Kevin and idols Phillip leu from the Leu family of Tattooing. Pinku has had hands on experience on every style of tattooing and is now exploring the new abstract freestyle which he also calls trash polka.
It all started from hand poking. Subhojit once got a script hand poked on his wrist by his friend. Subhojit, being an art lover, fell in love with the concept and it wasn’t long enough that he started doing hand poked tattoos on his friends. We all get fascinated by some or the other thing every once in a while, don’t we? And then there’s nothing else you want more at that moment. Subhojit felt obsessed with this medium of art and dug into the history of tattooing. An interesting fact that would make us all want to salute this artist is that he is a self taught artist. His only teacher was YouTube. Learning from YouTube videos of Sir Anil Gupta – specified the artist, he learnt all his basics of tattooing and handling the equipment.
Talking about Subhojit’s background, he has a BSC degree and a qualification in animation. However, tattooing was something he fell for and continued to learn seriously. Pinku Bijoy Ghosh and Niloy Das has been his inspiration. Today, he is a proud owner of Koru ink based in Hyderabad.
Coming from an artistic family, art is in his genes. His mother herself was an artist. Sachin Sherekar, however, opted for a safe source of income and took up a banking job at first but what’s life when there’s no thrill, not everyone can gain happiness merely by having a safer source of income. Sachin soon realised that he wouldn’t want to work in a bank all his life. While looking for a spark to come through, he noticed a customer in his bank having a tattoo. It would be appropriate to call it Sachin’s eureka moment. The moment he saw that piece of art he knew that’s what he wanted to do rest of his life. Sachin’s mom was his biggest inspiration and support. Sachin shares that the concept of doing it on the skin than on papers appeals to him more than anything else and the challenges involved keep him motivated constantly.
Coming from an artistic family, art is in his genes. His mother herself was an artist. Sachin Sherekar, however, opted for a safe source of income and took up a banking job at first but what’s life when there’s no thrill, not everyone can gain happiness merely by having a safer source of income. Sachin soon realised that he wouldn’t want to work in a bank all his life. While looking for a spark to come through, he noticed a customer in his bank having a tattoo.
It would be appropriate to call it Sachin’s eureka moment. The moment he saw that piece of art he knew that’s what he wanted to do rest of his life. Sachin’s mom was his biggest inspiration and support. Sachin shares that the concept of doing it on the skin than on papers appeals to him more than anything else and the challenges involved keep him motivated constantly.
It is hard to imagine what an inspiration could come from. Feeling obsessed with his grandparents’ hand-poked tattoos, this young individual found his fascination in tattooing. From watching the reality tattoo shows like Miami Ink and LA Ink, Anjan began to try his hands on this growing form of art. After completing his degree in business management, he decided to dedicate some time to his hobby and starting tattooing on a small scale in Bhutan.
Today Anjan is a proud owner of his own professional studio in Kolkata and aces at working on the fusion of black and grey, geometrical tattoos and everything that’s black. “Tattoos have a language of their own, they have the power to tell a story” says Anjan. With this dedication and hard work he definitely is going long way.
Being fascinated with the lifestyles of the tattoo artists, the challenges they face made Raja Gopal want to do it. He attended art school and has always sticked to pursuing art but tattooing happened to him out of fascination. His mentor was Senthil from Skindeep tattoos and was the one who guided him towards traveling around the nation with his art. His greatest inspiration comes from the artists, John MA and Eek glass pani.
Raja’s current venture is MettleInk and he’s traveling around the country taking his art to the next level. Raja Gopal shares that major evolution in his career was due to conventions when he saw senior artists working on tattoos and took guidelines from them. Raja is still exploring new styles and genres and focusing on developing his tattoo art just like he draws, bold and free.
Mandeep is a self taught artist and is tattooing since 8 years now. He is doing great when it comes to realism and black and grey. Mandeep shares that his approach to art is not just earning money or getting fame but to give a form to values, feelings and concepts. He likes to work on newer concepts over cover-ups and tribal tattoos and thus his work mostly portrays culture, dreams, religion etc. Mandeep Singh currently is an artist and owner of Addiction Tattoo Studio in Punjab.
Shyam Waghmare, an artist who tattooed without any professional training but definitely had what it takes to grow and make progress. His first break in tattooing career was when he became a part of the Aliens Tattoo team because of his dedication and sincerity and in no time Shyam learned tattooing at an advanced level. His tattoo work showed consistent progress and development as an artist. He specialises in realism, portrait and black and grey tattoos. Yet another great artists from Body Canvas Tattoo Studio.
Sudhir Rao is another young individual who has been known for his amazing creative tattoos. His precision and neat work makes him one of the best artists in the circuit. He is great at black and grey tattoos and is trying his hands on various concepts, surprising the audience with every new piece he makes. Sudhir Rao is a part of one of the best tattoo studios in Mumbai, Body Canvas Tattoo studio.
Talk about realism, dotwork/blackwork, calligraphy or old school, Manohar can handle it well. He has made quite a mark in Indian tattoo industry in less than 5 years. From being a construction worker under certain unavoidable circumstances to becoming an award winning tattoo artist, he is definitely in the book of the future of Tattoo industry. Starting of his career as a tattoo artist in Goa at Moksha tattoos (owned by the one of the Tattoo giants in Goa – Mukesh Waghela) Manohar got his basics and got a hands-on experience for a more challenging job. Manohar then happened to fall into Sunny Bhanushali’s hands where he got his skills polished and learned exclusive techniques. Working with Sunny Bhanushali at Aliens Tattoo was a major turning point of my successful Tattoo career” says Manohar.