Tattoo artist Enrico Migliorati on how his India stint has helped improve his technique

Walk into Irezumi tattoo and body piercing studio, and one would hear the buzz of the tattoo machine, and Van Halen blasting through the speakers. It is a sure sign that Enrico Migliorati is at work.

The Italian, who loves Van Halen, has been working at Irezumi as a guest artist for more than two months now, and is all set to return to his hometown, Trecate, next week.

Skin, his canvas

“I got my first tattoo at 20,” he says, pulling up his jeans to show a salamander on his leg.

Two years after he got inked, the self-taught artist created his first tattoo — using his own skin as canvas. And, since, he's never looked back!

“I like tattooing because I've always loved to draw, and I like the idea of leaving my unique mark on someone,” he elaborates.

The 25-year-old, who used to be a car mechanic, completed over a hundred tattoos during his stint here, and says the experience has helped him improve his technique, and mature as an artist.

It was whilst honing his craft in Thailand that Enrico met Naveen of Irezumi, and quit his job as a mechanic to pursue his passion in Chennai.

That's the free-spirited Enrico — adventurous and experimental, and guided by impulse and instinct.

Changing styles

As a result, his tattoo style is ever-changing. “If you can do the same design in a million ways, why would you restrict yourself and stop at one technique alone?” he asks. Enrico believes the tattoo culture in Chennai is in its infancy. “Most people don't care about the meaning behind the tattoos; they are doing it just for fashion,” he laments. He hopes to see more people enter the field in Chennai, and that, in future, tattoos will gain acceptance as an art form.

Apart from tattooing and mentoring new artists, the self-confessed party animal spends his time zipping around on his Enfield to house parties and nightclubs. For now, Enrico is studying realistic paintings, hoping to translate that realism into his tattoos. And, he plans to open a tattoo studio in India or Dubai.

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