Mykel Kumar, owner of tattoo studio The Pumpkin Patch in Kalyan Nagar, got his first tattoo eight years ago and was hooked

With a homey studio, a confident artist and a range of original designs to choose from, The Pumpkin Patch tattoo studio is definitely one of its kind. Tucked away in a part of Kalyan Nagar easily overlooked by passers-by, Mykel Kumar’s tattoo studio is on the first floor of his house. “This place is a quiet area away from the hustle-bustle of the city, where customers can relax and feel at home,” says Mykel.

Mykel is a common name with an unusual spelling. When the topic of the name comes up, his mother Kala whispers, “That’s not how it is spelt. He spells it like that.” Tired of people spelling his name ‘Michealinstead of Michael, the 26-year old tattoo artist went with Mykel instead, which soon caught on.

His tattoo studio, The Pumpkin Patch, has a unique name too. “I am a big fan of Tim Burton and one of his older movies, The Nightmare before Christmas, has a character called ‘Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King’ whom I really liked. The name of my studio is taken from the line of one of the songs of the movie that goes, ‘Skeleton Jack is the King of the Pumpkin Patch.’” Moreover, he didn’t want a name that people could hear and immediately associate with a tattoo studio. “I wanted it to be beyond that,” says this artist.

First equipment

It all started when his father gave him his first set of tattooing equipment and encouraged him to pursue his talent. “That time I was studying animation and tattooing became a part-time job. Later, I worked in a studio for eight months, and in June last year I set up my own studio,” he says.

He had an inclination for the art since his teens, and he got his first tattoo when he was 18. “My first tattoo was a scorpion, as my zodiac sign is Scorpio. I thought of stopping at one, but it is really addictive. After two years, I got my second, and others followed,” says Mykel, who has 11 tattoos inked on his body at present, but plans to cover one of his legs with his dream tattoo of Alice in Wonderland.

Every artist has one masterpiece, one special design. Ask Mykel about his favourite in his five years of tattooing and his reply is quick. “The Superman symbol I tattooed will always be close to my heart,” he says. His tattoo designs are comprised of dragons, butterflies, angels, cartoons, people, tribal motifs, names and phrases, among others.

One thing that makes Pumpkin Patch stand apart is its originality. “Usually customers have some design in mind, so I sit with them and discuss it so that the tattoo is customised. Once customised, I don’t use the design again,” says the proud studio owner.

“I have tattoos from three different people, but Mykel is the best in the city. He inks as if he is sketching on paper, and his hands don’t shake at all,” says Payal Shah, one of his customers.

Age no bar

The once unorthodox art is now a cool trend that seems to be spreading fast. “The perception of the art is certainly changing for the better, and it is gaining popularity. Though my customers usually fall in the age group between 18 and 30, I recently tattooed two mothers and one 62-year-old grandfather,” says this artist.

Keeping an open mind and practising is important to pursue this art, according to Mykel. “You learn on the job,” he concludes.

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