Making a statement with ink

For the longest time, having a tattoo implied that one was a leather-jacket wearing, mohawk sporting, bike wielding punk. Or the hipster out of art school, with potential mismatched socks and a cigarette.

Fortunately, that is not the case any-more, as the tattoo narrative has evolved into an inclusive, meaningful culture. Getting a tattoo in itself has always been quite the event, because it is permanent, and painful. Tattoo enthusiasts beg to differ, for while each tattoo is a meaningful experience in itself, most of them do not quite see the cause for frenzy. Meera Nair , a freelance writer, embarked on her tattoo journey about a year back, and loves her tattoos, although she did not quite hold this sentiment earlier. She says, “For a long time, I did not want to get tattooed - not because I was afraid of the pain or permanency, but simply because I did not want it on my body. Now, though, I feel like tattoos really are important to me. Perhaps it is because I’ve become more expressive in life, and I’m more open about what I want to express. Tattoos are a statement - every tattoo means something deep. So I take my time with what I’d like tattooed”.

The concept of the tattoo has evolved from just being seen as markers of non-conformance to meaningful expressions made by anyone who firmly wants to. Karthik Bengre, head tattoo artist at Sculpt Tattoo Studio in Koramangala, shares his experiences with ink and says, “I’ve been tattooing people for about seven years now, and I can see the difference in attitudes towards the art. Initially, most people did not know how this worked, so they would just look something up on the internet, and ask to get it tattooed. Now, they understand that it is an art, so they come here with concepts, memories and emotions, and let the tattoo artist turn the concept into art that can be inked. Tattoo artists are now like consultants! It is also important to take the job seriously.”

Taking a tattoo seriously is as important for the artist, as it is for the person getting inked. The decision largely rests on how certain the person is about expressing something that strongly, and for this reason, most people shy away from the ink. Meera believes that growth makes the tattoo all the more beautiful, and says, “I do change, and I’m constantly changing and growing as a person. But I’ll never regret the person I was. Sure, maybe five years down the line, I’ll look at the tattoo on my arm and wonder why on earth I even did this! But I’ll know that this is the person I was at the time. There will always be no regrets, with me.”

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 3:24:10 PM |

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