A profession that turns a memory into a visual story, tattoo art is an art form that has always been a part of our culture. With the city making slow progress from the clichéd butterflies and names in the early 2000s, Hyderabadi tattoo artists’ community is still trying to find its creative middle ground where they are more than just cover up jobs.
The community’s members have worked their expertise off in search of acceptance and familiarity among denizens who still carry the stigma of tattoo art being a western concept.
Subhojit Chakroborty, 30, Artist at Koru Ink, Sindhi Colony
Having been in Kolkata and Mumbai is more fast-paced in terms of business and artistic liberty. Here, it is still picking up. And, tattooing is not only a trend; it’s about self-reflection as tattoos are very personal. Tattooing in Hyderabad still needs to enter the mainstream art scene like in Bengaluru and Delhi.
It has become social now, and everyone is sporting small tattoos at least, but everyone gets same tattoos. Every human being is different and I think they all deserve designs that tell their story.
Pinku Bijoy Ghosh, 36, Inkkraft Tattoos, Banjara Hills
I have been tattooing for a decade now. When I was getting my first tattoo done, I discovered more liberty, story-telling and expression to the process. The world of tattooing was very small back in 2008, but, now, it is a growing market. Hyderabad still needs to outgrow the need to follow a trend and be more experimental in terms of genres and style.
It is difficult to tell your entire story in a two-inch space; but, then again, there are clients who come in with research done and give us a request and liberty along with it.
Srikanth, 30, 7Hills Tattooz, Begumpet
I have been doing this for six years now and I feel like the scene has been pretty much the same since I started. It is mostly commercial, but, there are a few artists who are exploring it as an art form beyond Google image designs.
I really love oriental, realism, and new-school styles of tattoo art; but, Hyderabad allows less freedom and sticks to conventional designs.
Amin Sultan Hajiani, 35, Amin’s Angel Tattoo and Piercing Studio, Secunderabad
Tattooing just happened; I was always into animation and drawing. So, in a way, I guess my hobby became a profession. I find every style equally enjoyable and I consider myself a versatile artist.
We have a mixed response here… but, we are still behind other metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. They are far more accepting and ready to get out-of-the-box ideas as tattoos.