Human body is the canvas for a “skin artist” and with combination of “thoughts” of the owner of the skin and the creativity of the artist he/she paints the skin, the only possession that a human being can take to his/her grave. This fascinating tradition is called Tattooing which dates back to ancient times and has remained a social stigma for centuries.
Nowadays tattoos are mainstream trend mostly used to send a message and are also medium of pure aestheticism. But still this captivating profession is a taboo in our society. Tattoo artists are still struggling to pursue their profession, they hardly get any support. Many of the artists leave the journey mid way but many stay strong and live their dream despite of all the hardships. I met one of such Skin Artist or we say Tattoo artist, Raghu Veer aka RV who rose above all the difficulties with great effort.
RV is a Tattoo artist in East Delhi’s most popular saloon Modern Era. Without a single legal issue RV has more than 100 satisfied clients and in a short period of three years he has become one of the most popular names in the region for his amazing creativity and ‘trust’ in permanent inking. RV is not only a tattoo artist but also draws magic on canvas in his spare time. His dream is to encourage and support the budding artist who wants to get into this profession and eradicate any sort of superstition that still exists in our society.
The 24-year-old got trained in DNA tattoos by Mac, Hauz Khas and later joined forces with Modern Era, Shahdara with a vision to start eliminating the taboo from his own locality first. According to RV the best thing about this profession is to meet new minds with different perspectives that gives him a chance to learn a lot about life and to listen to many stories and theories and other fascinating reasons of getting inked that not only opens new dimension of creativity each time but also makes him dive deep into the ocean of knowledge.
When asked about a memorable project RV laughed and shared an incident where one of his clients fainted by just at a glimpse of the machine. He also added that it is a myth about the pain. Pain always depends on the hand and pressure of the tattoo artist and it varies from person to person, like at the hospital sometimes one gets side effects like swelling from injection and sometimes one doesn’t even feel the pain and it all depends on the experience of the nurse. A tattoo artist is trained for situations where customers panic and the sound of the machine is the reason mostly clients fear but the artist should be capable to handle such situations and assure its client for of best results.
RV wanted to be a Tattoo artist since his childhood. He mentioned that he was always into drawings, “I was okay(ish) in art so when I was in school people around me used to ask me to make tattoos with a pen and ever since I got interested in making tattoos. I have grown up watching shows on TLC about tattoo like tattoo nightmares. My curious brain would get up at four in morning just to watch such shows. Due to my odd routine I used to get shouting from my parents, you know, middle class families want their kids to be a doctor or engineer.”
When asked about his struggle RV told us how he managed to learn from YouTube videos and within fifteen days span he started making tattoos in his neighborhood. Initial days were all about temporary tattoos and soon after due to encouragement of his friends, Ajay and Aakash, who also willingly became the guinea pigs to experiment on gave RV his first permanent tattoo project a “ ; ” (semi colon) with the message “my story is not over”.
A small setup in the house lead him this far and now RV’s family have finally understood that nothing can change his determination. “My mother was very supportive towards me. She gave me money to buy the kit about which my father as unaware for a very long time” said RV.
Not only just fresh tattoo, RV is a specialist of “cover up tattoos” too. RV is highly in demand to fix damaged tattoos by other artists and all other types of tattoos that exist in the tattooverse. RV’s advise to all the new comers in this field is to keep their minds open, it is important to gain knowledge of color, design, area, ratio, balance, texture etc. “Practice is the key and always welcome suggestions. Reading minds of people is an equal important skill development area to focus and most importantly keep practicing” suggests RV. “Those who want to learn the art of tattooing must go for the best teacher and beware of frauds in the market. Stencil is not everything, so it is better to practice designs too and then you will be the real “Skin Artist” adds RV.