Tattoo artist Vikas Malani shares his experience with Riya

Tattoo artist Vikas Malani shares his
experience with Riya Pandya on training the acid attack fighters in tattooing.

 

Having
an abysmal relationship with ink since his early teens, he has sketched an
empire of tattoo art on his own and has been ruling it since more than 10 years.
The most sought after celebrity Tattoo artist of India, Vikas Malani, is now on a course to empower women in a way that
marks their identity in the society. He recently collaborated with the Chhanv Foundation, an abode to the
victims of acid attack, and conducted a workshop at Body Canvas Tattoo studio
in Huaz Khas Village, Delhi, to introduce them with the art of tattooing. We
caught up with the artist and got him to share the anecdote in his own words.

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ON HIS INSPIRATON

“My
mother was an artist at heart. She has been my inspiration to do everything
that I have done. She told me that in India, when we talk about rationality and
equality, it should be regardless of age, experience, knowledge, and skills. Even
though women are more sincere and dedicated towards their work than men, they
are never given the credit or recognition that they deserve. Which is why we
have been doing a lot of projects on empowering women, not just outside Canvas,
but inside too; and this time we wanted to do something special, like breaking
a social stigma. Ironically, though being one of the most ancient arts of India,
tattoo art it is still considered a taboo in here, and usually people can only
imagine men doing the tattoo work. I want to bring a change in that and give a
substantially strong place to women in the commercial market.”

ON COLLABORATING WITH CHHANV

“It
is pretty surprising, but 90 per cent of my clients are women. They come in
with this energy and vibe that makes the air around them so positive; I am
completely intimidated by their aura. These ladies specially, have been through
a rough past and hardly get any acceptance from the society, leave alone any
recognition. I realized this when one day I stumbled upon a picture of Laxmi. I
got to read her inspiring story and came to know that there are several other
women like her, who have stood up brushing off their ill-fate so seamlessly. I
was so inspired by them; I knew they all had immense talents and right
aptitude, and with proper guidance, they could polish their forte. I believe
that it is very important to be able to express yourself and there can be no
better medicine than practicing art. That is the idea of teaching them tattoo
art; I want to provide them with a medium through which they can express
themselves and can see their future in it.”

ABOUT THE WORKSHOP

“When
the five fighters: Laxmi, Ritu, Soniya, Madhu and Roopa walked in the studio,
they were so full of life and starry-eyed at the thought of learning something
new, the air around the studio somehow felt fuller. We gelled so well, they
even got tattooed themselves and tried their hand at different equipment and
colors. We talked and preached and learnt so much from each other, that twelve
hours later when they left the studio all pumped up, we knew we had been
successful in our little attempt to make them feel confident.

The
training will be held in our Delhi studio or they can even choose to take a
long distance course. We’ll be providing notes and assignments which they have
to practice and work through, and in every fifteen days they’ll visit us, where
we will evaluate their work and guide them through their progress. The plan is
to expose them to the art of tattooing so that they are able to imagine a
career in tattoo art.”

A WORD FROM THE FIGHTERS

“I
have always had a knack for learning new things and a passion for sports.
Chhanv has given me several opportunities to learn different things and keep
growing, and learning tattoo art is one of them. Tattoos are something I used
to admire from a distance. Pursuing an art like this requires a lot of
creativity, concentration and benigness, and getting a chance to ace it,
especially from a lively mentor like Vikas, was an exciting feat that I would
like to give a further try. I will be soon joining my training of three months
and I am all up for the ride to craftsmanship,” said Ritu Saini, former state level Volleyball player and a member of
Chhanv.

Laxmi, Director of Chhanv, had interesting
views on the same. She said, “I had never seen a tattoo before, and honestly,
after hearing about how the needles hurt, I was not all up-and-about at the
idea of attending the workshop. But the thought of inking my skin with
something that has held importance in my life, was stirring, and definitely
Vikas made the experience very amusing. I believe that tattoos should not be
kept hidden. They are a clever way of sharing a message and people can learn a
lot from it. Tattooing now has become a passion more than fashion and it has a
wide scope for creative souls who are constantly looking for a way to express
themselves.”

 

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