Five years ago, on a slightly dull November morning, I opened the newspaper and caught a small ad – 1st India International Tattoo Convention. At the convention, I got an impromptu tattoo just to mark my first time at a tattoo convention.
Currently running its 5th edition, like every year, this time around too, Faridabad became a convergence of tattoo artists not only from various parts of the country, but also from all across the globe including Italy, Denmark, France, Spain, Czech Republic, Sri Lanka and Iran, just to name a few.
For a few, this was their first time in India and that too for a tattoo convention. David Rey of Red Road Tattoo said that this was his first time at an International Tattoo Convention. “Its been super fun, meeting all these nice people and also getting a tattoo from one of my favourite artists who is also here! This is my first time in India too. I am here for the next few weeks and the only thing I know for sure is that tomorrow I am going to see the Taj Mahal!”
Mohsen Tattoo, all the way from Iran, is the biggest tattoo studio in their country with the maximum number of artists working together. Reza from this group said that it is great to see how India is coming up as another big place for International conventions with great line ups of artists.
The best part about any convention is the people you get to meet and the instant camaraderie that is created due to your shared bond made in ink. Mrs. Archana Virmani, getting her first tattoo at the age of 47 by Sebastien Paulico from France, said that it took her a year to convince her husband. “I came here last year and decided to get a tattoo. I love Krishna, so I am getting a peacock feather. But I had to wait for a year to get my husband to agree with it.”
A young girl with a fresh pink coloured tattoo on her thigh said that she doesn’t know what it means. She chose the design as it looks a little ‘evilish’- and she liked the idea of something being pretty and evil looking at the same time.
Ian from Simply Tattoo, Finland, is also in India for the first time. “The experience has been great. I am so impressed with the Indian artists. A lot of good work and a great mood overall. And there is a lot of interest in India now from International artists, which is great.”
There was no dearth of Indian artists, representing various styles and expertise. Artists from Mumbai, Goa, Nagaland, Indore, Nashik, Chandigarh, Pune, Bhopal, New Delhi, Ludhiana – just seeing the list of these cities gives a perfect example of how modern tattooing has become a major art form all across the country.
Ruth Barja, who is a freelance artist working in Berlin said she loves the atmosphere, the food and the people here. “India has some great artists doing realism and I really admire that. I mostly do abstract work and there is so much for me to learn here from these artists.”
Majority of the tattoos being done at the convention were large, detailed pieces and a wonderful sync between the artists and the clients was clearly visible all around. Custom designs, signature styles, stencils pasted all across, beautifully designed visiting cards, sketches, inks, colours and the constant buzzing sound of numerous tattoo machines whirring all together- the 5th India International Tattoo Convention lived up to all the expectations that one walked in with.
A group of 15 tattoo artists will be traveling together to see the Taj Mahal after wrapping up the convention. Now that certainly would be a picture telling a thousand stories!