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The re-inventor of art in his own way, Mahesh Naidoo of M Tattoo Studio in Nasik, Maharastra, watched his father, his grandfather and his great-grandfather making life-size canvas paintings all his growing up years. Naidoo too carried the artist seed in him. It was only to realise that more and more people are not recognising art with the fast-paced times of social media, and easily accessible cameras and computers. For him, art was dying a slow death until he finally realised his love for tattoos and wasted no time before pursuing it.

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With family business as painters, Naidoo was always well aware of what their life condition was, he had forced himself to pick up work as and when it came and finally managed to train himself in graphic design. But everything comes with a shelf-life, isn’t it? He took no time to realise how this so called ‘new-age’ career trend is also becoming kind of saturated. How to make a living from art that doesn’t die in you?

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“Around this time I happened to go to Singapore and met my brother’s close friend Lawrence, who was a tattoo artist. I was quite impressed with his work; I recognised that a lot of his works are high on art and creativity. I picked it up, and asked him to train me and introduce me to the tattoo culture”, says Naidoo who is in this industry now for more than a decade. He has worked with Sunny Bhanushali for a few years, and takes Anil Gupta’s work to be godly.

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Naidoo is on a mission, he wants to make sure that every client who walks into his studio has a unique tattoo and not one from the catalogue or the internet. His style of work consists of portrait, 3D tattoos and a lot of shading, he is inspired to do more tattoos based on realism and for the Pune Tattoo Festival, he is also aiming at showing off his portraits tattoos which has a twist of two stories in one piece.

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He feels the passion that originality holds, nothing else can hold it better. In the last 12 years, Naidoo has given tattoos which tell a tale, which means something to the one getting the tattoo. He already has 2 studios and is preparing to launch his 3rd shortly. The biggest challenge for him is, he says “people in small cities like Nasik where local fun fairs and the Kumbh Mela are famous, many locals tend to get tattoos from road-side tattoo guys and then come for covering them up. Cover-up tattoo has two criteria to fulfill, it needs to look appealing, and it has got to cover up the regrets. While I do this, I also make sure that my client has a pleasant memory of this episode in life that will live with him/her, on his skin for the rest of their lives.”

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He has attended a few tattoo conventions and participated in some too, but the Pune Tattoo Fest is closer to his heart because it is closer to his homeland and gets many regulars from places in and around Nasik and Pune. This time at the fest, you are sure to be treating your eyes not only with his tattoos, of course, but also his paintings, water-colour displays and more.

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