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For Rahul Ghare of The Art Studio in Mumbai, tattoo conventions aren’t a platform for just giving out awards and recognising artists, but also a space that grows the culture of tattooing. When asked about his plans for the Pune Tattoo Festival, he says, “I am going to be there to have a nice time, meet everyone, if clients need me to do a few pieces, then I’ll do it, or go back home and visit my dad. I love Pune, the city; I have stayed there all my life. I used to work for Kraayonz for one and a half years. It is a place where I grew up, I love Pune’s vibe.”

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Rahul is completely into realism. “I take up very less work in a month, I only work on appointment basis. My tattoos take a long time, but there will be a lot of study and detailing going in it. I design my own tattoos, I sketch a lot. I actually get in the psyche of my clients, every work I do is very personal, and that shows on my designs. I talk to them for a long time, hear them out properly. I don’t like anything hurried, I need my own pace to let my art flow.”

Rahul is not out for any kind of limelight, he says, “I just want to do my work, and do it well. I want every tattoo I make to make a pleasant memory for me and my client. Not commercial, don’t want to do every tattoo everyone wants in tattoo hubs like Pune and Mumbai, I would rather do that one tattoo that a client specifically wants, and connect to rest of his/her life.”

A lot of his references come from a lot of photography. When he consults a client, while talking to them an image lingers in his head and he gives them a design, at times it works, other times it doesn’t then he asks them to give him more references and digs our more from their stories.

“My style is- come talk to me, spend time with me to understand my work, let me understand what your expectations are. Mostly I want to listen to your story; I want to listen to everything that has made you what you are today. That’s where I draw a connect, and that’s what will keep the clients also connected to the tattoo and they’ll never get bored. You’ll love it every morning you get up for the rest of your life” says Rahul.

A lot of Rahul’s friends are his clients turned into friends. People always hop in to the studio to say hello when they are around. He adds, “I feel enriched that the client comes and shares such details about their lives with me and trust me to give them a tattoo to commemorate these emotions. I make connections for a lifetime.”

Rahul is right when he says so pleasantly about the Pune vibe; the tattoo culture here is awe-inspiring. Be there to experience it, and meet Rahul, the tattoo whisperer. He is one of the best tattooists today. You never know where to find him next!

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