The art of inking permanently/semi-permanently on a human body is a very precise and unique branch of art which needs a lot of skill, professional knowledge, dedication and passion. Tattooing or tattoo art has been present for as long as 3370 BC and it has much history associated with it. Previously, tattooing in the body has been regarded as a very “Unsocial” thing to do. It has been condemned, it has been associated with witchcraft and black magic and it was the general consensus that “Respectable” people don’t tattoo themselves.
But all that is History now. Tattooing is a hugely popular culture thing to indulge in now and over years it has been legalised and widely accepted across all social strata. A tattoo is a very personal, intimate and physical thing for a person sometimes bordering on spiritual. To get something permanently inked in your skin, you need to feel connected to the subject of your tattoo.
So keeping all these in mind, let us get to know a few professional tattoo artists and their views about their craft. Today we are talking with Goa Based Tattoo artist –Bharat Dharolia from Palolem Tattoos. He can be considered as one of the pioneers in the Tattoo artist industry of India. After leading a bit of wayward life in his youth, he found his true calling as being a tattoo artist and never had to look back since then. He has been doing this since almost 2 decades now and he is considered as an authority on the subject. Read on to know more about his journey.
Follow him on –
Instagram – Bharat Dharolia Official
Website – http://inkfinitetattoo.com/
P.S. All the pictures and videos are owned by ©Bharat Dharolia and reproduction in any form, without prior permission, is prohibited
Q. Please introduce yourself.
My self Bharat H Dharoliya. I am from Nashik a town in the state of Maharashtra born in Mumbai. My mom is a housewife. My father works in BSNL. One sister who has married, a younger brother who works in the same tattoo industry.
Q. What made you start your work as a Tattoo Artist? Please share about your journey and how long have you been doing this?
I always had a thing for drawing and art and design.in school days there were two things I was good at drawing and sports .and all things started in the year 1999 when I started college. I was in bad company. I was in a problem all the time. So there was a big problem I had the leave Nashik and I went to Goa to visit my sister. There in Goa, my sister had a boutique next to the shop there was a tattoo an piercing shop. Where I was first introduced to tattooing, I was fascinated to tattoo long back ago while I used to watch WWF. Many wrestler used to have tattoo. So this guy from UK was my first introduction to tattooing. I apprenticed in his studio in the year 2000 an then after mostly drawing techniques I learned from my mentor VISHWAS DORWEKAR. He works in Alim Hakim Studio in Mumbai Vishwas Dorwekar is very well know tattoo artist in Mumbai in Bollywood he has tattooed mostly all Bollywood star. Now I have 3 studios operating in Goa and one in Nashik. I was the first person to start a tattoo and piercing studio in Nashik and in Palolem, Goa. When I started there might be 7 to 10 tattooist in all India. So I have been running my tattoo studio since 2002.
The idea of having artwork done on the body than on a canvas fascinated me.
Q. Is it necessary to have a specific set of qualifications to become a Tattoo Artist?
Well, of course, you need to be good with drawing and imagination. But for me, the most important thing is to have that passion. Skills could be developed with hard work.
Q. Is being a tattoo artist your full-time profession or do you work elsewhere? Is it possible to make out a sustainable career out of this craft?
It did start with a hobby but now I am a full-time professional artist and yes of course with hard work and dedication and urge to learn more and new techniques you can certainly make a sustainable career u can earn same as a doctors salary if u are good at your work.
Q. What would you consider your biggest achievement so far?
I have almost more than 130 students trained by me, they are making a good living and creating some amazing artwork .We have been in my different tattoo conventions which happened in India and round world and have achieved my prize
Q. What is your signature style of art that represents you as an artist? What does your work aim to say?
When I started working as a full-time tattooist and piercer u have to do all the style customer demanded so I worked mostly all style tattooing has, But I love doing colour portrait and black and grey. Mainly I love doing black and grey cause in Indian skin black and grey holds nicely for a long time.
My aim is to show the world that Indian artist can create an amazing piece of artwork .and get internationally recognized.
Q. What is the one thing that you like about your work and one that you dislike?
Since there are 1000 things I love about my art work . But mostly I love is that my canvas is alive an it walks on street. There are no dislikes .
Q. When a client is unsure about which tattoo to get, how do you get the idea/inspiration/reference to suggest them? How long does it take approximately to finish one piece of art?
It often happens. Not everyone is very clear and particular about their tattoo and just want to get it. While helping them choose I always make sure but is something that does have some significance in their life. Something which is meaningful to them. Perhaps related to their profession or lifestyle or hobby or memory. This way they never regret it later .time wise it depends on how big an intricated and detailed and colours many things are there that after seeing can tell what time it takes.
Q. Who are your biggest influences?
Since when I started there was no internet and when the internet started my biggest influencers was Anil Gupta. Paul Booth . Bob Tyrrell. Philip Lew .
Q. How do you manage your family life along with other commitments and schedules?
In the early stage when I was tattooing it was a bit hard but now I have eight people working with me. So now I have quality time to spend with family. with 20 years of experience in this profession, I have now my priorities set. The amount of time I need to work and the time I should be giving me family and to myself.
Q. What are the biggest challenges that you face as an artist? What is the biggest misconception that Tattoo artists face?
Nowadays it’s very easy to buy tattoo supplies. When started working as a tattooist there was no tattoo supply u had to make tattoo needles a machine on your own. So every day u have to make your own needles an after that u have to work on your artwork. In early days tattoo was considered as a taboo it looked very unprofessional at the early stage. But now it’s in fashion.
Q. How do you ensure that clients do not suffer allergic reactions to the ink used in tattoo applications? How do you deal with an anxious client?
These days you get the highest grade of tattoo inks which are without iron lead and many heavy things in it. It’s vegan inks. We explain clients all the process we’ll do we ask about there history if they have any sensitive skin if they do we do a small skin test first.
Q. Sometimes, when doing a tattoo art on intimate parts, how do you make sure that you and your clients are comfortable?
Prior to starting a tattoo, we have a brief consultation about all different aspect. An while consultation I make them comfortable that they are in professional hands.
Q. Apart from being an artist, what are your hobbies?
Tattooing was my biggest hobby which turned into a profession. Apart from that. I do like fishing. And travelling.
Q. Please share your experience with different brands/projects you have worked on?
We have worked with a Swedish based brand which creates wall artworks. Mostly worked with Scandinavian countries with lots of different artwork.
Q. There are a lot of shoddy people on social media or as clients who either try to discredit others or stalk them. How do you deal with such people or negativity in general? Does it bog you down or affect your mental peace?
I practice vipassana meditation. Indeed Social media is a powerful tool these days something which you cannot afford too. You always have to be a game ahead. It’s a 2-way sword. Having said that I believe your work plays the most imp role. Now that I focus on doing limited quality work. I see to it that my work speaks. Thus it does not really bother me mentally
Q. What advice would you offer someone considering this career?
Like any other field. Hard work and dedication is the key. Apart from that, I would advise being patient and persistent. Value your work more than the monetary rewards.
Q. What are your future plans? Are you happy with the way your career has shaped up?
Planing to start a studio in Europe. Soon. Yes, my career has given me more than I needed. It’s a blessing.
Thank you, Bharat, for taking out time to talk to us, and having such a wonderful and heart-to-heart conversation. We got to know a lot of things and we are sure that our readers would be much benefitted from this. Team WeekendTrivia wishes you all the best for your future endeavours.