Ink on my sleeve

Sachin, a Bangalorean, is extremely passionate about arts. He started dabbling in free style pencil sketching in his childhood and has since directed his creative energy into honing his tattooing skills. He runs a tattoo studio called Bleed Ink Tattoos. He chats with STW about tattoos and the love of this art.

As told to Shruti Bharath.

STW: Sachin, you own and run Bleed Ink Tattoos (BIT) in Bangalore. Tell us about how this all happened

S: Some of my earliest memories are of comic books and cartoons. As a boy, I spent my evenings scribling on my sketch pads. And over the years, the platform changed into tattoos. BIT officially started in 2008. I started training under Derick who is a professional artist in Delhi. Setting up a studio was easy, but practising was a struggle. I am very greatfull to all my friends and family who belived in me and got tattoos done in my early days. Of course they were free..(laughs). After a series of practising, I developed the skill required for this art and opened for public.

STW: What inspires each of your tattoos? And what has been your favorite one?

S: Every tattoo is an attempt to do it better than the earlier ones. I am always learing from great artists all around and they are a continuous source of inspiration.

A pocket watch showing my son’s birth time with flowers all around. A custom tattoo for my wife has been my favorite tattoo.

STW: Tattoos don’t always have a place in the professional workplace. Why should having a tattoo decide your professionalism? What’s your stand?

S: Completely exposed tattoos draw attention, like tattoos on the face, or the neck which can’t be covered with your clothes. This creates various impressions with people. It’s really a perspective. It can be debated.

STW:  Despite any acceptance barriers, now more than ever, tattoos are everywhere. Big or small everyone seems to have them. What’s changed? Why is the once ‘taboo’ artform a rage all of a sudden?

S: We are in a country where tattoos are being accepted very recently and it’s not a cultural form. The media is one of the significant reasons why tattoos are more common now. We have realized that tattoos arent just an accessory, it’s a story, a feeling, a memory and very personal to one self. I would say this is just the beginning.

STW: What is Sachin’s next big project?

S: My next project would be to upgrade my skills into portrait tattoos. Its going to be an exciting part of this journey.

STW: Best first tattoo advice and more?

S: For me, tattoos are an adventure, that cannot be lost, borrowed or stolen. It’s a memento we can keep throughout.

I meet new people, listen to their stories, make friends and will always be a part of their lives. There’s a long way to go, lots of learning to do, I fit in here and I love this job.

Also remember while choosing a tattoo a)research well before choosing a tattoo/artist, b) seek advice from the artist or friends who already have tattoos, c) choose the body part wisely, d) choose a design that has a special meaning or something which symbolises your personality, e) if its your first tat, go for a smaller design. They are easier to cover-up if you ever change your mind.

To connect with Sachin leave us a comment here with STW.

(STW Founder Shruti Bharath says – I got my first tattoo with Sachin and was really keen on the design I had in mind. It represented something personal and meaningful to me and Sachin did an amazing job! I remember him telling me ‘no pain, no gain’ as he got started, and simple as that may sound, that makes the tattoo experience absolutely worth it)

Visit Sachin’s site, for more of his work.


About Shruti Bharath

Social entrepreneur and developmental writer, passionate about creating workable solutions in the areas of improving employability of youth and women through skill enhancement/training and generation of productive and sustainable employment opportunities.

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