Tattooing is a largely male-dominated industry, wherein the traditional idea of a professional tattooer is very masochistic. Although, if we go back to our tribal roots, tattooing was a practice of honour that only leading ladies or queens had the privilege of. But in modern tattooing, the fairer sex is slowly gaining back the stature and prestige through mind shifting artistry, on merit.
One such wonder woman, who is the torch bearer for females in Indian tattooing is the bespectacled, always smiling, ace artist of Ace Tattooz; Archana Nakhua Bhanushali.
The first time you meet Archana, and the one thing that will hit you is the simplicity of the artist. Unlike most tattoo artists who like to maintain a sense of wardrobe along with a sense of tattooing style, Archana focuses all her energy into only the art on skin and paper.
Archana runs the successful Ace Tattooz along with her husband, Nikhil Bhanushali. The pair make a great combo – one does the tattoos, and the other manages the whole studio. But, Ace Tattooz is not just all about tattoos. It is all about art. In their spacious Colaba studio in Mumbai, Archana and Nikhil have invested in an ‘Art Room’. The ‘Art Room’ is the space where Archana takes in young and old want-to-be artists, and train them in mixed art forms.
Archana’s colour work in new school and religious styles has earned her a lot of awards across conventions, and is also a hit among the B town celebrities. She has tattooed the likes of Remo D’souza, and has also worked on the styling of popular Bollywood films. Trained in commercial arts, she started her tattooing journey under Al of Al’s Tattoo Studio.
Archana leads a team of truly ace artists, who are marking out their niche in the Indian scene with quirky tattooing subjects. But, what truly differentiates Archana from many other artists is her focus towards tattooing. When we reached to interview her, she was very clear I won’t talk while tattooing.
Check more of her work out here.