The fact that tattooing has evolved beyond the idea of it being just body art is evident when you see the rich talent practicing the art form now. Artists from different backgrounds, and varied schools of thought are taking up tattooing as their first choice of profession, like never before. From art school pass outs to school drop outs, many talented youngsters have lit up the Indian tattooing scene, of late, irrespective of their backgrounds. But mind due, very few in this crowd are truly standing out.
One such brilliant artist is Raja Gopalan S. Having started tattooing in 2012, Raja’s progress in just about five years has been phenomenal. He can draw whatever you want him to, and doesn’t need the assistance of technology for that. His tattooing is strong, bold and fucking fierce!
My first interaction with Raja was in Bengaluru at his previous studio, Skin Deep, but I really saw his brilliance for the first time during Nepal Inked 2016. Raja’s illustrative skills are unique in the Indian scene right now. It is sketchy, it is chaotic, yet it flows magnificently on the body, and every tattoo stands out.
As a passionate tattoo collector, I am always looking for artists who not only have tremendous artistic skills, but also fantastic people skills. Well, Raja’s skills are pretty simple. He is a pumping energy, and literally draws all the time. Be it after a wake & bake session, during the afternoon beer, or before retiring for the night.
Having spent a considerable amount of time in Nepal, with John Ma and Eek Glass Pani (Bimal Rai) has evolved his tattooing game to the next level. For those who are not aware, Nepal’s tattooing culture is a bit more evolved than India’s, and many artists from all around the world take refuge in the busy streets of Kathmandu to unlearn and learn a lot of tattooing secrets.
It takes years to perfect tattooing fundamentals and skills, and Raja himself acknowledges the fact that he is far from perfect, yet. But the best part of his tattooing is that he realises what sort of people he wants to tattoo. His art will always attract the free-spirited, the unbound, the spiritual gypsies, and his realisation of the same is fantastic to watch.
To book appointments with Raja, simply click here.