Being a tattoo artist in Nepal, so does Rajan explain, is surely not the easiest job around. Financial instability of the country comes with a negative perception of tattoos. This seems strange, as Nepal has a long tradition of this art form within many communities like the Tharu and Newari. Luckily, it can be observed, that this perception is slowly changing and people recognize not only gangsters and criminals carrying ink under their skin. Plus, the industry in Nepal is unique and extraordinarily strong, when it comes to the circle of people sharing inspirations and: “We stand up for each other“.
Besides that, Rajan, who owns the studio Ra-Zone Tattoo for three years now, mostly enjoys the way tattoos are becoming more and more artistic. The focus of people does not lie on imaginations of deities anymore: The motifs become a hybrid mixture of Western and local styles.
“Anything is possible; the skin is just like a canvas for me. It is like a painting and can be unique for each person, who walks through my door.”
Rajan experiments right now with different styles, mostly being inspired by international artists, own wishes and the ideas of clients. But in general, he does every kind of tattoo. Mainly, the style depends still on the client. Though, Rajan’s heart beats for realistic works, in a mixture with other elements like geometrical patterns.
At Nepal Inked, Rajan mostly looks forward to enjoying the interaction with junior artists. Encouraging and promoting them will not only push individuals, but the whole industry, he explains. Nepal Inked also offers the very important opportunity to link with international artists and build friendships with them. This again promotes the big headline Rajan believes in: Nepal is a tattoo nation.
“I always tell others “Bistarai” (Take it easy), because that is what I do myself; I take things easily, lightly, slowly. I try to learn from every work I do, and be patient and understanding. I try to gain knowledge or be inspired from everyone in every way. Even from junior tattoo artists, because they have new ideas. I try to learn from seniors’ experiences and skills. Things do not come right away – you need to be open-minded. The things that come slow, will stay longer. I try to stay positive, always, and focus on the good things, when the times are bad.”
“In Nepal, you will experience lots of difficulties, lots of ups and downs, and people not being supportive. You need to overcome all of this.”