Anoop Jayaram of the Restless Monkey Clan reveals the pros and cons of tattooing
Though Tattooing is an art form that has been around for centuries now, it had its fair share of myths and fears associated with it that made it a ‘taboo’ in many parts of the world. But in the last decade, it has gained a lot of popularity in India and has slowly crept into Kochi, with tattoo artists and studios flourishing like never before! Ritz catches up with popular tattoo artists across Kochi, who tell us the pros and cons of tattooing and busts some of the myths associated with the art form.
Text: Riya Sonny Datson
Restless Monkey Clan
“The tattoo scenario began in Kochi quite some years ago but it gained wide popularity only a couple of years back. The journey to Restless Monkey Clan started around eight years ago,” says founder Anoop Jayaram. During his visit to Spain, Anoop decided to get a design tattooed but the artist refused to do it claiming that it was too complicated. Anoop was quite taken aback since it was pretty simple according to him, and he decided to learn the art himself. An aeronautical engineer by profession, Anoop finds immense satisfaction and joy when he does tattooing. He emphasises that a good tattoo artist needs to have a love for art and that it is a very promising career if you perform well. There are a lot of myths surrounding this art and he says that busting these myths are vital to promote this art form. “There are myths like – one can’t work in the Gulf countries if you have a tattoo but I have a lot of clients who work there. Another is pertaining to infections. They are caused only due to lack of hygiene or proper after care. The lack of official guidelines or a governing/licensing body in our country has led to the menace of untrained newbies (who lack the proper knowledge or training) inking unsuspecting people and causing a lot of damage to the reputation of the whole industry. We (Or any reputed studio)will use only imported inks that meet international standards and have been tested over two or three decades with no side effects on various skin types.”
“When I started learning, the opportunities were limited and I was lucky to have had chances to interact with experienced international artists who were willing to share the wisdom of the craft and their expertise with me. I feel obliged to do the same for those who are new in this field now,” says Anoop. He feels the need to properly guide and train new talent, to encourage healthy competition and in the process, increase customer awareness. Towards this goal, he will be starting tattoo classes at his studio in Panampilly nagar and Thrissur from July. “Only if more talented and knowledgeable tattoo artists join the industry, will the myths and fears associated with tattooing fade away, and we will get to appreciate a wide variety of body art. It is about time that we, with our rich art heritage of Kerala, make a considerable impact in the national Tattoo scenario,” he signs off.
Things to keep in mind:
- Taking an appointment and having a good concept about the design you want is always preferred.
- Once the tattoo is done, it is vital that you keep the area dust free and clean to avoid infection. Anoop insists that it is important to wash the tattoo with antibacterial soap and water to keep it clean. There are specific tattoo healing films available now that helps the wound to breath and heals it within a week.
- It is important to stay hydrated at all times as it reflects on the skin. Especially while getting inked, the Ink penetrates better in a hydrated skin and causes less damage.
- Stay away from sunlight after getting a tattoo done, especially while healing. Even after the tattoo is healed, its advisable to make it a habit to apply sun block lotions over your ink if you feel you’d be exposed to harsh sunlight.
- Never go to a tattoo studio based on convenience. Experience and hygiene are very important. Inexperienced artists may apply more pressure while doing a tattoo, which makes it unnecessarily painful and can damage the skin. Do a bit of research, view some previous works and settle only with an artist whose style match your tastes.
- Always choose an image or concept that you can personally relate to instead of blindly following a trend. It could be a graphic design or design on a wall paper or something you have created yourself, be willing to experiment. Uniqueness is the key.
Trends: Explore, innovate and find your own design as this is something that is permanently going to be on your body.
Rates: 500/sq inch for basic designs and 4,000 per hour for realism and custom designs.
Contact: Anoop Jayaram: 9074173586