Bengaluru-based tattoo artist Raja S aka @Mettleink talks about his art
Every good artist has strong philosophical values about her/his practice. Bengaluru-based tattoo artist Raja S (Instagram @mettleink) vouches that certain ideas have even influenced his style of inking.
“A lot of people want tattoos to be a memory of overcoming something in life. Instead of just an idea, I sit with them and listen to their story. A good design doesn’t happen when you remember an instance or a place, but when you can connect the dots and make a cohesive tale,” says Raja.
Sticking to this process has brought some character into his work which has an illustrative strain to it, reminiscent of graphic novels.
We speak to this 27-year-old—who has recently returned from participating at Thailand-based Chiangmai Tattoo Fest—about his evolution as a tattooer.
Finding a way
Raja was introduced to inking while he was pursuing BFA in painting at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. Signing u
p with the popular Bengaluru-based studio Skin Deep in 2012, he was mentored by artist Senthil Govind Raj.
Since 2013, he’s also been visiting festivals like Nepal Tattoo Convention to get perspectives on the international circuit.
“Everyone in this field has struggled to come up and expect the same from upcoming artists. So, initially, you have to watch, assimilate practices and then develop your own,” says the tattooer, who has won accolades at festivals like Nepal Inked and collaborated with big names like John Ma and Bimal Rai.
Leaving behind the idea of commercialised tattoo shops, he currently works from a personal studio in Bengaluru and while touring the country. He is currently branching out into new areas like painting and graffiti to support himself and keep away from being a ‘sell-out’.
Appointments available in Kochi from March 5 - 12