An Insightful Conversation with Tuhi Dutta: Tattoo Myths Busted and More.
We had the pleasure of having an insightful conversation with Kolkata's first female tattoo artist Tuhi Dutta. From how the industry is like for women to the myths about the industry, we covered some basic questions and got a great glimpse of the tattoo industry.
With over 7 years of tattooing experience, Tuhi Dutta has her own tattoo studio established in Kolkata. Her expertise is in minimalism and she specializes in mandala tattoo design, ornamental tattoos and also, cover up tattoos. She has also been felicitated with a couple of awards and has also attended multiple conventions across North India.
So, without any delay, here are the highlights of our interaction with Tuhi Dutta.
How Does It Feel ToBe A Part Of An Industry Which Has A Dearth Of Female Artists?
It is an industry where you get to just express yourself in such an artistic manner. So, it is good! It is an awesome feeling because I am doing something that I love to do and, being part of such a huge industry like the tattooing industry, I have a lot to see. So, it feels superb!
Have You Seen Any Disadvantages Of Being A Woman In This Industry?
When I started there were some cons of being a female because most of the artists we see, or rather we all see, are male. When I started my journey, there have been certain clients who came to my studio and asked, “Who is the artist here?” and I’m like, “Hello. I am the artist.” They are taken aback by the fact that I am a female and I am a tattoo artist.
Gender should not matter. It is just in the mind of people.
What Do You Dislike About Your Job?
I think it would be the fact about how people perceive you and your work, especially in India. In the year 2010 when I started knowing about this industry, back then people did not know much about tattoos at all. However, along the years, people have educated themselves and they know a lot about this art now. It’s changing. So, it is about the mentality of the people.
Some people you meet with, you get to work with, you may not gel with them. That is on us to deal with it depending on the person. Otherwise everything is good. There are so many humble tattoo artists, they are so welcoming. There is nothing disadvantageous about it.
What Is The Most Challenging Part Of Your Job?
If I'm not able to do a good job on someone then it is going to be bad for me and my brand. A tattoo artist needs to know how to do a good work as well as how to cover up the work that goes wrong. We are dealing with human skin which is something permanent and we do not have an eraser. So, I feel that is one of the most challenging parts.
Then, different people have different pain threshold so to make a client comfortable and to do a good work on them, I think that is a challenge in itself.
Yes, you can go for laser treatment but that is very painful, and it is a long process and you have to take care of it. It is not like that you go for one session; it takes a number of sessions to get it removed.
So, before getting inked, think! Don’t just go and get anything done.
What Is Your Source Of Inspiration Or When A Client Does Not Know What Design To Get Then How Do You Help Them Decide?
Most of the clients do come with a basic idea of what they want. People who come to me with no idea at all, they ask me to suggest an idea for them. I always tell them to please take your time and get what you want, because as an artist, we can suggest. But the subject matter needs to be very much clear to you. We will just do the work for the time being and then you will have to stay with the tattoo forever.
You can get something positive like maybe an unalome tattoo. You can change your boyfriends and girlfriends, but you cannot change your parents. So, to be safe I always tell them to get their mom or dad’s name.
which you will not repent, or you will not get bored of because this is something permanent.
I also tell my clients that there is nothing called trend in getting permanent tattoos done because trends keep changing.
What Do You Have To Say About The Myths People Have Related To Getting Inked?
As far as myths are concerned, Google Baba is there to clear them out.
I think, one of the most common things that people ask is “Would I get AIDS by getting tattooed?” and I am like, Oh God! No. You don’t really get all those things if you get a tattoo done from a good hygienic studio.
There are so many different kinds of myths like, you cannot donate blood because you have a tattoo but that is a myth. There is a period of 6 months to a year for which a person cannot give blood after getting a tattoo done but after that they can.
We can see so many tattoos on cricketers, footballers and they are one of the most health conscious people. So, if tattoos would have been hazardous for health then they would’ve never gotten tattoos done.
What Do You Think Of The TattooPedia?
It’s a great platform because in India we do not have such platforms for tattoo artists. We do our own promotions. We go to conventions. There isn’t any such page or organization to cover a tattoo artist or their journey. I think because of Covid, things are going a bit slow for everyone. However, things are going better and I’m sure that The Tattoopedia is going to give a very good platform to all the tattoo artists in Kolkata, in India as a whole because it is a huge community but we literally need to come together, work together and help each other out. I think The TattooPedia works as a platform to help us do that.
So, thank you to you guys that you have started it and in India there is no such platform for tattoo artists and you guys are doing a superb job.
We wholeheartedly thank Tuhi Dutta for giving us her valuable time and being a huge part of our journey as well. She was the first artist who believed in us and joined our platform. Thank you so much for your kind words.
You can access the entire conversation on our channel on Youtube and don’t forget to subscribe to get all the updates of our regular tattoo related videos and many such interviews to come. The same conversation is also accessible on our Instagram page.
We hope this conversation was just as insightful for you as it was for us!
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