He is the only tattooist in Udaipur who carries more than 13 tattoos on his own body. Vijay Shyama’s passion for making tattoo has crossed its limits several times, as this 27 year old jewelry designer turned tattoo artist don’t feed himself till his ‘work’ isn’t finished, perhaps believing that his art form on his client’s body is the best nourishment for himself.
In a short span of 8 months, since he shifted from Chennai with his wife Shyama, Vijay who is also known as DEVIL is considered one of the best tattooists of Udaipur; the proof of this statement is his work which he has performed for more than 100 people including many foreign tourists and locals, who punched several lines of appraisal on Vijay’s comment book.
From a small tattoo shop at Udaipur’s Hanuman Ghat to Prabhat’s newly opened Hair and Nail Bar at Celebration Mall where Vijay is the head tattooist, the journey has been short but tough and he has decided to continue his career in the city of lakes as it has offered him so much.
“I met Ashok Paliwal- A mentor and a brotherly figure; he was the one who guided me through the toughest phase of my life. Ashok sir is there to defend me and here I am now, thanks to him and Lord Hanuman ji”, says Vijay who is also a diehard devotee of Lord Hanuman.
Vijay learned basic tattooing from the Tattoo Institute of Huahing, Thailand and did advanced courses in the field from Black Magic Body Art Studio, Chennai.
He has tattooed many numbers of people, his costliest tattoo was a World Map which he had made on a back of one foreign tourist in Udaipur for Rs.27,000/- and took 5 hours non-stop designing.
The tattoo design that Vijay considers his personal favorite is the Gayatri Mantra he designed on the arms of his friend. It took a grueling 6 hours to complete the work.
“My first unpaid tattoo was on my wife though the first professional work was on my friend who paid me Rs.5000 for a design. I also do cover-up over bad tattoos or any accidental or birth marks. In the end, it’s all about your imagination, perfection and passion which counts in end. My tag line is- You think it and I ink it!” said Vijay.
His small work area is full of several high class instruments, tattoo inks, needles and his three guns. Out of the three, his golden gun holds a very special place in his heart.
“The needles we use are of high quality stainless steel and are completely sterile. The inks used are the best ones in the US market and are totally organic based. Our studio strictly abides to the Occupational Safety and Health Administrative Standards (OSHA),” he added when asked about his workplace’s hygiene.
Mewar has its own connection with tattooing, though the genre is completely different from what today’s youngsters love to dig on their skins but yes, tattoo art has its own roots attached with the tribal and other native communities of Mewar.
“Tattooing is a new style statement for youngsters in Udaipur. It’s a pure art and also a way of expression which also gives you confidence and psychological strength. Tattoos are not just creating a horrifying image but also convey a message. It all depends on one’s creativity. I have clients who dedicated their tattoos to their loved ones. So it’s just an artistic way to convey your message,” says Vijay.
Tattoos have a history of more than 5000 years; nevertheless if this quote itself has no authentic testimony, tattooing already is a global trend in-demand. Few societies may have tagged it as a ‘taboo’ but the Generation-X is accepting it as a part of them.