Four Mumbai tattoo artists that celebs like Virat Kohli, Aamir Khan swear by
Has cricketer Virat Kohli's latest tattoo inspired you to finally get yours? We bring you four tattoo artists our celebs swear by
Celebrities are known for their pickiness and quest for perfection. And when it comes to something as delicate and permanent as a tattoo, they want to leave no stone unturned to make sure it's perfect. Recently, Indian captain Virat Kohli got one from Aliens Tattoo in Bandra and of course, it went viral. We bring you four artists in the city that the rich and famous trust with the needle.
'I sketch from memory'
D'silva's Andheri studio is specifically called a 'fine arts' studio, as opposed to a 'tattoo' studio. This JJ School of Arts graduate, who is a trained sculptor, calls tattooing an "extension of my canvas". D'silva specialises in free-hand tattoos, fashioned out of his original designs.
"I sketch in front of the client; I need to get to know the person well before I can create a design for them. In fact, if I don't connect with a person during consultation, I don't take them on as a client." Uday Chopra is one of D'silva's many patrons and "now also a dear friend". "He wanted a light sabre, a phoenix and the symbol of an atom to all come together. I don't use reference images, you won't find a computer in my studio. I sketch from memory."
Where: The Fine Art Studio, Andheri West
Price: Rs 10,000 per hour (Including consultation)
'Aamir knew more about tattoos than us'
What started as a small studio in Versova is now one of the most famous inking haunts in Bandra. Two brother, Vikas and Mickey Malani, started the studio in 2001 when tattooing was just picking up. Now, Mickey runs a branch in London. "Back in the day, many people who are famous now, would frequent our studio. Somebody recalled getting his first tattoo sitting next to Karan Singh Grover, around 15 years ago, when nobody knew him. And that somebody is rapper Divine!" Vikas says. One of his earliest superstar patrons was Priyanka Chopra. "She wanted a guitar on her back for her film Pyar Impossible. We also made a sports bike for MS Dhoni," says Malani who has inked over 70,000 people. Among his other clients are Arpita Khan, who got her entire family's names inked, and also Aamir Khan, during Dhoom 3. "Aamir seemed to know more about tattoos than us."
Where: Body Canvas Tattoos, Bandra West
Price: Rs 2,000 to Rs 5 lakhs
'Very few actors get tattoos on the upper body'
The three brothers, Olly, Arun and AJ Alva have been running Al's [Alva's] Tattoo Studio for two decades. Remember Milind Soman's tattoo in Alisha Chinnai's song Made In India? "That was done by us. It was an abstract design," says Olly. Over the years, their celeb game has only gotten stronger. Actors usually don't go for complex designs, he says. "Their tattoos are also rarely visible, very few would go for the upper body." Ali Fazal recently got Ghana's Adinkara symbol inked on his calf. "It stands for the supremacy of God. Fazal is well-read and has fantastic ideas. But he's also very chilled out, and allows you to do your thing. So is Malaika - she got love inked on her finger, and a rosary with a cross. She was not sure of the design, said that she wanted 'something small'. This happens often. We need to discuss deeply with clients, so that the right ideas get expressed," he says. They also inked a swastik on Shilpa Shetty, that looks like SK, which stands for Shilpa Kundra and a mother-daughter symbol for Sakshi Dhoni.
Where: Al's Tattoo and Body Piercing Studio, Bandra West
Price: Rs 1,500-Rs 2,000 per inch
'Saif's Kareena tattoo had started off only as a K'
This senior tattoo artist at Aalim Hakim's studio rides on over 35 years of experience. From Saif Ali Khan, to Hrithik Roshan, Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha and many more tinsel townies, Dorwekar is the go-to for their inking needs. A close friend of Jonathan Shaw, who's famous for inking Johnny Depp, the first celebrity this 50-year-old inked was Sanjay Dutt. "He got his parents' names inked on his chest, in Devnagri and Urdu." Among the many famous tattoos that he has done, nothing created as much buzz as Saif Ali Khan's "Kareena" tattoo. "When Saif came to me, he only wanted the letter 'K'. I was experimenting with few calligraphy styles, and we had arrived on a design, that would be a cross between Hindi and Arabic. Then, Kareena walks into the studio and jokes that 'K' could stand for Khan too! That's when we decided to get her entire name inked," Dorwekar laughs. Among his latest works is Ajay Devgn's second tattoo, a Mahakali motif with his son's name 'Yug' etched in it. "My clients joke that I don't make conversation. I tell them I need full focus - this job requires a surgeon's precision."
Where: Hakim's Alim Hair And Tattoo Lounge, Bandra West
Price: Rs 4,000 to Rs 2 lakhs
Catch up on all the latest Mumbai news, crime news, current affairs, and also a complete guide on Mumbai from food to things to do and events across the city here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates
Enjoy Mumbai rains with these top chai-pakora destinations in the city