Ink it like Al

Updated: Jul 20, 2019, 21:59 IST | Suman Mahfuz Quazi

Earlier this week, World Tattoo Day was celebrated across the globe, and so we decided to invite one of Mumbai's most sought-after artists to give you all the gyaan on getting inked

Ink it like Al
Arun Anthony Alva tattooing a customer

It has taken the world a long time to accept tattoos as a form of art. For, many years, in modern history, it was looked down upon as unsophisticated, perhaps because it served the purpose of demarcation, particularly among tribes. But, in fact, they are representative of a lot culture and history. Etymologists suggest that the word “tattoo” can be traced back to the Samoan society in the 18th century, and comes from the term “tattaow,” which means to strike.

The boom of TV shows like Miami Ink and others contributed substantially to changing the outlook around tattoos, and with time, it quickly became “cool” from “cheap.” Such that, July 17 has been recognised as World Tattoo Day, where lovers of the art form celebrated it.

Arun Anthony Alva, co-owner of one of Mumbai most-lauded tattoo studio, Al’s, tells us, “People often say that the world is divided into two kinds of people — those who have tattoos and those who are afraid of people with tattoos. We have been here [in Bandra] for 19 years and have witnessed the change in the world of tattoos, and also how others perceive it. It feels great that now, there’s a day dedicated to it.”

In case you are considering getting inked, here are three design trends to opt for, according to Alva:

Ink it like Alsacred geometry tattoo

Sacred geometry tattoo: These have a deeper meaning. They are among the oldest designs for tattoos and are deeply rooted in beliefs, religion and spirituality. Typically, they’re centered on perfect geometric shapes like circles and squares. Circles are associated with relationships and community while square-based designs show stability. When used together, it shows the balance between the two. Other complex and platonic solids such as the dodecahedron and icosahedron are used to show the complexity of nature and the universe, and at the same time, a remarkable interconnection and unity.

Ink it like AlMandala Tattoo

Mandala tattoo: These are sacred symbols, especially related to Hinduism and Buddhism. They comprise complex floral designs and are usually symmetrical and circular shaped. ‘Mandala’ is the Sanskrit word for circle. Like a circle, the mandala represents wholeness, eternity, balance, and perfection. Floral and tribal designs are trending in this category and the best position for these is on the back or on chest, as they offer a flat surface and prevents the circular design from being distorted.

Ink it like Alwatercolour tattoo

Watercolour tattoos: Recently, they have taken the body-inking world by storm. They are on high demand and have attracted the current generation greatly. They are fresh, vivid and free form. The colors used are typically bright and are great for self-expression.

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