Gaurav Jamwal: Jammu’s very own first tattoo artist

Akanksha Gupta. Updated: 10/8/2016 5:09:34 PM This Person: Then and Now

Gaurav Jamwal is perhaps the first breed of artists from Jammu who took tattooing as an art and took it seriously enough to turn into a highly successful business, and set up Jammu’s leading Tattoo Studio: “Taboo - The Tattooist”. Gaurav has not only worked in Jammu but also in cities like Chandigarh and Delhi as he specialises in coloured and black and grey tattoos. The News Now recently caught up with Gaurav and spoke to him. Here are the excerpts of the interview:

TNN: How long have you been tattooing?
Gaurav: I have been tattooing for almost 10 years now. I was perhaps the first one to start a full-fledged Tattoo Studio in Jammu.

TNN: What got you interested in the business of tattoos
Gaurav: Hailing from Jammu and belonging to a family of government employees, I always wanted to choose a career which was somewhat different, what we call “Hat ke”. Though I completed my higher studies and even got selected for a good position in a government department but then I dropped the idea of joining and went to Chandigarh. There, I learnt making tattoos and disc jockeying. I also worked as a DJ before entering the field of tattooing. I guess my being a rebel by nature, challenging the status quo helped in taking tattooing as a profession.

TNN: Do you enjoy the job after all these years?
Gaurav: Absolutely. I love it. The art of tattooing has also evolved over the years. When I had started, I used to do one tattoo in two three days but now I do almost 100 tattoos a month. We have grown organically and have never ever advertised. This interview is also the first time perhaps when I have spoken to the media.

TNN: Is it true that only those people get tattoos who are freaks, rebels, and bikers?
Gaurav: This perhaps was true 10 years ago, I myself was a rebel and therefore took tattooing as a profession when nobody knew what it will lead to. However, today the art of tattoo oing has evolved with real artists, better machinery and equipments coming in. You will be surprised if I will tell you that my 65 per cent of my clients are females. Tattoo has grown from style statement to an expression now and therefore lot of my clients include doctors, working professionals etc.

TNN: Who has been your role model?
Gaurav: Actually speaking, no one. I never knew what this art form was; I just started out after watching videos on the web and got interested in the profession over the period of time.

TNN: How is Jammu placed in terms of art of tattooing?
Gaurav: There are two basic things here; one, there is complete lack of originality here. People have been getting the same tattoo designs, it’s a herd mentality when it comes to tattoos.
We are almost 50 years behind the most evolved markets in terms of tattooing. Globally, there are no small tattoos, there are full arms, full back tattoos. We are still doing smaller tattoos.
Second, and which is very important is that here everyone is a tattoo artist. As artists they don`t have originality and knowledge of machinery, inks, safety etc. It is easy to be a tattoo artist, however very difficult to be a good tattoo artist.

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