I began work on my first ever tattoo sleeve in December 2015 at Kraayonz. It was on a whim. I happened to be around Sameer Patange, who is amongst Asia’s finest artists, when I was in Bombay for Christmas.
The conversation went like this:
Me: Hey man Sameer, you got some time on your calendar for some art?
Sameer: Sure, what do you wanna get?
Me: I don’t know, how about Batman?
Sameer: I am going to make you something mind-blowing. How about turning it into a half sleeve?
Me: Let’s do it.
And then began the first of the (what I assume will be) 4 sittings. And through the 8 hours that he spent concentrating on my arm, changing 3 chairs and having dinner in between, this work of art is there for all to see.
But let me tell you why I chose Sameer as an artist from whom I get all my ink once I discovered him. You know, I had one of those embarrassing neck tattoos that a dear friend would call a house fly. I wanted a cover up and DJ SA recommended Kraayonz. When Sameer began working on it, he asked me who I got my previous work from. I said, all my work is from different artists I have bumped into over the years. And he said, that was the problem. You need to stick to someone who does good work.
He was speaking generically of course. But when I was done with that cover up job, I haven’t gotten any ink from any artists but him. Of course, there are a few international artists I hope to get inked by when I travel. But when here, he is the only one I allow to work on my skin.
With over 15 years of experience and having evolved over a period of time when tattoos weren’t as mainstream as they are now, this man is a legend. To add some perspective, actors like Sanjay Dutt, Hritik Roshan and Kangana Ranaut have been inked by him. He also has studios set up in Bangalore and Pune with his apprentices operating out of it. The thing I like about Sameer is that he has vision. He isn’t a copy paste artist. Which is exactly why I go to him with an idea and let him interpret it his way.
And the best part is, thanks to him I am friends with the folks that run BAD!!
If you must get a tattoo, there cannot be a better studio than Kraayonz in India. But don’t go just because of the hype. Go to them for their quality of work.