Business of tattoos: Patterns of money

Sep 15 2013, 12:51 IST
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Till about a decade ago, tattoo business was not considered a commercially viable option. Oinam Anand Till about a decade ago, tattoo business was not considered a commercially viable option. Oinam Anand
SummaryBusiness of tattoos is not skin deep. Tattoo studios to institutes charge up to Rs 1 lakh as course fees.

with basic sketching, followed by practising on fake rubber skin. Once the trainer feels the student is doing well, he/she starts tattooing under his/her guidance. It is followed by personal tattoos, which can range from tribal, shaded, coloured or portraits, among others.

Devil’z Tattooz, which has been running a training centre at Rajouri Garden, Delhi, offers a 90-day advanced professional course with certification, which includes building the students’ fine arts skills with a variety of mediums, as well as practising with the tattoo machine on skin, at a cost of Rs 1.2 lakh. They also offer a 45-day basic tattooing course (with certificate) for people who want to take up tattooing as a hobby at a cost of Rs 65,000.

“If the students start learning professionally from an experienced artist, they will avoid the time consumed in the hit-and-trial method and they will start using the right equipment for getting well-paid jobs,” says Verma. They also provide accommodation facilities for outstation students at an additional cost of Rs 6,000 per month, which includes three meals a day.

KDz Tattoos offers a more organised course module so that it is easy for students to adapt and learn the art of tattooing. They have five different levels of training, which starts with medical training, sterilisation processes and sketching and goes to advanced levels, like piercing training and real tattoos on volunteers. The course fee is up to Rs 69,000, which includes a free tattoo kit and a personal website.

“Making a tattoo is like doing a minor surgery; so you need to be sure of the type of needle to be used, the pressure, the technique of shading, filling colours, etc. Detailed information on blood-borne pathogens and complete sterilisation process should be on one’s fingertips. The course covers every aspect associated with tattoos,” says KD.

However, some studios, like Ink Inn Tattoo Studio, focus only on one student at a time as it gives the student more attention from the trainer. The minimum tenure for such courses is three months with a fee structure that varies from Rs 90,000 to Rs 1,20,000. However, students can continue learning after the completion of three months without any additional cost. “We don’t teach here in batches because everyone has a different learning curve. So we focus on each individual as per their previous knowledge of art. The fees may vary from one student to another depending on

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