Friday Aug 12, 2022
Friday Aug 12, 2022

The world of Nepali tattoo artists

What is it like to be a tattoo artist in Nepal!

2021 Sep 17, 10:08, Kathmandu
Tezen Shrestha, tattooing on his client. Photo: Tezen

Tezen Shrestha, fell in love with art since his childhood.

And now he is a tattoo artist at KTM Ink.

Shrestha says, “After completing my school, I made a handmade machine and started tattooing on my friends. I knew then it was something I wanted to do in the future.

“In 2010, I opened my own studio and hired a tattoo artist for further guidance.”, Shrestha says.

 It's been 10 years since Shrestha had started his journey as a tattoo artist but he says there is always more to learn.

However in the society, people with tattoos or tattoo artists are called drug addicts or even gangsters.

Randeep Rai, a tattoo artist
Photo: Randeep
Randeep Rai, a tattoo artist Photo: Randeep

Randeep Rai, tattoo artist from Dharan, says, “When I tattooed my body, my parents were not happy. People used to tell me to stop tattooing and start getting serious in my life. I was told to go abroad or start another business.”

Tezen Shrestha, a tattoo artist
Photo: Tezen
Tezen Shrestha, a tattoo artist Photo: Tezen

Tattoo artists were also greatly affected by COVID-19 like everyone else. They could not run their studio and had to put everything in pause.

Shrestha says, “Every year we have an event called ‘International tattoo convention’, where all of the tattoo artists come together. And we had thousands of foreigners but due to the pandemic we could not do it for two years.”

But as things are finally coming back to normal and things are gradually opening, the tattoo studios are also open.

Rather than just contemplating in the lost times, Shrestha is looking for a bright future.

“I am planning to open a tattoo school in 2022, after the pandemic is under control. It will be a platform for our new generation who wants to get professional training,” explains Shrestha.

“Even before, whenever we had an international artist in our studio, we did a seminar,” he adds.

Randeep Rai, tattooed on his client
Photo: Randeep
Randeep Rai, tattooed on his client Photo: Randeep

“As a child I loved art, tattoos turned out to be my passion when I grew older and it’s been 10 years since I started it. I’m enjoying my work because I get to interact and know different people” says Rai.


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