Welcome to an exclusive glimpse into the captivating world of tattoo artistry with India, a talented artist whose intricate designs and unique approach have garnered widespread admiration. In this interview, India shares her inspiring journey from Portugal to becoming a renowned tattoo artist, exploring her deep-rooted passion for art, her distinctive style, and the profound connection between her creations and the human spirit. Join us as we delve into the fascinating realm of tattoos as a form of self-expression, artistic mastery, and meaningful storytelling.

Tattoo artist India

Let's start with a little introduction. Tell us a bit about yourself. How and when did you get into tattooing?

- My name is India, and I was born in Portugal. I'm the daughter of a Portuguese mother and an Indian father; this origin inspired my artistic name. I've always been passionate about drawing, and from a young age, I experienced various forms of art such as painting, tile work, sculpture, and drawing, as my mother is a ceramist and tile painter. Despite my love for the arts, I was discouraged from pursuing a future in this field with the argument that I wouldn't make a living out of the arts.

Tattoo artist India

In 2013, I entered the Faculty of Letters at the University of Lisbon, to take a degree I thought would get me closer to the arts, Artistic studies - Comparative arts and cultures.

Tattooing came into my life during my final year of college in 2018, through my boyfriend, now husband, who encouraged me to buy the materials, saying that my artistic talent should not go to waste and that it would be good to try another form of art that I had never experienced before.

For a year, I balanced my job at the time with this new world of tattoos until I started working at a tattoo studio full-time, allowing me to dedicate all my availability and willingness to learn more.

Tattoo artist India

Do you remember your first tattoo and how you felt after the session?

- My first tattoo was on my boyfriend, now husband, to whom I am very grateful for his trust and unconditional support. It was a mix of emotions. I remember being in another tattoo artist's studio, with my first tattoo set up and he lent me all the materials and guided my steps. I remember trembling and thinking about how difficult it is to keep a steady hand on such an unstable surface. But I got the bug to do more and better.

For you, is tattooing an art, a job, or something else?

- For me, tattoos are like messages from the soul. Externally, tattoos are works of art on the skin that connect with our inner essence, as they define us. The fact that we choose certain themes and elements reflects our personality to the world.

Tattoo artist India

I believe that those who come to tattoo with me connect and respect my art because most of the time, my creations are done freehand on the day of the session, directly on the skin. For that, there's a need to have a lot of trust and love for the art, not just seeing it as a job or a service.

Your work is something unique: delicate intricate ornaments intertwine with plants and flowers, and it looks simply stunning! Share your secrets: what equipment do you work with, what personal techniques do you use to achieve such precision and neatness in your designs?

- I appreciate the kind words about my art. From the beginning, I felt compelled to create something unique in the world of tattoos. Not only because I wanted to differentiate myself from other professionals, but also because when I looked at internet references, I felt they weren't feminine and delicate enough for me. I love to appreciate the delicacy of lines and the softness of shadows, leaving the work clean to enhance the details and intricacies of the piece.

Tattoo artist India

The materials I use are crucial to achieving perfect work; therefore, I never do without Pepax needles, Bishop tattoo machines, and Hustle Butter products. I believe it's possible to create fine and well-pigmented lines with 03rl and 05rl needles, having a good grip on the handle and stretching the skin very well. A trick that helps me a lot is to place the needle further out and mark very superficially with graywash on the first pass, so I can clean the entire stencil and redraw all the lines. Not only do I have more clarity in the project, but I also saturate the lines more for better healing.

For those interested in freehand, I advise always having a small notebook with you so you can doodle and loosen your hand daily; it's indispensable for me.

Tattoo artist India

Your work seems to be inspired by Eastern culture. Is it true? Tell us about your sources of inspiration.

- Yes, it's true. Oriental culture has been present in my life forever, due to the Indian origins of my paternal family. My taste for ornamental and detail is evident in everything around me, from the jewelry I wear to my clothing, home decor, and more. My eye always seeks the meticulous and the richness of detail, hence my love for mandalas and their harmonious composition. I'm also heavily influenced by nature; I take a lot of inspiration photos of flowers and plants. I enjoy incorporating them with ornamental themes because, for me, they connect aesthetically.

Tattoo artist India

Due to the finesse of the lines, it seems that your clients are mainly women. Is this the case? Tell us about the stories your clients come with. Which one is the most memorable for you?

- It's true that 99% of my clients are women, and I'm grateful for that. I feel that my art is very feminine and delicate, so when I have to create something more masculine, my creativity needs multiple references and inspirations. When I create art with women, the communication and understanding are more fluid. Also, being a woman myself, I understand the fluidity of the body better and help with the most appropriate framing depending on the body type.

Tattoo artist India

Most of my clients have an idea of what they want to tattoo but trust the creation process that is often done freehand on the day of the session. I believe the vast majority trust my art and my aesthetic taste, as I often hear "do it as you see fit, I trust you"; this makes me very happy and grateful. Every story touches me in a certain way, but I'm moved when I have clients who travel long distances to meet me.

Tattoo artist India

Do you have favorite tattoos, clients, projects, or perhaps some unusual stories in your career?

- I'm not sure if I can consider it unusual, but it certainly was a milestone in my career. When I wanted to focus on ornamental and floral styles, I didn't have a client base with a taste for that theme. That's when I started tattooing my own legs, creating an ornamental and floral composition of my work that served and continues to serve as inspiration to many people. Consequently, many requests for this theme started coming in, and I began a trend of delicately tattooed legs by myself, becoming an expert in my favorite tattoo style. It was something I did for myself and never thought it would attract so many.

Tattoo artist India

What is the most important aspect of tattooing for you?

- For me, tattooing is undoubtedly an act of trust, and it's crucial for the client to be connected with the tattoo artist. Despite the tattoo artist being the artist, I believe that the art belongs to both, and it's important to have communication, respect, and trust from both parties.

Do you travel a lot? Where have you been already, and where do you feel most comfortable?

- Fortunately, this job gives me the opportunity to travel, and I've taken full advantage of that factor. I've worked in various places around the world, including Australia. I enjoy guest spots in Germany, England, Switzerland, Netherlands, among so many others, but the place where I feel most comfortable is in my own studio in Portugal.

Asia is definitely my favorite travel destination; I love the entire culture of the East, and I feel at home whenever I go there but never to work, it's the place where I recharge my energies and spiritual sight.

Tattoo artist India

Do you have experience participating in conventions? How many awards do you have? And what convention was the most significant for you?

- I have participated in some conventions such as LUXEXPO in Luxembourg, Oporto in Portugal, and the recent Lisbon Tattoo Rock Festival. For the first time, a fine line contest was held, and I won the first prize with an ornamental and floral leg project. I was very proud because it was the first time this category existed, and also because it was in my homeland. Unfortunately, there aren't many tattoo conventions with fine line categories, and I hope that changes in the future.

Tattoo artist India

Many artists, when answering questions about sponsorship and proTeams, talk about their efforts to influence this part of the industry. You collaborate with several brands, so tell us what sponsorship means to you?

- Partnership is beneficial for both the tattoo artist and the sponsoring brand. I have numerous people asking me daily about the products I use, and I know that for my work to be excellent, the quality of the products is crucial. I'm very happy to be sponsored by Pepax needles because they are truly incredible and allow me to create clean and meticulous work. Dr. Pickles and Hustle Butter provide me with various products such as foam, butter, second skin, etc., making the tattooing process easier and safer. I also emphasize the importance of taking care of the tattoo during the healing process, and I always offer my clients an aftercare kit, which includes a glycerin soap made by me and a cream from my sponsor A-Derma, which is suitable for tattoos and leaves a wonderful result.

Tattoo artist India

How do you assess your popularity? And in your opinion, how can it be measured?

- Over these 7 years of tattooing, I've built a very large fan base that grows bigger every day. I believe I have a good level of popularity stemming from my hard work. Not only in executing tattoos but also in my online presence. Nowadays, it's crucial for a tattoo artist to balance their time between manual and digital work; the digital world contributes significantly to the artist's growth and is a key component in this field. I believe I have good popularity, but I know there's potential to reach even further.

Tattoo artist India

Many successful tattoo artists strive to share their acquired experience. Tell us if you have any such activities in your life and for whom they are.

- I have various activities in my life aimed at sharing knowledge and experiences, particularly through online platforms, workshops, and collaborations with other artists. I find great fulfillment in sharing what I've learned throughout my journey with aspiring artists and enthusiasts.

Tattoo artist India

What is the most important thing in your career as a tattoo artist? What goals do you set for yourself?

- For me, the most important aspects of my career are consistency and intention. Consistency has been with me from the start, and I intend to carry it through to the end of my career as a tattoo artist. It helps me stay true and coherent to my artistic self. I am consistent in practice, study, sharing, and everything involving my work. Intention is what drives me; I have the intention to elevate my art to another level, to create something new, to be more recognized for my style of work, among other aspirations. I believe in setting both short and long-term goals to always focus on something and motivate myself towards it.