Published: 17th March 2017
The artist with the human canvas
Mumbai's popular tattoo artist, Kevin Andrade about his work and his take on the tattoo culture in India
Trying to get through to someone as busy as Kevin Andrade, who is constantly working, can be quite tiring, but once he picks up the call, he will be that long-lost friend you haven't spoken to in forever. The 36-year-old jokes that he’s still 12 at heart. Tattooing more than 2000 people for the last decade, Kevin is one of the pioneers of the 'biomechanical' style of tattooing in India.
Kevin started out as a CAD operator before he went into the field of advertising at Ogilvy & Mather for almost two years. But he soon realised what he really wanted to do with his life. "I had really good and encouraging bosses, who said that I should get into the body art industry, unless I wanted to rot in advertising," said Kevin.
Ink art: One of the tattoo Kevin Andrade has done recently
He feels that Indians haven't seen much in terms of tattoos and piercings; tattoos being restricted to the 'rebel class' and those who have been exposed to the art through different people and places. "It's the people. There are so many people you meet, amazing human beings, some with simple ideas and some with complex ones. So, it's challenging to work with a different set of rules each time," explained Kevin.
The first tattoo I did was on my brother's arm, which I really screwed up. After that I lost my confidence and kept myself away from tattooing for two years. Then my father bought me a tattoo kit with which I corrected my brother’s tattoo and regained the confidence
Kevin Andrade, Tattoo Artist
When it comes to tattooing his own body though, he feels that he’s a 'wimp', but still managed to get six of them, including a large tiger on his back by a Japanese artist, which he is particularly proud of.