Tattoo artist Sunny Bhanushali tells Monarose Sheila Pereira about the dynamism and budding potential that his craft holds and outlines his trail as a self-taught professional
Sunny Bhanushali is relishing bright success as a tattoo artist. The owner and chief artist at Aliens Tattoo Studio – that boasts of a flattering clientele at Malad, Mulund and Versova - Sunny is a creative person with a knack for all things artistic. He is also a painter, traveller, photographer, designer and digital artist. Talking about his art he says, “I love my profession and art. I like interacting with art and the simple act of creating something good and artistic attracts me. Tattooing allows me to work with amazing concepts. I love working with my clients and reproducing their ideas on their skin.”
Although Sunny completed his Bachelor in Computer Application, he didn't follow the clichéd path that most youngsters do and opted for a radically different choice of profession. He says, “My education took place when I developed a habit of reading. I don't consider books as just books, to me they represent the writer's soul and in a way I have developed a teacher-student relationship with them. I take books as my teachers and I have learned a lot this way. In a way my teachers are people like Paulo Coelho, Tony Robbins, Ernest Holmes and Robert T. Kiyosaki. They have instilled values in me and have educated me about life.”
Sunny is a self-taught artist and has never trained under anyone. There was a time when he wanted to, but help was not forthcoming. However, that did not stop him from doing what he wanted to. He bought a tattoo machine and started designing on his own. It was not easy, but he just hung in there, practiced every day, made a lot of mistakes and learnt from them.
He exclaims, “It is awe-inspiring what we are capable of if we put our minds to something close to our hearts. Right now, I am one of the very few artists in the whole country that has mastery over advanced techniques like hyper-realism and realistic portraits. However I have not forgotten my struggle period.” Sunny conducts training and workshops for budding tattoo artists who are keen about the art.
His job as a tattooist involves converting the ideas in the minds of his clients to physical tattoos. Sunny plays with concepts and ideas and work things around those ideas. As the owner of Aliens Tattoos, his job profile goes beyond tattooing. He has to take care of the business and the marketing too. Sunny brings new facets to the industry as growth and change is a necessary part of his life.
For example, he started his tattoo training institute and took the role of a teacher. That was not a norm and a huge chunk of the industry went against him. He loves to break boundaries in art and bring out good changes in the industry. What Sunny likes best about tattooing is that it gives him artistic freedom. You don't have to work for a boss and you can create your own artistic world for you to work in. Your portfolio becomes your CV and what could be more refreshing than that? Being creative, it gives him tremendous satisfaction. Most people are happy living the normal way and choosing the usual careers, but Sunny loves to be different.
The tattoo artist is proud of his well-equipped studio. He shares, “Even before you see my art, what is impressive is the stereo sound. I have got Warfedale woofers and these are very expensive. Apart from that we use the best equipment and our hygiene standards are really high. To maintain both requires high investment. I did not hire any special interior designer to do up the interiors. I did it myself. I thought and executed every aspect of the design. I saved a lot of money in doing it myself but never compromised on the essentials that make tattooing at my studio such a wonderful experience.”
Tattooing is a growing trend. Remuneration for the artist depends on his or her proficiency in tattooing. It depends on how much practice and work is put into learning the right techniques and what kind of artistic level one wants to reach. A simple tattoo can cost around Rs. 1,000/- and the charges go up depending on the type of tattoo the client wants. If students who pass out from his training classes show talent and dedication, they get a chance to work at his studio and then there is no upper limit to how much they can make.
Becoming a professional depends on the hard work one is willing to put in and also on one’s talent. It might take years or just a couple of months to become a professional; it all depends on the individual. Today many people want to have tattoos and therefore there is plenty of scope for a good career as a tattoo artist. Sunny plans to expand his studio and is coming up with a website that is going to cause a revolution in the tattoo industry.