If you want to be a writer, a painter or make your name in any creative field in India, then you are going to have an absolutely hard time convincing your parents and friends about helping you realize your dreams. Anurag Pradhan is extremely lucky because his parents whole heartedly support him in his endeavor.
Born and brought up in Darjeeling, Anurag started InkOverMatter with his friend Vevek in a home-based studio in 2012. The name came after much deliberation and was derived from Mind over Matter. Always fond of art and design, Anurag chose this path for himself before he passed out of college.
"Darjeeling being a small town has a thriving music culture, my childhood and teenage years were filled with music. As a child, I was also fond of drawing and took part in drawing competitions in the neighborhood," recalls Anurag.
Unlike other forms of art, tattooing is a tricky art form considering the mistakes are permanent and nothing can be reversed. The only thing you can do is to touch up on the area to hide the mistake. When it comes to tattooing someone, you either face the anger of your customers or their delight. There is no middle path in this profession.
Fortunately in his four years as a tattoo artist, Anurag never had a customer who was not satisfied with his work.
While I was speaking to Vevek, Aditi, who was a repeat customer, walked into the studio and told me about the good work the two friends are doing. "I heard about the studio from one of my friends. Anurag did a great work on his tattoo, which is why I wanted to come and get this tattoo done, I had been looking forward to this since the past one-and-a-half years now."
Every startup dreams of customers doing their marketing for them. And Vevek has relied only on word-of-mouth to spread the word so far, and it seems to be working in their favour.
Vevek says they never turn down any customer but always ask them to think twice before they get their partner’s name inked so that there are no regrets later. Even marriages don't work, and here we are talking about relationships. "Once, a client came to us requesting a tattoo of a girl’s name on his face, under his right eye, who he had met only two days ago. He ignored our warning and went ahead with the tattoo,” Vevek relates the anecdote with relish.
The team behind InkOverMatter consists of Anurag Pradhan and Vevek Subba. Anurag has been tattooing people for over four years now, and is the heart of InkOverMatter. Vivek brings in his management skills and takes care of operations and logistics of their Studio. Apart from them, they also have another artist Rollen Lasrado, who freelances with them.
Anurag shares some important lessons he has learnt in his journey as a tattoo artist:
1) It is always up to you to decide what to do; so if u love something and have good skills then always go ahead and do it. Do not do it just for some quick bucks.
2) It is always good to face barriers. You learn from your past challenges and will be ready to face your future challenges with much greater zeal.
3) Practicing and brushing your skills is always good, that’s what makes you better in the end.
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