4 New Tattoo Artists who are Evolving the Tattoo Culture in India

From ancient rituals to one of the high street’s covetable fashion statements, tattoos have integrated themselves into the fabric of our culture.

Today, a new generation of tattoo artists is revolutionising the ancient art form, injecting it with fresh perspectives and diverse voices. These artists are crafting designs that resonate deeply with the youth and queer communities, creating a powerful visual language that speaks to identity and self-expression. We spoke to some of these creatives, who are building community using their tattoo practices as healing. Today, a tattoo is not a trend as much as a genuine reflection of one’s culture, style, and identity— proof that tattoos are the most sought-after fashion accessory in current times.

From tattoos inspired by regional paintings to hand block printing techniques and the handpoke method (using the manual gesture of infusing skin with ink, in place of tattoo machines), meet four creative visionaries who are redefining what tattoos can be. Their body of art is not just ink on skin; it's a mix of fresh, poignant, cute, and undeniably cool sketches.

Woodblock Tattoos by Miriam

Miriam, a textile designer of Spanish descent and the founder of Woodblock Tattoos (@woodblocktattoo) in Jaipur, created her signature style by employing the symbolic references from Hinduism and mixing it with traditional patterns, particularly those of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Her work involves repurposing traditional textile blocks as stencils for tattooing and giving new life to these wooden chunks.

She believes that trust and improvisation are the keys to her process. “My clients don’t know what tattoo they will receive until they arrive and choose the blocks from my collection,” shares Miriam. In addition to bridging the gap between traditional and contemporary, the burgeoning artist firmly believes that traditional textile printing techniques are in some way interwoven with the art of tattooing.

Tattoos by Shreya

Some distance away, in the capital city of New Delhi, Shreya Josh(@paradise_tender) seats her clients in a quaint studio and practices her art with utmost care and precision. Josh, who has been in the industry for the last seven years, started with handpoke tattoos in India soon after she finished her studies abroad. She considers tattooing a form of self-care and describes her aesthetic as somewhat wrapped in child-like quirky, colourful, and nostalgic forms. Her tattoo designs are an extension of her drawings. "Currently, I’m really enjoying the process of making my linework with a machine and then adding colourful shading with the handpoke method. The duality of thick lines versus soft colours is really fun and settles in nicely with Indian skin tones,” believes Shreya.

Srotoswini Sinha

“My parents don’t like tattoos," laughs Milan-based artist Srotoswini Sinha(@srotoswini_pokes), who considers tattoos a medium for them to practice their art. “I have always wanted my art to reach people, and tattooing gives me direct contact. So I would say it is an extension of my practice as an artist.”

If insights from Instagram are anything to go by, there is a proliferating interest among millennials and Gen Z for minimalist, culturally conscious tattoos. Sinha, for example, finds themselves inspired by the mystique of abstraction and perception. Their designs on Instagram are mostly filtered in black and white, creating a sense of mystery when deciphering skin and colour. “I have realised that all skin is the same and all skin is different. To get rid of the idea of differences in terms of colour, I try to post everything in black and white,” shares the young artist.

Banana Tatz by Triparna Mishra 

“I am from Odisha, and my biggest inspiration is carrying my culture with me and expressing it through my art,” says Triparna Mishra(@bananatatz), a painter, terracotta sculptor, and recently turned tattoo artist. She ventured into the realm of body art two years ago, quickly realising that she wanted it to become her life’s work. “My work involves the exploration of Patta Chitra. It’s the traditional painting style of Odisha that involves heavy details and intricate line work,” she explains. “I love drawing and painting the female form and inculcating aspects of the Shringara Rasa (one of the nine positions in classical dance). Elaborate poses and gestures of the body, mudras, jewellery, and alta on the hands and feet.” She’s also working on her new Tiger series inspired by the ‘Bagha Nacha’, a folk dance commonly practiced in Odisha.