Tattoo Artist Spotlight: Srinath and Malathy (Tattoos And Tales)

Tattoos and Tales

Srinath and Malathy are Indian tattoo artists based in Bangalore. They began tattooing in

Together, they own and run Tattoos And Tales.

Head on over to Tattoos And Tales to book an appointment with Srinath or Malathy today!

The Beginning

Known popularly as the ‘couple tattoo artists’ in Bangalore, Srinath and Malathy’s journey into tattooing began together, albeit with slightly different beginnings.

“Almost 9 years ago is when we actually started tattooing. Malathy stated first and then I picked it up later. She joined the industry as an apprentice with an artist from Chennai for almost a year. We learned the very basics – how to pick up a machine and put it to skin, that’s about it. We didn’t really get to learn much more than that because back then people were not really willing to teach. They were willing to take the money though!”

“I’ve always had a passion for the arts ever since I was a kid. I loved drawing, cartoons have always been my inspiration. I grew up watching them, Cartoon Network was my first teacher, I would say. I would watch cartoons and start sketching them. I would make these sticker tattoos from butter paper and crayons, which you paste on notebooks. So I tried to do the on my own and that’s how the journey began.”

“I didn’t really think about taking up tattooing as a career. Back in Chennai, it wasn’t a big thing. It took a while for us to really know that tattooing is not a taboo anymore, and it’s a big industry now.

“After she got out of her apprenticeship, and I got sick and tired of the corporate world, I decided to pick up art and become a full-fledged tattoo artist. We started working together and experimenting on eachother. We were our own canvases. We didn’t want to experiment on others before figured it out for ourselves. We had eachother, so it worked out really well.

For Malathy, the journey began at home.

“I’ve been interested in art ever since I can remember. My brother encouraged me to try tattooing. I watched LA Ink and Miami Ink, which was a big inspiration, but after my brother recommended that I try it I started. When I did it for the first time I knew this is what I would do.

My family initially supported me when it was a hobby, but when we decided to make it a career they weren’t very supportive. Our friends are the ones who supported us. Where we are is because of them.

Why Ink?

What makes ink so special? For Srinath, it’s the opportunity to bring someone joy that lasts a lifetime.

“I’m sure you’ve heard this from a lot of tattoo artists, but – leave a permanent mark on someone’s body and they remember you for a lifetime. Even if they don’t remember you when they look at it, it gives them a happy memory. You leave people with happy memories which is something good, not everyone gets that opportunity.

Where Srinath finds eternal joy, Malathy finds humility.

“Just like what he said, that feeling humbles me everyday and keeps me happy. Leaving that impact on a person gives us that happiness. And that’s what we’re all searching for at the end of the day – happiness.”

“And peace. Happy, at the end of the day, with what you do“, Srinath adds.

On Being Inspired

“Internationally, Kat Von D is my inspiration. In India, there are so many good artists that I can’t really pick one. Rishabh from Immortal Tattoos, Erik from Iron Buzz, Duncan from Infidel Tattoos…they are all really good.”

Agreeing with Malathy, Srinath adds “Iron Buzz is my favourite Indian studio. They inspire me because they’re always experimenting and trying out new genres which is really inspiring because not every artist does that. They’ve reached a position where they could just settle down but they don’t. That motivates me.

I’m always a learner, I like to keep improvising and making myself better, exploring new styles and learning a lot of new things. There’s always so much to learn. Everyday is a learning day.

Head on over to Tattoos And Tales to book an appointment with Srinath or Malathy today!

On Female Artists in the Tattoo Industry

M “There’s a not a lot of female artists who have established themselves, so I think that’s an advantage. But I also think that it’s the art and not the gender that speaks.

I haven’t personally faced any issues, but what I’ve experienced is that if the art is good they respect you for that.

Life Outside Tattooing

For Srinath, tattooing and piercing now go hand-in-hand, but that wasn’t always the case.

“I got in to piercings out of demand, that’s how I actually started. But it actually took about a year to get the hang of it and do all my research, and I spoke with piercers from abroad and learned how to do it right.”

“There weren’t too many piercers here at the time for me to learn from or do an apprenticeship with. So I gave it a shot and since I did my research right, I got things right from the start. It worked out well for me, and after I started doing it I really began to enjoy it. I don’t have that many piercings, but I love doing them.”

But how does he spend his time outside of the studio?

Music has always been one of my main hobbies. I love playing the guitar. I’m no professional, but I can play a little. I fiddle with any instrument I can get my hands on!”

“I also like to make a lot of stuff. I love creating and building things. I mess around with electronics, ripping them apart and use the components to make my own stuff. I’ve been learning to make my own tattoo machines too.

Malathy’s free time is spent quite differently. “I enjoy makeup. I do YouTube videos and tutorials.

Yeah she’s a YouTuber as well!” remarks Srinath.

“It’s a lot of random content, whatever I like I make videos about. Learning about how to make videos is one of my interests.

Art is Passion, Art is Learning

How does Malathy define her art in one word? “Passion.

“I was thinking of saying that!” quips Srinath. “But I guess – learning. I consider everything to be art, and learning itself is an art. So art, for me, is learning.

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We would like to thank Srinath and Malathy as well as Tattoos And Tales for showing us what it really means to be partners!

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Inspired by Srinath and Malathy’s journey? Check out our Tattoo Artist Spotlight series for more!

Have your own stories to tell? Head on over to jhaiho.com to book your tattoo appointment and get inked today!

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