Tattooing, an ancient form of body art, has evolved into a respected and intricate art form, attracting individuals passionate about leaving a permanent mark on human canvases. In Kolkata, the rich cultural heritage and thriving art scene have created a fertile ground for aspiring tattoo artists to hone their skills. This article delves into the journey of a tattoo studio in Kolkata, exploring the training process, the role of mentors, and the vibrant tattoo culture in the city.

The Tattoo Culture in Kolkata

Kolkata, known for its artistic vibrancy, has witnessed a surge in the popularity of tattoos. This city, with its deep-rooted cultural heritage, offers a unique blend of traditional and contemporary influences that reflect in its tattoo art. From intricate traditional designs inspired by Bengali folklore to modern, minimalist styles, Kolkata’s tattoo scene is as diverse as its population. The city hosts numerous tattoo conventions and events, providing a platform for artists to showcase their work and for enthusiasts to explore new designs.

The Apprenticeship Journey

Embarking on a career as a tattoo artist in Kolkata often begins with an apprenticeship. This traditional method of learning, akin to the ancient guild system, is a rite of passage for aspiring tattoo artists. An apprenticeship provides hands-on experience, allowing apprentices to learn the intricacies of tattooing under the guidance of seasoned professionals.

Finding the Right Mentor

The first step in the apprenticeship journey is finding the right mentor. In Kolkata, several renowned tattoo studios offer apprenticeship programs. Studios such as Calcutta Ink, Lizard’s Skin Tattoos, and 3 Cube Tattoos are known for their skilled artists and comprehensive training programs. Selecting a mentor involves considering their style, reputation, and teaching methodology. Many apprentices find their mentors through tattoo conventions, social media, or word-of-mouth recommendations.

The Training Process

Tattoo apprenticeships in Kolkata typically last between one to three years, depending on the studio and the apprentice’s progress. The training process is rigorous, encompassing both theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

Theoretical Training

Theoretical training forms the foundation of a tattoo apprenticeship. Apprentices learn about the history of tattooing, different tattoo styles, and the cultural significance of tattoos. Hygiene and safety are paramount, with apprentices studying sterilization techniques, skin anatomy, and infection control. Understanding the legal aspects of tattooing, including age restrictions and health regulations, is also crucial.

Practical Skills

Hands-on training is the core of a tattoo apprenticeship. Initially, apprentices practice on synthetic skin or fruit to master basic techniques such as line work, shading, and coloring. As they progress, they move on to live models, often starting with simple designs before tackling more complex pieces.

Apprentices also learn to operate tattoo machines, mix inks, and handle different types of needles. Under the watchful eye of their mentors, they gradually build confidence and precision. Feedback and critique sessions are integral to this process, allowing apprentices to refine their skills and develop their unique artistic style.

The Role of the Mentor

Mentors play a pivotal role in shaping the careers of tattoo apprentices. They impart not only technical skills but also the values and ethics of the profession. A good mentor encourages creativity, patience, and perseverance, guiding apprentices through the highs and lows of their journey.

In Kolkata, mentors often draw inspiration from the city’s rich cultural tapestry. They encourage apprentices to explore traditional Bengali motifs, tribal art, and contemporary designs, fostering a deep appreciation for diverse artistic expressions.

Challenges and Rewards

The path to becoming a professional tattoo artist is fraught with challenges. Apprentices face long hours, meticulous work, and the pressure of perfecting their craft. The financial aspect can also be daunting, as apprenticeships are often unpaid or low-paying initially. However, the rewards are substantial for those who persevere.

The most significant reward is the mastery of an ancient and respected art form. Successful apprentices gain the trust of their mentors, establish their reputation, and eventually set up their studios or join established ones. The satisfaction of creating art that people carry with them for life is unparalleled.

The Future of Tattoo Apprenticeships in Kolkata

As Kolkata’s tattoo culture continues to grow, so does the demand for skilled tattoo artists. Apprenticeships remain the gold standard for training, ensuring that the next generation of artists upholds the traditions and standards of the profession. Innovations in tattoo technology and techniques are also influencing the apprenticeship model, integrating digital tools and online learning resources.

Moreover, the increasing acceptance and popularity of tattoos in mainstream society are opening new avenues for artists. Tattoo studios are collaborating with fashion designers, participating in art exhibitions, and expanding their services to include body piercing and other forms of body art.


Tattoo apprenticeships in Kolkata offer a unique blend of traditional training and contemporary influences, providing aspiring artists with a comprehensive and enriching learning experience. Under the guidance of experienced mentors, apprentices not only acquire technical skills but also imbibe the values and ethics essential to the profession. As the tattoo culture in Kolkata continues to flourish, these apprenticeships ensure that the art of tattooing thrives, blending the city’s rich heritage with modern creativity.

Name: 3Cube Tattoo studio, Salt Lake

Address: just opposite to Carnival cinemas and Big Bazaar, HB- 286, HB BLOCK, SALT LAKE, Sector 3, Kolkata, West Bengal 700091

Phone: 6291459200