Uditha Rangana – A Tattoo artist with a creative soul
By Shamindri De Sayrah
“Tattooing has its own culture. It has grown a lot for the past few years. It has grown From tribal tattoos to hyper realistic and micro realism tattoos, which is amazing. It's a form of self-expression, where people put their thoughts, beliefs, interests, and or anything they want to keep immortalized on their skin. - Uditha Rangana”
Tattooing goes back thousands of years. The Tahitian word "tatua" means "to leave a mark. Over the years tattoo culture has grown immensely in Sri Lanka, with more and more people accepting and appreciating this art form. Because that’s what it is, art.
We spoke to local tattoo artist Uditha Rangana about his thoughts on how tattooing has progressed over the years and his role in it. Tattooing has evolved over the centuries from just a form of marking something, into a true art form, and Uditha Rangana is one artist who in his own way is helping it grow.
Why Tattooing? What drove you to become a tattoo artist?
I think I always had the passion for it. From my childhood I use to draw a lot. When I was in school I use to replicate Fred Durst and Eminem’s tattoos on my body. Later when I was in college in India, I saw a friend of mine getting tattooed from a prison tattoo gun (a hand made tattoo machine made with motor, battery, sewing needle and body of a carbon pen). My ex girlfriend saw my drawings and she actually asked me to get into tattooing. When I came back to Sri Lanka I told my parents I want to get into tattooing. They were not really happy with the idea. However my uncle heard about it, he found a place to buy a tattoo kit and gave me the money to buy it. Then I started tattooing people, which I don’t suggest anyone to do. If you really like to become a tattoo artist, get a proper apprenticeship from a professional tattoo studio.
Do you have a particular style when it comes to tattoos and where do you draw inspiration from?
I specialize in black and grey portraits/realism, and micro realism also neo traditional tattoos. One of my biggest inspirations is often derived from traditional Sri Lankan art, culture and our history. Also sometimes I get inspired from famous idols, and movies. My idea is having my own style of tattooing in the future and being recognized for that. I’m still in the verge of finding that.
Some people still think getting tattoos is a bad thing, what do you say to that?
I personally don't see anything negative about getting tattooed. It's a form of self-expression, where people put their thoughts, beliefs, interests, and or anything they want to keep immortalized on their skin. Some folks tend to get tattooed for the hell of it, that's their choice, and theirs alone.
How do you feel tattoo culture has grown in Sri Lanka? How would you compare it to other countries?
It has actually been very progressive in Sri Lanka as of lately. There are more Sri Lankans coming in to get tattooed, be it a small or a large one, more than they actually did over a decade ago.
Uditha is the founder and owner of Soul Ink Studios, a local tattoo parlour known for their unique and stylish designs. Uditha is himself a tattoo artist, creating stunning original designs for his clients that help them tell a story. For him this is much more than a job or an art form. It’s a culture all on its own.
Soul Ink Studio, is a studio that specializes in pushing genuine, original, custom designed tattoos. Consisting of three artists, Roanna Webster, Kyle Valentine, and Uditha, all with their own unique and creative art styles, to give their clients a sense of variety. As well as to help promote original, stylized art.
What sets Soul Ink apart from other tattoo studios?
Soul Ink Studios isn't just another tattoo studio where people just walk in, get a tattoo and leave. We currently have three different artists, all specializing in their own style, which allows the client to pick and choose the appropriate artist for their tattoo. We also like to take the time to hear what the our clients want, suggest and provide our own professional feedback on the design, concept and placement. A tattoo is personal experience for everyone, and that's what we want our clients to get out of Soul Ink Studios; an experience.
Having been inked at 4 different parlous before including Soul Ink, I can tell you for sure that Soul Ink was definitely the most fun as the crew there is very engaging and keeps you occupied. Also in terms of safety precautions, especially after your tattoo is done, they were probably one of the best as they were the only ones who gave me a special derma wrap cover for my new ink. It's a special wrap that has micro holes in it which makes it breathable and water proof. They take your safety very seriously.
Check them out on Instagram at @soulinkstudio! Next time you’re looking to get a one of a kind custom tattoo designed, turn to Uditha. A tattoo artist with a creative soul.
Check out the full interview in issue 49 of Chokolaate Magazine! Available in stores and on Magzter.com now.