Mumbai, India / 2021
Arishma K. Rathakrishnan
depression led her to
a journey of passion
This is the story of a woman who broke all the stereotypes attached to a woman, a mother, and fought all the obstacles to do what her heart desired.
Who comes to your mind when you hear the word 'Tattoo Artist'?
Would you imagine a woman? A wife? A mother of a 1-year-old kid? A well-settled physiotherapist born into a family of doctors?
This is Arishma's story. A 28-year-old physiotherapist from Kerala. Ever since Arishma was a kid, she loved drawing. She was interested in art & wanted to pursue it as her career. But being born into a middle-class orthodox family, she was never supported to follow her heart. They did not entertain her interest in art & insisted she chooses a profession in the medical field. Although her heart was set on something else, she gave in and decided to become a physiotherapist.
Soon she got married, and that too to a physiotherapist! Life after marriage was good; it was everything she could ever ask for. They would travel the world together. They were traveling to Europe when she conceived her first child, born nine months later in Kerala.
But soon after her delivery, she suffered postpartum depression. Her doctors advised her to do what makes her happy, so she decided to finally take that jump towards her dream career - fine arts. She was intrigued with the detailed & intricate tattoo designs & started looking for tattoo learning courses. That is how she came across an Instagram ad for Aliens Tattoo School. She loved the work so much that she decided to enrol herself. And here she was, doing exactly what she loves, learning to tattoo while handling the responsibilities of a mother.
When asked how her life was at Aliens, she says that it was a life-changing environment for her. "When I entered this classroom, I felt positive vibes. If you dream of learning to tattoo, this is the best place to be. The mentors had my back & they were encouraging. They gave me the courage to face my problems & stay motivated to achieve my goal."
As she wasn't from the city, life in Mumbai was difficult for Arishma. It was a new place & there was a language barrier. She was a well-settled physiotherapist who became a tattoo student. Also, being a new mom & deciding to move to a new city to pursue her passion, Arishma had to face a lot of objections from family, friends, & relatives.
"There were so many questions like, What about your baby? Who will take care of him? Will you leave this small baby at home and go to study? And so on. For once, I even thought it was okay to wait for a couple of years to learn the course, but my husband supported me and told me that there will be times when the situation is difficult, but you have to make sure to go ahead & follow your dream & passion. Those words are the reason I'm here today."
Life at Aliens was everything she had expected it to be. She believes it is the only place one can learn to become a professional tattoo artist in India. "The knowledge & techniques that mentors teach us are something new. My view of looking at tattoos completely changed after coming here. I believe my drawings & tattoos are much more consistent now." Arishma came to Aliens looking for a good tattoo school, instead found a family.
What is that one piece of advice that you'd like to give to all the other women out there?
"Follow your passion. God always gives you a chance & all you have to do is grab it and fly. You might face problems while following your dreams & passion, but that makes it worth the success."
She wanted to prove to her family & everyone around her that even women can become tattoo artists. And she did! And we couldn't be more proud of her!