Quick fire Questions 223: Khan at Skintastic

Published: 26 March, 2013 - Featured in Skin Deep 223, April, 2013

The man’s art speaks for itself, but we thought we’d give Khan a shot at practising his English here too. We wouldn’t care if he never said a word though – this work is simply wonderful.

What does tattooing mean to you?

"Tattooing is my passion – my job… and artwork that I want to keep doing until I die. I couldn’t see any stronger artform than tattooing. That’s the biggest reason why I love this job."

Do great artists feel great works?

"Yes, I feel… when I see some work from other artists sometimes, I know how high the skills are that are needed to make such great works."

Do you have certain rituals when tattooing?

"Not really. I just try to believe in my imagination at every moment. But, I do love to drink a cup – or a couple of cups – of coffee. This makes my body relaxed and allows my imagination to come out of my brain easier."

What do you really hold respect for when marking skin?

"My clients who get tattoos from me. And myself, because I know how hard time will come to me for making that piece."

Is there an ultimate moment, total surrender to your own art?

"Not yet, but one day… if my right hand got some problems, I will surrender this job."

Who tattoos you?

"Most of my tattoos I have done by myself when I was a beginner – both arms, legs, even on my chest and belly. I’ve practised my first tattoos all over myself and then I got a few from very good friends. Shawn, Nate, Tomas, Micky, Marcus…"

Do your own tattoos tell a story?

"Yes. As I said, I’ve practiced my own tattoos on my when I was a beginner (2001/2002) and I didn’t have a master to teach me, so I always think of my body as my master."

Are tattoos a youth thing?

"No. I made a tattoo on an 84-year-old woman when I worked in London in 2004. She got that tattoo with the design from her husband’s necklace who had passed away. That was her first tattoo and I could see how happy she was while I was tattooing. She was totally in the moment and with her husband. You can get one anytime if you have a reason to."

What would you do if you weren’t doing this?

"I wanted to be an architect like Antonio Gaudi. I studied that for a long time in South Korea, but I met this art (tattooing) in Tokyo that same year. I thought about tattooing for two whole years and gave up that other dream for this one. So I might be doing that…"

Any final words?

"Yes, perhaps my personal motto: “I find hope in the darkest of days and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.” The Dalai Lama said this. I have these words tattooed on my head."

Skintastic Tattoo & Piercing

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Griffith Street



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