The nib of the pencil moves with the command of his finger and what was just an outline sketch a moment ago transformed into an image that he had in his mind – a masterpiece in an art form.
For young man who has the mind and talent of an artist, producing a beautiful art work is just a routine task. It all comes from an inspiration from a talented person.
Allen Charlie is a unique young man who takes the art of tattooing as a hobby. “I love drawing, tattoing is another stage of revolution of drawings, something new to me, so I would like to try, and so far, I love it!” He said.
To make himself known and to market his talent, Allen created his own website at http://www.iban.tk where he posted his works on the internet. That was how this writer got to be in touch with him.
Allen’s website enables him to go a step higher in his skills and abilities. His hobby has now become a source of generating an income stream.
“I was surprised to receive an order from a Malaysian Diplomat working in Paris and I began working on it the moment I got a few orders from her,” said the boyish looking young man who graduated from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in Political Science recently.
Allen told this writer that his day began as early as 6am. It is routine for him to have a quick wash and make himself a cup of coffee. After that he gets into his makeshift studio in his house. “The good aroma from the coffee wakes him me up with a new inspiration,” he said.
Everyday Allen goes through his appointment list and looks at some of the notes he had scribbled earlier. Then he checks his schedule and decides where to start.
“I will then go on working with the precious stakes of paper on my drawing table and this is where most of my works are done which reflected my style of work and drawings.
His talent in drawing started while he was still in primary school when he often received praises from his friends for his drawing of comics and other forms of art.
“My friends all queue up for me to draw them the comic characters. They would ask me to come out with the characters and would even sponsor me pencils, colours and papers. We had a collection of comic characters which I made into series. Everyone wanted to see the comics that I drew,” said Allen.
He believes he inherits his skills from his father who loved to sketch and help him draw in his younger days. “My sisters and I often observed his drawings and sketching and we learn from there,” he said.
As he has just graduated on totally different field, his focus now is to look for a good job related to what he did and intends to take tattooing as a hobby only.
“I am not really looking for the money as what I want is to draw and paint – the things I have always liked to do. The same goes to my tattoo works. First, I must be happy with what I am doing and only then can I be happy with my works. I also want people who buy my works to truly appreciate them as I do. It gives me more satisfaction than the monetary rewards,” he said.
The customers are always satisfied with his finished product, especially the details that he had painstakingly done on it.
According to Allen, he started the tattooing art only this year after some encouragements from his mates at university.
This writer also had the opportunity to witness Allen tattooing his subject. When I arrived, he was already in action with the buzzing sound of the small tattoo machine piercing and spreading ink to his subject’s skin.
Inspired also by the works of Kat Von D of Maimi Ink, he said that his tattoo works focuses mainly on portraits, whether in modern or conventional form. “But of course, I need to do according to customers’ requests and what they think is good for them.
Many considered it as fashion and wanted to be part of peer group who love body arts.
Allen explained that for a tattoo artist and his subject, the permanent artistic scar is to be appreciated and admired for the rest of their lives.
Tattoo for some could be a trendy portrait mark while for others it could be a hip as it made a person to be part of the norm in a tattoo conscious society.
Allen said all his customers are always satisfied with his work and the prices he charges are very reasonable.
Surprisingly, Allen does not have single drop of ink on his body. “I like to draw and paint and to tattoo others. I am only an artist,” he smiled.
Like many young artists who are still looking for inspirational works, Allen told this writer that he has still a long way to go to improve and enhance his skills – be it on paper or someone’s skin.
Written By: Wilfred Syed Pilo
Photo by: Wilfred Syed Pilo
Antonia Mei Ling Chiam
For: Eastern Times (www.easterntimes.com)