PROJECT 11 PARTICIPANT: Dwight Mahendrepersad

  • By Olivia Samuel
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Fine art and tattooing go hand in hand. Both utilize the same skills, such as a talent for drawing and an eye for color. So, it’s no surprise that many prominent tattooers also make time for other types of artistic practices. And sometimes, their paintings outshine their career in ink.

For some tattoo artists, painting affords them the opportunity to experiment with a technique or imagery without the added pressure of it permanently being on someone’s skin.
These selected tattooers/artists create paintings that are sold to art lovers or even used for commercial advertising campaigns. Many of them have a formal art education, but this isn’t the only recipe for success: some, like Dwight Mahendrepersad are self-taught.

Mahendrepersad self-taught tattoo artists, painter, designer and pallet wood furniture who goes all out with his passion for art.
As a child born and raised in District Coronie, Suriname he spent a lot of his energy and time drawing and was very much inspired by his brother who also loved to draw and paint. Other than drawing, Dwight often took mechanical things apart and tried to figure out how they worked together.
This is also the reason why he decided to study Electronics in college. During his college years, he was still passionate about drawing but spent less time doing that until he went through major life struggles at the age of twenty-five.
He was stressed out, lonely and depressed and had to fight to overcome all of that. During that period he turned to his passion and started drawing every day since this helped him persevere through his struggles. Within a few months, he was not only able to transform himself into a very positive person but he was also able to boost his creativity and happiness.

His journey as a self-taught tattoo artist started in 2010 when he traveled to Holland. Back then he was ready for a new challenge and decided to make time for another type of artistic practice, in this case, "tattooing". For starters, he decided to purchase his own tattoo kit.
His girlfriend supported his initiative and told him that he could draw and practice on her body when he was ready. Dwight got out the Kit and started watching a "How To Tattoo" DVD that came with it. Because he wanted to succeed from the start he even decided to purchase two separate DVD courses and a load of tattoo books to compare the information on the first DVD. He was able to then take the similarities as necessities of tattooing, and the dissimilarities he notched up to personal experience and style. After only a few days, Dwight was able to set-up and tune the machine, and set-up a station without too much thought.
After learning and practicing, he started to practice on his girlfriend. His first tattoo wasn't a masterpiece, but it was crisp and clear and had healed within a few days. It was definitely a success! After that people started talking about his work and soon he started getting clients.

After a few months, Dwight knew he had a real ambition to enter into full-time tattooing. When he came back to Suriname he started working at home and slowly worked towards opening his own tattoo shop. A few years later he succeeded with the last one mentioned and is currently the owner of a well-known tattoo shop in Suriname.

Dwight gets plenty of praise from clients, friends, and family, as well as plenty of requests for patch-ups and cover-ups dissatisfied with work produced in professional studios, but he still sees room for improvement and enjoys the process of producing the best possible tattoo he can; each and every time.
Dwight: "I truly love it"! - time just disappears when I start tattooing. People trust me to put something permanently on their body that adds value to their lives and I am grateful for that.

Tattoos are very meaningful for most people who decide to get one. Other than the fact that they have a story or special meaning to a lot of people they are also a way of self-expression.
Dwight invites his clients for an intake conversation prior to tattooing just to advice them, manage their expectations and get to know their underlying thoughts. He feels responsible to give each and every client the right guidance, special treatment, and advice they need before taking such a big step, knowing that there is no turning back when it's already done.

During PROJECT 11, he will be presenting tattoo art on sneakers, 3D and airbrush artwork. He is not only excited to be part of this initiative but also very thankful to be able to showcase his work for the first time and gain more knowledge in his journey as a self-taught artist.
To witness this multi-talented artist his work you should definitely visit the Urban POP-UP Gallery. 


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