What do Sikh history, S. Sobha Singh and American Reality TV Show LA Ink have in common? All three inspired young Randeep Gill to become ‘Artist Gill’, the world-famous tattoo artist, whose happy customers range from the boy-next-door to celebrities like Punjabi singers Karan Aujla, Navv Inder and Virasat Sandhu.
Today, he runs a studio by his name, “Artist Gill”, in Mohali, Punjab and is training aspiring youngsters to become acclaimed tattoo artists. Since he inked his first tattoo in 2009 and since then hasn’t looked back. People love Artist Gill & his tattoo art and he has worked with clients from Canada, America, Australia. Besides being one of the most celebrated tattoo artists in India, Artist Gill has also been a trendsetter in the business. He was the first tattoo artist in India to start the trend of creating 3-D tattoos. So far, he has done more than a 1000 tattoos on satisfied clients and his fan-following on social media runs into millions. His Instagram handle, artistgill, is proof that he commands a loyal following among his clients, art-lovers and tattoo enthusiasts.
His journey began in the village, Gurusar Sudhar, located in Ludhiana district. Artist Gill was a born artist, interested in colors right from a very young age. During his school days at GHG Khalsa Senior Secondary School, in his village, he was the backbencher. On several occasions, he was even thrown out of his class for not paying attention to the teacher. However, nothing diminished his passion towards drawing and painting.
After schooling, Randeep went to train in painting and sculpting at the “School of Sikh History” – Gurudwara Mehdiana Sahib, located in village Mehdiana in Ludhiana. As he trained at the Gurudwara, he also joined the Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial College in Dhudike, Moga, to earn a diploma in Art & Craft.
The first and most prominent influence on Randeep was that of one of the greatest Indian painters, Sardar Sobha Singh whose paintings are celebrated works of art. Randeep remains his ardent follower till date. Then comes the American Reality TV show – “LA Ink.” LA Ink got him so obsessed with the world of tattoo art that he started thinking of opening his own tattoo studio.
This was a time of great financial difficulty for Randeep in his personal life. To sustain himself, he started doing drawing projects of B.Ed. students for money and also earned through painting for clients. However, during all those difficult times, the idea of his own tattoo studio kept germinating inside his mind and heart. And one fine day, it was as if God had answered his prayers, when he got in touch with the owner of a tattoo studio in Ludhiana, “Tattoo Tree.” That noble soul supported Randeep whole-heartedly and shared with him his own knowledge of tattoo art and how to operate the equipment.
Randeep learnt under his mentor’s tutelage and became an accomplished artist, with special expertise in shading and lightening effects, which grant life to a drawing. After inking his first tattoo 11 years ago, he set upon realizing his dream of owning a tattoo studio and today his dream is fulfilled.