One Day – Boyke

Former badminton star and skateboarder Boy “Boyke” McCoy runs the Lucky Brothers tattoo studio in Legian, catering to the inky desires of his mainly Western, tourist clientele. The 29-year-old, who with his wife Maya has two children, Yuko and Jyoti, shared his day with The Bali Times’ Putri Oktarini

When I wake up, I’m tired. Not surprising, as I’m in the studio till past midnight most nights. When I get up around 8:30 in the morning, I play with Yuko and Jyoti for a while, and watch the news on TV. After showering I pray and have breakfast. We’re all vegetarians in our household.
It takes 20 minutes to get to the studio in Legian from my house in Tuban. When I get there, Kadek, one of the staff, is already at work, cleaning up the place.
First thing I do in the morning is boot up the computer and play some of my favorite songs. Then it’s time to help Kadek prepare the execution room – our name for the tattoo area. Kadek goes off and buys new materials, like needles, oils and creams, while I work on my designs. I have a chat with the tattoo artists, Ketut and Arty, and we talk about designs and pricing. In the past we used to do large tattoos for a low price; not any more.
I opened Lucky Brothers five months ago. We named it that because we think a man who wants to have a tattoo is a brave man, and therefore he must be lucky if he is brave. Also, a man with a tattoo has something in common with other man who are tattooed – a kind of respect and understanding.
Here, naturally, we’re as clean and hygienic as possible, and we only use sterile needles. Between them the artists have 20 years’ experience: Ketut, 12, and Kadek, who’s also a talented painter, eight. Our machines and ink are all imported from either the United States or Europe.
For me, a tattoo is a kind of fashion statement, as is piercing. Our piercing artist, Ketut Darma, has a decade of experience, and does all sorts of piercing. The trend these days is having a big hole in the ear, which is done with a needle and piece of wood. Our customers, most of whom are Western, also like piercing their nipples, tongue, corner of the eye and genitals – if the latter, the price is twice the normal rate.
With tattoos, most of the time the price depends on the size and design of the piece. A small one may be Rp100,000 (US$10.98) and can go up to Rp800,000 for a dragon tattoo, for example. Tribal designs are popular, especially with the Japanese, as are Bali and skull designs.
Around 1pm I break for lunch. Usually one of the guys gets something from a warung (foodstall) nearby – for me it’s nearly always just rice and vegetables. Afterwards I take a rest for a while and listen to some music and chat with the staff. While we’re waiting for customers, we often watch DVDs.
Sometimes people come in and ask for tattoos that I just know don’t suit them, in terms of their character. If they got them, later on they’d be unhappy with the tattoo and would want to get rid of it. So I talk to them for a while and see what they’re like – and what they like – and we work out something that suits their character. I also have to make them comfortable so they’re not afraid by time they get to the execution room.
I go home around 6pm and have dinner with the family. Maya will have my favorite, corn soup, ready. Then we sit around for a while and chat and play with the kids and later in the evening I head back to the studio again, where I can often be until one in the morning, waiting for customers’ tattoos to be finished.
At night I browse the internet and find new tattoo designs, and often people will come into the studio just to ask what I think of their tattoos.
When I get home in the early hours, I pray and watch TV before falling asleep, jaded.

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