Culture, Art and Lifestyle – A little personal with Carlos Benny

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Fun facts:
Who am I?
Carlos Benny Majakil,
Founder of Sabah International Tattoo Convention and Koiyak Gloves
Favourite food: Hinava and Indomee + Telur Mata Lembu
Hobby: Traveling

SMB: Tell us about your first tattoo. When did you get it and why?
CBM: I had my first tattoo at twelve. It was a few dots and initials of my ex-girlfriend. I couldn’t recall why I got it done. I guess I was too young to think and like most kids back then, “curiosity killed the cat”,. Bbut in my case it was a step towards an interesting journey.

SMB: What were your parents’ first reaction towards your tattoos?
CBM: My mum hated it and was really against it. But, mMy dad has a small tattoo on his shoulder. He had it done at a young age. as Well, well but we never talk about it.

SMB: Tell us a story about two of your favourite tattoos! (with pictures)
CBM: I don’t really have a favourite tattoo on me. I love most of them. My tattoos stand for the moment. It reminds me of the time I got it and the situation back then. The design comes in secondary.

SMB: What does the art of tattoo mean to you?
CBM: I really go deep on this. To some individual or a collector, it’s just a piece of art and how it’s made that made it cool back then. To a “tattoo community”, it isas an identity, hence the commitment they put up to have a certain piece of art on their bodies for the rest of their life. Some communities have a set of design rules according to their tribe of origins, which have distinctive tattoos culture like the Maori from New Zealand and the Dayak from Borneo. I just love it. Tattooing or the tattoo culture is like a lifestyle. It’s like an everyday routine now. I just cannot fully describe or express how much tattoos mean to me.

SMB: What do you think your tattoos will look like when you get old?
CBM: My tattoos will be cool just how they will always be.

SMB: What’s the strangest tattoo request you’ve ever had? Tell us more and how did you handle it.
CBM: I had a lot of strange designs request. One that I remember – a guy asked for a missing plane as a memorial tattoo. I just told him, “It’s all done. You can’t see it because it’s missing!”. He ended up with a different design instead.

SMB: Is there anything you’d refuse to tattoo on someone? Why?
CBM: I would never tattoo my name on them. It’s funny to have a permanent receipt on your client. Though some see it to honour their tattooist.

SMB: What can we expect in this year’s Sabah International Tattoo Convention (SITC)?
CBM: Just like the previous year, it shows how much we have grown from 12 countries to 21 countries during the second SITC. This year, we aim to be greater with tattooists from 27 countries. Our booths have been sold out since April.

We will have live performances from traditional entertainers and dancers, bands, personalities appearance, and celebrity tattoo artists. Among the famous attending tattooists to look out for is Guy Le Tatooer (France), Apro Lee (Korea), Gordo Letters (Portugal), Norm Love Letters (America), Hannah Pixie Snowdon (England), Ernesto Kalum Borneo headhunter Tattoos (Malaysia), Christian Nguyen Inkvaders (Switzerland), Jun Chihara (Japan), Sam Rivers (England), Javhier Estrada Silver Needles Tattoo (Mexico), Ann Savage (Philippines), Claudia Ottaviani (Italy), Trident Whaiapu Tattoos (New Zealand) and many more.

SMB: Tell us more about your international work experience.
CBM: I travelled to many countries mainly to learn and work is always about learning new things. That’s what makes it interesting day in day out! We gain more knowledge by going to new places right? Although I go to conventions for work, but it’s the little things that keeps me going – having the privilege to travel and at the same time, meeting the most influential people in the industry. I get the chance to meet new clients with different background, culture and understandings. It is not only witnessing the evolution throughout these years, but also to be part of it. Imagine, I even love working on Mondays! I travelled to many countries mainly to learn. Work is always about learning new things. That’s what makes it interesting day in day out. Gain more knowledge by going to new places. Though I go to conventions for work, it’s the little things that keeps me going. It’s about having the privilege to travel and at the same time, meeting people the most influential people in the industry. Numbers of clients with a different background, culture and understandings Witnessing the evolution throughout these years and to be able be apart of it. I even love working on Mondays!

SMB: Any famous tattoo artists coming in this year?
CBM: Look out for Claudia Ottaviani from Italy IG: @cloditta, Apro Lee from Korea IG: @apro_lee, Hannah Pixie Snowdon from England IG: @hannahpixiesnow – very famous. google her please!, Guy Le Tattooer from France IG: @guyletattooerpics and Gordo Letters from Portugal IG @gordoletters. But to be honest more than half of the #3sitclineup are good and famous.