When you think of a tattooist an image of a funky guy striving to add oomph in his life strikes your mind. Earlier we interviewed to Nick Baxter living a vegan straightedge lifestyle and today please welcome Lokesh Verma of Devilz Tattooz, 35, Basantlok, PVR PRIYA complex, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi. He doesn’t like parties and is over five years in tattoo industry.
“There are those who are born artists, others who accomplish their dreams by earnestly toiling behind closed doors. Lokesh Verma is both.” Let’s not stretch his introduction more and we leave you here to read about him yourself.
Disha Singh: First of all Lokesh tell us about the significance of tattoos for you and do you also wear any tattoo?
Lokesh Verma: Tattoos have a lot of significance in my life, I cannot imagine my life without tattoos….I don’t know what would I be, had tattoos been not there….I think I would have been some kind of artist only.
Disha Singh: Who inspired you to take up tattooing as your career and when you inked for the first time?
Lokesh Verma: I always wanted to do something different….took up a lot of part time jobs after I finished school, while doing graduation I did a lot of part-time jobs like at Mc Donald’s and stuff…..also worked as a DJ to earn some money which helped me to buy the Tattoo kit which was very hard to get at that point of time when I was 19…..started tattooing on myself and then friends were interested in my artwork, today here I’m…. going strong everyday, there’s a lot to come.
Disha Singh: Tell me frankly, what is there in tattoos, despite all the pain, that drive people crazy?
Lokesh Verma: I believe tattoos are a kind of identity, people want their own identity and get their unique tattoos done which mean something to them, few people get tattoos just to flaunt around and their designs are mostly off the wall.
Disha Singh: What do you think about the tattoo industry in India? Are you looking forward to make it more popular and acceptable here?
Lokesh Verma: Tattoo industry in India is growing at a rate which was never expected 4 years from now…..I’m doing my best to bring it up to the international level and I can see myself growing with the industry everyday. It’ll take sometime to be at par with the International legendary artists, most of famous International artists have 15+ years so I think after few years we’ll be in their arena.
Disha Singh: How far would you like to take your tattooing?
Lokesh Verma: As I said It’s a part of my life….its hard to tell and set any limits….even the best artists are improving everyday…..only time will tell….it’ll go along with me all the way…..
Disha Singh: Which is your favorite tattoo and why?
Lokesh Verma: The Buddha backpiece is still an old favorite….I’ve worked apprx 18 hours on it but sadly it’s not complete yet……I think 12-15 more hours to go…..it’s my first backpiece and people don’t get huge tattoos here in India so that tattoo is still fun to work on…..the guy who is getting it doesn’t get enough time and I have appointments sometimes so we are not able to complete it fast…..hope to finish that soon.
Disha Singh: Which are the most popular designs you are frequently requested to make and why?
Lokesh Verma: Angels and butterflies…..also a lot of Tribal flash. A lot of people are also getting religious tattoos done now days.
Disha Singh: Do you think tattooing have changed over the years.
Lokesh Verma: A lot……initially I used to get a lot of Tribal tattoo requests which had no meaning….just to flaunt around……now more people are getting meaningful tattoos done which is a positive change.
Disha Singh: How much do you charge, approximately, for a piece of art?
Lokesh Verma: It depends on the intricacy of the piece so it varies a lot.
Disha Singh: Please throw some light on your tattoo parlor and also share how you approach towards a piece of art.
Lokesh Verma: My studio is a compact studio, the approach is very conventional and basic…..but we do a lot of custom pieces….I like to draw unique pieces for the clients….I love free handing too….we trace the stencil by hand…..no thermal fax, it makes the tattoo easier to do when you know the flow and curves of your stencil….I’m tattooing for five and a half years now and I’m at this place since the last three years…..I opened up with my friends who were planning to open a beauty-spa that time, I was looking for a tattoo studio, we collaborated….all went well….now the work is increasing everyday so we are planning to renovate and make it lil’ bigger so that I and my assistants/students can work easily….
Disha Singh: As we have seen many people in India get tattoos by road-side tattoo hawkers. We know this is risky and please can you reveal some facts which should be kept in mind about tattoo ink/machine before getting tattooed whether it is a hawker or a tattoo studio.
Lokesh Verma: I’ve seen a lot of bad tattoos and few of the studios also do the road-side job….so its very necessary for people to check the work of the artist before they get inked…there is no other way…you cannot rely on anyone…see it yourself,, I know about few wannabe artists who show you someone else’s work just to get the client, so make sure you see some live work if possible…..also make sure the needles are opened in front of new and the Inks are branded like Starbrite , Kurosumi and Intenze to name a few and not some cheap quality…see the place yourself and make sure its clean and hygienic….do a lot of research before you tattoo anywhere.
Disha Singh: Your words for newbies in this industry?
Lokesh Verma: As Chris graver said “ ITS EASY TO BECOME A TATTOO ARTIST BUT ITS VERY HARD TO BECOME A GOOD ONE” The only thing you need to start anything is passion for that work, for tattooing if you have passion try to find a good mentor, if you are not passionate about a thing like tattooing and just seeing the money part of it……just forget it, money comes a lot later, when you are established your work speaks for itself, you have to give your days and night into it, there is no substitute for hardwork.
Disha Singh: And, finally, who is Lokesh in flesh and blood?
Lokesh Verma: I’m just another 25 year old guy who is chasing his dreams everyday and proving myself everyday, when I drive back home after work I feel I did better then yesterday but still very far from where I want to be…..everyday I’m struggling to be like my idols Chris graver, Alexander dallier, Brandon bond, Sean Herman, Josh woods, Guy and Hannah Atchinson, Anil gupta, Paul booth, Bob tyrrell, Katherine V drechenberg and many more……I look at their work whenever I find time (which I rarely find)….I don’t like to party a lot and my idea of partying is to sit at a friends place, cook with friends (as I don’t like to eat out also) and have fun.
Thanks Lokesh for sparing your precious time for PiercingsNTattoos.