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London Ink: The Complete Series One

London Ink: The Complete Series OneOnce the choice of sailors, bikers or
  punks and with a long history of tribal
  adornment, tattoos have now become
  fashionable and highly artistic — from
  a delicate butterfly gracing a dainty
  ankle or curvy hip to a riotous blend of
  colour and form: a swooping eagle or
  a beautiful Japanese Geisha...”

THE CREATOR OF THE MOST FAMOUS BODY ART in the world David Beckham's Guardian Angel Louis Molloy is a tattoo artist whose work is recognised by millions. From his Manchester base, Louis has moved into London to face a new challenge to create the most talked about tattoo studio in Britain: London Ink. The good news is that his fascinating work has been captured on film and is now available on DVD.

Having handpicked three of the best tattoo artistes with unique talents in the business to join him — ultra-talented Brit and New Wave Graffiti-Guru Dan; Phil from the United States and Nikole from New Zealand — Louis considers he has the perfect combination for success at London Ink.

Dan lost everything — his business, his relationship, his cars and his home — and he is now trying to turn his life around. Louis wants him not only to do what he does best but also to branch out in directions he may not want to go.

Nikole has been in the business for 16 years and specialises in Japanese, Tibetan and Indian designs. She has a following of loyal clients all over the world and she loves to get as much coverage as possible: "Bigger," she says, "is better."

If you imagine that tattooing is painful, you would be right. Few of London Ink's clients managed to get through the process without even the odd winge. Pin-up girl Emily Scott
is up for it, but she isn't sure what her agent will think.

Having established his company over 25 years in Manchester, Louis was originally approached by David Beckham who really didn't know what he wanted at that time. Two years later he came back with a better idea and Louis created the now-famous image.

Client Gene Linford was after something different, so London Ink created a new incarnation of David Beckham's Guardian Angel for him. The complex design would take around five hours to complete. Dan's first client, Riki Nelson, is selling his beloved 1962 Buick because he is getting married and wanted a tribute to the car — a very special image tattooed on his forearm.

People have different reasons for wanting tattoos. Nikole's first client at London Ink wanted a breast cancer awareness ribbon tattoo. Having survived cancer herself, she wanted something that would be an inspiration to others. Nikole created a very special
and ornate design based around the distinctive ribbon.

The tattooists works closely with each client, trying to find compromises where necessary. Once the design has been approved, it can be frustrating if the client then wants to change it further. It is much easier, says Louis, when the client has a clear picture of what they want.

One of Louis' existing clients in Manchester, known as Polo Mint John because of a giant Polo Mint tattoo on his upper arm — a tribute to his grandfather who used to tell him that he put the holes in polo mints — has turned up at London Ink to commission a second 'sleeve' for his unadorned arm. Kiss fan Julian wants to add to the Kiss collection on his body and model Esther has commissioned Phil to put a special tattoo on her back in memory of her grandmother.

Narrated by Max Beesley (Hotel Babylon, Bodies, Tom Jones), the London Ink DVD is an opportunity to see tattooists at work — in all their artistic glory. Iwan Thomas, Darren Thompson, Shane Lynch, Alex Kramer and Emily Scott are among the stars being 'inked'. From commission to execution (if you'll pardon the pun!), the designs take shape and tattooing dreams become a reality — unless, of course, they decide to chicken out!

From the makers of Miami Ink, Revelation Films presents London Ink: The Complete Series One in six great episodes on DVD. Out now (released 7 April, 2008). Catalogue Number: PAR61389 | RRP: 19.99 | Number of Discs: 2 | DVD Extras: Exclusive Artist Interviews and Photo Gallery.