Lokesh Verma is an Indian tattoo artist, who is one of the first Indians to make soundwave tattoos. He is known for starting the international tattoo festival ‘Heartwork Tattoo Festival’ which is considered to be the only international tattoo festival in India. He has several tattoo studios across India and abroad under the named Devil’z Tattooz.
Lokesh Verma was born on Thursday, 12 May 1983 (age 40 years; as of 2023) in Delhi, India. Her zodiac sign is Taurus. He did his schooling in Delhi and a few other states of India. He pursued BCom at Sri Aurobindo College, New Delhi. While he was in college, he hardly attended any lectures and often asked his friends to mark his proxy attendance. He then pursued an MBA. From 2001 to 2007, he studied Associate of Arts and Sciences (AAS), Design and Applied Arts at Bangalore University, Bengaluru. Later, he did a post-graduation in marketing at Wigan and Leigh College, Bengaluru.
Height (approx.): 5′ 6″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Brown
Lokesh belongs to a Hindu family.
Parents & Siblings
His father served in the Indian Army and also worked in the security department. His mother was a teacher. He has a sister.
Wife & Children
In 2003, while he was pursuing his MBA, he met a girl named Sanober Ahmed. Initially, they became friends and soon, started dating each other. After dating for almost six years, the couple got married in 2010. He has a son.
According to his social media profiles, he is an atheist.
- M-37, 2nd Floor (Above CCD), G.K-1, New Delhi 110048
- Shop# 77, 1st floor, Galleria, DLF-IV, Gurgaon 122002, Haryana
- Shop#168, 1st floor, Block B High Street, Vegas Mall, Dwarka, New Delhi 110075
- 142, Boulevard De La Petrusse, 2330, Luxembourg
While Lokesh was a teenager, his parents worked hard to provide basic amenities for the family. He faced various financial difficulties and lived in a small one-room flat for many years. His father, who had served in the army, took up odd jobs after retiring to support the family. Lokesh’s mother, a teacher, also contributed to making ends meet. In an interview, while talking about it, he said,
Even with their meagre earnings, my parents ensured that I and my sister got proper schooling so that we could have a better future. I was an average student but was absolutely passionate for art and would end up drawing everywhere including my school bag and school bench too.”
Despite the challenges, Lokesh was determined to create a better future for himself. As his family’s financial condition was not good, he started working immediately after finishing his board exams. His first job involved distributing pamphlets and internet CDs on the streets and doing door-to-door sales in the city. Surprisingly, Lokesh excelled in selling the highest number of CDs in his group, which led to his promotion as team leader. Although he enjoyed some success, Lokesh soon got bored with the job’s routine and decided to pursue his passion for music. Eventually, he became a DJ. After pursuing his graduation, Lokesh enrolled in an MBA course. He used to attend MBA classes from 8 am to 12 pm, did his job from 12 pm to 7 pm, and worked as a DJ from 9 pm to 12 am. In order to save money to purchase his first tattoo machine, Lokesh took on another job at a local McDonald’s. During the day, he made burgers and performed various tasks, including mopping floors and cleaning toilets. At night, he continued his work as a DJ. With his hard-earned money from the odd jobs, he then bought a tattoo machine. In an interview, while talking about it, he said,
I bought the machine and started doing tattoos on my own body, determined to learn it all. My father was very supportive and offered his skin for me to practice. I was so fascinated by this art that I was doing tattoos on my friends for free, even ready to pay them money sometimes to get tattooed from me initially.”
After buying the tattoo machine, he tried his first tattoo on his father. In an interview, he talked about his father’s tattoo. He said,
I was always into drawing skulls and crossbones. I did a big demon on his arms, using a single needle…It turned out to be good and is still holding strong.”
He then started designing tattoos on his friends without charging them. Sometimes, he was even willing to pay them for letting him design tattoos on their bodies. However, he started running out of supplies, charging people to cover the cost of getting new supplies. In 2005, his passion for tattooing started turning into a profession. As more and more people heard about his talent, his friends and acquaintances started lining up to get tattoos from Lokesh between 2003 and 2005. During that time, there were very few professional tattoo studios in Delhi, so Lokesh used to work out of his best friend’s house. Later, he moved to a small salon in Vasant Vihar. In 2008, Lokesh opened his first tattoo studio named Devil’z Tattooz in GK1.
Then, in 2013, he added another studio branch in Gurgaon, and in 2021, he opened one in Dwarka. He also expanded his tattoo studios to Luxembourg. People started noticing his amazing work, and he began receiving requests from friends, acquaintances, and eventually clients from all walks of life. Each tattoo allowed Lokesh to showcase his talent and make a lasting impression on his clients.
He actively participated in tattoo conventions, workshops, and seminars, where he learnt from other famous artists and stayed updated with the latest trends and techniques.
Throughout the years, Lokesh has taught many people the art of tattooing. He always emphasizes the importance of maintaining cleanliness and hygiene when teaching others. Lokesh has worked in as many as 15 different countries, and he ensures that his studios follow strict European standards. In 2010, Lokesh travelled to the USA and Europe to further enhance his skills. He had the privilege of perfecting his art in renowned studios such as Paul Booth’s Last Rites Tattoo Gallery in New York City, Nikko Hurtado’s Black Anchor Tattoo in Hollywood, California, Off the Map in Massachusetts, Tommy Lee’s Monsters, Tattoo Cologne in Germany, Heaven of Colours in Switzerland, and Alex de Pase Tattoo in Italy. Among his notable clients, Lokesh’s first tattoo on a celebrity was choreographer Remo D’Souza, for whom he created a portrait of Jesus.
Some of his celebrity clients include Bollywood actors Taapsee Pannu and Swara Bhaskar, as well as cricketers Shikhar Dhawan, Ishant Sharma, and Umesh Yadav. Additionally, Lokesh is also the co-founder of the Heartwork Tattoo Festival, which is one of the biggest tattoo conventions in India.
Awards & Achievements
- 2008: Black and Gray (Large Award) in the Goa Tattoo Festival
- 2014: Best Male Tattoo Artist Award by Indian Tattoo Awards
- 2017: Best Black and Gray (Small) at the Goa Tattoo Festival
- 2021: Guinness World Record for inking the maximum number of flags on a human
He has got a few tattoos inked on his arms and chest. Among them, there is a tattoo of chasing dreams on his right forearm and the other is his wife’s portrait on his left bicep.
- Tattoo Artist(s): Paul Booth, Robert Hernandez, Dimitri Smohin
- In childhood, he used to love drawing cartoons. At the age of 14, Lokesh emerged as the winner of a painting competition held in Japan, a competition organised by Mitsubishi. In an interview, he shared that at a very young age, he developed an interest in tattoos. He said,
I was always fascinated with body art or Tattoos but no one knew much about it back then. So, while singing and dancing were still considered a hobby, being interested in making tattoos or even considering it as a profession was completely bizarre in those days. But my parents never stopped me from experimenting and always supported and boosted my morale for whatever I chose to do.”
- He is one of the first Asians to be invited as a guest to Academie Tie Polo, which is the world’s first university of tattooing and fine arts.
- Lokesh has shared his knowledge and expertise with over 100 aspiring tattoo artists, several of whom now work alongside him at his studios.
- In 2018, Lokesh collaborated with renowned tattoo artist Paul Booth, who has always been a source of inspiration for him.
- In 2019, Lokesh achieved a remarkable milestone by becoming the first artist from Asia to receive an invitation to lecture at the prestigious University of Tattooing and Fine Arts, Academie Tier Polo, located in Italy.
- As per his social media profiles, he is a humanitarian and motorhead.
- He is often spotted consuming alcohol and smoking cigarettes.
- He has started his YouTube channel Devil’z Tattooz on which he uploads his tattoo videos.
- In 2022, he appeared in TEDx Talks to share his journey of becoming one of the top tattoo artists in India.