How Tattoos Help With The Grieving Process

One thing that helps people grieve the loss of loved ones by commemorating them in a permanent manner, is by dedicating tattoos on their bodies

The last two years have been difficult for almost everyone in our country. Not a single family has remained untouched, with a family member or friend either succumbing to the virus or suffering from long-Covid symptoms. One thing that helps people grieve the loss of loved ones by commemorating them in a permanent manner, is by dedicating tattoos on their bodies.

This thought is echoed by Lokesh Verma, Founder of Devil’z Tattooz and co-founder of Heartwork Tattoo Festival. Verma, who has been an keen artist since the age of six, even winning an international award for it at a young age, was fascinated with tattoos and chose this medium to pursue his art. After years of dedication, he collected a few thousand rupees and borrowed some from his parents to buy a tattoo machine, and then taught himself how to put the needle in the machine. His supportive father became his first subject and later he practiced by making tattoos on his own body.

Slowly, his practice and passion for tattoos merged into a business when in 2003-05, people started lining up to get tattoos from him as there were hardly any professional tattoo studios in Delhi providing work of his calibre. He says, “I personally have OCD about hygiene. Therefore, I wash or sanitise my hands ten times a day, and this really helps in running a tattoo studio. Today we have over 20 artists working as a team, learning from each other and growing happily and this is just the beginning of many more decades to come. I also hold a Guinness world record with my team to tattoo the maximum number of flags on the human body.” From five tattoos a month to 500 tattoos a month, Verma has now reached a stage where he is invited across the world to lecture, teach and perform on the art of tattoo-making. As he puts it, “I’m doing what I love and getting paid for it, I couldn’t ask for anything else. I don’t take the credit for whatever I’ve achieved. Neither do I believe that I’ve worked harder than others, as it was all fun and games for me. Money was never the goal when I started, and this attitude helped. I happened to be at the right place at the right time doing the right thing 19 years ago as a hobby. I had no idea that it would take off in the future! I consider myself beyond blessed.”

Verma’s team of 20 tattoo artists specialises in all styles of tattoos, so each artist has their own speciality. These include complex styles like biomechanical tattoos and cover-ups to clean minimal lines which is a very difficult procedure. He prides himself on having artists in his studio that will cater to any style and demand of tattoo that anyone might be looking for – this divergence of style is the USP of Devil’z Tattooz. The popularity of their practice has led to their good name. Now, they also train students in exclusive batches of four apprentices, and by doing so, have trained hundreds of talented young individuals in this art over the last two decades. Next, they are expanding abroad with their first studio set to launch in Europe in the next three months. Coming to the subject of this article, when asked about the role of tattoos in dealing with the grief of losing a loved one, Verma says, “When people go through the whole process of getting a tattoo in the memory of a loved one, it is more like a ritual. People try to commemorate and etch the best part of their lives with the ones they have lost. A lot of thought goes into making this particular kind of tattoo, and in the end they have a memory on their skin which always makes them feel that their loved one is still with them so the whole process is quite powerful.”

He then goes on to share examples of how Devil’z Tattooz has helped people through tattoos. He explains, “Apart from emotionally helping people who have lost their loved ones, tattoos also help countless people around the world physically in changing their appearance for good. For example, people who have lost their eyebrows and hair through Alopecia, can get eyebrow tattoos and SMO (Scalp Micro-pigmentation). Some people who have white spots can get skin colour of a tattoo design on top of it. It usually helps them re-gain their confidence in a big way.”

People looking to wear their emotions as their tattoos, need only reach out to Verma’s team through

Tags assigned to this article:
Tattoos grieving process


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