Last night, the first episode of L.A. Ink hit the TLC airwaves last night and then was repeated right away in the 11pm hour. Here is our rundown of the episode, ink by ink…..
Welcome Home Kat Season 1. Ep1.
As the new show opens, we come to realize that the groundwork needs to be laid. Kat returns to her hometown of Los Angeles to open her new shop and needs to first assemble her crew. But before she gets into that, she heads to the home of actor/musician and fellow L.A. native Eric Balfour. Eric wants a tattoo that is L.A. related on his shoulder. We posted the video of this already, but just in case you have not seen it, check it below.
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This is also our first stab at what we call our Ink-o-meter, which will rate this tattoo experience on three things.
Kat Von D – Skull Piece
1.) Client Idea / Story – Balfour has a strong connection to L.A., and wanted an artist with similar L.A. connections to do this piece. Kat was the perfect choice. It is also an image he uses for his band, Born As Ghosts. 8/10
2.) Artist Interpretation – Kat takes the pics Eric had and really shows why she is such an amazing artist by nailing this one. She adds a few small touches as well that really make this one take off. 9 / 10
3. ) Finished Tattoo – This turned out amazing. The amount of detail made it very difficult and Kat pulled it off really really well. A great tat to kick off the new show. And c’mon, it made the dude get all teary eyed! 9 / 10
The show moves on now as Kat tries to assemble her team. First on the docket is Kat’s mentor and longtime artist Corey Miller. Kat has been tattooing out of Miller’s shop, Six Feet Under, while she waits for her shop to open and we get introduced to Miller next as he shows off his free-hand skills.
Corey Miller – Circle Of Life Dragon Piece
1.) Client Idea / Story – Not alot of details on the story for this guy, but he does want a circle of life type theme, and brings Corey some pics of Dragon’s chasing their own tales and stuff. Due to the lack of explanation, I gotta rate this idea kinda low. 4/10
2.) Artist Interpretation – When Miller decides to free hand this one, I get a little nervous. I mean, in this day and age of stencils and all that good stuff, why would you want to or need to do a free hand? Of course, this is our introduction to Corey Miller, and he knocks it out of the park by adding some of his own touch, including a skull and some Asian artwork in the center of the piece to really make it pop. 9/10
3.) Finished Tattoo – I am not terribly impressed with this piece itself, probably because I feel it would have been better bigger. However, major props for it being a free hand piece and even more for Corey really turning a shaky idea into an excellent tattoo. 7.5 / 10
Overall Score 6.75 / 10
Up next, Kat heads to Chicago to try to persuade two female artists to join her team, first up is our introduction to Kim Saigh. Kat hits her shop and watches Kim do a calf piece.