Ink star in town
New Zealand tattooist and star of Hollywood reality show LA Ink Dan Smith, 3, got his first tattoo in the kitchen of a house of a few friends who lived by acclaimed tattoo artist, and Smith’s inspiration, Dean Parken. Smith was recently in New Plymouth for the New Zealand Tattoo and Art Festival. The tattoo artist, who has done three seasons of LA Ink which centres around life at Kat Von D’s studio High Voltage Tattoo, said going to festivals was loads of fun. “It’s such a cool thing to be able to travel to a different city and know that you have friends there, hang out in their shop, check out a convention, stay another few days and be a tourist … so to have New Zealand on the map for that is a huge thing for New Zealand tattooing.” Smith’s band, The Dear & Departed, recently toured America, Canada, the UK and Germany. Their final live gig was filmed for an LA Ink episode.