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'Miami Ink' Highlights South Beach Artisans
(released 7/1/2005)

About one in every seven adults sports a tattoo. With ever-increasing popularity among celebrities and athletes, tattoos have become part of the fabric of social norms and popular culture. But there are striking differences between cute little flowers and cookie-cutter Celtic bands compared to the more intricate, stylized and meaningful artwork that is done in the tattoo industry. In a new series that brings four old friends together to run a tattoo parlor and showcase their artwork, viewers see the difference firsthand.

TLC sets up shop in South Beach to take viewers inside the colorful, painful, intriguing world of tattoo artistry in Miami Ink, premiering Tuesday, July 19 at 10 PM (ET/PT) on TLC. In the series, these friends and competitive rivals -- a motley crew of cutting-edge, humorous and well-regarded young guys and best friends -- open and run a custom tattoo parlor where they live, work and play together. The resident artists -- Ami James, Chris Nunez, Chris Garver and Darren Brass -- all with world-class talent and dynamic personalities -- live and work together to promote the art of tattoo while running a new business. Miami Ink shows them in and out of their workspace from noon 'til night -- and follows their late-night shenanigans, brotherly hazing and camaraderie. Apprentice Yoji Harada is there to soak up all of the artists' knowledge and experience -- and to meet their every need, desire and whim so he can one day begin his own tattooing in earnest.

In addition to spotlighting the artists at work, each tattoo in Miami Ink has a story to tell, a reason for being and a special relationship to its owner. The artists' clients range from 18-year-old newbies and suburban housewives to famous actors and buttoned-up professionals. The tale of each tattoo recipient and corresponding tattoo is an emotionally engaging story -- in the first episode viewers see a tattoo in the memory of a deceased brother, a tattoo of the alter ego of a drag queen, a tattoo of a notable surfer's homeland, to name just a few. Many people get tattoos to signify some pivotal moment or event in their lives. Viewers gain insight into each Miami Ink customer and his or her choice of artwork and the impetus behind it.

Viewers can go online to, where they will find further video biographies on our resident artists, online galleries of the guys' artwork, listings of some of the famous celebrities and athletes they have worked on, background on tattoos and much more.

Miami Ink is produced by Original Media for TLC. Charlie Corwin is the executive producer for Original Media, and Matt Gould is the executive producer for TLC.

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