L.A. Ink: Kat's Back
L.A. Ink, a kind of spin-off of TLC's popular "Miami Ink" premieres Tuesday, August 7, 2007 at 10 p.m. The reality series stars 25-year-old Kat Von D, who's moved back to her home in Los Angeles to open her first shop, and the series examines the lives of the tattoo artists and the people they tattoo. Kat's tattoo team includes Chicago natives, Hanna Aitchison and Kim Saigh. Kat’s mentor and legendary tattoo artist Corey Miller rounds out the new crew.
Making appearances at L.A. Ink are actors Jesse Metcalf, Steve-O and Eric Balfour and members of the rock groups My Chemical Romance, Emerson Drive, Anthrax, Eagles of Death Metal and more.
What is your favorite music?
Aside from the classical music I was raised on such as Beethoven, and Chopin, I would definitely call myself a metal head. I love all kinds of metal. Power metal, death metal, black metal, and straight up just metal. I'd have to say my fave bands range from HIM, Kent, and The Mars Volta to Ludwig Van Beethoven and Selena. Aside from hip hop, rap, and country, I'm down for whatever.
What is your favorite movie?
I LOVE movies, and am an avid movie goer! I love the process of going to see a movie. Choosing a movie, and then seating, tearing your ticket stub, watching the movie and then talking about your thoughts on the movie. I love the opportunity to escape reality, even if it's only for two hours. My faves include anything with Will Ferrell and Anna Farris. I love comedies, but not nearly as much as romantic movies. Other than Spinal Tap, Immortal Beloved and The English Patient, I love Zoolander, Super Troopers and Bring It On. Cheesy, I know.
What is your favorite tattoo on your body and what does it symbolize?
My fave tattoo that I have are the stars on my left temple (that includes the stars on my left eye lid). I've always been a Motley Crue fan. The band's first album, Too Fast For Love was so raw and powerful, that till this day, it's my fave Crue album. The song Starry Eyes is the only song on the first album to feature a gong, and the cheesiest lyrics ever. I loved that song enough to get the stars on my face. Thank god for cheesy.
What's your horoscope sign?
What is the best vacation you ever took?
I work too much to ever take one. How sad.
What are the top 5 things in your life that you couldn't live without?
If you only had 1 meal left to eat, what would you choose?
Where are you from?
My parents are from Argentina. They were both missionaries for the church, bringing them to Monterey, Mexico, where I was born. My sister and brother were born there too. In 1986, when I was four, we moved to Southern California where I was raised. I consider LA my home. Prison can be your home if you have the key.
When did you first start drawing and tattooing?
I've been drawing ever since I can remember. My mom actually saved all my drawing and sketches since before I can remember. Once I was 12, I started hanging with the "wrong" crowd. Many of these punk rock kids had tattoos and that always interested me. I did my first tattoo at the age of 14 and once I turned 16, got hired at a professional tattoo shop. There I had to unlearn a lot of things I would have known had I had a traditional apprenticeship.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My biggest inspiration comes from LOVE. It's the biggest inspiration on the planet for me. It's MY higher power. Other places I get inspiration are my family, my heritage, my music, and everything else including MY CITY (Los Angeles). These are my biggest influences in all aspects of life including the way I dress, paint, draw, tattoo, talk, style my cars and the music I listen to.
Name some artists that inspire you.
Aside from the great masters which are obvious - Da Vinci and Michelangelo - first and foremost is the artist Carvaggio. I am also inspired by modern day painters Michael Hussar and Shawn Barber. As far as tattooers go, Kore Flatmo will always be my hero, mentor and dear friend. I think I'd sell my soul to have one tenth of the talent in his pinky finger.
What's the last book you read?
Beethoven, As I Knew Him by Schindler. Schindler was Beethoven's only friend before he passed. This book was the ONLY biography on Beethoven written by someone who actually knew him. Because of my piano playing I have become quite obsessed with not only Beethoven's music, but his life, especially the hopeless romantic aspect of it.
Is there a charity you'd like to get involved with?
Anything Latino related or anti-drunk driving.
What were your first thoughts when TLC approached you about being on LA INK?
I never wanted to be on TV, but felt an obligation, not as a someone who was driven by money or status, but as a tattooer who honestly and sincerely loves tattooing. If I didn't take this opportunity, someone else would. For me, the thought of a mediocre female tattooer representing everything I love and worked for since I was 14 years old, was blasphemy, and did not sit well with me. This was my opportunity to show tattooing in a positive light, and give it all I have.
Kat Von D, 25, was one of the featured artists on the first two seasons of Miami Ink, which has traveled the globe, airing in many countries including Japan, Australia, Brazil and England. TLC's season two finale, which aired on May 8th was watched by over 3,000,000 people. Kat specializes in fine-line, black & gray style life-like portraits. In more than a decade of being a professional tattoo artist she has amassed a devout following including over 435,000 friends on her myspace.com page and thousands more checking her out at TLC.com/LA-Ink. In addition, many celebrities, athletes and entertainers seek out her services such as Jackass' Bam Margera, Steve-O and Ryan Dunn, Slayer, My Chemical Romance, Guns N Roses, Green Day, The Mars Volta, Eve and Mira Sorvino.