She’s inked everything from the Mona Lisa to images of beloved pets on people’s bodies.It’s still something she does when she’s home in LA, though she tries to “limit it to one a day,” whereas a normal workday in her previous life would have had her seeing five clients one after another.
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" Kat says she knew that people would initially focus on her brand because it belongs to “that tattoo chick.” She really wanted it to evolve to the point where the product got attention rather than the founder. She tells a story about a young woman who approached her on an airplane and said, “Hey, aren’t you that makeup artist?
” Kat corrected her, because she isn’t a makeup artist, but was happy that this fan knew her from her work in the beauty world and not from reality TV. One late September afternoon at High Voltage, Ashton Williams, the shop’s merchandise manager, is wearing a T-shirt that reads, “Who the fuck is Kat Von D? ” shirt Keith Richards famously wore on a Rolling Stones tour in the ’70s.
It’s a combination of punk, goth, and good old-fashioned rock ’n’ roll, featuring lots of black (and lately, head-to-toe red) outfits in faux leather and kooky avant-garde shapes.
Jet-black hair, red lipstick, and predilection for mismatched eye makeup have become her signatures. “My biggest nightmare would be if somebody came to Sephora, saw my brand, and said, ‘Oh, I want to look like her, so I’ll buy this makeup,’” Kat Von D proclaimed to an audience of beauty world professionals at the Beauty Summit this summer, her first-ever appearance at a major industry event.
“People think, ‘Kat Von D, oh it's somebody that was on TV or somebody that dated somebody.’ And to me as an artist, it's kind of soul crushing.
It's like, oh wow, what about all my hard work and what I would love to be known for?, a TLC series which documented a group of tattoo artists, their work, and the usual reality-show conflict and drama.She moved to Miami for the show, going home to LA on weekends.Expanding on her interest in drawing, she started experimenting with tattooing, practicing on her friends.By 16, she had dropped out of high school and moved to Georgia with James.Before there was Kylie Jenner, there was Kat Von D.