INKED: You just received word that you and Hannah Aitchison will not be returning to LA Ink. What happened?
KIM SAIGH: The producers decided they’d replace us because we didn’t fit the profile of the characters they were looking for—which is a good thing because, thankfully, we don’t have a lot of drama in our lives. It’s actually a sigh of relief because I can go back to doing what I really love doing, which is tattooing and practicing yoga without the stress of the show hanging over my head. There were times when it was fun, but for the most part it was awkward, and it feels good to have the freedom back that tattooing has always afforded me. I believe we got out just in time without losing our integrity.
What were they looking for, a lesbian relationship?
Hannah and I were considering having a lesbian relationship to keep the show interesting, but then we decided that we’re both straight and it probably wouldn’t work. [Laughs.] No, we’re both straight. I’m totally kidding.
You got the news the day before yesterday. How do you feel about it today?
I feel great! I had one of the best yoga practices ever today. I feel like a fucking demon crawled out of me. I feel not weighed-down anymore, and it’s definitely a good feeling. My only stress is where I’m going to tattoo, but I’ve already figured that out.
What’s the best thing you got out of the experience?
My number one experience was meeting Shawn Barber. [And] getting out of the rut in Chicago, feeling uninspired—and now being reinvigorated to make art. I love all that goes on here in L.A.
Your boyfriend is painter-tattooer Shawn Barber. He got you by using the oldest trick in the book: painting your portrait. Every guy in America should write this down.
[Laughs.] I’m not answering!
This is useful for men everywhere to know.
He’s painted a lot of portraits! We just happen to get along tremendously well. We see eye to eye on everything.
And he painted your portrait.
It didn’t hurt.
What was the worst part of the TV experience?
Having to cut my yoga practice short every day was the worst thing, having to rush through that. [Laughs.] I’m laughing because it’s totally true. Having to rush through my yoga practice every day has definitely been the worst part of the whole experience.
You’ve gone from metalhead to yogini.
I was a total metalhead. I still am—always will be. When I really started listening to music and listening to metal, it kind of lit a fire under my ass. My mom was super religious, and I remember she would watch 700 Club and these televangelists, these shows on backward-masking and how heavy metal was evil and all this stuff. I was probably 8 or 9, and I remember them showing the cover of Black Sabbath’s Black Sabbath and being totally haunted by that image … seeing it on TV and not being scared of it at all, just wanting to hear it.