How did you meet Kat Von D?
I was on one of my return trips to L.A. visiting my family. I had drawn a set of flash back in ’99 or 2000 and I was going around to shops selling it. I walked into a shop in Acadia and there was this really striking-looking girl there. At that time, she was really into certain Mexican cinema actresses from the ’30s and ’40s and she dressed in a vintage way. She was really nice and she actually bought two sets of flash. I had that feeling I was going to know her for a while. I have been around Kat through all of these changes, and it has been amazing to watch.
Has she ever asked you to come on her show?
She has, but she knows that I’m uncomfortable with being on television. It’s not for me. As nice as it is for her to ask, it’s even nicer of her to understand when I decline.
What is your view on tattoo TV as a whole?
I have no problem with the shows. I think the controversy is starting to die down now, but three or four years ago, it’s all people would talk about. People knew that [Kat] and I were friends so they would gripe to me. I don’t think it harms tattooing in the least. I think it has helped it. I think that the amount of good that those shows have done for bringing in business to the average tattooist far outweighs any minor problems with it that people might have. People complain because they think it’s going too mainstream, but I know something about the history of tattooing and the role certain artists have played in pop culture. Look at George Burchett in England. He was widely known throughout the entire country. Look at Lyle Tuttle in the ’70s, and look at Paul Booth in the ’90s. When I see Kat on David Letterman, I think it’s a good thing. If people try to say something hurtful or ignorant, I’m happy to straighten them out.
Plurabella Tattoo Studio : http://www.plurabella.com/