Ink Incorporated: Unedited Interview with Kat Von D
You read about Kat and the other artists of L.A. Ink in our Winter issue. Now read Chris Nieratko’s full, unedited, absurd interview with Kat here.
Chris Nieratko: How are you?
Kat Von D: I’m a little sick. I have some kind of cold, congestion thing.
It’s not the AIDS, is it?
Oh, no. I have the HIV but most of the time it’s the cancer that makes me feel like this.
I only have one or two fluff questions, and the rest will be fun. How did you get into tattooing?
I started tattooing when I was 14 and I’ve been drawing all my life. I was hanging out with a bunch of punk rock kids from around town, and one of the guys had a homemade setup, and he would tattoo all of us. One day he said I should tattoo him. I did a Misfits tattoo on him and I loved it and was hooked. I dropped out of school and started tattooing all my underage friends. There was never a shortage of kids who wanted to get tattooed and didn’t care that I sucked. By the time I was 16 I got to my first professional tattoo shop where I had to unlearn most of the things I had been doing for two years.
Do you think during those first two years you gave anyone hepatitis?
No. Most 14-year-olds don’t have hepatitis. I looked it up. It’s hard to start an epidemic when no one has had sex yet, let alone started using intravenous drugs.
I heard you were in a race to get your boyfriend Orbi’s name tattooed on you.
No, I wasn’t. But everything escalated fast with Orbi. It’s all or nothing. I’m not gong to pussyfoot around the fact that I’m in love and I get tattooed all the time, so it only makes sense that I would get his name after a short period of time. I have almost 10 Orbi-related tattoos now. I got the letter ‘A’ on my hand for his first name, Alex. I got ‘Orbi’ right under my boobs. I got ‘Bricks of Brooklyn’ on my stomach, which he actually tattooed. It’s because we were driving through Brooklyn once and he said to me, ‘I love you more than all the bricks in Brooklyn.’ I looked around and there were like a million bricks everywhere. It was the most awesome thing ever, so I told him I loved him more than all the lifted trucks in Orange County. You have to be from here to get that, but that’s a lot of trucks.
If you ever had to break up and change the Orbi tattoo, what would you do?
Change it to ‘Morbid,’ duh. No, I’d keep it. My first tattoo was an Olde English ‘J’ on my ankle for my first love, James, and I’d never cover that shit up. I have lots of people’s names on me and it’s not so much like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna regret my ex-husband’s name on my neck,’ it’s more like a time in my life that I don’t regret. I don’t regret my divorce either. I’ll rock it forever.
Does it make Orbi cry to look at your body and see all these other dudes’ names all over you?
No. Not at all. You don’t even notice it after while. The one cover up I am going to do is the portrait of my ex-husband I have down there. Every time I go pee I look at it. I don’t know what I’m going to change it to yet but Orbi and I were drawing on it the other day. We’re thinking of turning it into a sad clown girl or a bearded lady because he has a goatee. Probably a clown. I love clowns. Anything clown related I’m stoked on, especially the hobo clowns that look like they smell like whiskey.
Kat Von D : http://www.katvond.net/
High Voltage Tattoo : http://www.highvoltagetattoo.com/