Jennifer Goldstein (writer),
Warwick Saint (photographer),
Deborah Waknin (fashion editor)
But you finally went in to see her in March. How did you two decide on the tattoo?
Even driving over there I still didn't know what I wanted to get. My best friend came with me, but my brother-in-law met me there, and he’s covered head to toe in tattoos, so I asked him what he thought. I wanted to get something really feminine. He suggested a fairy, which I thought was a really great idea. But Kat said I’d have to get a bigger tattoo if I wanted a fairy, and the ‘Charlie’ would become the wings of the fairy. So she drew two different versions. She drew a fairy and then she drew flowers that were beautiful and small and would just cover the Charlie. But I thought, ‘If I’m going to do this, I want it to look hot.’ So I went with the fairy. It’s gorgeous. And the wings of the fairy, well, you can’t even see where Charlie’s name was. She did an unbelievable job. So, did you two hit it off right away? I loved her. She is just so very talented and beautiful and really fun to talk to.
You do have some things in common, such as the fact that you both dated rock stars. She’s dating Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe and you used to date Richie Sambora.
Yeah, her boyfriend actually lives in my neighborhood, which is such a coincidence.
Did you give her any advice about dating a rock star?
We kind of didn’t get into that, I don’t think I needed to give her any advice [laughs] because she seems very happy. It wasn’t about the guys. We had fun. Her sister was there with her hairless cat, Tijuana, and I’ve never seen one in person so I was holding the cat. And then Kat did her thing.
You also got to spend time together at the INKED shoot. Will you hang out again?
My brother-in-law Brandon just turned 30, and for his birthday I got him a tattoo by Kat. So, I’ll absolutely go with him when he gets that done. For someone who gets a lot of tattoos, he said, ‘This is the best gift you could ever get me.’ And Kat’s going to do a portrait of his boys, my nephews. Do you think you’ll get another tattoo? I think I’m good. I mean, I’d have to get another, then one for each of my daughters, then I wouldn’t be able to stop. I love that I have one amazing, gorgeous tattoo, and I am just going to leave it at that.
If one of your daughters wanted a tattoo when she got older, what would you say?
Well, Lola looked at my tattoo and said, ‘I want a tattoo of your fairy.’ The girls love it. I can never say don’t do it. Because who am I to talk? But I’ll encourage them to wait until they’re 18, and get something they really want. Because once it’s there, it’s there—as I know [laughs]. I guess that’s one thing I can thank Charlie for. If it weren’t for him, I would never have gotten a tattoo. But because of him I have this amazing artistic creation from Kat, and it’s gorgeous.
INKED: What’s been going on in your life since we talked to you last?
Kat Von D: Lots has happened! We wrapped Season 2 of LA Ink and just got picked up for Season 3, which I’m excited and nervous about. I have so many projects going on that it’s tough to imagine how I’m going to balance all of this. How’s your shop, High Voltage, doing? Besides the City being dicks and making me take down the skate ramp I had installed in front of the store, my shop is up and running better than ever before. I have never been so fucking happy with my tattoo family there. I have about 10 artists working with me and it amazes me how much we all love and help each other on a daily basis. It’s so rare to find that in a tattoo shop.
One of your new projects is a makeup line with Sephora. What’s that all about?
Well, I think by the amount of makeup I wear on a daily basis, people can tell how much I love it. When Sephora approached me with the idea of creating a line I was beyond stoked. Like all of the projects I get myself into, it’s important for me to play as big a part in the creative process as possible. I hate it when people just slap their name on shit and try and sell it as if it were something they really believed in, when it’s obvious they are just doing it for the fast cash. I put a shitload of time into developing the line … I think naming each product was my favorite part of the process. There’s a lipstick called Turbo Lover, which is a Judas Priest song, and Dimebag, for Dimebag Darrell of Pantera—rest in peace. It’s a makeup line that has a rock ‘n’ roll edge to it, but at the same time my mom can wear it without looking like a hooker.
We heard you’re dating Nikki Sixx, who, like you, has been featured in INKED. Please tell us you met because you had that in common.
Ha! That’s not exactly how we met, but it would be cute. The funny thing is the last time INKED shot me for that cover [ed. –Jan. 2008], you guys were on your way to shoot Nikki right after. I remember saying, ‘Tell Nikki I said hello!’ Then Nikki texted me that day saying you guys actually sent my regards. That was so sweet and I meant to thank you for that. But we actually met before that. [Anthrax guitarist] Scott Ian and his girl Pearl Aday tried to set us up on a blind date long ago. I think Pearl thought we had a lot in common and, since we were both going through a divorce at the time. I wasn’t looking to be in a relationship, and surely not one that started on a blind date. But he got my number from Pearl, and we became friends. I later met a guy and dated him for about half a year and Nikki and I stayed friends through all of that, though we never actually met in person. But my dude and I broke up, and Nikki and I were still friends, so we went out for dinner. We were chatting and it felt like, man! I’ve never met a person who’s exactly like me. We had the same complaints about relationship problems, a very similar upbringing, mentality, and likes and dislikes in everything from music to fashion. Most of all we were both complete fucking nerds, and it was like, duh. Next thing you know, he tried to kiss me, and I almost karate chopped him. Ha! True story.
Have you and Nikki had any relationship-celebrating tattoos?
Of course! A love like this? You can’t not get a tattoo that’s inspired by it. I’ve always wanted to stay at the Bowery Hotel, in New York City, but I never had a chance. Being the workaholic that I am, for my 26th birthday this year I was in New York working on something for TLC, and Nikki surprised me by flying out and booking a room for us at that hotel. They have a cool logo, Billy the Butcher. We fell in love with the hotel and each other again, and went to New York Adorned where Thomas Hooper tattooed the Bowery Hotel Billy the Butcher on us. Thomas is the best. He also did my David Letterman tattoo last time I was in New York. Every time I need to get random tattoos that are way below his skill level, he always makes time for me.
How did you meet Denise Richards?
She contacted us to get tattooed before she started filming her reality show because she wanted to cover up a tattoo of her ex’s name. But because of both of our busy schedules, we weren’t able to do the tattoo until after she was filming, so they were able to make it part of her show, which I thought was cool.
How did you come up with the idea for her cover-up?
The original idea to cover it was a stiletto heel, which wouldn’t have worked. So after that idea was out the door, it was between something with a floral theme and a fairy. I drew her a mock-up of the two ideas, and she totally vibed on the fairy. And the wings worked perfectly to cover the majority of the name. For me, it was important to make the tattoo suit Denise’s personality. From the little I knew of her, she came off as a sweet and feminine woman. So I didn’t want to make anything bulky or harsh. In the end I think it was a success and we were all stoked.
How was she with the needle?
Denise totally fucking rocked! I was actually kinda nervous that she might not sit that well, just because I had never met her before and from what I could see she didn’t have many tattoos. But she sat like a rock. She was a real trooper.
What did you guys talk about?
Aside from lipstick, tampons, and wild orgies, we didn’t really talk about much. Totally kidding! We talked about her family and her mother. There is a lot of love in that family and anyone who knows me understands how family plays the biggest part in my life. And I can’t wait to go to her place and check out the crazy parade of animals she’s got going on. From what she’s told me it’s a regular farm over there! Did you give her any advice about being on a reality show? Since the day I’ve tattooed her and gotten to know Denise better, I can tell she doesn’t need anyone’s advice. Homegirl has her shit together, and there’s nothing more attractive than a hot, self-reliant woman who does things for herself and her family, regardless of what people think.
Kat Von D : http://www.katvond.net/