Tattoo Artists: Kat Von D
Kat Von D, whose real name is Katherine Von Drachenberg, was born in Nueva Leon, Mexico on March 8, 1982 before moving to Colton, California with her family at age four. Her father and mother, Rene Drachenberg and Sylvia Galeano, are both Argentinian, making Kat's nationality is German and Spanish-Italian. Mentored early in her career by Tim Hendricks, Kat began working in her first tattoo shop at age sixteen where she did her first tattoo, a skull from the band the "Misfits". She actually received her first tattoo at age fourteen; the letter J in Old English on her ankle, a memorial to a bygone love.
Although she has been a successful tattoo artist for nearly ten years, Kat Von D (real name Katherine Von Drachenberg) did not become well-known nor widely popular across America until "Miami Ink" premiered on the TLC channel last year. In 2005, Kat joined "Miami Ink" for its first season on the air. The only woman in a shop consisting of all men, Kat relocated from Los Angeles to work side by side along owners Ami James and Chris Nunez, and renowned artists Chris Carver and Darren Brass. However, two years later in 2007 she decided to leave the show due to personal differences between her and Ami. The move back to Los Angeles prompted her to open her own shop, High Voltage, and resulted in TLC deciding to film her on location there in a new show called "L.A. Ink" which premiered August 8, 2007.
KAT'S TATSClick thumbnail to view full-size
But Kat Von D was a superstar in her own right well before her television notoriety began. She has worked in tattoo parlors throughout California at places like Sin City Tattoo, Blue Bird Tattoo in Pasadena, Red Hot Tattoo in Arcadia and Inflictions in Covina. Her personal website is filled with fanart from those who know and love her, and the Kat Von D fan club boasts over 4,000 members. It's president, Tanya, appeared in an episode of "Miami Ink" when she arrived at the shop to get a tattoo of a pin-up girl which she wanted designed to look like Kat. She is best known for her black-and-white portraits but specializes also in realistic art tattoos, drawing and photography.