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Kat Von D alters image of tattoos through book

Iliana Deanda

Well known tattoo artist Kat Von D is anything but ordinary. Recently she has been touring her newly published book “High Voltage Tattoo” and got the chance to thank her fans by signing each book sold.Getting people to see past the negative stigmas associated with tattooing and view it as a form of art was the main concept for “High Voltage Tattoo,” published by HarperCollins.

“When I was approached we were kind of unsure of the premises of the book or what it should be about,” said Kat.

“It is definitely not an autobiography but I think once we got a solid idea and started evolving it just made sense. It’s kind of like the show where I could use it as a vessel to help people see and understand tattooing.” Kat said.

Associating herself with the wrong crowd at 14 is what first got her into the art form of tattooing.

“I became familiarized because I was hanging out with the wrong crowd. I was really heavy into the punk rock scene and a lot of the kids that I was hanging out with had tattoos.”

“Obviously when you’re 14 it’s illegal to get tattooed so the tattoos I was getting at the time were homemade and really crappy,” Kat said.

At 16, she began working at her first shop and had to unlearn everything she knew about tattooing because she didn’t go through a traditional apprenticeship.

From 14 until 27, Kat’s evolving love for the art form has grown more than ever.

“My love for tattooing has grown way deeper than it has ever been in the last two years. My whole view on tattooing has changed. I went through a rollercoaster of emotions,” Kat said explaining how the type of clients and their stories affected her everyday life.

“I just learned how to embrace it and really take advantage of the people that were letting me be part of their life. I see tattooing on a way different level than most tattooers, and I’m definitely hungry for the stories.”

As a young tattoo artist, Kat learned her techniques from the best and went through an anything but ordinary experience.

“I think since I didn’t have that apprenticeship I learned from getting tattooed, watching other professional tattooers tattoo me and just from being around tattooers that were more experienced,” Kat said.

Working in a rough part of town, Kat’s clientele influenced the style that she uses today, fine line black and grey.

“It’s a major reason why I like the style that I do now,” Kat said.

Forget the fame, forget the money, supporting her parents is Kat’s biggest accomplishment to date.

“Being able to support my family is great. They have done that all my life up until I was 14. I think you get a real sense of pride being able to take care of somebody,” Kat said.

“My parents are great but everybody needs help every now and then. So that’s probably my biggest accomplishment.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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