Kat Von D

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Kat Von D

Kat Von D tattooing
BornKatherine von Drachenberg
(1982-03-08) March 8, 1982 (age 30)
Montemorelos, Nuevo León, Mexico
Other namesKat Von D
OccupationTattoo artist, television personality
SpouseOliver Peck (2003–2007)
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Kat Von D

Kat Von D tattooing
BornKatherine von Drachenberg
(1982-03-08) March 8, 1982 (age 30)
Montemorelos, Nuevo León, Mexico
Other namesKat Von D
OccupationTattoo artist, television personality
SpouseOliver Peck (2003–2007)

Katherine von Drachenberg,[1] best known under her registered trademark Kat Von D[2] (born March 8, 1982),[3] is a Mexican-American tattoo artist, model and television personality. She is best known for her work as a tattoo artist on the TLC reality television show LA Ink, which premiered August 7, 2007, in the United States and ran four seasons.


Early life

Kat Von D was born in Montemorelos,[4] Nuevo León, Mexico.[3] Her missionary[5] parents, father René and mother Sylvia[3] or Silvia[6] Galeano, were born in Argentina,[3][7] of German descent and Italian and Spanish descent, respectively.[3] Von D has a sister, Karoline[8] and a brother, Michael.[8] She moved with her family to the Los Angeles area at age 4 and grew up in Colton, California.[3] Von D was classically trained in piano beginning at age 6.[9] She particularly appreciates Ludwig van Beethoven.[9]

Von D credits her grandmother, Clara von Drachenberg, as an inspiration for her in music and art,[10] and the Latino culture of Los Angeles as a major influence on her tattoo art and style.[11] She began listening to the Ramones, Misfits and other punk rock bands at the age of 12. She got her first tattoo at 14 and quit school at 16 to become a tattoo artist.[5][12]


Von D was asked to work at 305 Ink in Miami[13] when Darren Brass broke his elbow,[14] preventing him from tattooing. She appeared in the first four seasons of Miami Ink, the reality TV show taped there for the cable network TLC. She had a falling out with Ami James which led to her being asked to leave the shop.[15]

She subsequently acquired her own TLC series, LA Ink, which chronicled her work at her tattoo shop, High Voltage Tattoo, in Hollywood, California. On the show, she gained the Guinness World Record of most tattoos given by a single person in 24 hours, with a total of 400.[16] Accomplished in December 2007, it involved a Von D-designed logo for the city of Los Angeles, with proceeds going to the children's-blindness charity Vitamin Angels.[17] Her record was subsequently broken by her ex-husband, Oliver Peck (415) on June 13, 2008,[17] followed by others; as of November 2008 the record is held by Hollis Cantrell from Artistic Tattoo in Phoenix, Arizona, with 801.[18] LA Ink ran four seasons, ending September 15, 2011; TLC announced the cancellation on August 18, 2011.[19] Von D maintained on her Twitter page that it was she who chose "to not continue doing LA Ink".[20]

Her first book, High Voltage Tattoo, compiling her artworks and tattoos, with a foreword by Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx, was released in January 2009 and reached #6 on The New York Times Best Seller list.[21] Von D described the book as "not an autobiography, you know, 'cause I'm too young to do that. But this is just kind of like a picture-driven outline of my career as an artist. So, you see everything from my drawings when I was six to tattoos that have never before been seen."[22] Her second book, The Tattoo Chronicles, an illustrated diary following a year in her life, was released October 26, 2010, and reached #3 on The New York Times "Hardcover Advice & Misc." best-seller list.[23]

In 2008, Von D created and launched a make-up line for Sephora.[3] She has released new collections every year and has expanded her line to include fragrances. In 2012, through Sephora, her New American Beauty Art Tour benefitted the Art of Elysium charitable organization.[24]

She is the creator of the MusInk Tattoo Convention and Music Festival,[25][26] which began in 2008.[27] Musink is an all ages Tattoo, Music, and Art festival located in Southern California.

On September 2, 2010, Von D opened the art gallery and boutique Wonderland Gallery in the space next door to High Voltage Tattoo.[28] She launched the clothing lines KVD Los Angeles and Kat Von D Los Angeles in the US and Canada in fall 2011, with the latter expanding internationally the following year.[29]

Personal life

Von D married fellow tattoo artist Oliver Peck in 2003.[30] They were separated in August 2007.[31] She and Peck finalized their divorce later that same year.[32]

From 2008 to August 2010, she dated Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx. She later began dating motorcycle customizer, West Coast Choppers CEO and reality-show star Jesse James.[31] On August 19, 2010, Von D confirmed media reports that she and James were dating, tweeting "I think it's pretty obvious that we're dating. "[33] Von D and James announced their engagement on January 20, 2011.[34] Von D announced their split via Twitter on July 26, 2011.[35][36] On August 18, 2011, the two announced their engagement was back on.[37] On September 24, 2011, she announced that she and James split again.[38]

Von D has tattooed herself with the emblems of the bands HIM, Misfits, Turbonegro, ZZ Top, Guns N' Roses, AC/DC, Slayer, Mike Got Spiked and "Slutallica", a modified Metallica logo.[9] She appeared in the music video of HIM's Killing Loneliness, as well as Alkaline Trio's "Help Me". Other musical artists that Von D lists among her favorites include The Mars Volta and Selena.[39]


Von D was referred to in the Eagles of Death Metal song "High Voltage", which was named after her shop and is featured on their third album, Heart On. In an interview, Eagles of Death Metal's Jesse Hughes said, "I wrote that for Kat Von D, because that girl's bad ass."[40]


As well as cameos and various chat show appearances, TV, film, and video game appearances include:


  1. ^ Von D, Kat (2009). High Voltage Tattoo - The Autobiography of Kat Von D. HarperCollins. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-06-168438-8. "Portrait of my father: Black-and-gray portrait of my father, Rene Von Drachenberg, in a high-school photo taken in Argentina in the 1960s."  Note: Von D's official biography on her website gives father's name as simply "René Drachenberg": "Her father René Drachenberg and her mother Silvia Galeano were both born in Argentina, though René's family origins were German and Silvia's Spanish-Italian."
  2. ^ "Kat Von D", U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  3. ^ a b c d e f g KatVonD.net (official site). Access date 2010-02-18
  4. ^ Von D, High Voltage Tattoo, p. 15. Quote: "He was the doctor who delivered me in March 1982, in Montemorelos, Nuevo León, Mexico."
  5. ^ a b Cooper, Leonie (July 11, 2008). "Life at the sharp end". The Guardian (London, UK). Archived from the original on April 2, 2009. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/jul/11/women.leoniecooper. 
  6. ^ Von D, High Voltage Tattoo, p. 57
  7. ^ "Facts about Kat : LA Ink". TLC. Archived from the original on November 14, 2010. http://tlc.discovery.com/tv/la-ink/kat_corner/facts.html. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  8. ^ a b Von D, Kat (2010). The Tattoo Chronicles. HarperCollins. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-06-195336-1. 
  9. ^ a b c Geist, Brandon (June 2008). "Region of Blood". Revolver: 83. 
  10. ^ Von D, High Voltage Tattoo, p. 15
  11. ^ "Kat Von D Exclusive!". En.Terra.com. http://en.terra.com/lifestyle/articles/html/hof1847.htm. Retrieved 2009-12-05. 
  12. ^ Sorlie, Amy (January 2009). "LA Ink". American Way. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. http://www.americanwaymag.com/kim-hasn-kat-la-ink-hannah-aitchison-los-angeles.  Additional WebCitation archive, August 14, 2011
  13. ^ Hanks, Douglas "For TV's 'Miami Ink," Same is a Love-Hate Affair" (November 17, 2007) The Miami Herald p. A-1
  14. ^ Sharer, Lisa (October 2006). "Kat Von D: Hot Ink". Prick. Archived from the original on November 28, 2010. http://www.prickmag.net/katvondfeature.html. 
  15. ^ * Nieratko, Chris (January 18, 2008). "Kat Von D interview". Archived from the original on April 1, 2009. http://web.archive.org/web/20090401015128/http://www.inkedmag.com/inked_people/15/. 
  16. ^ "More tattoos on LA Ink". VitatminAngels.org. http://www.vitaminangels.org/sites/default/files/More%20tattoos%20on%20LA%20Ink.pdf. 
  17. ^ a b "Tattoo Records are Meant to be Broken". Tattoo.com. Archived from the original on February 26, 2011. http://www.tattoo.com/tattoo-records-are-meant-be-broken. Retrieved September 7, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Most tattoos in 24 hours by a single artist". Guinness World Records. Archived from the original on September 7, 2011. http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records-3000/most-tattoos-in-24-hours-by-a-single-artist/. Retrieved September 7, 2011. 
  19. ^ Dyball, Rennie; Herndon, Jessica (August 18, 2011). "Kat Von D's Show, LA Ink, Is Cancelled". People. Archived from the original on January 29, 2012. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20521178,00.html. 
  20. ^ Von D, Kat (August 18, 2011). Twitter post
  21. ^ "Hardcover Advice & Misc.". The New York Times Best Seller list. February 22, 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/22/books/bestseller/besthardadvice.html.  This was the book's second week on the chart, and its highest chart position.
  22. ^ "Kat Von D segment". Anytime with Bob Kushell. episode 7. season 1. 2009-01-29. 
  23. ^ "Hardcover Advice & Misc.". The New York Times Best Seller list. November 14, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/2010-11-14/overview.html. 
  24. ^ "Sephora Presents: Kat Von D's New American Beauty Art Tour". Sephora. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5xnuo0AyAE. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  25. ^ Jackson, Nate (February 25, 2008). "Live Review: Kat Von D's MusInk Tattoo and Music Festival on 02/23". OC Weekly. Archived from the original on October 20, 2010. http://blogs.ocweekly.com/heardmentality/live-review/musink/. 
  26. ^ Spelled "MusInk" per "Musink Tattoo Convention & Music festival". Musink.org. Archived from the original on May 11, 2011. http://musink.org/. 
  27. ^ Reitz, Allison (November 4, 2008). "Motörhead, Social Distortion tour with Kat Von D's 2009 Musink Festival". TicketNews.com. Archived from the original on October 20, 2010. http://www.ticketnews.com/news/Motorhead-Social-Distortion-tour-with-Kat-Von-Ds-2009-Musink-Festival1184618. 
  28. ^ WonderlandLA.com (official site)
  29. ^ "Kat Von D/KVD Los Angeles :: Kat Von D's Clothing Lines". Katvondlosangeles.com. http://katvondlosangeles.com/about. Retrieved 2012-06-28. 
  30. ^ "Kat Von D's shady past". In Touch Weekly. September 24, 2010. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. http://www.intouchweekly.com/2010/09/in_touch_exclusivekat_von_ds_s.php. 
  31. ^ a b "'LA Ink' Star Sets the Record Straight About Her Relationship with Steve-O", BuddyTV.com, August 16, 2007
  32. ^ "Jesse James' Ex: I Don't Want Our Daughter Going to His Las Vegas Wedding". RadarOnline.com. February 4, 2011. http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2011/02/exclusive-interview-jesse-james-ex-i-dont-want-our-daughter-going-his-las-vegas. "... Von D, who divorced fellow tattoo artist Oliver Peck in 2007." 
  33. ^ Grossberg, Josh (July 26, 2011). "Jesse James and Kat Von D: Anatomy of a Split". E! Online. Archived from the original on April 15, 2012. http://www.eonline.com/news/jesse_james_kat_von_anatomy_of_split/254511. 
  34. ^ Leonard, Elizabeth; Herndon, Jessica (January 20, 2011). "Jesse James & Kat Von D Are Engaged". People. Archived from the original on February 28, 2011. http://web.archive.org/web/20110228174203/http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20459118,00.html. Retrieved January 20, 2011.  Additional WebCitation archive.
  35. ^ Leonard, Elizabeth (July 26, 2011), "Jesse James and Kat Von D Split", People, archived from the original on July 29, 2011, http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20512929,00.html, retrieved 2011-07-26 
  36. ^ "Kat Von D Walks Out on GDLA Interview", MyFoxLA.com (KTTV website), July 27, 2011. WebCitation archive.
  37. ^ Leonard, Elizabeth; Fleeman, Mike (August 18, 2011). "Kat Von D and Jesse James: Their Engagement Is Back On!". People. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20521260,00.html. 
  38. ^ "Kat Von D and Jessie James Split, Again". People. Archived from the original on January 29, 2012. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20531651,00.html?hpt=hp_t2. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  39. ^ "TLC :: LA Ink :: Q&A with Kat". Tlc.discovery.com. http://tlc.discovery.com/tv/la-ink/qanda/kat.html. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  40. ^ Powers, Nicole (5 November 2008). "Eagles of Death Metal Part 2: Jesse Hughes". SuicideGirls.com. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. http://suicidegirls.com/interviews/Eagles+of+Death+Metal+Part+2%3A+Jesse+Hughes/. Retrieved 2008-11-06. 
  41. ^ McNary, Dave (2008-03-23). "Five Cut Teeth on 'Bleeding'". Variety. Archived from the original on February 28, 2011. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117982807.html?categoryid=13&cs=1&query=The+Bleeding. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 

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