Evolving with Kat Von D: Tattooing Career, Sobriety, and Fashion Forward


Kat Von D’s relationship with tattoos has dramatically changed since her “LA Ink” days.

In an interview with music producer Alex Crescioni that was shared on Monday, Von D talked about her sobriety, family life, and wide-spanning career.

When asked if she misses tattooing now that she’s focused on her music and fashion businesses, Von D said her relationship with the craft is much different than it used to be.

“I’m not as thrilled about it as I was in my 20s per se, but I still love it, and I still want to be able to do it,” Von D said about tattooing. “I just know I don’t want to do it as a job.”

Von D also said she stopped charging clients for her work during the final years that her studio, High Voltage Tattoo, was in business.

“The last decade of my career, I was just tattooing people I loved or friends of friends, or if somebody had a moving story,” she said. “But I stopped making it a means a long time ago.”

The tattoo artist noted that she finds it more fulfilling to tattoo to connect with others — especially after finding fame via a TV show about her work.

Von D entered the spotlight in 2005 when she filled in for tattoo artist Daren Brass on the TLC series “Miami Ink” after he got injured.

After leaving the show in 2007 due to issues with other cast members, Von D was given her spin-off series, “LA Ink,” which she starred in for four seasons.

“I think a dynamic shift happens once you’re on TV doing it,” she told Crescioni. “People have a certain expectation from you when you’re getting tattooed. How do I explain it? People aren’t coming to get a tattoo per se but have an experience, and that’s just a lot of pressure that takes away from the process for me.”

Kat Von D tattoos at her former studio in Los Angeles, California.
Kat Von D works on a tattoo at her former Los Angeles, California studio. Matthew Simmons / Getty Images

The revelation might not be surprising to fans familiar with Von D’s life changes in recent years.

Von D purchased a Vevay, Indiana, home in 2020, closed her Los Angeles tattoo shop in 2021, and made the move permanent after selling her California mansion in 2023.

She previously hinted at founding an Indiana tattoo studio in 2020 but told Crescioni that while “it would be nice to open up a shop,” her plans have changed.


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A post shared by Kat Von D (@thekatvond)

“It’s a tiny town of 1,200 people, so they don’t even have a mayor or anything like that,” she said of Vevay. “There’s no Uber, there’s no Postmates, there’s no billboards, there’s no bus — I think there’s one stoplight and a gas station. So it’s quite small, which I love.”

“But I feel like we need, like, restaurants. I don’t think the town needs a tattoo shop, you know?” she said. “I think there are other things I would want to bring to the table before opening a shop, but I don’t know right now.”


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A post shared by Kat Von D (@thekatvond)

Von D has also recently shared her personal tattoo transformation with the world.

Days after sharing that she’d been baptized in her local church, the “Vampire” musician revealed that she’s spent almost 40 hours so far “blacking out” her body with solid ink to cover tattoos she no longer wants.

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