Trading her ink needles for an ink pen, tattoo artist and reality-TV star Kat Von D will be signing copies of her new book, "The Tattoo Chronicles" at The Book Revue in Huntington Tuesday night.
Von D, 28, is the entrepreneurial owner of High Voltage Tattoo in Hollywood, Calif., and the star of the TLC series based there, "L.A. Ink." She's also the creator of a Sephora makeup line (which includes tattoo concealer), the founder of the MusInk Tattoo & Music Festival and the author of two books, this and 2009's autobiographical "High Voltage Tattoo." Her new book adapts her daily journal to weave her personal experiences with those of celebrity and civilian clients.
You say in the book you sometimes feel like a therapist as clients talk while getting tattooed?
When you give a tattoo, generally it's very monumental for a person, and it's an up-close and intimate time while you're tattooing them. And they feel they're not gonna be judged, and they openly share and know they'll be listened to.
That's what my book is about, that we should be able to listen to each other. Probably the best lesson I ever learned from my clients over the years is how to do that. The best way is to be genuinely interested in what people are saying. I wasn't like that in beginning, but I've been able to learn.
Tattoo is closely tied with body image and nontraditional ideals of beauty. Yet the book has a lot of traditional glamour shots of you. Did you want to say, "No, shoot me as I am, no special lighting or makeup, just the normal way I look every day"?
I think that's probably the only thing I didn't see eye-to-eye on with the publisher. The publisher said we need more pictures of you. But they're not like Maxim shots.
Tattooing was illegal in New York City from 1961 to 1997, and certainly very few women had them. It was all much more underground. Now, everyone seems to have a tattoo. What changed?
Even just 10 years ago, tattooing was so different than it is now. Part of that has to do with the popularity of television shows like "L.A. Ink" and showing to the masses that tattooing is an art form and not something negative. It was surrounded by stigma for so long.
The book details your great love affair with Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx. Since you're in the public eye and have moved on to someone else , there seems a missing piece in the book, which never explains how this soul-mate relationship could have ended. It's like a cliffhanger.
I don't think so. I think I left it open. I do talk about the ups and downs Nikki, and I had some of the struggles in that relationship, and in the end you have to live in the moment. There was not really anything I could say to tie it up with a nice little bow, because that's life.
WHEN: Tuesday night at 7
WHERE: Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington
INFO: 631-271-1442, bookrevue.com