Kat Von D's story is a long, diverse, and interesting one. She first gained national attention on the reality TV shows Miami Ink and LA Ink. But she’s much more than just a tattoo artist and makeup mogul. Some things you didn’t know about Kat Von D, especially about her background and hobbies, will totally surprise you. If you consider yourself a Kat Von D fan or even if you just want some inspiration from one of the industry's savviest icons, check out these facts from behind the scenes with Kat Von D, from the story behind her first tattoo to some of her most fundamental beliefs. The multi-talented artist-to-the-stars is actually pretty deep, and definitely very cool.
She Is A Classically Trained Pianist
While Kat may look pretty punk rock, she absolutely loves classical music and has been playing classic piano since the age of six. Since her parents didn’t allow the children to watch television, Kat and her siblings practiced music in their free time. Kat and her sister Karoline would practice piano for an hour or two every day. Kat has a particular affinity for the works of Ludwig van Beethoven. She also owns a few pianos.
Her Parents Were Missionaries And She Grew Up In Humble Conditions
Kat grew up in a very religious household. Her parents were Seventh-day Adventist missionaries and Von D describes her religion thus:
“Christianity, with a few Jewish traits. We kept the Sabbath, went to church on Saturdays, followed the ten commandments, and didn’t eat any pork or fish without scales.”
Her father came from a long line of missionary doctors. There was a need for doctors in the town of Montemorelos, Mexico, where she grew up, and he made it his mission to build a hospital there. Despite being a doctor’s kid, she did not live a luxurious lifestyle.
“We didn't have electricity or running water for a long time,” Kat wrote in PopSugar.
“And, in fact, one of my favorite photos from our family album is one of me taking a bath in a plastic bucket! Let's put it this way, in this town, you were more likely to see a horse than you would a car.”
She Gave Her First Tattoo At 14 And Dropped Out Of School At 16
Sometimes education does not always equal success. Kat dropped out of high school when she was 16 years old and got a job at the L.A. tattoo parlor, Sin City Tattoo, in 1998. But she had started tattooing even earlier than that: she gave her first tattoo when she was just 14 years old for a friend. The tattoo was the skull logo for the band Misfits. She made a tattoo machine out of a cassette player motor and guitar string.
She Once Held A Guinness World Record
In 2007, Kat once held the Guinness World Record for the most tattoos completed in a 24-hour period. She was able to complete an astonishing 400 tattoos in just one day. Lines flocked out the door (there were around 1,000 people who showed up for the event), as she tattooed an “L.A.” logo for $20 per person on the 400 people who were able to get in. She worked continuously, only taking nine minutes off the entire day. In 2013, Hollis Cantrell broke the ultimate record with 801 tattoos in 24 hours.