EXCLUSIVE: Kat Von D on her New Book: "I Think People Will be Surprised to See How Normal I Am"

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Kat Von D is on top of the world right now. The famous Argentinean tattoo artist has a hit TV show (TLC’s L.A. Ink) and her latest book The Tattoo Chronicles is a NY Times Bestseller. Latina.com spoke Kat about her new book, staying sober and how she's really just a normal girl at heart.

Tell us about your book tour for The Tattoo Chronicles.
It’s going good! It’s at the halfway mark so it’s exciting. This is my second book tour and I think this one just meant a lot more. The first book was more of an insider’s look on tattooing, so I could talk about tattooing all day long and the art and everything. But this second book is just so much more of an emotionally invested project, like it’s a lot more intimate. I can sense the feeling from the fans and it’s a lot different from the first one—it’s speaking to people in a different way. I think it’s an emotional thing, but it’s good.

Can you explain what you mean when you say this second book is more intimate than you first book?
The Tattoo Chronicles is a year’s worth of my diary entries. Basically I tattoo everyday and so for years, as a form of self-therapy, I’ve been writing about every person. So after every tattoo, I would write about the person and the stories behind the tattoos. And then just reflect on them—so it talks about everything from my sobriety to depression to relationship things and stuff like that. Since the book is my diary entries there are no chapters in the book and it’s in chronological order.

Congratulations on being #3 on the New York Times’ bestseller list!
Thank you! I don’t know what it means, you know? For my first book, when it came out I got the same thing—NY Times Bestseller—and I called my dad and I’m like, ‘Dad, guess what? I got a NY Times Bestseller,” and he’s like, ‘That’s great, but what does that mean?’ and I’m like, ‘I don’t know, but I think it’s good.’ [Laughs].

Do you think people would enjoy your book even if they don’t have an interest in tattoos?
I think the book speaks to every type of person. The whole purpose of writing a book was to share all walks of life. Whether you’re an actress or a musician or a scientist or a doctor—we all have something in common and I think if we were able to listen to each other we could probably learn a lot from each other and see how much we’re alike. I just hope that people will read it with an open mind and take something positive away from it.

At 28, you’re already a badass tattoo artist, a bestselling author and you have your own hit TV show. Do you want to have your own empire?
I think I already have my little empire. I’m really happy with where I’m at in life. There are obviously a lot of things that I would creatively like to get involved with, but I’m not trying to take over the world or anything like that.

Is it your main goal in life to be successful in Hollywood?
That’s never been my goal. I think everybody has a glamorous perception of what success is. I think I was successful before the show and all that stuff. Success is whatever your mind thinks it is, and whatever makes you happy. I’m just happy to be able to create art, and after the television show, it grew into something much bigger than I could’ve ever imagined and I feel really blessed.

Now that you are juggling so many different projects, do you work more than ever now?
Yeah, I’m a workaholic. I work at all times. I don’t go out really often. I’m sober for three years, so I don’t really like to go to the clubs or anything like that.

Is it tempting to drink when you’re at a club?
No. It’s not tempting. It’s just not really the lifestyle I choose to live.

Do you think that people who read your book will have a different perception of you than the one in the media?
I don’t know what people are going to think when they walk away from it. The book isn’t really about me—it’s about the world. It’s not an autobiography—I don’t think I would flatter myself into doing that. I think people will be surprised to see how normal I am. [Laughs]. With your questions that you’re asking me right now about Hollywood and success and all of that stuff, it sounds like people will probably have this conception like, ‘Oh if you’re on TV you must be this,’ and to me that stuff isn’t important.

Does Jesse James like your new book?
We’ll go to the next question. [Laughs].

 

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