I have an excuse this time. Really, I do. You see, I have satellite television and have been having some problems with my signal. The picture is often pixilated and the sound distorted on many of my favorite channels. (Cue the violins.) Thus, I have been deprived of my Bravo and my TLC for quite a while now. (Music swells.) So, the other day, last Tuesday to be exact, a miracle happened: I got perfect reception on TLC and was able to watch LA Ink (Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST), a reality series featuring tattoo artist cool Kat von Drachenberg (a.k.a Kat von D).
When we, excuse me, when I last saw Kat von D she was being shown the door of the tattoo shop, Miami Ink, the focal point of the TLC reality series of the same name. As the only female artist, she was accused of not playing nice with the boys, or rather one boy specifically, shop owner, Ami, a handsome chrome domed ex-Israeli soldier. It was battle of the badasses and my girl came up short.
Now Kat’s back in her native Los Angeles and opening her own tattoo shop, High Voltage Tattoo and gathering together a crew which includes two top-notch females artists Kim Saigh and single mother Hannah Aitchinson both from the Midwest. In an effort to add a little testosterone to the mix, Kat’s signed on seasoned pro and Cali native, Corey Miller,
The first two episodes of LA Ink follow Kat, a 20-something with a three-pack-a-day and a couple of shots of whisky voice and Goth good looks, as she deals with construction delays and anxious employees.
Clients are a mix of celebrities like Jackass’ Steve O and regular folks, such as the woman who wanted a tattoo of her daughter’s handprint and the cervical cancer survivor who had conjoined circles tattooed on her back as a celebration of survival and self-discovery.
Also along for the ride is Pixie Acia, the pierced, fun-loving, devoted friend of Kat von D who, without prompting, helps her pal get the shop up and running. In a show of confidence and gratitude, Kat asks Pixie, a former Fear Factor winner, to become shop manager.
I don’t have tattoos and I am not planning to get any. I have a problem with their permanency and the fact many professional environments find their display unacceptable. Also, most tats I see are sloppy creations — little butterflies on ankles at best and baby daddy’s names scrawled across breasts and necks at worst.
With that said, I respect Kat von D’s artisty. And her willingness to take risks and to be her own person is commendable. She understands that the transition from employee to business owner is going to involve a major learning curve. Like many women, Kat realizes she has difficulty demanding what she wants and more importantly, what she needs as evidenced during the construction process when she was met with unanticipated delays and had to confront her general contractor.
And you gotta love a broad who dares to have a photo booth, a stripper pole and statues of Jesus and Mary in her shop.
School is in Session
LA Ink fan or not, check out the show’s website, especially if you are contemplating getting some body art. In addition to having the usual cast bios and Q&As, it also features information on how to choose artists and the top mistakes people make when getting a tattoo.
Inking the Deal
By the way, LA Ink’s premiere episode on August 7 was TLC’s highest rated debut ever attracting nearly 3 millions viewers — “more than doubling the draw of the Miami version in two seasons.” (Washington Post)
Ami who? Miami Ink what?
LA Ink is one spin-off that is headed into the stratosphere. I am going along for the ride. Care to join me?