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High Voltage Tattoo
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High Voltage Tattoo

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,864 Ratings  ·  142 Reviews
From the charismatic star of The Learning Channel's number-one program "L.A. Ink" comes a rich view of contemporary tattoo culture, as only a true insider can offer. Full-color throughout.
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published January 20th 2009 by Harper Design
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Sep 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'm going through a huge Kat Von D phase, not unlike my vegetarian cooking phase, addiction memoir phase, running phase, Swedish pop duos phase, learning to play guitar phase, Belinda Carlisle phase -- well, the last one is more of a lifestyle.

She's the Kat Von D'jour.

The punk rock tattoo artist who busted out of the super-vanilla "Miami Ink" for her own show -- "LA Ink" based in Hollywood (next door to Edible Bouquets, ohfer cute) -- is this fascinating gravitational pull. She looks like a Barb
Jun 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a pretty cool book. I was never into tattooing until I caught a marathon of Miami Ink. Yup, I'm one of those TV converts. I enjoyed the stories of why people wanted their tattoos, some are so touching, such as memorial tattoos. But mostly I love the art. I'm a fan of any show that features transformation, from house design to cooking, cake decorating, etc. I'm just amazed and entertained by seeing people create beauty.

Which is a big lead up to the story about Kat. She was featured on th
Sep 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I love Kat and this is an awesome book. everybody who has a dislike for tattoos should read this one as well as anybody who is scared of tattooed people. i recently got my first tattoo (as did my sister) and we were lectured by everybody about how we were going to be looked down upon by society and blah blah blah. I also watch LA Ink (Kat's show) which really shows her as this tough business chick who doesn't take crap from anybody but there are also moments where you can see that she feels bad ...more
My parents bought me this book for Christmas and I read it in less than a day. It's pretty cool for those who, like me, have a little thing for the tattoed goddess, Kat Von D.

The first part of the book is an autobiography of sorts, chronicling how Kat got into tattooing and the experiences that made her who she is today.

The second part, which is probably my favourite part, is a directory of Kat's tattoos, explaining their origins and meanings.

In the rest of the book, Kat reminisces about the tat
Laura Morrigan
Beautiful art, great artist bios, interesting views into why people get tattoos! Kat Von D is not just a celebrity, she is an insanely talented artist, and this is a great book that also pays homage to other artists.
May 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Visually stunning. The tattoo photography is amazing. Kat's "map" is fascinating, although when she talks about future plans it's not really clear where she's got room. Winner.
Sep 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Summary: High Voltage Tattoo is a graphic perspective on today's global tattoo culture by Kat Von D, star of The Learning Channel's L.A. Ink and one of the most talented and popular artists working today. Designed in a style that is reminiscent of a handmade Gothic journal with its red padded cover, ornate typography, and parchmentlike pages, it throws the door wide open to tattooing culture in the way only an insider like Kat can.

High Voltage Tattoo traces Kat's career as an artist, from early
Erin Ashley
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
First off I really have to say that this is a wonderful depiction of the tattoo world summarized into one book. From tattoo etiquette to different styles of tattoo, it is all covered. I know this is only one persons view on the tattooing world that she has been in, but her view on it has given me a real insight and taught me things I didn't know before.

Kat Von D, basically most of the general population has heard that name at least once in their life or know exactly who she is. She has had quite
Nov 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I actually had intended just to look through this book at the store taking my notes down for this assignment, but ended up buying the book. I loved it! The book itself is styled after an old journal with padded covers and parchment like paper which is kind of kitchy but works well for the book. I have serval tattoos and love to look at other people's tattoos. I don't watch Miami Ink or LA Ink, but like to concept of the shows and thought it would be interesting to get inside her head a little. T ...more
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
la ink photo: la ink LA-Ink-Promo.gif

I am a huge fan of Kat Von D,i think she's inspirational and totally amazing. I got both of her books for Christmas and i'm working my way through the second one now. When i was reading this book i didn't want to fly through it i wanted to savor it enjoy it as much as possible.

This book tells us about Kat's early life, family life, how she started out with tattoos, tattoos she's done, the tattoos she's got, different types of tattoos and other artists tattooers and not who she admires and inspi
Dec 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
I don't know why but I am kind of obsessed with Kat Von D, maybe because she is my polar opposite I find her so alluring and interesting. She is the bad ass I long to be but never will be :) I don't even like tattoos, I don't ever want one, but I find her story and obsession with tattoos fascinating...and I cannot believe I am saying this but after reading this I kind of want my own tattoo, nothing big or crazy, something unobtrusive and really small. I like how the book talks about what tattoos ...more
Apr 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs
I should start by saying that I have not watched Kat Von D's reality show (LA Ink, which is on TLC) yet. Kat Von D is a very talented tattoo artist and visual artist, and this book showcases a lot of her excellent work. I could tell that this well worn library book (sections were falling out!) has been pored over by many readers. I found it a bit strange that she writes several times about personally receiving or giving tattoos while being drunk, but then later under the etiquette section, she t ...more
Luna Freebird
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Love this book. Kat Von D was my hero years ago, when I first decided to be a tattoo artist. She IS heavy metal. Her artwork is so amazing, and she doesn't get the credit she deserves for it. On her show, you don't see enough of it, its more about the general aspect of what going on & the drama going on between shop employees. I really enjoyed hearing tattoo stories, though. Theres so many people out there getting shitty, meaningless tattoos, so its nice to see Kat Von D's amazing memorial p ...more
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
When I picked up this book for the first time I was very much drawn into the allure of tattoos and the whole indie-beauty thing that was (and still is?) popular. I liked that Kat Von D had enough ink to write a novel on her body. I ate the book up quickly, very much a poppy kind of picture book with an interesting look into the life of Ms. KVD. The pages showing her tattoos, which takes about a few pages to do, are excellently photographed and fun to look at. I gave this book to my friend not to ...more
May 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2016
This book is visually beautiful.
The pages are nice and big, you get nice images of the tattoos that she or other artists have laid down.

But when it comes to the story and the overall editing of the book, thumbs down.

Lots of editing mistakes (including spelling). I get that it's supposed to be as if Kat Von D is just bullshitting with you, but things still need to be grammatically correct and spelled right. Also, after about the 15th page (out of 170+) of name dropping/band name dropping, I was
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book while I was waiting for Tattoo Chronicles to come in. It was definitely a book all about tattoos and the amazingly talented artists behind them. I loved Kat's tattoo directory (5 centerfold pics) from every angle: front, back, side, other side, and hands. And she has the old Hollywood starlets!! Love it!! My daughter was baffled why i was reading a book about tattoos of all things (virgin-skin me!) and i said, its fascinating art- Kat's an artist just like you! And flipped ...more
Oct 22, 2012 rated it liked it
A family member checked this book out from the library and I decided to read it before it was turned back in. I've watched LA Ink several times and I was curious to learn more about Kat. While I'd never get a tattoo myself (I wouldn't want to be stuck with it permanently), I do find the art interesting and often beautiful.

The layout of the book caught my interest as it looks similar to a scrapbook. It's very attractive and the pictures are interesting. It was nice to get a bit more insight into
Sep 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
I started watching Kat on Miami Ink and L.A. Ink and was amazed by how young and extremely talented she was. Her book is full of beautiful artwork , from sketches to paintings and of course tattoos. It's filled with stories about her life how she got started and what inspires her to tattoo. Also many of her friends and their tattoos and the stories behind them. I assumed it would be a book filled with just her tattoos, just pictures. There where so many amazing tattoos like the Guernica by Picas ...more
Oct 08, 2010 added it
This is maaaybe a good example of why people who aren't writers shouldn't try to write books. I really enjoyed the photography, but the writing (predictably) is pretty sub-par. And didn't she have an editor? Sheesh. There were some pretty glaring mistakes that put my teeth on edge. And it wasn't even very biographical, which I guess is what I was hoping for - it's more of a quick and dirty look at who's who and what's what in the tattoo world. This is a good one to get out of the library for an ...more
Pamela Voyles
Nov 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book is a beautiful collection of artwork done by Kat Von D and other tattoo artists she wishes to showcase. Kat shares stories behind the tattoos. I personally do not have a tattoo nor want one, but I was drawn to the cover of the book. It made me pick it up and look inside. I was delighted to find all the beautiful sketches and tattoos featured in the book. The book was placed on the YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 2010. It made the top ten list. This book is an autob ...more
Jun 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in Tattoos/Tattooing
This book was honestly amazing!

At first I thought I was paying $30 for a 'big ole' picture book'.. That was NOT the case what so ever.. As much as I love Kat Von D I was worried about how much 'depth' this book would have, I was so surprised when I started reading it and realized this book was PACKED with information and entertaining things! The first part is like a small Kat Von D biography which was really neat to read and the rest was all about Tattooing, Tattooers and pictures/stories of ama
Apr 12, 2014 rated it liked it
I have a thing for Kat Von D. She's like the female, in my humble opinion, who can pull of a ton of tattoos. I picked up this book knowing it would be a short read and lots of pictures. I was not disappointed with either assumption. Everything from a bio to Von D's work is included in this one. The actual book itself is kind of cool, with a squishy cover.

A more detailed, in-depth review to come. Once published on my blog, I will link here.

**EDIT** blog post is here: http://unkomminsense.wordpres
Jun 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is beautiful. This person is all skin and ink. There were these full page diagrams from all angles of her bod, with bullets to all of her tattoos and small descriptions of why she got those ones. Very anatomy of a junk drawer esque.

I also really liked the family and remberance tattoo portraits. A connection I cannot imagine. A grief I do not know. Someone called this a glorified myspace profile. Hah.

Keeping the tattoo momentum alive. Go go go sandwiches. Go go go crush.
Alyce Hunt
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've always been interested in tattoos, and Kat Von D is practically a household name at this point, so I thought I'd pick this up. I wasn't disappointed - it features tattoos that Kat's done on a lot of my favourite musicians, and the stories behind a lot of the tattoos are very interesting and emotional.
It's nice to learn more about Kat's past: what got her into tattooing, how her family reacted to her different choice of career, and how she's been developing her art over the years. A good re
Gerri Leen
Jul 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
I got this because I'm enamored with the show L.A. Ink and the writing of this book was a major part of the second season. It's a beautiful and fun book. The language is, unfortunately, a bit adult so I don't feel like I can give it to an early teen friend who's into art, for example. I was expecting a little more there there, which is why it's an A minus. But still a gorgeous book, and it does shed a lot of light on things (maybe more than a little if you haven't seen the show).

Rated: A-
Stephanie Blake
Jun 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
I Love Kat Von D!!!!! She is an amazing artist/tattooist! I would love for the day to be able to afford the opportunity for her to not only sign my book in person but to also give me the piece of my dad while he was in the Marine Cores before I was ever even born!!! A dreamer can dream right? This book is absolutely amazing though from the works of art on Kat herself to the pieces she has put into other people along with some of the reasoning behind them! I will cherish this book with the hopes ...more
Sofie Roberts
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
I couldn't have been happier when I got this for christmas the other year. For anyone like myself with a passion for art and tattoos this book is perfect. wether or not you are already a fan of Kat's work I feel it really doesn't matter, filled with beautiful photographs of her work, the work of some other artists, her tattoo's and lots to read this book is worth it even if you just want to flick through and admire some stunning tattoos.
Jan 11, 2010 rated it liked it
I liked the pictures of the tattoos and the stories behind them, and Kat Von D does run with an interesting crowd. However, after reading Jeff Johnson's fascinating and entertaining memoir "Tattoo Machine", I changed my rating of Kat's book...I guess I would have liked more narrative, but some people are natural storytellers, and some aren't. Or rather, Kat's saving the juicy stuff for her second book...?
Apr 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of LA Ink
I just got my first tattoo and have a bit of a fascination about them lately. Anyone who's seen LA Ink knows the Kat Von D is a very talented tattoo artist. Her shading and portraiture are amazing.

The book is a bit of her memoir and how she got started in the art of tattooing. It showcases all her tattoo's and what they mean to her. It also showcases some of her best tattoo's she's given other people and how they've turned out.
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Reads like a mix between a blog and a scrapbook. Excellent for newbies and veterans of tattoo work. It is largely about who she has tattooed and her little world, but she's a great artist and has a lot of connections. She even includes things like the history of tattooing, the process of getting a tattoo, and the stories behind her tattoos. High quality production, too. No other book out there gives as much insight into today's tattoo culture. Intriguing.
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Kat Von D (born Katherine Von Drachenberg) is a Mexican-born American tattoo artist and television personality. She is best known for her work as a featured tattoo artist on the TLC reality television show Miami Ink. A subsequent TLC series LA Ink, premiered August 7, 2007 in the United States and November 11, 2007 in the UK.
More about Kat Von D....

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