Timeline: Kat Von D’s indelible life in ink and numbers

Tattoo artist Kat Von D rose to fame on the reality shows "Miami Ink" and her spinoff "L.A. Ink."
Tattoo artist Kat Von D rose to fame on the reality shows “Miami Ink” and her spinoff “L.A. Ink.”
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

The artwork that covers Kat Von D — literally from head to foot — tells her life story in one kind of ink.

The lip print on her neck is in honor of her husband (it’s a replica of his lips). A portrait of her father graces her right arm, and the few stars at her temple grew into a constellation after someone advised her to stop tattooing her face.

Rendered in printer’s ink, the key moments in the life and career of the tattoo artist, reality star, author, makeup mogul, vegan footwear founder and musician probably would look a lot like the timeline below.


March 8, 1982
Katherine Von Drachenberg is born in Montemorelos, Nuevo León, Mexico.

Tattoo artist Kat Von D also clears the air about parting ways with her beauty brand, her new vegan shoe line and her upcoming music career.

March 13, 2020

Sept. 13, 2005
Von D makes her first appearance on TLC’s reality show “Miami Ink,” filling in for a tattoo artist with a broken arm.

Aug. 7, 2007

LA Ink,” a spinoff of “Miami Ink” centered around Kat Von D and her West Hollywood High Voltage Tattoo shop, premieres on TLC.

Dec. 14-15, 2007

Kat Von Do tattooing one of a then-world record 400 people in a 24-hour period in 2007.
Kat Von D tats her way to a then-Guinness World Record on Dec. 14, 2007, at her West Hollywood shop, inking 400 people in a 24-hour period.
(Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

Von D sets a Guinness World Record for tattooing the most people — 400 — in a 24-hour period. The record stands for six months until broken by her ex-husband, Oliver Peck, with 415.

May 12, 2008

Kat Von D for Sephora launches with a limited-edition set that includes four lipsticks, two eyeshadow palettes, six liquid eyeliner shades and a brush set in a vinyl case.

Jan. 20, 2009


Her first book, “High Voltage Tattoo,” is published. The next month it hits No. 5 on the New York Times bestseller list in the miscellaneous category.

May 6, 2011
The documentary “Forks Over Knives” is released. Shortly after watching it, Kat Von D transitions from being a vegetarian to becoming a full-fledged vegan.

Sept. 15, 2011
The 84th — and final — episode of “LA Ink” airs.

After more than a year of working with Kendo Brands (the business incubator business spun out of LVMH-owned Sephora), the Kat Von D Beauty brand has been reformulated to be 100% vegan.

June 7, 2018

Kat Von D and son Leafar
Kat Von D has said she was “completely uninformed” when she suggested she might not vaccinate her son Leafar (that’s his father Rafael Reyes’ name spelled backward).
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

A now-deleted Instagram post by the pregnant Kat Von D touches off a firestorm of backlash and accusations of her being an anti-vaxxer.

Nov. 29, 2018
Son Leafar, with husband Rafael Reyes, is born. (Von D married Reyes twice in 2018 — once in February and again in June.)

Nov. 1, 2019

Von D Shoes officially launches online on World Vegan Day. Two styles — the Slayer boot and the buckle-adorned Coven I — sell out within minutes.

Jan. 16, 2020

Von D announces on Instagram that she and Kendo Brands have parted ways; Kat Von D Beauty becomes KVD Vegan Beauty.


April 2020

Kat Von D sings at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's "An Evening With Women."
An album Kat Von D, performing at the L.A. Gay Lesbian Center’s “An Evening With Women” in 2012, recorded nearly five years ago is due out this year.
(Beck Starr / FilmMagic)

Tentative release date for the first single from Von D’s debut album, “Love Made Me Do It.”