In more than a decade as a professional tattoo artist, “LA Ink’s” Kat Von D has amassed a devout following of hundreds of thousands of fans. In addition, many celebrities, athletes, and entertainers seek her services. Of all the tattoos she’s done for her celeb clientele, there’s a handful that she calls her favorites. Click through this slideshow to check out Kat’s top five picks.
Denise Richards — “I think tattooing Denise Richards was awesome, because I think people have certain perceptions of people when they’re on television, and they think they know them. It’s easy to get wrapped up in those preconceived notions. But being able to tattoo her, and learning that her mother, before she passed away, was a really big fan of the show ['LA Ink'], and they used to watch the show together. … She always told Denise, ‘You should get tattooed by her.’ I don’t think she wanted to get a specific tattoo; she just wanted to do it for her mom. But she came in with her dad and her close friends, and it was just a very big deal for her. I gained a lot of respect for her. She actually had [ex-husband] Charlie [Sheen]‘s name on her ankle, and we covered it up with a fairy. We concealed the name in the fairy wings. It worked out pretty good. But you know, she’s not really the tattoo type. She’s not going to get a big ol’ back piece, or sleeves done.”
Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters — “Most recently, I tattooed these feathers on Dave Grohl’s forearms, from Foo Fighters. And he’s just, over the years, become a really good friend, and tattooing him is like a bonding thing for us. It was fun, aesthetically; they were, like, raven feathers on his forearms, and it was just a very beautiful design. He’d been wanting to get tattooed ever since we first met, years ago. And then finally, before he went on this last tour, he’s like, ‘I want to make an appointment.’ So he came in. I just think he likes what it looks like. I don’t think there’s a profound meaning. I just think it’s beautiful.”
Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead — “Tattooing Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead was awesome for me. I’m a big Motorhead fan. I actually redid some tattoos that he got over 25 years ago, back in the day. They were kind of blurry due to age, and we just spruced them up and made them awesome and look brand-spanking new. One of them was an ace of spades, and it said ‘Born to Lose.’”
Jared Leto — “Jared Leto was awesome. I have a lot of respect for him as far as being an actor and then transitioning into the musician role, and doing it without being a cliché — he’s just a real musician. And he came in and got one of the logos for his band, 30 Seconds to Mars. It was just an honor to be able to do that on his forearm. Even though it was a simple design, I knew how much it meant to him. So I thought that was really cool.”
Dominic Monaghan — “For this season’s premiere, I’m tattooing Dominic Monaghan, from ‘Lost’ and ‘Lord of the Rings.’ It’s really exciting to be able to watch it. I’m glad the producers picked that for the first episode, because his tattoo is really inspiring. He got some lettering on his forearm; we did an optical illusion and made it look like his skin was ripped off, so that you could see the lettering inside his body. So it’s a pretty interesting tattoo. It’s actually a ‘Star Wars’ quote. It basically translates to, ‘It’s not what’s on the outside that counts.’ And for him, I think the quote was really important, because ‘Star Wars’ was the movie that inspired him to become an actor. So it’s kind of a cool thing to celebrate.”