Tattoo-based reality shows are everywhere, but back in the day Kat Von D’s LA Ink pretty much ruled the roost. The artist, musician, and founder of KVD Vegan Beauty actually started out on another show, Miami Ink, but her fame skyrocketed once she was the focus. As People reported at the time, LA Ink was canceled in 2011 after four successful seasons on TLC, with both sides claiming the choice had been made by them. A statement from TLC advised the network had “decided” the fourth season would be the last, however Von D argued that wasn’t the case.
“In an effort to capitalize on my recent breakup, the network has decided to focus their energy on re-editing events that didn’t happen while filming,” she revealed, referencing her public split from Jesse James. The legendary tattoo artist noted, “I have no regrets and am very proud of the original footage. In my opinion, any attempt to compromise the honesty of that would be an insult to my fans and viewers.” Even though she was unhappy with how things ended, there’s no doubting LA Ink upped Von D’s profile considerably, as well as netting her some serious dough.
LA Ink was a major moment for Kat Von D as an artist
As with most reality shows, it’s difficult to ascertain how much of a paycheck Von D was actually getting during her four seasons working with TLC. However, The Richest noted back in 2013 that the minimum charge for a tattoo at High Voltage Tattoo, the shop featured on LA Ink, was $200 an hour, with Von D herself reportedly charging in excess of that, obviously depending on size, detail, and the time the piece actually takes to do. Her net worth, according to Celebrity Net Worth, is $20 million, which comes from several different ventures but certainly tattooing is a major part of that income.
Judging by the shop’s FAQ, the minimum spend is still $200, so demand for work at High Voltage clearly remains high. Von D’s personal page on the site advises that she is one of the most requested artists in the shop, so eager customers are encouraged to choose somebody else, on her recommendation, if they don’t want to wait to get tattooed. In late June 2020, Von D posted on Instagram about being excited to reopen amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, alongside a photo of her private studio, so clearly tattooing still holds a special place in her heart (and a massive spot in her wallet).
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