The 37-year-old tattoo artist shared a video of her latest ink, done by HoodeTattoos, on her Instagram on Monday, praising the Philadelphia-based artist for both his speed and his technique, and encouraging her fans to follow his account.
Blackout tattoos — which gained in popularity in 2016 thanks to Singaporean tattoo artist Chester Lee — typically cover a large area of the body in all black ink. They’re preferred by some body art fanatics for their minimalistic design, as well as by longtime tattoo lovers who wish to cover their old art.
Many praised the artist's work, along with Von D's ever-changing style.
"Looks amazing what did you have covered. I am thinking about do this too love it," a fellow tattoo fan praised.
Another shared: "The triangle geometric work left on your forearm with the contrast of the all black is [lit]."
However, others were not shy about voicing their distaste over the tattoo choice. One critic wrote, "What a waste of skin."
"Why would you do that your skin is so pretty why would you cover it up with black ink like that?" another questioned, adding, "No hate though I'm just curious."
Another commented: "That is horrid, but to each their own."
Still, Kat Von D appeared to be thrilled with her new ink, calling it “impressive” in her post.
"Can’t believe it only took him 1.5 hours — and it’s the most consistent, true black I have ever seen," Von D wrote on Instagram.
On Tuesday, Von D took to Instagram again to confront the vocal critics.
“Having been in the tattoo industry for the greater part of my life, I’ve seen countless tattoos of all types of styles — but NEVER have I felt inspired to tell anyone ‘that’s ugly’ or ‘you’re stupid,’” Von D wrote. “Even though tattoos are an outward expression, they really aren’t for anyone else other than the person wearing it.”
“I do love sharing and giving the world a window into aspects of my life — especially when it involves something/someone that inspires me,” she added. “But just because I choose to share my experiences, it shouldn’t be an invitation for such negativity.”
Blackout tattoos are clearly a divisive choice amongst tattoo fans due to aesthetic differences, but for those outside of the body art community, it raises plenty of questions — such as why someone would get such an extreme tattoo.
Tattoo artist Lee tells Yahoo Lifestyle that reasons vary.
“Personally, I think it’s a bold statement... it’s just really bold to look at from afar,” Lee says, adding that including a geometric shape, such as Von D’s, helps to enhance the contours to make for an even larger statement. “Not to mention, it’s great for coverups.”
Lee tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the style has been around for years, but people have just started to appreciate the simple layouts and shapes more.
According to Lee, who says some blackout tattoos could take more than 10 hours to complete, depending on a person's type of skin and the color intensity they want to achieve, healing of such a large tattoo is "like any other normal tattoo."
"Aftercare plays a huge part in this process, as the size of [a blackout tattoo] is usually large and very solid,” Lee says. “As tattooers, we play a part in the process of not tearing up the skin, and the clients do their part in making sure it stays clean, and that they follow the particular tattooer's instructions during aftercare.”
Von D also addressed health concerns on her Tuesday post regarding such a large tattoo.
“No, this isn’t bad for my health [but thank you for caring!] When done correctly, tattoos don’t penetrate passed the second dermis layer of skin. During the healing process, our skin naturally filters out any excess pigment through our pores,” Von D stated. “And no, there is no lead, plastics, toxins in the professional-grade tattoo pigments that we use. Nowadays you can even find vegan-friendly pigments that works just as well, too.”
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