Kat Von D was born to Mexican parents René Drachenberg and Sylvia Galeano in Nuevo Leon, Mexico in 1982. At age four, she and her family emigrated to the United States, settling in Colton, California. Von D is of German and Mexican-Italian descent. She did her first tattoo on herself at the age of 14, a letter “J” in Old English style on her ankle. Her first work on someone else, a Misfits(Crimson Ghost) skull, was done soon after. She first started working for a tattoo shop at age sixteen under mentor Tim Hendricks.