Entertainment

21 Things You Didn’t Know About Kat Von D

@thekatvond/ Instagram

Kat Von D is nothing short of an icon. Even people who don’t know her name know who she is because of her iconic look and style.

However, there’s more to her than just a pretty face. Keep reading to discover twenty-one things you never knew about this awesome celebrity!

1. Her Parents Are From Argentina

Credit: phi81froso2qbwe.jpg Digital Image. The Stir. June 11th, 2018.

As we said before, Kat Von D is absolutely iconic. But did you ever wonder who could produce such an amazing artist? It turns out that her parents (René and Sylvia) are from Argentina. Lucky for all of us that they decided to share their daughter’s talent with the world!

2. She’s a Classically Trained Pianist

 Credit: beauty-2014-12-kat-von-d-new-main.jpg. Digital Image. Glamour. December 12th, 2014.

If you didn’t already know, Kat Von D is a woman of many talents. While most people know her from her amazing artistic abilities, she has a musical side hidden within her. This traces back to a young age, when she began getting classical piano training at the age of six.

3. Her Grandma Was a Huge Inspiration

  Credit: 694684494_kat-von-d.jpg. Digital Image. Simplemost. May 9th, 2018.

While her Argentinian parents brought her into the world and eventually into the states, Kat Von D traces a deeper inspiration for her various artistic and musical talents. According to Von D, her grandmother (Clara Von Drachenberg) and LA’s Latino culture were huge influences.

4. Her Big Break Happened After a Broken Elbow

Credit: katvond-02.jpg Digital Image. Total Beauty. November 7th, 2013.

Kat Von D’s “big break” was when she starred in the reality show Miami Ink. However, another “big break” had to occur before that: originally, Darren Brass was going to be fulfilling her duties, and she only got the gig after he broke his elbow.

5. She Had a Falling Out With Ami James

Credit: kat-von-d-make-up-underage-red.jpg. Digital Image. Najla Kaddour. August 25th, 2015.

It’s true that Kat Von D has had an amazing life, but there were some bumps in the road of her career. For instance, her big break occurred when she was working for fellow tattoo artist Ami James, but the two eventually had a falling out.

6. She Had a Guinness World Record

 Credit: kat-von-d.jpg. Digital Image. International Business Times. July 21st, 2016.

Fans of Kat Von D already knew she born to break records, and eventually, she did. After she started starring in her own reality TV series, she tattooed four hundred people in twenty-four hours. This landed the star in the Guinness Book of World Records.

7. Kat Von D Is a Major Charity Supporter

Credit: str2_s8_s8katvond_s8_INSIDE_LEAD_OPTION3-770×470.jpg. Digital Image. Star2. August 17th, 2016.

Life has been pretty good to Kat Von D, and she decided to share the wealth. She is actually a major supporter of charities, and when she broke that world record, she donated all proceeds to a charity called Vitamin Angels.

8. Her Ex-Husband Broke Her Record

 Credit: Instagram @thekatvond

According to some people, records are meant to be broken. That was true for Kat Von D, as her ex-husband Oliver Peck would beat her tattooing record in the next few years. But she certainly found other ways to stand out!

9. She Walked Away From the Reality Life

Credit: kat-von-d.jpg. Credit: Digital Image. People. May 8th, 2018.

Kat Von D is the kind of person who doesn’t want to be known for only one thing. This is one reason why she may have walked away from her TLC reality show LA Ink, as it gave her a chance to try new things in her life.

10. She Is A Best-Selling Author

Credit: kat-von-d.jpg. Digital Image. Stylecaster. May 11th, 2018.

One of the new things that Von D wanted to try was being a writer. And she is a very successful one as well: her first book, High Voltage Tattoo, ended up being in the New York Times Best Seller List. This was enough to inspire her to write more.

11. She Wrote An Illustrated Diary

Credit: download.jpg. Digital Image. Create and Cultivate. December 7th, 2016.

For her next book, Von D gave us a slice of her life. The book, named The Tattoo Chronicles, uses both text and illustrations to let us see what a year in the life of the star is really like. This was her last book so far, but fans are hoping we’ll see a third in the future!

12. Kat Von D Had Her Own Makeup Line

Credit: KVD_Kendo_Dagger.jpg. Digital Image. Kendo Brands. 2018.

Many fans fell in love with Von D’s look. Eventually, she teamed up with Sephora and other retailers to sell her own makeup line to fans who wanted to look more like their favorite celebrity.

13. Her Makeup Is Vegan-Friendly

Credit: beauty-2015-03-kat-von-d-underage-red-lipstick-main.jpg. Digital Image. Glamour. March 20th, 2015.

For an artist, everything they create must represent who they are. Since Kat Von D is a vegan, she ensured that her makeup line followed vegan standards. This is great for fellow vegans and helped her line really stand out. We know what we’ll be getting our vegan friends for Christmas!

14. She Helps Protect Chimpanzees

Credit: kat-von-d-birth-plan.jpg. Digital Image. US Weekly. September 17th, 2018.

Von D’s love of animals goes beyond simply being vegan. At one point, she donated a big portion of her makeup proceeds to Project Chimps, a group that helps protect research chimpanzees after they “retire.” Fans love to see that Von D is devoting to helping the helpless, and there are few groups as helpless as animals that have been abandoned.

15. Kat Von D Created a Music Festival

Credit: katvondlarge.jpg. Digital Image. The Fix. October 25th, 2016.

Eventually, Von D would get into music (more on this soon). First, though, she created a very unique music festival called the Musink Tattoo Convention and Music Festival. This Southern California festival combines her two favorite things: art and music! While this was the start of her professional associations with music, it certainly would not be the last time she was part of this world.

16. She Has An Art Gallery

 Credit: kat-von-d.jpg. Digital Image. People. June 1st, 2018.

Speaking of art, Von D eventually decided that her artistic expression shouldn’t be limited to tattoos and books. This is why she opened an art gallery named Wonderland next to her tattoo shop: to help show even more of her work to the world.

17. She Has a Clothing Line

Credit: kat-von-d-vegan-makeup-social-video.png. Digital Image. Tubular Insights. April 25th, 2017.

Makeup isn’t the only way that super-fans can try to look like Kat Von D. She eventually created clothing lines called KVD Los Angeles and Kat Von D Los Angeles, allowing customers in Canada and the United States to look a bit more like Von D when they get dressed in the morning. Here’s hoping that looking like Kat Von D can give some of us her energy and confidence!

18. Kat Von D Is a Musician

Credit: ph44zgeb482qbwe.jpg. Digital Image. Revelist. June 8th, 2018.

Remember when we mentioned Von D’s classical piano training? That early music life was a big influence, and she eventually became part of the musical world. She helped sing for a band called The 69 Eyes as well as the group Prayers and IAMX. Fans are still hoping that we will see a solo album from her some day.

19. She Is a Recovering Alcoholic

Credit: download.jpg. Digital Image. Red Tricycle. May 16th, 2018.

Many fans wish they could live the glamorous life of a celebrity. However, the world of fame can be as destructive as it is rewarding. Kat Von D admitted at one point that drinking nearly sabotaged her career. This is why she devoted herself to quitting alcohol together back in 2007 so she could focus on her career with sober clarity.

20. She Doesn’t Want to Vaccinate Her Children

Credit: 58b0a91efbaed51b008b4bed-750-563.jpg. Digital Image. Insider. June 11th, 2018.

Celebrities have a lot of fans, but they also have a spotlight on them that can be seen worldwide. This means that even the most beloved celebrities are going to say something that offends a lot of people. For Kat Von D, this happened when she mentioned how she didn’t plan to vaccinate her children. She didn’t actually have any children at the time, but this comment ruffled quite a few feathers!

21. Kat Von D Dated Deadmau5

  Credit: IMG_5636.0.jpg. Digital Image. Racked. December 12th, 2017.

Kat Von D’s love of music doesn’t just extend to her own musical contributions. She has actually dated Joel Zimmerman, a man who is best known as the musician Deadmau5. While they eventually broke up, he has a memento of their time together: a star that she tattoo beneath his eye. This may be difficult for fans to see, though, since Deadmau5 famously performs with a giant mouse helmet on at all times!

Check Out Venezuela’s Tumultuous And Profound History Through Photos

Culture

Check Out Venezuela’s Tumultuous And Profound History Through Photos

karlmarx8n / Instagram

While the world is still recovering from the shock of seeing the iconic Notre Dame burn, it’s more important than ever for us to appreciate the artifacts we have access to that show the trials and tribulations of history. Where Venezuela is concerned, there are plenty of things that showcase its tumultuous and amazing history. And so, we’ve found a collection of beautiful, thought-provoking, and politically stark pictures from Venezuelan history for you to peruse.

1. Pre-Colombian Venezuela

Flickr / British Library

Venezuela before Christopher Colombus’ arrival had an estimated population of one million, and hosted a combination of societies: the Kalina, Auaké, Caquetio, Mariche, and Timoto-Cuicas. The Timoto-Cuicas boasted a particularly complex culture, and were known for constructing pre-planned villages and irrigated fields.

2. Discovery by the Spanish

Instagram / @heandshe_travelblog

Christopher Columbus arrived in Venezuela in 1498, effectively naming the country “Little Venice” because the local Indians had built houses over water by using stilts. Columbus’ arrival marked the start of a period of slavery in the region, where the Spanish exploited the locals and gouged the region of pearls.

3. Simon Bolivar

Instagram / @hechoscriollosoficial

Seeing an opportunity in Napoleon Bonaparte’s victory over Spain, Simon Bolivar took advantage of the Spanish instability and launched a revolution that lead to independence for Venezuela, Panama, Ecuador and Colombia. By 1824, Bolivar was not only the ruler of the new “Grand Colombia”, but also Peru’s liberator. Don’t be fooled, though – no matter his track record for leading successful revolutions, this guy was a dictator.

4. Venezuelan Independence

Instagram / @rafaelcalderaoficial

By 1930, Venezuela had fully seceded from Grand Colombia … and ended up with a series of military dictators for rulers. The first of these was General José Antonio Páez. 

5. Martin Tovar y Tovar

Instagram / @lahistoria200

Born in 1827, Martin Tovar y Tovar is one of the most prominent painters from 19th century Venezuela. He ended up participating in Venezuela’s first ever art exhibition in Exposición Anual de Bellas Artes, and was a favorite of the Venezuelan President at the time, Antonio Guzmán Blanco.

6. Alejandro Chataing

Instagram / @micaracasantigua

This guy made a name for himself creating iconic Venezuelan architecture, designing the Arch of the Federation built in El Calvario, and Villa Zoila in 1904. One of his last works was the Miramar Hotel, in Macuto.

7. Jesús Rafael Soto

Instagram / @bijutsutecho_com

Even though Jesús Rafael Soto made his name as both a sculptor and painter in Venezuela, his artistic career began when he was hired to paint cinema posters as a young boy. Not only did he create interactive works, he also was the director of Escuela de Artes Plasticas, Maracaibo between 1947 and 1950.

8. A Coup or Two

Instagram / @eluniversal

1945 saw the establishment of a civilian government, after decades of military rule. This didn’t last for long, however, because in 1948 Venezuela’s first democratically elected leader, President Romulo Gallegos, was overthrown by the military. This was a little unsurprising, given that Venezuela had been living for decades under military dictatorships, and had seen president after president replaced by force.

9. Maritza Sayalero

Instagram / @joseluisbricenorvzla

Boasting the title as the first Venezuelan Miss Universe winner in 1979, Maritza Sayalero inspired the beauty pageant scene in Venezuela to really pick up its pace. The Miss Venezuela pageant is now one of the most competitive beauty contests in the world. 

10. Democratic Rule

Instagram / @jadsotillo

Once again, Venezuela saw a military coup. This time, however, a civilian won the democratic election, and leftist Romulo Betancourt became the President of Venezuela. He oversaw the 1963 elections, and the first democratic transition between civilian presidents for Venezuela.

11. Puntofijismo

Instagram / @masoneriauniversal

Raúl Leoni became President of Venezuela in 1964, at the start of this period. Basically, elections were limited to competition between two major parties, a practice otherwise known as puntofijismo.

12. Carolina Herrera

Instagram / @carolinaherrera

An entrepreneur and fashion designer, Carolina Herrera has been named as one of the world’s best-dressed women. In fact, she was responsible for dressing people the likes of Renee Zellweger and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Beyond her fashion and bridal collection, Herrera has also released 10 fragrances, and been awarded the Gold Medal from the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute (1997), the Award for Excellence from The International Center in New York, and the Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts of Spain. You know, just to name a few achievements.

13. Oscar D’León

Instagram / @oscardleon

Recognised by his moniker, El Sonero del Mundo, Oscar D’Leon was the first Latin American to be contracted by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). While his career saw him in quite a few different bands, his most well-known salsa music includes, “Deja Que Te Quiera”, “Préstame Tu Piel” and “Esperando Por Ella”.

14. Luis Aparicio

Instagram / @baseballalmanac

Venezuela is no stranger to baseball. In fact, at this stage, it’s had 219 players compete at the Major League level in the US. Luis Aparicio is one celebrated Venezuelan baseball player, having played on teams such as the Chicago White Sox, the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox. And, Aparicio commanded some serious bragging rights – he had been a 13-time All Star player, and won the Gold Glove Award nine times.

15. Humberto Fernández-Morán Villalobos

Instagram / @humbertofernandezmoran

Humberto Fernández-Morán Villalobos is a research scientist known for his invention of the diamond knife/scalpel for ultrathin microtomy and the ultra microtome. Basically, he did some great work with cells and tissue.

16. Hugo Chavez

Instagram / @karlmarx8n

Hugo Chavez started his career in politics from a very controversial standing – a failed coup in 1992 saw him imprisoned for a few years. In 1994, he was forgiven by Venezuelan President Rafael Caldera. Which was just as well for him, considering that Chavez ended up successfully running for president in 1998. Chavez didn’t end up leaving his position until 2013, when he died after a severe bout of cancer. 

17. A Venezuela-Russia Partnership

Twitter / @Ruptly

2006 was the year Venezuela signed a 3 billion dollar arms deal with Russia, and two years later the two countries signed an agreement over oil and gas. This saw Venezuela shift away from its efforts to cultivate a strong relationship with the US. In fact, Russia ended up doing joint military exercises with Venezuela – the first time the Russian navy was in the Americas since the Cold War. These events saw the beginning of a partnership that continues to this day.

18. Nicolás Maduro

Instagram / @nicolasmaduro

2013 saw the election of Venezuela’s current President, Nicolás Maduro.

19. Mercosur

Instagram / @sediceenlaweb

In 2012, after vying for a position in the trading bloc for years, Venezuela was finally accepted into Mercosur. At this stage, Mercosur is basically a political and trade agreement Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela – and some would say an indicator of Venezuela’s up-and-coming economy.

20. Gustavo Cisneros

Instagram / @adrianacisnerosceo

A Venezuelan-Dominican media tycoon, this is one guy to watch out for. According to Forbes Magazine in 2014, he is one of the world’s most richest men. His company, The Cisneros Group of Companies, owns Venevision International, a producer and distributer of Spanish-language telenovelas. It also owns Venevisión, a Venezuelan television network, the Leoned del Caracas baseball team, and the Miss Venezuela beauty pageant. The New York Times has said that he’s also “one of Latin America’s most powerful figures”.

And so now you’re one bueno Venezuelan history buff! What surprised you in our short tour of Venezuelan history? Share it with us on our Facebook page – you can find it by clicking on the logo at the top of the page.

20 Iconic Pictures From Mexican History

Fierce

20 Iconic Pictures From Mexican History

After having seen the iconic Notre Dame in flames, it’s more important than ever to appreciate the history and artefacts that we have been graced with from history. Let’s face it: there’s no shortage of interesting points in Mexican history! And so, we’ve put together a collection of gorgeous, thought-provoking, and politically stark pictures from Mexican history for you to enjoy.

1. The Aztec Empire

Flickr / British Library

The capital, Tenochtitlan, was established in 1325 – right where we know Mexico City to be today. By the time the Spanish arrived in the area, Tenochtitlan was populated by many different ethnic groups from around the area, with about 100,000 to 200,000 people living in the capital.

2. Hernán Cortés

Instagram / @papermoney_world

This guy was the Spanish conquistador who arrived on the Mexican mainland in 1519, and eventually ended up taking the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlán, without a battle. It turns out he couldn’t keep it for long, after having outraged the locals. In 1521, he secured Mexico for real.

3. The Battle of Calderon Bridge

Instagram / @father_hidalgo

1811 saw a band of rebel peasantry and workers, led by Father Miguel Hidalgo and Ignacio Allende, storm Calderon Bridge and try to take Guadalajara. Even though the rebel forces lost, Mexican independence was eventually won, and Mexico’s Day of Independence became September 16th, marking the day Hidalgo announced in his church that it was time to overthrow the Spanish.

4. Antonio López de Santa Anna

Instagram / @santa_anna1795

Antonio López de Santa Anna rose to prominence during Mexico’s War of Independence … fighting for the Spanish army. However, he eventually switched sides, which turned out to be a boon in disguise. This guy was President of Mexico 11 times, despite his dramatically inept skills on the battlefield.

5. Benito Juarez

Instagram / @emanuelrefi

Born into poverty, Benito Juarez climbed his way to the top, becoming President in 1858. The French ousted him in 1864 – but not for long! Juarez drove them out three years later, to become reinstated as President, leading Mexico until his death in 1872.

6. Porfirio Diaz

Instagram / @donporfirio

This guy wasn’t really good news for Mexico – apologies to anyone who is a Diaz fan. He tried for years to try and gain the presidency, and having failed, entered Mexico City with an army and “won” the following election. Despite the fact that he did modernise Mexico, he also ensured that the wealth remained rich, and the poor stayed destitute. Unsurprisingly, he was a prime target in the Mexican revolution in 1910.

7. Pancho Villa

Instagram / @thedeathdieclub

Attacker of the US, bandit, warlord, and one head figure of the Mexican Revolution, Pancho Villa certainly has a colorful history. His idealistic streak got him involved in the revolution – and despite the victory for the revolutionaries, Pancho Villa was eventually assassinated in 1923. 

8. Emilio Zapata’s Assassination

Instagram / @contrabandosydney

Emilio Zapata was one of the figureheads for the Mexican Revolution, but was betrayed and assassinated in 1919. This was particularly saddening, given that he was the real moral conscience of the Revolution.

9. The Battle of Puebla

Instagram / @blackluckvintage

“Cinco de Mayo” is a celebration of the unlikely victory Mexico had over the French in 1862. At the time, France sent an army to invade Mexico to collect on a debt, heading to the city of Puebla.  However, the smaller Mexican army managed to head off the French on the 5th of May – hence the national holiday.

10. Frida Kahlo’s Self-portrait with Cropped Hair

Instagram / @fridakahlo

Possibly one of the most iconic paintings from the most iconic artist to come out of Mexico, Frida Kahlo is known for her series of vibrant and detailed self-portraits that depicted the best and worst of herself.

11. Diego Rivera’s The Epic of the Mexican People

Instagram / @artandaboutpdx

It’s impossible to mention Frida Kahlo without also talking about her husband, Diego Rivera, if only for the fact that their art was influenced heavily by their tumultuous relationship. That being said, Rivera created this particular mural to celebrate the success of the Mexican Revolution in the early 1900s.

12. David Alfaro Siqueiros’ Echo of a Scream

Instagram / @mmrthe1nonly

One of the first of the three greats of Mexican muralism, David Alfaro Siqueiros was heavily influenced by his politics when it came to creating art. Due to his radical politics and work with labor unions, he ended up being jailed a number of times throughout his life.

13. Jose Clemente Orozco’s The Epic of American Civilisation

Instagram / @rickdugdale

Despite his politics clearly diverging from the other two greats of Mexican muralism, Orozco was still distinctly influenced by his background when it came to his art, preferring to use Mexican iconography in his later work. The Epic of American Civilisation is one piece that illustrates Orozco’s shift toward pre-colonial, pre-European art.

14. Women are Allowed to Vote

Instagram / @lilysevs

1954 saw the introduction of the women’s vote in Mexico.

15. The Tlatelolco Massacre 

Instagram / @moneyca

Ten days before the 1968 Olympics opened in Mexico City, thousands of Mexican students and civilians gathered in The Plaza of the Three Cultures in the district of Tlatelolco to protest the current government’s policies. The protest ended in security forces opening fire on the unarmed protests, where it is estimated that hundreds were killed.

16. The 1968 Summer Olympics

Instagram / @rubenhudsonitthipat

Despite the events of the massacre, the Olympics still went ahead. In fact, this particular Olympics saw plenty of politics come into play, with tensions between the Soviets and its surrounding countries influencing the results, and even American athletes giving the black power salute.

17. Financial Crisis

Instagram / @dhanipapermoney

Large oil reserves were discovered off the coast of Mexico. While the oil money was to be designated towards national industrial expansion, social welfare and the agricultural industry, the government pre-empted their financial windfall and borrowed large sums of money from the US to start boosting growth. They later found out that the oil was low-quality, and not worth much money. This resulted in Mexico being stuck with the world’s largest foreign debt.

18. Earthquake in Mexico City

Instagram / @wdykpodcast

September 19, 1985 saw an earthquake in Mexico City that registered 8.1 on the Richter Scale. Nearly 10,000 people were killed, and many were displaced. This was catastrophic for the already financially-devastated Mexico. Many residents ending up joining grassroots civil-rights movements to campaign for human rights in the aftermath of the earthquake.

19. Change in Government

Instagram / @chaos_is.a_ladder

Vicente Fox, leader of the opposition party in Mexico, won the national election. This was the first time in 70 years that a party other than the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) was in power in Mexico. This lead to millions of secret files being released, detailing previous repression of Mexican activists in the 1960s and 70s.

20. Anti-Drug Reform

Instagram / @ejercito_y_policias_de_mexico

A new stage in Mexico’s governance is introduced, with a federal police force created to tackle drug cartels. This lead to open warfare between rival drug gangs, and the high-profile arrest of Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, the then-head of the brutal Zetas drugs cartel.

So, congratulations! You can now call yourself a Mexican history buff. Was there anything that surprised you? Share it with us on our Facebook page – you can find it by clicking on the logo at the top of the page.

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