A Career in the Body Mod Industry?

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Wednesday April 30th, 2008 @ 10:28 PM

Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m currently 14 years old, I live in Australia and I’m looking to pursue a carrier in the body modification industry. This is not something I want to just ‘jump into’ but right now this is definitely something I can see myself doing in the future. I am extremely passionate about piercings and other ‘heavy’ mods. I have had quite a few piercings myself (15+) and a few dermal anchors. I’m really quite responsible, this isn’t something I just decided, I’ve been interested in it for a few years now.

I already have extensive knowledge of piercings and other mods (especially for my age) and I want to learn more and become a great practitioner. I’m not interested in becoming famous, I just want to be the best I can be at the job.

I’m curious as to what qualifications are needed and

just any general experience anybody is willing to pass on. I’ve read various things online about this matter but I’m looking for a more personal answer, one that comes from a more experienced piercer or even an apprentice. I’m aware that this will by no means make me “rich”, I realize that in general the ‘trend’ comes and goes. I know about studio standards and cost of up-keep. But as I’ve mentioned before, this is something that I’m really passionate about.

Please, no negative comments,

Thank you in advance!

I’ve recently answered a “what to expect out of being a piercer” question, so I’ll piggyback on this one.

My first bit of advice would be to get a standard retail job as soon as you come of age. Customer facing. Learn what it’s like to have to hustle to SELL, while keeping a fickle clientel happy.

Next, I’d say start taking anatomy courses. What goes where, what happens when you cut this or remove that. Reading an anatomy book doesn’t cut it these days- since you’re young, you can tailor your education towards it.

After that- two words: Counter Bitch.
Take that knowledge of retail I’ve advised and apply it to a shop. Learn how to work IN a shop before you work in the industry. More from counter to apprentice. Apprentice to practitioner. MASTER one discipline before you start LEARNING new ones. Just because you love a modification doesn’t mean you have to know how to do it. I tend to respect people who’re masters of their craft not “swiss army knife” practitioners who offer is simply because one has to bleed to get it.

Lastly- while I won’t come down on you because of your age- (since we’re talking an “in the future” path) some folks will. Learn humility. Some people have good reason for doubting the intentions of someone who, at 14, has been into anything for “a few years”. Prove them wrong by committing to be the most responsible artist you can be. Don’t rush into anything just because your weaker willed friends will let you do “free shit” on them.

Put your heart and soul into this, earn your lumps and you’ll come out the other side where you want to be. Hopefully.


Posted by Shawn Porter | Permalink | Leave a comment | Trackback

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13 Responses to “A Career in the Body Mod Industry?”

  1. As a teenager myself, i find it hard to take anyone seriously that says they’ve wanted to do it for years! Because i want to be something different everyday i wake up practically.

    Lucas Reichennek on May 6th, 2008 at 6:39 pm
  2. I’m new to the piercing industry. I love what I do. It was a job that throughout my life I have researched and dreampt about.. but never activly persued. Until I fell into it. Since I just started I still have a lot to learn. however as much as I love my job I want more. I want to learn dermal anchoring, and scapaling.. not so much scarification. My town is not to hip to new so there’s no one I can learn from on how to do these things. so i wanted to know where do I find classes.. like at confrences so I can learn the skills I desire and improve me as a piercer in general.. I google it.. but so far havn’t found anything that tells me what or where i can learn

    Jezebel on June 19th, 2008 at 5:36 pm
  3. To Lucas, he/she said that he/she was interested in it for a few years. This could mean two or three. The parents could have a few tattoos or piecings. Oh and just for the record, just because you change your mind frequetly does not mean that others are that fickle. To the person who asked this, kudos to you for knowing what you want to do in life and having a set direction. So many kids your age don’t know what they want to do, so to see some one wh does is inspiring. Hell, I’ve been in school for three years learning music therapy because I’m a musician with a passion for music and wants to use her talents to help someone else.

    Tara on June 23rd, 2008 at 9:10 pm
  4. I think Shawn did a great job answering this question. I became very interested in the Body Modification culture when I was young around the age of 14 as well. I started piercing myself, strike branding, and using a scalpel on myself. I later realized the potential harm that could have come out of what I was doing with minimal knowledge on the subjects. I am now 19 years old and I am a full time artist at two shops. I have progressed rather quickly by doing so much research and learning. I still catch criticism from time to time but I use it to my advantage. Listen to what people in the industry have to say. Even if they are a complete asshole there might be a little truth in their criticism. No one is going to give you respect that you don’t deserve. I guess what I’m trying to tell you is to just take your time and learn each thing to the best of your ability. People can’t knock on you if you don’t give them a reason to.

    Tyler Newton on August 6th, 2008 at 11:33 am
  5. “I’m currently 14 years old … I have had quite a few piercings myself (15+) and a few dermal anchors.”

    No one else alarmed about the 14 year old with dermal anchors?

    Tim on October 15th, 2008 at 5:18 pm
  6. i dont know why youd want to get all these piercings at such a young age. Im taking it slowly but surely and i want each piercing experience to be special and to pay attention each individual piercing that i get. I’m 16 and i have my nostril, two industrials, and my ears guaged to 5/8. im looking forward to two monroes in the next year. why would you want to do it all when youre 14???? theres no rush. youre not even fully grown yet. not trying to be negative, i just wish people would take it a little bit slower.

    Lakota on December 6th, 2008 at 11:26 pm
  7. I got into mods at 13 =]
    I was thinking of maybe being a piercer, but I want to keep a horse when I’m older and I decided I probably wouldn’t make enough money for that. Horses are my main priority in life, piercings come second…

    And I wouldn’t be able to deal with it emotionally. I asked my piercer (who I’m getting pretty friendly with =D) how it feels when he gives somebody a beautiful piercing and he’s really proud of it, and a few weeks later they come back with a month’s worth of crusties and a raging infection and go “Uuh, you did a really bad job”, and it’s clearly their own fault because they obviously haven’t cleaned it once since they got it. He said it breaks his ickle wickle heart.

    That’s something to think about though. You go to all the effort of running an autoclave and changing gloves about 50 bazillion times a day, and scrubbing the walls with Cillit Bang and buying really high quality jewellery, then spending ages getting the placement perfect and making sure the person has a pleasant experience, only to have them ruin all your good work by being too lazy to keep their piercing clean. It’d be enough to drive some people insane!

    Anyway, if you definitely want this job, I wish you the best of luck =D

    Hattioats on December 15th, 2008 at 3:48 pm
  8. Lakota; just because something works for you doesn’t mean it works for others. i started getting pierced at 13. don’t get all high and mighty just because you’re two years older; if you claimed to know so much, you would know at sixteen you’re still growing yourself.
    Oh. and also whilst I’m poking fun at your hypocrisy (sp)…it’s ’stretched’, not ‘gauged’. urghhh.

    And to the poster: Well done for you :D i hope it all goes well for you. x

    AmiiMetalFace on January 12th, 2009 at 11:08 pm
  9. I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was 15, and only just got my lip pierced, 4 years later. It’s great that you have already found what you want to do in life. When I was 5 I think I’d practically decided I wanted to work with animals, and here I am studying ecology and conservation in uni and I love it! Deciding what you want to do in life really early is great and I totally understand, but this is a very specific job you want to persue and I would advise you to maybe open up your options a bit? Knuckle down and focus on your education for now, don’t just think ‘thats it my mind is made up’.
    You never know, when looking into retail or anatomy you may find something that interests you so much that you change your focus. You have so much education ahead of you please don’t ignore it all because you are on a one track mindset.

    Good luck with everything :)

    CJ on April 9th, 2009 at 11:20 am
  10. This post was really helpful, since I’m wanting to go into the body mod industry myself. I’ve been interested in mods ever since I was 12, and finally at the age of 15 I started stretching my ears. Ever since I’ve been reading, researching, and asking questions. Oh, and getting my own mods :) So far I have my ears stretched to 4ga (since my mom requested I stop until I’m 18), a 16ga lip piercing, I believe an 18ga helix, and a 14ga septum. I absolutely adore them. And you know, it’s kinda funny.. my dad told me that I shouldn’t do it even as a side job because “trends go in and out.” But hey, if we enjoy it and we’re passionate about it, why shouldn’t we go for it? Thank you BME for providing the answers we need. I hope everything works out for you, mysterious future Australian piercer :)

    Truffles on April 21st, 2009 at 8:19 pm
  11. All right, I know this post is old but it came up when searching for pocketing, and after reading I simply cannot resist. (The urge to comment, not to be nasty.) (I love BME; it’s answered many of my questions xD )

    I’ve *liked* bod mod since I was the poster’s age. Got my lobes done at 16 at a shitty mall shop; after dealing with low-quality jewelry, infection and rejection I took them out. Though I have several friends who are *absolutely lovely* metal-faced gauge queens, I never took my mods any further…

    …until now.

    barnuckle on April 12th, 2011 at 6:36 am
  12. I am 15 and i am cosidering the same path. i’ve been thinking about this for some years now. i have 15 piercings and 3 tattoos. i want to do this because i love it. i love the freedom of expression.

    To Poster: you an do it and i bet you’d be pretty awesome at it ;)

    synystemotion on August 13th, 2012 at 8:18 pm
  13. i have been intrested in body mods and wated to get into the feild since i was 13, im 18 now and still very intrested, iv got 23 peicings not includeing my dermal corset and 10 tatoos,9 tatoos done myself and 19 peircings done myself.

    iv done around 40 other peircings on close freinds,my brother,my roomate and my family.iv also done around 20 tattoo’s on other people and not had a complaint, been told i have a light hand but im not to concerned about that :)

    i love my peircings and tats,i definitly want more and quite good at what iv done. i definitly want to get into the feild.and want to get out of all of these conforming jobs im stuck with.

    morgan on March 27th, 2013 at 2:25 pm

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