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Thursday June 19th, 2008 @ 9:30 AM

Filed under: Culture

Let me just start by saying i love this website. putting that aside i just wanted to ask something. I love piercing, scar and tatoo but would never do one. I live in Oporto, Portugal and i would like to know what its needed to actually make tatoos, piercings, scar and implants. I what to know what kind of instruction you need to know to actually make any of the things i refered above. i want to be a bodymoder as a sidejob (im studying animation in college). I want to know if there is some sort of bodymod school in my town, and would also like to know what is legal and illegal in bodymoding in portugal. i await your response axiously

Yours truly


Koro…Let me just say this rather baffles me, not to mention boils my blood.

You would NEVER get a piercing, scarification piece or a tattoo, yet you want to do this to other people, as a side job?

Can we say just a lil disrespectful to the many already working within this industry? If you have absolutely NO interest in obtaining any of the work yourself, what makes you think you should be doing it yourself?

Body Modification is NOT a “side job”…There is no “bod mod school of the arts”…No certificate programs or anything…You either do it because you have the passion and love for it, or you simply don’t.

In regards to what is legal and illegal in Portugal your best bet is to do your own leg work and contact health departments, read city/country laws involving tattooing, piercing, etc. In my personal opinion I feel that if someone is willing to pick up a scalpel, implants,whatever…They should be medically licensed to do so, which means going to med school and getting the damn certificate…But hey that’s just my personal opinion.

Maybe you didn’t mean your question to come off disrespectful but as I said the reality is this type of job is NOT a “side job” and when individuals come out of the woodworks saying they want to do it as “side jobs”, its a slap in the face to all of us who do it 24/7 a week, 365 days a year.

My advice to you is this…If you have no interest in obtaining ANY body modifications…Stick with the Animation course you’re taking in College and don’t even consider for one second attempting to do anything body modification related, unless you’re willing to put EVERYTHING into it.

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20 Responses to “Career”

  1. i love bodymod. i actually read the posts in the blog and although i wouldnt do a tatoo or scaring i would do a piercing actually planning to do one under the tongue. i sorry for the sidejob thing and i reallize now that what i said may have offended you since, well, its your life and i respect that wouldnt be writing this response if i didnt. I apolagise for my ignorance i am new to this sort of things. As you said i will stick with animation for now.
    once again sorry

    Koro on June 19th, 2008 at 10:30 am
  2. Good luck with your tongue web piercing. (That’s what you’re planning to get, right?) If you get that done you just may find you DO want more things done in the future, things you might not even consider now, once you become comfortable with it.
    The journey of discovery of body modification starts with one mod. It’s very “addictive” (in a good way).

    HereKittyKitty on June 19th, 2008 at 12:33 pm
  3. Koro: Since you have no interests in getting scarification, tattoos, implants, etc, stay far away from that realm…If you are interested in getting piercings, well hell man get those piercings…let your freak flag fly high for all to see, if that’s what you love and want to get most.

    Who knows maybe once you start getting piercings, you might find that is what you truly want to do…At which point you’ll want to look into an apprenticeship in the best studio possible and the apprenticeship should run roughly 1-2 years.

    Good luck with the tongue web

    Warren Hiller on June 19th, 2008 at 8:02 pm
  4. I wish this vote thing would let mew vote a million times. It makes me so sad to see/hear about people who are in the industry for any reason other than loving it, and makes me realize how lucky i am to have found a shop where my piercer is not only my piercer but my friend.. and also someone who would tell a random stranger exactly why he won’t do that crazy new fangled surface piecing in a place where no one should be pierced and expect long term results.

    Star on June 19th, 2008 at 8:13 pm
  5. I hummed and hawed over this question and response, and I hope I can form the right words for my feelings.

    I have been pierced by both heavily modded people, and people with very few mods. When looking for a competant piercer, I look at portfolios and not at the person. It’s like saying “I prefer a white piercer” or a “female tattooist”. Is it right to judge an artist based on what is right for their own bodies?

    When I looked at Koro’s comment to your response, your initial reaction is 100% correct (he seems to be new to the field). But delving deeper into the implications of what you said, I mirror your response to discrimination based on race, colour, sex etc. Like choosing a female gynecologist over a male because “chicks get chicks”. Well, male ob/gyn’s can arguably be more objective since they have to take a scientific point of view rather than an emotional one.

    I don’t think you’re wrong, and I don’t think your response was unjust. It just kind of left a bad taste in my mouth in terms of what is a mod artist and what isin’t

    Ag on June 19th, 2008 at 9:29 pm
  6. Well said, Warren!

    Amber on June 19th, 2008 at 10:15 pm
  7. Ag even though I slightly agree with your view point there, there is one thing that is left out there.

    With Body Piercers/Tattoo Artists/Extreme Modification Artists its not about having THE MOST mods…Hell to this day I simply have my ear lobes pierced (albeit they’re stretched as well)…I have no other piercings/implants,etc but I do have a fair bit of tattooing and a scarification sleeve…Yet all my work I’m completely capable of covering up, save for my ears.

    Now I do this so I can be “more approachable” to an average customer as it can relax them a lot more and make them feel like I know what they’re going through.

    The MAIN question you hear in studios is this: “So does it hurt?”

    And that is the KEY difference between all the scenarios you stated because in all those instances there is never the: “So does it hurt” question.

    Now how would each individual getting something done feel if they’re sitting in a chair and they ask the piercer: “So is it going to hurt?” and they hear the reply: “Personally I don’t know because I personally don’t want any body modifications”…That would INSTANTLY have me inside screaming: “WTF?!?!”

    What we piercers do is a lot more then just cold sterile medical-esque work…We need to develop a relationship in whatever few minutes we’re with customers to help them keep calm and at ease. So in order to do that, the best way is to share stories/discussions,etc about body modifications, past experiences,etc.

    I’m not saying its a crime for someone to not get any mod work and yet learn to pierce,etc. Heck with the right instructor teaching them, they could be amazing…However without getting the work yourself, you simply will not be able to relate to the same level as your customers, which is a shame.

    So although I agree with your response about race, color, sex…I think this category falls slightly under a different light, however I can totally see how others might clump it in with those ones as well.

    Warren Hiller on June 20th, 2008 at 2:43 am
  8. I wouldn’t trust a mechanic who’d never driven a car. *shrugs*

    Lori St.Leone on June 20th, 2008 at 3:25 am
  9. I’m fairly certian the Doctor who did a bone marrow biopsy on my son has never had one done to him - doesn’t make him any less qualified. Last I heard, Anil Gupta didn’t have ANY tattoos - would anybody question his skill or capability?

    brian johnson on June 20th, 2008 at 7:56 am
  10. Wow, was that doctor doing bone marrow biopsies as a side job while he was studying animation, too? Way to completely miss the point…

    Lori St.Leone on June 20th, 2008 at 11:17 am
  11. I find that my appearance does help put clients at ease in the way that they look at me and say ‘wow, you’ve got so-and-so so it must be bearable, yeah?’. Even moreso when I inform them that I am indeed a bit of a pussy when it comes to being pierced/cut/suspended and do have a bit of a reputation for being a pre-piercing whinger amongst those who have worked on me! It means I can relate to the apprehension they feel and this comes across, which serves to relax them more.

    During my nursing career I spent a time working in the plaster room, popping casts on broken limbs etc, and the sister in charge of that department had a rule that any new member of staff, if they hadn’t ever been in a cast before, must wear one for half a day just so that you could relay to the patient exactly how it was going to feel.

    Although being modded to work in the industry isn’t a pre-requisite or entirely necessary, I do think it is of benefit the client. That’s my opinion anyway.

    Tiff Badhairdo on June 20th, 2008 at 11:21 am
  12. speaking of missing points Lori St. Leone - I was referring to your post - ‘I wouldn’t trust a mechanic who’d never driven a car. *shrugs*.’ Knowing full well how to change brake pads and rotors and knowing how to dirve a car are in no way mutually inclusive or even remotely neccesary.

    You can have a full working knowledge of almost anything without practicing it yourself. Again - look at Anil Gupta. Granted - he may not be doing tattoos as a part time job - but he’s all the proof you need that not having been tattooed in no way makes his skill or the work he does inferior.

    brian johnson on June 20th, 2008 at 1:41 pm
  13. You, brian-johnson-all-lower-case (since apparently we’re on a full-given-name basis here), can keep repeating the name of the one, singular tattooist I’ve ever heard of who doesn’t have any tattoos (if, indeed, he doesn’t - I’m taking your word on that, I’ve not seen any photos of Anil Gupta naked), but it doesn’t change the fact that having a first-hand, personal interest and experiences with body modification is extremely relevant to having a meaningful conversation with a client about healing/living with modifications. Unlike, say, becoming a doctor or a certified mechanic, there ARE no tertiary educational requirements to becoming a piercer or a tattooist, and most tattooists and piercers learn in a very hands-on, on-the-job environment, and thusly Most (if, indeed, not all - and again, Anil Gupta would be VERY much the exception to the rule) have at least SOME mods on their person, either acquired via their personal interest or as a guinea pig to an apprentice at their shop, or even performed on themselves during their own training.

    And frankly, if someone didn’t know how to operate a motor vehicle, yes, I would question their comprehensive understanding of the inner workings of an internal combustion engine. And clearly Anil Gupta’s work doesn’t blow my skirt up as much as it does yours, because I wouldn’t get tattooed by someone with no tattoos or modifications at all.

    Lori St.Leone on June 20th, 2008 at 2:38 pm
  14. The point is - it’s not common, and it’s probably not popular but is is POSSIBLE to be amazing at something and not have that something done to yourself. I’m sure tons of plastic surgeons don’t have cosmetic surgery. Doesn’t matter if I give you one example or 1,000 examples - what matters is, you can’t disregard it. If it’s happened once it can happen again and again.

    Doctors aren’t taught bedside manner and they are asking people to allow them to do invasive surgery on them and they have the same ‘meaningful conversation with a client about healing/living with modifications’ (or in this case, invasive surgery) without ever having undergone the same procedure themselves. You think a nipple piercing somehow deserves more delicate treatment? The aftercare for a tongue piercing deserves a more serious and meaningful trust between piercer and client than the aftercare for a hip replacement does between surgeon and patient? And I would wager hardly a doctor doing hip replacements has had one.

    And as much as you seem married to the idea - I assure you someone could very easily be taught to drive without knowing how to work on internal combustion engines and the other way around with NO PROBLEM. I have a five year old daughter - I could very easily teach her to do repairs on the family car before she learned how to drive it. To argue the other way seems argumentative just for the sake of being argumentative.

    And, for what it’s worth - I’ve not seen Anil Gupta nude either but he used to be known primarily for the unusual pairing of the high quality of his work coupled with the fact that he had no tattoo work done on himself.

    brian johnson on June 20th, 2008 at 3:47 pm
  15. brian: last to my recollection Anil Gupta HAS finally gotten a tattoo, not sure if he has many or not,etc but he HAS been tattooed if memory serves me correctly.

    Also Anil was an artist before hand, so transferring his artistic skills from drawing/painting,etc into learning how to tattoo moderately easy, its still a lot of hard work,etc…But as Lori said Anil wasn’t doing it as a “side job”…Anil went full in and became a well respected tattoo artist.

    Be it Tattooing, Piercing, Surgeon,etc it should never be considered a “side job”…A “side job” is something you do on the side to make a couple extra bucks to supplement your income. And personally I believe a Body Modification Artist is not the ideal “side job” as it requires far too much of ones time for it to ever be a “side job”

    Warren Hiller on June 20th, 2008 at 9:01 pm
  16. Based on the wording of Koro’s question, it sounds like he is trying to say that he would never perform a body modification without first researching training, materials, and legality, which is a seemingly responsible decision (”I love piercing, scar and tatoo but would never do one…”), not that he would never consider getting one himself. And while it seems flaky and cold that he is considering getting into this as a side job, it’s hard to do an apprenticeship if you are not working another job because the vast majority of them, if you are lucky enough to get into one, won’t pay you very much if they pay you at all. While I believe that body modification is a field that requires complete dedication, the reality of the situation is that you can rarely settle into it right off the bat without some other source of income to put a roof over your head. I’m not taking anyone’s side here, & I don’t know Koro or his intentions but this is another way his question could be interpreted.

    GnomeLandSecurity on June 21st, 2008 at 2:24 am
  17. GnomeLandSecurity… It’s usually the other way round. Practitioners/apprentices will often get a side job to supplement the income from their main occupation. The OP stated that he was considering entering the field as a side job because he is studying animation at college. Therefore, going to college would not be funding his career in the bodmod industry.

    Tiff Badhairdo on June 21st, 2008 at 4:58 am
  18. Thank you all for your points of view i really apreciate them. i have made a decision. i wont try learning anything without having at least one of them on me. So i guess i will stick with making a few piercings first and see what it leads to.
    thank you all

    Koro on June 21st, 2008 at 7:40 am
  19. wow it got heated in here haha i’m a professional piercer and yeah it was pretty insulting but i think the language barrier made it seem worse then it was. i dont know just a thought.

    knucklehead nick on September 11th, 2008 at 6:36 pm
  20. Anil is indeed tattooed now. Aitchison/Rudy/Booth piece.

    Shawn Porter on September 11th, 2008 at 9:43 pm

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