Body Piercing - Lets get to the point.
Is it art, culture, stupidity, individuality or mutilation I have been piercing for 18 years and have trained several apprentices so is it an art form ?
I have never considered myself to be an artist as being able to clean, mark push a needle through someone's flesh and replace it with a piece of jewellery is not that difficult. Neither is being able to do this well in a sterile condition. In the past some of the people I have trained have got to the stage they think of themselves as some sort of divine artist. In reality they have just developed a new ability which may impress a few friends on Facebook.
Over the years you get a few people who want to create a picture or symbol with piercings such as this skin diver star I did a few weeks ago. Having advised the lady that in a few months some may get caught and come out or just reject - she still insisted on having this done.
Professional Body Art
In the piercing world there is such a thing as art but it lies with the person having it done not with the person doing it. Yes we can advise on what will look good or work with another piercing well but we are not creating any art here. The art in body piercing comes from the jewellery and the person being pierced, after all they are the ones who have chosen to have it done.
Most professional piercers don't make mistakes, they may have their own way of doing things but if the result is clean and accurate with room for swelling and cleaning. If they have spent a year or so learning their trade from an experienced piercer the chances are they know what they are doing, they will consider jewellery type, placement, cross contamination control and customer satisfaction.
Yes there are exceptions as there is in any trade but in general reputation and experience keep good people in business and the others out.
Personalised Body Piercing
To me, piercing is about working with the customer, be it a young lady having her belly pierced or a middle aged gent wanting a genital piercing. One thing they all have in common is nerves, it is therefore important to take control and reassure the customer you are professional, hygienic and knowledgeable.
A good studio should have an experienced piercer on hand, someone with several years of piercing experience and someone who updates their knowledge continuously.
To me the art is about the jewellery, the ability to understand what works for the customer. For example an female office worker may want to have a nose piercing with a discrete diamond that sits flat on her nose or a small ring, so keeping a selection of the most up-to-date jewellery in stock is important. Things are changing constantly and we are all looking for new ideas.