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Recessions Don't Have to Suck
The last few months have been harsh for everyone with the financial collapse (and not just in the United States).

Various economies have been biting the dust, and some entire countries have been just devastated from financial crisis. With Wall St. being beaten down in the US, Iceland suffering hardships unlike any other, and various currencies all around the world just plummeting, it's a harsh reality that we are all strapped for cash right now.

What I want to know is how this is affecting you and your personal body modification decisions and journeys that you have partaken in since all of this has been happening?

I hear from a lot of people that they just can't afford to get the tattoos that they wanted, and are forced to hold off longer than they wished to, or that instead of larger pieces, they're settling for smaller pieces, or a different artist all together.

This isn't an industry where you shop around for the best bargain, and you definitely get what you pay for, but what happens, when the more current phrase for a lot of people is, "You get what you can afford"?

There's the inevitable downward spiral that affects everyone in the industry, just some more than others.

When times are tough for people, the first things that get cut out of most budgets are items in the "want" column. At the top of that list are the expensive wants. Tattoos, heavy modification procedures, suspensions, and related activities like longer travels to get the mod done by someone in particular are at the top of the list for most.

"Hmmm.... a new tattoo, or food..." That's a tough one.

When people start getting less work done, then that's less money coming into the artists and the crews performing the work. For some, especially in smaller cities, this can be devastating to their business. Forcing small shops to close up and go back to working out of their houses again.

Not a morally uplifting experience (or even safe in some cases).

So what is being done in our community to help prevent this, and keep it alive and thriving? How can we help each other out and keep spirits high?

My suggestion? Go back to more of the old-school mentality of friendship and camaraderie.

There's two things to keep in mind in all of this; it doesn't take money to make someone happy, and this is primarily a services based industry.

I got to thinking about this last weekend when a couple from Ireland had flown into New York City to celebrate a birthday, St. Patrick's Day, and get tattooed.

I had never met them, or even talked to them online. All I knew was that they were good people, with good taste in music, open to travel, and were going to be in my neighborhood. How could I not want to help them out to make sure they had a killer time?

We spent a good six or seven hours running around the city, toasting drinks, sharing stories, and meeting up with other friends from the industry. How much did it cost? A couple bar tabs, taxi fares, and the chance of us all opening up and sharing ourselves with total strangers.

I can honestly say that I had a bad-ass time hanging out with BignBeardy and stormmcbrooks that night. We wound up back at my place trading bands and rocking out to some great new metal. It's one of those nights, that we'll all remember for a long time to come.

These are the things that we can all do, all around the world! We can meet new people, experience new adventures together and all grow closer as a whole.

Every once in a while, when I'm browsing around the forums, I see a couple postings about how someone is pissed off at someone else, or how immature someone is acting. To quote someone pretty smart..."Really?"

This is just one place where we meet to find cool new people to hang out with both online and off! I really want to stress the "off" part. We need more real-life social interaction. We need to get out f
.: Adam
Since 2003, Adam Callen has been the editor and publisher of, not the largest or oldest full-spectrum body modification publication on the planet, but pretty damn awesome =). Copyright © 2023 Adam Callen. Permission is granted to reprint this article in its entirety as long as credit is retained and usage is non-commercial. Requests to publish edited or shortened versions must be confirmed in writing. For bibliographical purposes this article was first published March 17, 2009 in New York City, US.

I hope someone sees the humor in this =)
I think im the only kiwi (regular) member on here, please correct me if im wrong. But often in hard times, body mods are the first things to by by the wayside....but if this is so how come my artist is booked up so far ahead of time? My last appointment was nov, i cant get into see him till may!!! So i made his appointment book up for him, and booked myself in on july, sept and nov of this year.....hope i can make my may appointment. Ive had (like so many others) some unexpected bills crop up so like you stated or a new tattoo???? But anyway, im still crusing along, loving this place , thanks for the oppertunity to meet some of the most awesome folks ever!! one day when i hi-jack a small plane, maybe i can get to meet some of ya for real!! xxxx
Posted on March 17, 2009 (2:39am)
Hey Adam

This was inspiring. I remember travelling across the country to meet Jenni and go on a date with her, though I'd only ever spoken to her to on here and MSN.

Or travelling to London to hang around with some people who are ultimately a bunch of strangers. One of the things that Laura said to me, and it really struck a chord, was that she felt like the people from here were closer friends to her than the people she knew in real life. She's like a sister to me so I know what she means.

This weekend I'm going for drinks with a few people from this site. A couple of whom I've never met. I love that I can be comfortable enough to do that because generally the people on here are awesome.

As for mods. I have had to slow down but only because I'm studying. I'm happy to say that I'm getting my first tattoo since moving out next saturday and I'm very excited. Through hard times communities do grow stronger because people relate to each other better.

Shops may close but the love of the industry will keep artists going. People will still get work done but perhaps the costs of running shops being reduced by working from home will result in the same amount of income for the good and well networked artists.

When discovering this site, I never really realised how much it would help me grow and effect my life. I've only ever had positive things from this and I'm so proud to be part of the Calender, have met people from here and generally I think everyone on here is so cool.

And Adam, if you ever decide to come down to Brighton I'll take you to the best metal and rock bars in England and grab you a pint a two. Cheers for the site.

Posted on March 17, 2009 (4:16am)
HEY im kiwi too belle ;) might not be as regular but I try my best :D! This is the same with my tattoo artist hes fully booked up for months!! Its crazy!

BTW Adam VERY inspiring article!! Made my avo awesome :) I really want to go meet some new people now. HAPPY ST PATRIC'S DAY ;)
Posted on March 17, 2009 (5:06am)
I have to agree with you completely.

I remember having a discussion with an artist wich was a friend too that wanted to do a suspension for friends but wanted to earn some extra money too. I and some friends were arguing that then it wasn't a friends suspension, that we know the prices of the materials and such and that we didn't liked his ideas.
I'm the first one who likes to pay an artist for his work, but that wasn't the case.
Posted on March 17, 2009 (6:05am)
Hi guys, I think the lack of business or not for piercers and tattooists depends on where you are. Some places are harder hit than others. Personally we have found it has got quieter. We are hoping that we get a decent summer as this always encourages more people to get pierced! (More skin on show etc)We are in our third year of business as Hex (Jason previously had his own place -Full Circle- before briefly emigrating to Tenerife) and we should be busy as hell now by rights! We've worked damn hard to be where we are and our reputation is brilliant. But alas people just aren't spending. Like you say luxuries go out of the window first. The thing is I still swear that the media drives this recession- they frighten people so much that they don't spend and the economy suffers more because money stops going round. True there are many other issues but I do think the media have a lot to answer for.
On the bright side we will hopefully be hosting another suspension event in May- fingers crossed! And we love this site, it's connected us with so many people from all walks and I love talking to you all! After all you can never stop learning, so thankyou Adam for bringing this site into fruition for us all. :-D

Clare HEX xx
Posted on March 17, 2009 (6:57am)
I went into the shop earlier today, and it was like a ghost town. Very disheartening to see. But I will continue to get what mods I can afford (they say liquor's a recession-proof industry, but that is not entirely true) when I can, and tip well. The artists have to eat, too.

I'm actually trying to choose between burning man and Skindependence this year. I can only afford one, I'm afraid. Either way, I'll make the most of whatever trip I go on!
Posted on March 17, 2009 (8:20am)
we are currently organising an event and i must say trying to decide how much to charge for certain mods is reeeeally difficult. im in a constant battle with myself over it! as for personal mods, both rob and i have had to put a few ideas on the back burner. ok i got my tongue split but it was a wedding gift and the only other tattoo i must get this year is in july, ive been waiting since last year for this guy to come over and do it. we are not going on holiday this year, we didnt have a honeymoon but we are making the most of things that are close to us. for eg. going for a walk along the seafront, organising this event, making a special dinner etc etc. its my birthday tomorrow and we're going to a free local museum. simply a busride away! (im hoping to get a pint out of it too!)
Posted on March 17, 2009 (9:25am)
Aah very fond of travels myself, and have certainly met some wonderful people off here throughout europe. I cant tell you how uplifting it was when i had supporter status donated the first time (and twice after!!!). to have a complete stranger do that for me from this site! I think the community here is alive and well, there truly are some exceptional people here and i feel very lucky to meet some of them:)
When i started my first travels this month and was worried a bit, i had the offer from some members to drop by and stay for as long as i needed. There are great people in this world!

And although i did not meet him from this site, i had a branding take place last night by a very sweet guy in kingston for free since he knew i was travelling and poor, and been through some not so great times recently.
Uh, i got side tracked...long story short- you guys all rock:D esp you adam for being the creator;)
Posted on March 17, 2009 (9:58am)
I'm not sure how the shops around here are doing, I've only built a small relationship with one tattoo artist, he's very good and deserves more money than he makes I know that for sure. I know I planned on spending my tax return on a few bills and was planning on getting a new bike and a tattoo. I've rethought all that and decided I don't need the bike ( god damn I want a fixie so bad) and a few other things like, new plugs,clothes, and random shit that I won't be getting now. I do plan on getting work done (calling in about 30 minutes actually) it was planned for my ribs but I'm scaling it down and getting it on my shin. Money is tight and I'm unemployed but I have had this planned for a while now and intend on going through with it.
Posted on March 17, 2009 (1:07pm)
if you're referring to me in this as the one with the long hair, you might want to edit the real name, haha. :P

when i joined the site i wasn't sure what would come of it. i didn't expect to connect with people as much as i have, nor did i ever think i would make an effort to fly out of the country all the way to montana to meet people from the site that i had only chat with here. i'm not the type of person who likes to make an effort toward things, especially if i feel they won't be beneficial at all or if i feel i might be too uncomfortable, so getting on a plane with my shy, nervous self to meet people from a website that i may have only chat with a little was definitely something i felt like i had to do, regardless of how my personality is. i made a big step purchasing plane tickets and making my first real trip on my own. i had never been on a plane, i had never stayed in a hotel, i had never even spent a night at a friends house in my life, and only once had i met someone from the internet in person. my trip was full of firsts, including getting there, while i was there, and on the way back home. it was wonderful. i'm glad that i was able to make it and meet new people. i've always had a rough time trying to connect with people, and it was great to finally talk to people that understood me and could see me for who i really was, seeing past the modification work and whatnot. with the recession it makes it harder on me now to know if i can make the next trip for sure, since i have been having a real hard time trying to get a job, but i'm trying my absolute best to make it. it is hard for me to chose between body modification and bodymod related business over "real life" and more important things sometimes. of course the latter matters, but the rest does too because it is apart of who i am and what really matters to me. in my area i don't have anyone to perform the work that i would desire so i have to wait to travel, and although i am content with it even if the economy is good, i do wish i could have the chance to get out more and have work done by artists i like. i'd also like to get out more and meet people from here, but that is also difficult to do now for me. if money wasn't an issue i would definitely be planning meets with other users and be attending meets all across the world, but since it isn't possible i try to keep in contact with users here and meet new users, keeping and making bonds and planning stuff for the future. i also think that since times are tough that trips like skindependence mean a lot more and are a lot more special, which is why i wish to attend them as much as possible. even though i was completely out of my comfort zone, i still felt like a true friend to some and even family to so many others, even though they may have only known me from the forums. i've never felt that accepted and understood by anyone i know here, and i want to try my best to keep in touch with people and meet new people because of it. i think it is a big priority for myself, and i think over time, i might even come out of my shell a little. :P
Posted on March 17, 2009 (2:48pm)
You have to balance the scale somehow in order to survive this downturn. Sure, people have to eat, but they have to spend that tiny bit of mad money to keep morale up. If you get into this industry to get rich or famous, you get what you deserve. If you get into it for the love of what you do and who you meet, you're sure to come out on the other side. We stay pretty busy here at my shop. We keep the shop small, we charge what we need to, don't overextend ourselves. I wish everybody the best of luck getting through this slump. Adam, there should be a whole lot more people like you, hon. You are truly an individual after my own heart. We should start some sort of commune.
Posted on March 18, 2009 (4:34pm)
Posted on August 12, 2009 (1:04am)
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