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MontanaPiercer
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Quote MontanaPiercer Replybullet Topic: Becoming a pro
    Posted: November/21/2005 at 7:21pm

     You have aspirations to be a professional body modifier. The big question is "Where do I begin?" Regardless of your intended field, before you ever touch a client there are some essential skills that you must be competent in.
     Body modification carries grave health risks to not only the people getting the work, but also you as the artist. Into today's society, every client must be treated as if they are carrying disease. This is the only way to ensure that you aren't transmitting it during procedure. Proper aseptic technique, generally called Universal Precautions, must be strictly adhered to. Basic education for any body modifier (really anyone working in this environment, even counter help) must include blood born pathogen and cross contamination training. Equipment such as ultrasonic cleaners and autoclaves, a necessity for any operation, help insure the safety of clients and artist alike.
     Because in reality, not everything goes text book smooth, additional training and experience can be indispensable. Commonly offered courses in CPR and Basic First Aid, will familiarize you with trouble signs, and equip you with the skills to handle scary situations. The more courses you take the better off you will be should something go wrong, and many of these courses are often required for licensing. Understanding the human body, and the way it heals will do wonders for you work, and result in more successful procedures, and happy clients. This will also allow you to understand aftercare requirements, and recommend the proper course of action for you clients while they heal.
     Procedural familiarity is one of the most important factors in a successful body modification. This knowledge can be attained in a variety of ways, but is the backbone of any procedure. If you aren't absolutely sure of the requirements or consequences, you should never attempt a procedure. Basically if you aren't confident you know the proper way to do something, don't do it. You should never 'experiment' on an unsuspecting client. If you are inexperienced, only perform the procedure under direct supervision of someone who is competent in it themselves.
     The proper equipment to safely perform the job is of paramount importance. Never skimp on your tools, or try to get by with less than appropriate equipment. Buy only quality equipment that can withstand the rigors of use, and maintain that equipment correctly to ensure its continued usefulness. You must familiarize yourself with the products required to do your job, and understand the correct application of each. With such a wide variety of products offered for use in this industry, from surface disinfectants to body jewelry, the artist must be knowledgeable and experienced enough to ensure its safe use.
      The artistic aspect of this industry can not be ignored. Whether piercing, tattooing, or performing surgical mods, the intention is to accentuate the body and be aesthetically pleasing to the client. This is achieved by having an eye for body form and flow, and for tattooist, having a basic understanding of line, color, shade, proportion and depth. If you are interested in pursuing an artistic career, then first practice design and execution on paper. Business owner's love to see a deep portfolio of your artistic talents when considering you for a position, so work on your drawings and custom designs.
     Now that you know the basics of what you need, where do you get this information? Basic instruction from a competent practitioner is a solid foundation for any potential career in this industry. Though it is possible to be 'self taught', without direction and guidance, many times you may end up with less than ideal or completely incorrect practices. These can easily become bad or even dangerous habits. Basic body modification courses are available, but because of the brevity of the class, can never match the education you would receive from direct mentoring in an apprenticeship, and should only be used as a primer for continued training, or as a refresher course for practicing artists. Medical courses are routinely offered by the American Red Cross, and at major events sponsored by the APP, APT, NPT and others, at very reasonable prices. Art education is available from most local education centers. Online research and discussion groups are full of information, but the source must always be considered. It is essential to your success in this field, that the information you receive is accurate, up to date, and verifiable. If you are taught by a hack, you will probably wind up a hack.
     Apprenticeships in this industry are rare and worth their weight in gold (if you get a good one) so getting your foot in the door is a monumental first step. Many times this equates to a 'shop bitch' position, working for little or nothing, doing odd jobs around the shop. This requires obvious dedication and sacrifice, as you still have to pay the bills someway, usually resulting in outside employment and long hours. If you are self taught, the doors are generally closed even tighter, and you must really impress the shop owner to warrant a shot. Don't go in with a 'know it all' attitude, be sincere, articulate and above all else, don't give up. You will probably be turned down more times than you care to admit, but keep at it. Remember that back alley and home based practitioners don't garner a lot of respect in this business, even if they are competant in practice. So keep you head down, soak up everything, put in your effort, and it will all pay off in the long run when you see the smile on your customer's face. This is undoubtedly one of the coolest jobs in the world, but you have to prove you belong in it.
   



Edited by MontanaPiercer
"A word to the wise isn't necessary -- it's the stupid ones that need the advice." Bill Cosby
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Rouslan
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Quote Rouslan Replybullet Posted: November/27/2005 at 9:37am

"The proper equipment to safely perform the job is of paramount importance. Never skimp on your tools, or try to get by with less than appropriate equipment. Buy only quality equipment that can withstand the rigors of use, and maintain that equipment correctly to ensure its continued usefulness. You must familiarize yourself with the products required to do your job, and understand the correct application of each"

To tell the truth, Tana, this sentence is truth in ANY job, when you want to become a true pro. On the whole, anybody can clearly see from this text that you're a pro, that you love your job, and that you're a great guy since you're ready to give some of your time to help people that you don't know.

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sataninacaddy
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Quote sataninacaddy Replybullet Posted: March/07/2006 at 8:05am
wow, you guys just hit the nail on the head, I could'nt have said better myself, and I completely agree!!!
Don't force your religion on others, inform them and let them choose!

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Neesh
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Quote Neesh Replybullet Posted: October/24/2006 at 5:52pm
this is so useful thank you!
 
ive been searching for information for god knows how long and finally got soem answers. thank you!
Now: Middle Lip - 1.2mm, Ears - 1.6mm

Want:
Snakebites, Venoms, Left Nostril, Right scaffolding, left double helix, both tragus, both earlobe 10mm, both earlobe 2nd 6mm

Retired:
Earlobes 6mm
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man_mole
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Quote man_mole Replybullet Posted: December/05/2006 at 11:01am
montana i was wondering if you could tell us a little bit more about your apprentiship and how you got into this line of work in the first place as i find i'm becoming more and more intrested in persuing a career in body modification if you could do this it would be a great help and im sure i'm not the only one who'd like to know just where you learnt well everything
 
cheers dave
don't be so quick to judge, your not so perfect yourself
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b2spirit
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Quote b2spirit Replybullet Posted: April/21/2007 at 4:42pm
Montana, thanx for the useful post, I've been searching the web to find out about piercing courses in South Africa and I can't find a thing, so for now, I've decided to take an online course, better than nothing.

Was wondering if you could tell me if you think this course is worth the fee/or if there are better online courses I should look at instead?
http://www.universalclass.com/i/subjects/personalcare.htm
(scroll down to number 8)

I would really appreciate your help.
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evil_hooligan
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Quote evil_hooligan Replybullet Posted: March/18/2008 at 11:53am
thanks guys im in the prosses of becoming a tattoo artist i work in a shop and this is good info!
"If your dog licks his ass Don't let him lick your tattoo"
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xoerinxo
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Quote xoerinxo Replybullet Posted: March/21/2008 at 6:51pm
i've been trying to find an apprenticeship, I have first aid, CPR, and a bunch of university anatomy courses, and its hard, I have a meeting with a piercer next weekend, and if he likes me maybe I have a shot!
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nickortizzle
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Quote nickortizzle Replybullet Posted: March/21/2008 at 10:56pm
lots of help. hopefully i will find an apprenticeship somewhere soon.
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AmiiMetalFace
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Quote AmiiMetalFace Replybullet Posted: April/01/2008 at 6:30am
good luck with your meeting thing, erin :)
 
and this information is extremely useful montana, thankyou :))))
AMII(L)ANOO&BABA



AMII(L)SOPHIE



29 weeks. :3 due 1st April 2010!
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