What’s it like to be a Master Piercer in Sydney? Tim has lived and pierced all over Australia, and has formally studied Body Modification Artistry. I sat with Tim to quiz him out on how he got to this point in his life, as one of the best piercers in Sydney.
Tim piercing at Authentink Tattoo Studio, Sydney
Q: How did you start learning about and doing body modifications?
From a young age, I have been interested in all things modification, evolution and progression. I feel lucky every day to have been able to make a career out of it! I was fortunate enough to meet someone early on that knew the owners of a studio interstate and I went and packed up life and took a chance. Destiny had it that the their piercer left shortly after I arrived and I took over the piercing business and was thrown straight in the deep end.
Tim piercing at his first job!
Q: Do piercers need to be qualified or certified?
In NSW there are no legal obligations for a piercer to undergo any certified training or gain qualifications to begin piercing as a profession. I can see where this allows good people to realise their dreams, but also that it can lead to bad piercers training more bad piercers and this is still a worry in 2020. It is disheartening when I see some places still using piercing guns and inferior, cheap products or allowing unsafe practices without comprehending the seriousness of these actions. It’s just bad all round for everyone and hurts the image of the industry. There are times when a piercing simply should not be performed if it will not work.
Even though it is not compulsory, I decided to gain certification in my field, as I do believe it is important for my clients confidence. I have received a Nationally Certified Accreditation in Body Modification.
Q: What is it that draws you to body modifications?
I enjoy being able to provide modifications for people that are aesthetically pleasing to themselves, as well as being safe and garner a good lasting result. This industry has different challenges every day and I love that. There are constantly changing trends and of course I was heavily pierced back in the day, and I want people to not only have a great piercing but also to have a great piercing experience.
The smiles I see when clients look in the mirror or when they thank me for knowing the best position for the look they want, even simply helping them through their fear when I know they will survive it and then tell me it wasn’t as bad as they thought it would be, it’s always rewarding and a life win.
Q: Tell us a bit about working at Authentink Studio.
I love working at Authentink. Not only is it a great tattoo studio, the quality of all things art is greatly respected. On the piercing side of things I see that my expectations of quality are held to the same regard by the owners. From spending the extra to obtain top quality implant grade internally threaded titanium jewellery, which is by far the best for the initial healing once pierced; to guarantees on single use needles, studio hygiene and sterilisation procedures; to customer care / service /follow up appointments and after care, no effort is spared when it comes to quality and good service.
No piercing guns are used at our studio and I feel supported by the owners 100% on this. My judgement and experience is trusted and I feel respected every step of the way. If a piercing is unsuitable for a person’s body type I am more than comfortable advising them to go with a different site or jewellery option in order to have the best result. I feel no pressure to “just pierce” and take clients money, that perhaps other piercers in other studios may currently feel due to the current economic situation.
Q: What Is the wildest body piercing project you’ve worked on?
Where to start..?! When you have been in the industry as long as I have (20+ years!) you know there are some great stories to be told haha. We meet some of the best and most interesting humans of the world. Off the top of my head I do remember some of the more challenging projects and I do really enjoy working with a client who puts their full trust in me to make the art work. It is definitely important to work on projects with clients who understand the importance of limitations and aftercare and sometimes we do a consultation for a one off event such as a photo shoot. These are always fun. Corsetry, ribbons, constellations, quadruple tongue, crossing industrials, I love a good project. I will say this though, I get just as much satisfaction seeing a well placed ear lobe piercing haha.
Quadruple tongue piercing project by Tim, Sydney
Q: You must see some pretty gnarly infections or piercings gone wrong?
Indeed. Comes with the territory. I always take note of these issues and have helped many clients through, even if pierced elsewhere. A lot of people think piercings are pretty easy going, but in reality they do take some aftercare, even simple lobes. Ascertaining the possible cause of a problem can sometimes require an amount of tact, clients often don’t want to offer info on what may have gone wrong. Having seen what I have seen and by paying attention and applying what I know, it does help me to be confident when giving advice on an issue or on a placement/jewellery type for the client, knowing that certain piercings need to be performed a certain way for the best results and that some simply will not work for that persons anatomy.
On top of this, some piercings require a process that takes more time or appointments than some are willing to put in to them with healing and jewellery changes and I would rather not do the piercing at all than knowingly perform the procedure and have it not work perfectly or potentially cause harm to my client. And again, as I mentioned before, I feel fully supported by the owners of Authentink when making these decisions which is really important.
Q: What do you like to do in your time off from the studio?
I like to relax. Our industry can be busy, fast paced and client orientated and I do enjoy my time away to recharge simply doing whatever I want. I have many interests away from body modification, but having said this I still find myself doing research or involved in things piercings when I am not at work because in my mind I really see it as not being work lol. Again harking back to feeling lucky about my work/life situation. I really do appreciate that my interests can coincide with my work.
Stay tuned for PART 2 of the interview where we discuss the more technical side of piercings, jewellery and optimum aftercare.
In the meantime, if you would like to read more about Tim, check out his bio here . To make a booking with Tim, you can either send it via our contact form or call the shop to make an appointment (02) 8399 1973. No deposit is required, and walk-ins are welcome too!
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