My Motivation for Piercing
Two of the most common questions I get are what got you into to piercing and why I continue to do it? I think I've answered the question about how I became a piercer but I don't think I have ever given a clear answer of why I keep doing it.
I have to admit when business is slow or I'm having a bad day I often ask myself that question. It has not been the easiest path I could have taken but I think that self employment and all the benefits and disadvantages that come with it, were always something that was going to be my path. From an early age I envisioned doing something that involved running a retail business and spending my days interacting with the public. In part because of the freedom it allows but also because every day is different.
When I discovered Piercing it was like a light went off in my head. I had been active in the Punk scene for a number of years up to then and the idea or concept of altering one's appearance to express one's beliefs. Also a reclaiming of the individual and self through clothing, hair, and tattoos. There was also a tribal markings of sorts that draw me to it and a sense of belonging to something larger.
I already had a urge to pierce my nipples which dated back to childhood and was getting heavily tattooed. During the early 1990s body art was going through a renaissance and I was reading everything that I could get my hands on. Whether it be tattoos, history, piercing, or body play, I searched high and low to learn as much as I could. Unlike most piercers I've came across over the years I had no interest in tattooing. Simply I have never had that drive to draw and produce visual artist in that way.
Piercing drew me in more than anything the act of piercing the flesh, then inserting jewelry and forever changing the look of that area of the body fascinating. The whole idea that this foreign object would not only be acepted but become a part of the body. Even the body growing the tissue around the piecing to create this tunnel of flesh where there wasn't one before seemed engrossing to me.
So, slowly the idea formulated in my mind to start piercing as a career. Once my mind was set to the idea, no obstacle could have stood in my way. There were a number of them. Money, security, pressure from friends and family members all seemed set against this idea. Though support came from Sherry Sears at Creative Images and surprisingly my family and before I knew it I was piercing part time.
Now that was, at the writing of this blog, over 23 years ago. I've watched many come and go in the industry. Most seemed to do it until the "fade" ended while others found the up and down income and insecurity too much to handle. I never got into piercing to make the big bucks and I quickly knew that no matter once, short of having a crew of tattoo artist and piercers working for you, piercing was not the career to gaining wealth and fortune. Even fame would be hard to come by when compared to that of Tattooing.
Yes, piercing has always been considered a less art and that subject is a blog in itself. The problem is that to the average person piercings all look alike with the slight difference in jewelry. I think this has been the cause of many piercers burning out and leaving the industry in search of new challenges. I've never felt that way, each person is completely different and no two bodies are exactly the same. Each piercing has it's own set of challenges. Whether it be the shape of the area or body type, placing that piercing so it enhances the beauty of the area takes a consideration that is the difference between an average piercing and great piercing. It is something that you can't learn but only comes from years of experience and developing an eye for it.
A huge motivation for me has always been the joy of interacting with new people every day. To build a short term connection with someone and help them through a some what scary experience is greatly rewarding. Not even to bring up the interesting conversations that I have had about music, art, literature, movies, science, culture, parenting, family, pets, body art and just the many interesting careers my clients have had. Some of these conversations have lead to life long friendships.
Piercing can be a lot of things to a lot of different people and it's has always been a privilege to be allowed to be a part of that. It can be a very personal thing but collectors often share their reasoning behind getting the piercing. I have been involved in celebrations of anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, divorces, births, new jobs, retirements, and countless other important events. Also I have helped in the reclaiming of the body after a traumatic event or health scare as a way to celebrate their survival. There something very empowering to be entrusted and involved with that.
I have helped countless people overcome their fear of getting a piercing by calmly working them through it. In part with my countless jokes but often by simple giving them the authority to just be themselves. In a small way creating a safe place to express their fears, interests and ideas. It often take a few minutes longer to get through thing but helping them through it is so rewarding.
When I set out to start doing this, I wanted to create not only a safe place to get a good piercing but an experience that makes the client feel educated and a little more in touch with themselves. Part of the experience of getting and healing a piercing is learning a little about yourself, your body and the human body. I like playing the part of teacher and educating others about not only piercing but just about any subject that I'm interested. I love to share knowledge and if it takes 40 minutes to get through the consultation, paperwork, setup, piercing and aftercare instruction, then that is how long it takes. I had a couple of clients the other night that were seasoned piercees and not only were they surprised when I went through the whole aftercare instructions verbally but thanked me for doing it. Afterwards I asked if I was the only piercer that had done that and they said, "Yes, and that's why we will be back."
So, that's a small peek into why I'm still at it and what motivates me to get out of bed and come in day after day and week after week. I don't know what the future will be bring but I know that I will be piercing until I'm either physically no longer able to or some other huge change in my life.
As a bit of an update on what I have in the works for the future. I just finished the rebuild of the personal site - http://davoaxiom.com which is going to free up more time to add content to this site and elsewhere. I have started a Personal Vlog and began to get more into creating videos. So, I have started a Youtube channel for just the Axiom that will feature piercing related videos. My goal is to have videos of all of my verbal consultations and aftercare instructions for each person. I will be slowly posting them to this site as I finish and edit each one.