donderdag 11 augustus 2022

Dutch Mike Leijs, First timer at APP conference 2022

Mike Leijs




 

My name is Mike Leijs, a tattoo and body piercing artist from Sint Willebrord, The Netherlands.
 I’ve been in the piercing industry since late 2006 / beginning of 2007, I first started my own studio by the name Mike’s Body Piercing at the age of 16, which after a year changed to the current name of the studio: Shot of Ink Tattoo & Piercing.
At the moment I’m 31 years old.







I was told to go to Vegas for the APP conference by some piercers from the Netherlands at the beginning of this year, they were all so enthusiastic about it so I thought why the hell not?! Let’s go on an adventure.

After booking my flight tickets and arranging all of the other necessities I started searching for classes that took my attention and i closed the deal. I’m going to Vegas, flying solo, meeting up with people there and especially meet new industry professionals.

After an 18,5 hour flight (due to delays) I finally made it to Vegas, took a cab to the PH hotel and was ready to go enjoy my time. The hotel itself was really nice, big rooms, a double kingsize for myself, ground floor casino, just what you would expect when in Vegas. 

I met a lot of new people, all of them so kind and accepting! Made new friends who i’m staying in touch with through social media, but hoping to see again next year, because once you feel the vibe of the APP conference you’re hooked and instantly want to go back.



Everyone who is a bit hesitating about going there, please don’t hesitate and just go! It will be a life changing experience.







Shot of Ink
Dorpsstraat 34
4711NG Sint Willebrord
Info@shotofink.nl
www.shotofink.nl

-Angie
Photos: Mike Leijs
Mike & Me
Tattoo convention 2022




vrijdag 12 juli 2019

Interview Eduardo chavarria

Eduardo Chavarria
Name: Eduardo Chavarria

When started your passion for piercing?
I guess I can say it started as a child. Not in the sense of me piercing myself as a teenager, but I clearly remember being about 7-8 years old, I was either in the first or second grade and it was 1982-83. I went to the grocery store with my mom in Katy, TX and as we were walking in out was walking the first punk rocker I had ever seen in my human existence. I remember everything about that moment from their plaid bondage pants, to their stunning mohawk, but most importantly I remember that this individual had their ear pierced from the lobe all up and around their helix with silver ball studs. It was at this point in my life that not only I realized that one could become an adult and do and look how you want, but that you could put holes in your ear and wear jewelry. I also remember the look of disgust on my moms face. I have seen that same look at me several times in my life since then toward me. But without making that sound negative, though it took some time, I have an amazing relationship with my mother, and though she may not like what I do or how I have chosen to live my life she still loves me, supports me, and encourages me to be me and be happy. I am her favorite child and my sisters will tell you that too.

How did you become one and who was your teacher?
So my becoming a piercer story is one of being at the right place and the right time and right moment. I was working a pretty cool career as a baker (as well pastry) and I was pretty good at it. The team I worked with not only supplied bread to all the top restaurants in Houston (TX), but we won best bakery awards consistently. I was doing well in life but baker hours are not the most fun hours and leave you to little social time.
I was a really good client and friends with everyone at Taurian Body Piercing as well as with a tattoo shop named Hot Stuff Deluxe as both places were open later hours than most businesses and they did not mind me hanging out for an hour or two before I went to work. To not sound like a total shop rat I would come to both shops with bags of bread and as I said I was also a client, but most importantly I became close friends with people at both shops which showed me the community side of the industry before I was a part of it.
I had been interested and wanting to suspend and that took me to asking the owner of Tarian, Byriah Dailey, if he would be interested in helping me achieve this goal.
At that time he had just hired Steve Joyner and he suggested I talk to Steve once he was moved and settled.
I did so and that landed me in a room with a few people and thus the birth of a small performance group now known as CoRE was born and eventually I got to do that suspension.
Now more to the point of the question. I was really burning out on baking because of the hours as well as how it interfered with my new performance and suspension hobby. After doing performance and private suspensions for a while and being able to do a lot of hook piercing my interest for piercing became much stronger and out of sheer luck, persistence, patience, and showing a lot of initiative I got to start apprenticing at Taurian. I was able to learn both under Steve and Byriah, but the biggest thank you in that entire situation has to go to Byriah. He was really generous to not only share knowledge but to bring me into his life and studio but also for believing in me and giving me a chance. The rest is all history that I am happy to chat more about at a later time.

Who inspires you?
Gosh, this is a trick question with an endless answer that I will keep in the piercing industry.
I have been inspired by many throughout my time in this game and I will list them all for you.
In the the begining I was inspired by and influenced by many Texas piercers. Pat Tidwell, Ron Garza, Robert Micheal, Cris Cane, Bear, and a weirdo from Indiana named Brent to name a few. They were all amazing people that took me in as family from the moment we and all shared more knowledge with me about piercing, suspension, scarification, branding, and life.
Because my roots to piercing are through suspension one thing that was always the most natural to me was piercing with minimal to no tools, Bryan Skellie was a huge help and influence to me.
I should mention that this was all during a time where internet was not the most accessible so ALL the above mentioned people I either spoke on the phone with them for way to long, or I would have to go out of my way to see them.
Later in my career I was influenced directly by some of the piercers that I worked with or for or because I was able to guest with them. These people would be Jason King, Henry Reuben, Patrick Bogdanich, Marty K, Jim Sens, Peck, Matt Southwood, Kellan Smith, Autumn Swisher, Maralyn Mena, Nate Janke, Chux Time, Chris Jennings, and Danny Petersdorf,
Now that I am entering a new era in my career with opening my own studio I get my biggest influences and inspirations from shop owners like Bethra Szumski, Kieth Krollman, Rob Church, Ian Bishop, Ryan Oullette, and Marc Williams.
The list could continue but I'll stop it there.

Do you do more then just piercings?
Hmmmmm, kind of. I definitely am still involved with suspension. I used to do cutting but to be honest anymore unless it is someone I already know or I just feel that "magical" connection with someone I just suggest other practitioners. I love to brand, but that time I feel has come and gone, or maybe I just don't push myself to market it, but none the less its not a service I have been asked for in several years. So piercings and suspension.

How did you got involved with the APP and the LBP? and volunteering
So involvement with APP is easy. I was an Al D scholarship recipient I can never remember the year, but I think it was 2003. The rest is history. I never stopped after that. I remained a volunteer till I became a board member which is just another level of volunteer, and even after that I stick around. I could not imagine going to APP and not being part of the back of the house stuff. The APP has helpe me a lot in my career and I love giving back to it however I can.
As far as LBP, being bilingual didn't hurt, being a board member during its formative years helped, and then going and teaching was the icing on the cake. Though my involvment with LBP is nothing near the time I have put into APP there is nothing I would not do to help and support the LBP.

Suspensions, why you love it?
For so many reasons. The people it has brought into my life, the experiences it has provided for me, the experiences it has allowed me to share. I love everything about suspension. From buying gear, to tying knots, to setting up, piercing, walking someone or getting walked through fear and emotions. Enjoying feeling the movement, watching all the gear and seeing it work, the euphoria, the endorphins, and the way it allows me to process things. Suspensions in one of the only way I get to trigger certain parts of my brain and it allows me to open doors for myself and learn more about me and what I want.

Have you ever break through to the other side?I have had many "experiences" through several different ceremonies and rituals. They have all taken me to several special places. Keeping closest to the topic of piercing one of my most amazing and ceremony was the first time I did Kavadi.
Here is a link to an interview I did about that experience http://kavadinfo.blogspot.com/2007/12/kavadi-experience-eduardo.html

Tell us about CoRE and "kuh thar sis"
CoRE is a theater performance suspension group. This is where and whom I learned about suspension. From where it started to where its at now are apples and oranges. if you enjoy watching performance art and like seeing suspensions it is a very beautiful show.
As far as Kuh-thahr-sis, this is my most recent and only named suspension project of my own. I did performance for many many years and I have a love hate relationship with it. For the right reason or to help the right people I will do performance, but Kuh-thahr-sis is the opposite. It is about private suspension with the influence on experience.
Suspension can be so many different things and it is its own experience for each individual. I have been lucky enough to facilitate many people first suspensions and you only get one of those so I try to make it as perfect as possible. I do not try and push any of my personal beliefs about suspension onto anyone. If my group and team is suspending you we have already discussed many details and have tried to set up the environment that is the most comfortable for the person suspending. From music, to lighting, scents, and most importantly the lack of a crowd. I ask the person suspending to only bring one or two of their closest support and we all focus on the person suspending and nothing more.

What has been the high point of your career so far? What are you most proud of
Everyday I get to do what I love is a high point. I love body piercing. I love my industry.
I have been fortunate enough to work either as an employee or a guest artist and many of the top studios in the United States and even a few of the best studios in Mexico City.
I was lucky enough to get voted onto an APP board with some amazing people that helped mold me a great deal and that I am still friends with to date.
During my board term I joined the Conference Committee which I am still a part of, and I succesfully started both the Membership Committee, and the Outreach Committee both which have grown far beyond what I would have ever anticipated.

Do you have a nice experience you like to share with us?
No one specifically, I think piercing kids ears always falls pretty high on my list. Its so cool to walk them through the process. Everything about piercings kids ears is so genuine. From their body language, the questions they ask, talking themselves out of the fear and understanding themselves and watching them grow in those seconds leading up to it, then the reaction. The most genuine happy smile comes from a kid getting their first set of lobe piercings.
I would say after that my next favorite is helping anyone that is finding or reclaiming themselves.

Is there something we do not know about you? but like to share?
I am the proud son of Salvadoran immigrants and am so grateful for my parents sacrifices that have allowed me to live my best life.
I struggle in social situations with making the first more or saying hello.

How do you see the future? are there plans? do you have a personal goal?Currently I am in the process of opening my own studio, so I hope to see success in my future.
As far as plans and personal goals, I would like to bring more people of color into the industry so once I have everything settled I will start to work on that.

Do you have any advice for our readers, or do you want to add something?
Live your life, be the best person you can be, challenge yourself, become a better person, drink more water, ask questions, make time for yourself and the important ones around you.
Find things that will make and keep you happy.


Namaste,
Eduardo Chavarria

Instagram: piercings by Ed

-Angie
Photos and answers: Eduardo Chavarria



Eduardo & Me at APP2019 Las Vegas











donderdag 27 juni 2019

Interview Zak Dubi DuBois




Zak Dubi Dubois

Name: Zak Dubi Dubois

Can you discribe yourself in one sentence?     Calm and Collected, with a nice butt
-Chelsea Austin

When did your passion for piercing start?
I started putting "jewelry" or random key chain rings around my lip and into stuffed animals at a young age

So I'd say I guess I always had an interest but didnt know what it was yet or if it was anything really. I just thought I and my things looked better with jewelry through its body.

How did you become one and who was your teacher?
16 years ago I got an apprenticeship at a little tattoo shop that I had gotten tattooed at and it was just 1 guy so I asked him to teach me and he took me on. His name was Johnny and he was awesome. My apprenticeship was about 6 months long. I learned very quickly it came pretty naturally.

I moved to Dallas Texas straight away out of my apprenticeship and got a job at a shop in
Deep Ellum called "Skin&Bones body piercing" and thats when I really felt like I was an actual professional piercer. I have always tried to stay open to opinions and trying new thing so I like to say I am always learning and will continue to stay in that mindset so that I continue to progress as an artist.

Who inspires you?
I get inspired by everyone really. I see so many amazing piercers learning and doing new things with jewelry and techniques and that is always amazing to hear and learn about everyones new ideas cause that give me an opportunity to learn again so stayin in that constant progression again. There are so many people to list that I have learned from, looked up to, and tried to work similarly too. To name even a few would not be enough. I am inspired by everyone!



Working as a piercer?

Short answer.
Its the best "job" in the world and if you have an interest I highly encourage you to follow that and see what you are capable of. Id encourage anyone to do that with whatever they are passionate about. But piercing is in my opinion the best job ever!

Tell us about your shop Dubois Piercing ?
"Dubois Piercing", is my new business. Its just me right now and I am actually inside of a local tattoo shop called Chapman Ave tattoo in Fullerton California

I own and operate all of the body piercing and jewelry. I work along side APP standards but I am not yet a member. I use a "freehand/palming/ninja grip" technique, I work out of a Statim, I use only APP approved jewelry vendors. And sterile saline wound wash aftercare from both steriwash and neilmed piercing aftercare

I eventually would like to have my own studio all together and that will happen in time. But right now I am perfectly happy where i am. It gives me the opportunity to focus on my constant progression of my skill set and what i offer to my clients



Do you do more than just piercings?
Yes. My day to day is mostly body piercing but i do offer scarification, earlobe reconstruction, just started offering subdermal implants and soon I will add transdermal implants, tongue splitting, coin slots, and ear pointing as time goes on. But the way I like to do things is strategic in learning and focusing on a step by step or focus on one thing at a time so eventually I'll be able to offer everything my clients could want and be confident in my skills and knowledge that they will be 100%happy with the outcome.

Ambassador, actor and modeling? ....Tell us more
Haha ohhh my other professional/personal life well thats lots of fun too!

I am a brand ambassador for a workout supplement company called The Genius Brand. I spend 4 mornings a week in the gym and care very much about my health. The Genius brand supplements send me free stuff on occasion when I tag them in my photos on my fitness Instagram page @fitnessdubois127 I enjoy working out and they had contacted me so I signed on.

Actor- wellll Ive done some things havent I hahahaha

I have a cousin who works in the movie industry and asked me to be in a movie some years back cause the part needed someone with my look so my cousin called me. I had 2 scenes and 7 lines. I shared a scene with the actress Kate Beckinsale, its was a very cool experience and I got paid very nicely so that was cool, the Lifetime tv network bought the movie, chopped it up, cut me out, and then aired it, but since I was still on the original credits I still got a residual check twice from them too so that was awesome again.

Then In 2017 Halloween time I worked as a scare monster for a haunted house called The 17th door that was a whole bunch of fun too.


Modeling- welll I like to model a bit sometimes its just me in a natural state no makeup or anything but the most fun i have modeling is when I get dressed up as my clown "animal"


You can see that stuff on my modeling Instagram @zakdubois

I go to photo meet up and private shoots too its alot of fun and lets me relax and let go a bit and have a good time. Plus I get really awesome pictures taken by some amazing photographers.

Guest artist/ traveling?
I'm not opposed to it but I like stayin close to home mostly. I have a family too and I enjoy spending time with them as well.


When did you start with scarification & implants?
Ever since the beginning of my career I've had an interest in doing body modification and body art more than body piercings. But the way that I've wanted to work and learn has been to keep focus on one thing and get good at that before you move on to the next step. So as I got more and more experienced as a piercer I kept my eye on scarification art and implant work both subdermal and transdermal. Never going hands on always asking questions and studying in my own off time and doing procedures and what not in my head over and over and over and over and over etc.. and after many years of mentality analyzing, watching videos, asking questions I started doing scarification in 2018. I bought Steve Haworths implant tools In may 2019 so now I happily started offering implants as well.

What do you think about the modification culture these days? Is there something you like to see change.
I think its fantastic that more and more people are learning to let themselves actually become themselves. I love change and evolving so I just love seeing people change and encourage them to just do so in a safe and clean way.

What has been the high point of your career so far? What are you most proud of?
Starting my own business is definitely the high point. Im most proud of my patience and determination to not let anything get in my way.


Do you have a nice experience you'd like to share with us? APP conference 2019.....If you know you know.
3 words though...   It was amazing!

Is there something we do not know about you but would like to share?

When I was 20 years old I worked the door at a bar carding people
Shhhhhhh...... Hahahahahaha

How do you see the future? Are there plans? Do you have a personal goal
The future for me is a big wide open space that i keep my imagination open to all kinds of wonderful great things and each one that i commit to i will achieve.

My plans are to continue to be happy and successful in my work and in my personal life as well.

Personal goal is just to live each day to the fullest and never forget to be thankful for everything and everyone I have and have had in my life.

Do you have any advice for our readers?
Wake up and make your bed every day.

Start with that one accomplishment and continue your day with other small accomplishments until you end your day completely accomplished and can start over again tomorrow on tomorrow's Tasks.

"Its not about how hard you can hit.
Its about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward."
-Rocky

"Life may going to knock you down, its up to you weather or not you get back up again" -Jackie Chan


Duboispiercing website
Duboispiercing instagram






-Angie
Photos and answers Zak Dubi Dubois

zondag 16 juni 2019

24th annual association of professional Piercing conference



 May 12-17 Las Vegas


Finally,
Since I was an Al.D Scholar in 2016, I got my first taste of this conference, amazing, big, awesome, well organized, great team..... it left me with a huge impression, striking experience.
So, back full with knowledge and energy boost, I decided I wanted to be part of that every year.
But still, being a small studio owner, low volume, it's hard to get there on your own.

I had my scholarship in 2016, and so happy for the help. Scholarships are so important, especially for people who want to come, but struggle. It's good to see that the amount of scholarships are growing. So more people can have a chance to attend.




Due to my daughters ilness, I  put the planning aside.
Now that she is doing better, I took the plunge and bought flighttickets.




Finally, I was there again 3 years later. A bit proud, on myself that I did it without help/scholarship.

This year conference was held in  Planet Hollywood for the first time. Must say I like this place better instead of Bally's.

Again it was incredible, reunite with Caitlin again :) and my volenteer family
From friday on, the hotel slowly started to fill up with beautifull and amazing people all with the same passion. Conecting with new and old friends. Networking with peers from over the world.

From monday till friday you could follow classes, seminars, tours and some workshops
classes like: " Safe practices in piercing room", " mentoring aprentices" basic and advanced lip, nipples, nostrils, ears techniques, anatomy above and below the neck, different tips advice about jewelery, marketing and much much more to choose from.




On teusday the expo openend, around 50 vendors in one hall, showing there beautiful new lines of jewelry, showcases and aftercare products. a real walhalla for us piercers.


You also could visit  the exhibit of Fakir Musafar, over 2000 square feet staged with his original iconic images and items, with different tourguys to choose from, friends and colleagues shared there own stories about him while walking around at the exhibit. No tour was the same.



On monday evening the opening poolparty, thursday evening the closing party and in between evenings, you had gamenights, or Forum groups, and vendors organizing parties you could go to. or just walk around and meet others at the bar.
A week with no dull moment from the time you woke up till bed time.

After conference I had the oppertunity to visit some studios as LAink, vaughn body art, Cold Steel america and Industrial tattoo and piercing





 I also visit Anatomatal, and Barry gave me a tour around. Thank you for that, (soon more about Anatometal on the blog!)
And afcourse this came along with a roadtrip, which I loved.

So much to see / visit, so little time.......

Yes, back home again, full with a new energy boost, putting all the knowledge into practice, and looking forward to next year....I wish, hope, saving up....who knows







-Angie
Photos: Angie

donderdag 13 juni 2019

Interview Willem Jan Kain



Name: Willem-Jan Kneepkens Piercer at
Point Blank Tattoo & body piercing in Weert, Limburg

Can you describe yourself in one sentence?
Wow ... that's always a tricky question 🙂 friendly, patient and funny.

How long have you been piercer?
I work since april first 2017 as a professional piercer. Am still pretty new to the whole business.

Why this profession?
Interact with people, the satisfaction you get when you pierce someone with a piece of jewelry (satisfied customers) and the freedom you have.

How or from whom did you learned the skills?
I was by one of our tattoo artists, Frankie van de Wal (roodbaard_tats_art), addressed that Bart Bastiaanse of Tribal Trading trains people to piercers. we've spoke shortly and after I started his piercing course.

What was your first piercing?
That you never forget .... a navel piercing! I was amazed how easy a needle went through a skin. Before I knew it it was done . I needed to let it sink in for a while, the moment you penatrate a skin with a needle. Just for a moment unfortunately the next customer was already waiting .

Who or what inspires you?
Sandra Jetten and Bart Bastiaanse. Sandra often pierced me and I admire her calm and competence. Bart how he approached people and his dedication.

Can tell something about your studio/workplace?

The studio where I work is located in the Centre of Weert, near the Church. There are people coming in of all ages, just to take a look or to request information. The part where I pierce is at the back of the shop. I can pierce my customers in peace .

What type of piercing do you prefer?
There is actually no piercing that I don't like to do.

What is the best piece of advice you ever got when you started out and think it would help other starters in this industry?
Don't pierce it if you can't control it or feel uncomfortable with. Ask other piercers and, if necessary, go be a day to another shop and learn from another piercer

Do you have a nice or weird experience you'd like to share?
Twins who came in one of them wanted a helix. The one who felt the inpact of the needle during the process was not the one sitting in the Chair she felt nothing at all, but her sister did

Does your work involve more than just piercings?
Mainly only piercing, if I have nothing to do then I foresee the tattooists by amenities and make sure all the tools which I and the tattoo artists need are sterile.

How do you see yourself in 5 years? 
be fulltime piercer, and have a very wide range of jewelry.


Do you have a tip or do you want to add something to this interview?

Continue to learn, speak with other piercers and learn from others.

pointblanktattoo.nl

-Angie
Answers and photo's: Willem-Jan
-Published Tattoo Planet emagazine 136/juli