zondag 16 juni 2019

24th annual association of professional Piercing conference

 May 12-17 Las Vegas

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

donderdag 13 juni 2019

Name: Willem-Jan Kain 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.


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

zaterdag 2 juni 2018

Guest piercer in Holland

Aiden Johnson
Aiden Johnson, experienced piercer from the UK, is guest-spotting at Rotterdam’s Inkstutition Classic Glamour and Amsterdam’s Classic Ink & Mods Dare 2 Ware. In The eight years as a piercer, he grew immensely, from a piercing fanatic to a well established name in the industry. Treasurer for the UKAPP, teacher and friend for life, he can talk hours about metal and polish.

How’s Holland treating you?

It’s all good here. I’m surrounded by a great team at all 3 shops and everyone has welcomed me and made me feel at home.

Have you guest-spotted before?
Ahahaha have I! I think the total count for last year was 36 guest spots in 27 different shops across 5 countries. Everything from little 1 person shops through to shops with multiple piercing rooms, high volume to low volume, high end to basic and everything in between.

How did you became a guest-piercer at Sharon’s studio?
It’s a story that starts 10 years ago. My lovely lady Anna Garvey (@anna_adorned) went to guest in Rotterdam and met Joan Dee (@miss_scarrific). Fast forward 10 years and Joan had fallen sick and needed someone to cover her shifts. She spoke to Anna et voila I arrive in Amsterdam. I then built up a good relationship and became a regular guest.

Helping out setting up a new studio?
I had mentioned to Sharon that I felt like staying still for a while. The 12 months previous to setting up Classic Glamour was a whirlwind. She proposed the idea of me acting as consultant to setup her new shop.

Do you miss home?

Sometimes I do. I’m a country boy at heart and I’m from a beautiful little place called Ironbridge in Shropshire (Google it!) so I’m always thinking about that. I miss Anna and my dogs (Coral and Fang) but Anna flies over to see me once a month and in May 2018 we all be moving into our camper van for some Euro adventures. If you know me and want a visit them fire me a message and I’ll see if you’re on
my route.

Since you like to travel around, do you have a dream spot in the world you like you guest-spot one day?

I’m hoping to tick this one off the list after APP in summer. I really want to go and spend some time at Cold Steel in San Francisco. I have visited San Francisco before and Paul King (and all his team) are people that I look upto in the industry. I’d also love to guest at Infinite in Philadelphia one day. Other than that I have been lucky and got to work in a lot of the shops that I look to for inspiration. Shout out to my wonderful girls Maree (@piercingsbymaree at @reb3lstudios), Nicole (@wklp at @love_hatelondon) and the wild Helen (@holierthanthoumanchester)

Can you describe us Dutchies in one sentence?
Straight to the point, caring and independant. There’s something about you guys that I really love.

Will you be back again?
Yeah I will! I have a few plans to come back during June and September. Keep an eye on my instagram for upcoming dates (and terrible memes).

Want to be pierced by aiden ?
He will be here till may 14th at Classic Glamour Rotterdam or Dare 2 ware in Amsterdam
Or keep an eye on his Instagram @aidenmustdie

Classic Glamour: 
We are the first luxury piercing boutique in The Netherlands based in Rotterdam. We work with the best piercers and jewelers from around the globe.

To provide the best service and to give every customer full attention and the right advise on their piercing, placing and kind of jewelry, we work on appointment only.

You can make an appointment by phone - email - DM

Our piercers can’t wait to give you a warm welcome and show our exclusive collection while you enjoy a nice glass of bubbles.
-Sharon & Duncan

Mariniersweg 78A
3011NT Rotterdam


Photos and answers by Aiden Johnson
-Published Tattoo Planet emagazine 133/may 2018

Interview Debbie Bijster

Name: Debbie Bijster, owner Dejama piercing in Purmerend.

Can you describe yourself in one sentence?

I'm a daughter, wife, mom, and friend, a perfectionist, professional, friendly, sociable, spontaneous, patient and creative.

How long have you been piercer?
I got to meet my teacher in 2013, In march 2017 opened my second shop.

Why this profession?
I'm originally a nurse ( still am). From an early age I was intrigued by body art. My husband is an artist (rattlecanned) trough wich we often had a stand on conventions. My enthausiasm was becoming stronger. When I was 35 I set my mind to learn about body modification and have made every effort able to be a piercer and voila                                                         

How or from whom did you learned the skills?
Once I had it in my head to become a piercer, I wrote two letters to two piercers I had in mind I wanted to learn from. One could not do it of private circumstances, the other one I had conversations
with, I even wrote an essay to him. He gave me the opportunity to be his apprentice, still very grateful for that. We became good friends. I still keep learning from situations, from colleagues around the world. Fantastic, I'm just like a sponge, want to know everything especially the why

What was your first piercing?


Who or what inspires you?

Ilya Langbein, Luis Garcia and Sharon Looy are the people I admire very much and gives me inspiration. Other colleagues, APP and BMXnet inspire me in addition to a number of modification artists.

Can you tell something about your studio/workplace?
In Krommenie I have a place in a big tattoo studio, between new beginning and experienced tattoo artists.Talented and super friendly people.
In purmerend I have a private studio.

What type of piercing do you prefer?
...Eeeuhm..the "tricky" piercings. People with a particular anatomy or people with special needs, the so called "projects"

But really I do like everything, because it makes people happy and every piercing is different with different anatomy.

What is the best piece of advice you ever got when you started out and think it would help other starters in this industry?
Take your time, don't go to fast
Stay honest to yourself and your clients.
Keep thinking. Do not take anything for sweet cake. But discover, research and continue to learn. If you want to get rich, find another job.

You have a nice or weird experience you'd like to share?
Each client is special, the one that remained with me the most is a man, his kids came along and sat in the waitingroom, his wife was with him. at the time I pierced the skin I was expecting an "auch" or an " F#ck" but he said "Cow meadow" I finished the procedure and after I asked him neatly where it came from, he said: " My kids are at a hearing distance"

Does your work involve more than just piercings?

Yes and No
I just pierce alone, but sometimes I feel I'm half a psychologist hahaha.

How do you see yourself in 5 years?
No idea, I have dreams afcourse, like High end jewelry only, shadowing Idols, attending the APP conference in Las Vegas, as well as UKapp and the BMXnet in Germany. working on that.
I want to be a excellent reputable piercer, who people know, and willing to travel for.

Do you have a tip or do you want to add something to this interview?
I detest people who give courses, people that tell their students you can be a piercer in 6 days for plus €2500,- Rip off
Everyone can pierce a hole, but to be a good piercer is something totally different.

In addition, people who go for quantity and seriously mutilate their customers, Piercers take at face value and take for granted because they're not explained only seen or read it somewhere.

Anyway, do it good or just don't


Pictures and answers: Debbie Bijster
Published Tattoo Planet eMagazine 133/mei2018

donderdag 3 mei 2018

Back on it !

Dear readers,

I know it’s been awhile. But last year September, we almost lost our little girl. To keep a very long story short, she’s still with us, thanks to the wonderful doctors and the cardiopulmonary bypass pump (heart-lung machine), but she got diagnosed with cancer (lymphoma). So you can imagine we’ve been living in a really bad nightmare since it happened.

But I simply can’t describe how proud I am how’s she’s handling it all. With all the pain and suffering during all her necessary chemo treatments, she’s still laughing each and every day and full of energy. She’s my little superhero! I love you Raven!

And while we still have a long road ahead of us, treatments are working, things are looking better each and every day and we're slowly getting back to our normal day to day life. And that’s why I’ve decided to pick up my blog again. So if you’re interested in an interview or if you have a story or event to share, please feel free to send me a message:

email: info@modernbodystudio.nl
Facebook: www.facebook.com/angiedogspot

Thank you for understanding and your patience, but I’ll be back real soon with new blog posts!


donderdag 3 augustus 2017

AL.D. Scholarship/ APP17

The Association of Professional Piercers
Conference 2017
Bally's, Las Vegas.

First time attendee as an Al D. scholar.
By Cas Willems

It all started way before the actual conference:

I've always known the APP existed and held a great admiration for them and a will to join them, but being [just] a piercer from Europe and even from the Netherlands, I couldn't imagine having contact with anyone from the APP let alone going to conference.

The reason that I applied for the Al D. scholarship is that I had a tough time the last couple of years.
The studio I worked at went bankrupt in 6 weeks time, leaving me, my girlfriend and our 3 month old daughter with nothing to fall back on and a grim outlook on our future.
It took everything we had to open our own studio at the same location in the same time, 6 weeks.
It was a classic sink or swim moment and our lives changed so much in that short period of time.
I will not go into all the details but it was a rough ride being a fresh father and fresh studio owner and being responsible for so much more than just me alone.

This however was and is the biggest drive for me to succeed and look forward in life, not only on a professional level as a piercer and studio owner but also on a personal level as a father, husband to-be and general better person.

Now this is where I leave all my insecurities, anxieties and fears.

After seeing a fellow piercer from the Netherlands, Angie van Dijken from Modern Body Studio Angie, get picked for an Al D. scholarship and go to conference in 2016, it became clear to me that this was within the realm of possibilities and was well worth taking the plunge for and apply for the scholarship.

Every step of the process was quite nerve wrecking seeing as (from my perspective) the APP is a piercer's holy grail and I did not want to f*ck anything up.

My girlfriend was my greatest motivation in this experience and she supported me all the way.

We started filming my introduction video for the application and I can still remember that we started over a couple of times because I was drawing blanks the entire time.
After having sent in everything and getting the delivery notice in my mailbox, the waiting begun.

I was on a well deserved ski trip in Austria with my family and in-laws when I received a mail from Ryan saying that I was picked as one of the Al D. scholars for 2017.
Later Caitlin personally called me to make sure I got the good news.

How little did I know what was ahead of me..

After having a 24 hour trip from my house to Bally's Casino in Las Vegas, I have finally arrived.
IT WAS WARM, even in the evening, DRY. WARMTH. But hey, I'm in the Mojave desert, what did I expect?

First impression: HOLY BALLS, 'Murica.
Everything is bigger there, the roads, the cars, the buildings, the people, the drinks, everything!
I walked in Bally's expecting nothing but to be given a sensory overload that would last for quite some time: sounds and lights coming from all directions, people smoking and drinking inside and little did I know that this would continue 24/7.

I went to the 26th floor of the hotel, to the suite of Caitlin and entered when there was a volunteer meeting happening, instantly stepping into a room full of people which later would become family.
Very weird to think about that now, afterwards, how quickly mere strangers become so much more than that in just a weeks time.

Seeing as I was early to conference, I got appointed a room with David Kelso and that first night was the worst. NOT because of David, he's a sweetheart, he ate his chips one by one really quiet to let me sleep. But because of the fact that this was my first down time and things were setting in: I was missing my family SO much it hurt, I realized I wasn't on my way to anything anymore: I arrived and I was all alone. That took me by surprise, kicked in a whole new set of fears and anxieties and I couldn't sleep for a minute.

First day, I couldn't wait to do stuff!
And we did, there was a lot of training, meetings and more training, but first everything needed to be unpacked from pallets.
We started to build our base for conference on which we would build our battle plans, or so it felt.
A whole lot needed to be sorted and set up and me and the other Al D's helped out on given tasks and where we could generally help out.
It is great given the chance to build everything from the ground up, it really builds a deeper connection to the conference and all the people volunteering.
At the moment it was all new and overwhelming but now I can say, then it was actually pretty quiet.

The first day of conference was a different site: a TON of piercers, peers and people involved in the industry had arrived, registered for conference and were excited to see everything, learn, mingle and talk to each other.

The first meeting was the Mentor Program in the Bronze rooms and there it opened my eyes to how many people were there to begin with. I saw the rooms I've always seen on social media and pictures of conferences of years before, only now I was there, right in the middle.
But what I really liked is that everyone there was like minded, and they got people talking to each other, mingling, introducing each other and bonding, that was a cool experience.

I got appointed a mentor, but actually didn't need one because every single one of the volunteers and Al D's helped out SO much, it is beyond words.
I did not expect people to be so helpful, generous, social and generally nice.
Every one of the supers, mentors and volunteers took us Al D's under their wings and always took care of us, they were watching us and very righteous so.
It is very easy to loose your way when in Vegas and at conference, so many things are going on, so many people, so much information and so much to process. You tend to forget to eat, drink, sleep and enjoy your time. But the first three are important and NOT to be forgotten.

You're still in a desert so drinking 3 times as much as normal is a bare minimum.
You're at conference and busy as can be so eating can be forgotten but passing out is never a good option, same goes for sleeping, you're at conference and you might want to talk to everyone and be everywhere at the same time but sometimes choosing your physical and mental health and sleep is the best way to go. Personal care is key and people will remind you of that every day, always.

I've met a TON of people, piercers, suppliers, vendors and lots of connections were made.
Talking about vendors, don't get me started about the expo.
Doesn't sound very exciting does it? Some vendors, some jewellery, no big deal, right?

All the big names of the industry were well represented there, bringing tons of jewellery and showing of new designs, having bargains and actually standing there in person representing their brand.
It was way impressive seeing all of the suppliers we are carrying and are hoping to carry in the future, with literally tons of jewellery, my heart skipped so many beats, my wallet took a beating and I was drooling all over the place. Honestly, you can't put that experience to words, you have to actually be there and see it for yourself, it makes quite an impression.

What I also liked was not only the availability of classes about piercings, but about owning a studio, setting up a retirement plan, working with tattooers and all kinds of things I really did not think of.
Which makes it even clearer for me that the piercing industry in America is way more of a serious business than it is in the Netherlands. Which gave me all the right motivation to create that feeling here too.

The talks and round tables were awesome also, it was general discussion about certain topics related to the industry, so not just sitting and absorbing information but actually being a part of the discussion and having the possibility to have a say in that, which is great for anyone.

The ATTB's (alternative to the bar) were great also, gamenight, movienight and Brian's hourly long talks about statims. It gave a great alternative for people who didn't have the need to hang out at the bar, which serves way too overpriced drinks by the way.

Which brings me to the best bet in vegas: the APP raffle!
The best way to spend money, chances to win some great prizes and with that sponsoring the APP.
All and all, no one loses! And it actually works, because I was fortunate enough to win prizes twice, which is very helpful in me coming back next year.
The tickets to the biggest prizes are drawn at the banquet diner, which is an event on it's own.

The banquet diner, is the biggest and fanciest diner party and get together of piercers I have ever experienced.
People dress up fancy or in theme with the 90's and both were awesome to see, people really put in an effort.
There were great speeches with many thanks to everyone who put the conference together and this all under the curtain of 90's music, drinks and dance. All and all a time to have some proper food, unwind and relax.

I can honestly go on for ages, but I would like to conclude this with showing my gratitude to everyone for making this experience real for me.
I am humbled and honoured to not only visit conference but to actually have been a part of conference and have been made a member of the family, it is beyond words to describe how it feels, it is actually like finding a home after being lost for so many years.
I can encourage every piercer, from anywhere in the world, from apprentice to well experienced studio owner to at least visited APP conference for once in their lives, your career would not be complete without it.
It is an experience that will not only change your way of working, it will change your ways of seeing our entire industry and the awesome people who made up our industry and are still building it to this day.

It gave me so many new insights in new techniques, new ways of working, new designs of tools and jewellery, making new connections with peers and suppliers and discovering a new side of myself, being more in connection with the piercer self. It gave me heaps of motivation and a fresh look on things I would not have found anywhere else.

I was so scared from the first moment I decided to go for this, but I came out the end so much stronger it is hard to put in words.

“Nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy. Remember that.”

-Nicholas Sparks

Thank you for everyone who made this possible, the list is endless but I have to thank one person by name and it is a woman I will not soon forget about, she is the backbone of conference and the backbone of the entire volunteer family and so much more: mama duck: Caitlin.
We all love, cherish and respect you for the loads of work you did and still do to this day!
Thank you for your guidance!

I am proud to say that I am a duckling for life!


Text and photos: Cas Willems
-Published Tattoo Planet emagazine 125/se

maandag 31 juli 2017


This Juli I got an email that I was selected by Feedspot as one of the Top 75 Body piercing Blogs on the web.
Very honoured Iam :)
#11 !
Thank you Anuj and team Feedspot