zondag 6 maart 2016
Interview Lucas Verheijen
Name: Lucas Verheijen
Owner Pirate Piercing studio Antwerp and Turnhout (BE)
Can you describe yourself in one sentence?
A family man with a passion for body modification.
How long have you been a piercer?
I started experimenting when I was 15 years old.
First I pierced myself, then friends and eventually got hired in 2002-2003, based on myself placed piercings by leading Tattoo & Piercing shop Wildcat Belgium.
In 2006, my wife and I left Wildcat to pursue our own dream, launched our own shop and been the owners and managers at Pirate Piercing, Tattoo & Mods ever since. So, if you are counting from the first moment I played with a needle, 18 years. But on a professional basis 14 years.
Why this profession?
Because of several reasons actually. First of all, I live, eat, sleep, breath piercing! ☺I've dedicated every free moment to piercing from get go and been intrigued by every aspect around body modification and what you can do with your own body to change your appearance.
Another reason is the satisfaction you get from the smile on the customer's face, when he/she takes a look in the mirror. As piercer you let people feel good about themselves every day.
How or from who did you learn your skills?I am autodidact and learned most myself. But at Wildcat, I also had the chance to learn from great piercers as James Glover (the first officially registered piecer ever from the UK and now owner of Happy Sailor tattoo & Piercing) and Olivier Laizé (known for his Tribal Act shows, Empreinte Corpstech and body art) .
The first piercing you did was a?
The first piercing I ever did was my own belly button.
Who or what inspires you?
Everyone around me, one way or the other .
But body-modification related are/were James Glover (Happy Sailor Tattoo & Piercing), Olivier Laizé (Empreinte Body Art), Roland Zwicknapp & Ralf Feez (Visavajara Freiburg), Shannon Larratt (RIP) of BMEzine.com and the person who I met my wife through. We knew each other by the social network IAM, that was linked to BMEzine.com. The only non body modification related person is Steve Jobs.
Can you tell me something about your workplace/studio? Pirate Piercing started with one display case from Ikea with some jewelry and over the years has grown into a company with two locations, a huge range of quality jewelry, wholesale and where you can get custom made jewelry done in different materials. You can also contact us for piercing, tattoo, laser tattoo removal and body-modification.
Which piercing do you prefer to do?
I really like to do every piercing, but the daith piercing is one of my favorites.
The great thing about this piercing is difficulty level. You need to bend your needle several times and really need some skills in order to preform this into a successful piercing. Love it!
What’s the best piece of advice you ever got when you started out and you think it would help other starters in this industry?
I'll mention just one. To be a good piercer, you'll need several years of hard work, listen to your teacher, follow every procedure your teacher does, show respect to the people and you want to spend every spare moment to piercing related things and have interest in jewelry.
Do you have a nice or weird experience as a piercer you want to share with us?Funny things happen on a regular basis, but we have to maintain our professionalism. But a fun experience that I would like to share, is of a Russian family who moved to Belgium years ago.
I pierced their first daughter when she was six years old. We do pierce children who can understand what's going to happen, when we explain things to them in a fun way. That Russian girl was really tuff, not a single peep came out of her.
Six years later I got a call of the father, asking if I wanted to pierce his second daughter, who also turned six and wanted earrings. She was also tuff as nails, and his first daughter, now twelve years old, was still very satisfied with her pierced ears.
Does your work involve more then just piercing?
Haha, good question! Yes, my work involves more than piercing. It's helping customers, solve problems, inventory management and keeping our webshops up to date, keeping the work areas clean and sterilizing the piercing tools, place orders, keeping up to date with the latest jewelry, create our own jewelry, accounting, body modifications and a hundred other things I not mention ☺
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully the same, more or less as I just love what I do! Maybe a little better organized would be nice, so I can spend some more time with my family. But we are working on that.
Do you have a tip or do you want to add something to this interview?
Piercing is something beautiful and should always be a positive experience. Always inform yourself and choose someone who gives you quality piercings and you feel most comfortable with.
-Answers and Photos: Lucas Verheijen
-Published Tattoo Planet E Magazine 107/March 2016