Body artists decorate or modify the bodies of their customers using techniques such as tattooing and piercing. While some body artists perform a combination of these techniques, it is not uncommon for a body artist to specialise in one area, such as tattooing or piercing.
To become a body artist, extensive on-the-job training is usually required. Before a reputable studio will consider you for training, you will need to display a high level of motivation and dedication, as competition for such positions can be extremely strong. In order to be considered for training as a tattooist, you will also be required to possess a high level of drawing skill and be able to produce a portfolio of your designs. The length of training can vary considerably and may range from eight to 12 months for a body piercer and up to five years for a tattooist. You will be required to observe all procedures before attempting them and will then be closely supervised the first time you attempt a new procedure. Typically, you will not be paid during this period of observation and training. During this training period, you will learn about sterilisation, cross-contamination and other health and safety issues. You may also learn about different piercing and tattooing techniques, equipment maintenance and repair, jewellery quality and selection, customer service and anatomy.
Body artists may perform the following tasks:
Body artists work indoors and may be required to work evenings and weekends.
Despite the growing popularity of body modification, body artistry is a highly competitive field. The majority of body artists work on a subcontractor basis and are paid for the work they do rather than a fixed salary. Job prospects may depend largely on an individualâ€™s reputation and self-promotion skills. As it is difficult to predict customer demand for body art, a body artistâ€™s income can be unpredictable.