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What is a Body Artist?

Nicole Madison
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A body artist is a person who decorates the human body using a number of different methods. Body artists may create tattoos, body piercings, branded art, painted designs or permanent makeup. A body artist may even perform body shaping. Some body artists specialize in creating a single type of body art, while others provide a wider variety of services.

Often, a person becomes a body artist because he has natural artistic talent and an interest in one or more types of body art. Some body artists may be self-trained, but many seek training through art classes or one-on-one training with experienced artists. Besides having natural talent, a body artist must have steady hands and the ability to visualize the result his client wants.

One of the most common type of body artist is a person who creates tattoos. This involves permanently marking the body with ink. Permanent makeup artists mark the body permanently as well. Regular tattooing is typically used to create designs or artwork on the body, however, while permanent makeup tattoos the body with accents of color on the lips, eyelids, and eyebrows. The word permanent is a bit misleading, as permanent body makeup typically lasts for several years, not indefinitely. On the other hand, tattoos may fade, but they tend to be far more permanent than permanent makeup.

Some body artists specialize in body piercing, which involves using a sharp tool to pierce a part of the body, so a client can wear jewelry there. Most people get pierced through their earlobes or ear cartilage, but others opt for piercings in their lips, tongues, and belly buttons. Some people even get pierced in their nipples and genital area.

There are some body artists who create brands by using a hot iron to sear a pattern or shape into the skin. Some body artists focus on scarification by using a sharpened instrument to cut the skin and produce a raised scar in a particular design. Scarification aims to produce keloids, which are very thick, raised scars. They may be easier to produce in individuals who have darker skin tones. Less frequently, chemicals may be used to produce scarring.

A body artist may also help a client with body shaping, which may involve the use of corsets and other devices to make the body fit a desired form. Some artists insert objects, such as marbles, under the skin to achieve a desired look. In some cases, metal spikes are even driven into a client’s skull. Body artists may also pierce the skin and insert hooks, which makes it possible for clients to hang or be suspended from the hooks.

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Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a Practical Adult Insights writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By Ana1234 — On Jul 12, 2014

@Fa5t3r - I don't know if I could ever bear to be a body artist though. I mean, I have a couple of tattoos as well, and it took me years to decide what to get and where to get it and who to get it with. I knew they would last as long as I will and I didn't want to regret them at any point.

It's tough enough doing it to yourself, but if your job was to put ink onto other people, that would be very scary. You wouldn't be able to make a mistake, or that person would pay for it for the rest of their lives. Even if you just didn't like the way a picture came out, it's not like you can just try again.

Tattoo artist qualifications couldn't be stringent enough for me to want to be one. I just wouldn't trust myself to do a good job for every single person who walked in my door.

By Fa5t3r — On Jul 11, 2014

@clintflint - I like the idea of temporary tattoos all right, but they don't really replace real tattoos. There's just something about marking your body permanently that adds to its value.

A temporary tattoo doesn't really seem like body art to me, any more than clothes are body art.

I don't have many modifications myself, aside from a couple of piercings and a single tattoo, but I love the look of body art.

By clintflint — On Jul 11, 2014

If you are interested in body art but don't want to do anything permanent, I would take a look at temporary tattoos online. I always thought they were just for kids, but there are some amazing artists out there who are making their art available as temporary tattoos.

I particularly like the ones I've seen that are meant to go around the eyes and look like lace or very elaborate lashes. But there are all kind of modern art and traditional tattoos available.

The best thing is they are really inexpensive, considering how beautiful they tend to be.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a Practical Adult Insights writer, where she focuses on topics...
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