In this day and age so many people have tattoos and piercings. I personally have eight of each and can’t wait to get more tattoos. It’s an art form and takes time and dedication to master. I decided to try a different studio to get my medusa pierced so I went to Tatu Society Hackney studio. The mood inside is so chill it literally just feels like friends chilling. Everyone was lovely and the talented Lucy was the one to do my piercing. I knew I liked Lucy from the time I entered the shop; her energy and aura blazes around her. She’s also very precise so you’ll be leaving with a beautiful piercing; she also tattoos there too. I caught up with Lucy below.
Name: Lucy Austin
Tell us a bit about yourself?
“I’m a bit of an odd bod I suppose, I’m a very old soul in a young body! My going out dancing like every weekend days are over and have been for some time haha; now I’m quite a simple being. I live to travel and create art (as cheesy as it sounds). I’m quite spiritual and love experiencing and learning about other cultures; especially Maori, African and anywhere Asian. Their artwork and histories of tattooing and body modification are so beautiful and really inspire me. I’m just focused now on creating as many opportunities to travel and improve my skills so I can keep doing what I love.”
Did you always know you wanted to be a piercer?
“Yes and no. I got my first tattoo at 15 and just fell in love with the whole industry, so I knew I wanted to work in a tattoo studio, I just didn’t know how I was gonna achieve it. I didn’t feel my artwork was good enough to straight up ask for an apprenticeship so I had to find another way in.”
How did you get into piercing and is there a lot of training involved?
“Yeah of course, well there should be, we are dealing with bodies so hygiene is obviously so important (plus the fact we’re handling needles). I can’t really remember when or how I decided I was going to learn to be a piercer, I just remember being on my way and thinking “Oh god, I can’t do this! I cant put a needle through someone’s tongue!” and the first one was such an odd experience but mostly because I was shocked how much I loved it haha. I was lucky enough to find a very experienced piercer, who sadly does not teach anymore, to teach me in his studio.”
How long have you been working at Tatu Society Hackney and what’s it like working there?
“I am pretty new to the Tatu Society family. I started working in their tower bridge studio in summer 2017 as a piercer and as an apprentice/junior artist as I had already completed a tattoo apprenticeship in a different studio. Eventually I like gravitated to the Hackney shop! I love it, I still work as a piercer in tower bridge two days a week but hackney is where I tattoo as a junior artist. The studios are beautiful, so inviting and light. Really different to other tattoo studios I’ve worked in. They are more of a creative space where all styles are welcomed and appreciated. The tattoo industry, the customers and tattoos themselves are changing and Tatu Society is leading the way with some amazing new artists.”
I’ve noticed a lot of piercers go on to tattoo as well, was this the case for you?
“Yes definitely, I still love and will always pierce but since I was a kid I’ve continually loved to draw and create. It doesn’t matter what it is if I can create something with my hands I’m there. Tattooing has always been a passion of mine and the ultimate dream job so of course when I was asked if I wanted to learn I leapt at the chance.
Have you had any bad piercing experiences?
“Not particularly, there was this one time I was doing an intimate piercing and the lady involved like clenched up after the needle had gone through and trapped my hand/wrist pressed against her vagina! Was slightly awkward, she couldn’t relax so I was there a while.”
What’s the most difficult piercing to do?
“Erm..I often find myself thanking the universe for my small hands because I don’t like to use many piercing tools and the inner ear ones can be a bit tricky.”
Do you have any tips for anyone starting out?
“To anyone wanting to learn to pierce please try and get an apprenticeship, I know there are lots of courses out there but I really don’t think they provide you with enough to go solo; same with tattooing. If you want to tattoo please don’t be afraid to ask and show your work off like I was, I’m still terrified to even upload photos of my work on to the internet but there’s so much good feedback out there to help you improve. Keep asking and also getting tattooed and pierced! You can learn so much from watching and making good relationships with your artists. Be confident.”
All artwork is by Lucy Austin.