by Ryan Meehan
English born and raised, Chris Saint restarted his piercing career by relocating to Los Angeles in 2007. Working in the heart of Hollywood, Chris focused himself on precision, creativity and presentation, and before long had succeeded in building a solid reputation within the piercing community. To date Chris’ work, including his surface anchor arrangements, can be seen in publications worldwide, on television networks including MTV, FUSE, OXYGEN, E!, and in music videos by artists such as From First Till Last, Angels& Airwaves, and Marilyn Manson. We are carefully biting down on a towel, as Chris Saint is our guest today in 10 questions.
RM: How old were you when you got your first tattoo; and what intrigued you about the world of body art?
CS: Believe it or not I was 18, which is of actual legal age in England. The permanence of a Tattoo, I think, intrigued me. The idea you could make a frivolous decision in a heartbeat and that it would still be there 30, 40 years later I think awoke the devil in me. We all know our decisions have long lasting effects, every decision, but it’s another thing to have one plastered on you like a sticker. That notion of being able to change my body changed me I think.
RM: What’s the most common non-traditional piercing that customers in the Los Angeles area request?
CS: It’s gotta be the Microdermal Anchors. That style of piercing has really opened people’s minds to new possibilities and ideas, I think people get excited as to the options of jewelry and where to put them.
RM: For those who might not be familiar with the process, what is “scarification” and what does that process involve? What are some of the more recurrent reasons people choose scarification over a tattoo?
CS: Scarification is “skin cutting” with a scalpel in a cosmetic way to produce a scar in a desired shape. Depending on the client’s skin type the scar can heal clear, white, pink, red, raised or sunken. There are so many reasons that certain people choose Scarification over a Tattoo. Some choose it because of the supposedly more extreme process and “extreme modification” stigma that is attached to the procedure and others simply choose it because of the more delicate aesthetic results. Usually a Scarification client is a lot more certain and picky about their chosen design for some reason, I can tell you that much.
RM: Who are some of the celebrities that you have had the pleasure of working with? Which of those celebrities have been the most loyal to you; and why do you think you’ve developed that healthy of a working relationship with them?
CS: I’ve worked with a few celebrities over the years, I’ve been involved with music videos with artists such as Angeles & Airwaves, Paramore & Marilyn Manson but because of the nature of the projects the level of contact is always brief. By far the most positive and welcome interactions I’ve had with any celebrity always revolve around conversations with Mrs. Crystal Hefner. Her positivity, kindness and willingness to help in any situation are rare qualities, especially here in LA and I hope everyone can encounter someone with such a refreshingly open soul. She’s has and continues to be extremely kind to me and I’m extremely thankful for that.
RM: How exactly does a surface anchor work? What seems to be the biggest concern that potential customers have with regards to that type of piercing?
CS: A surface anchor works by inserting a small internally threaded plate under the skin to which a ball or gem is screwed leaving a single point on top of the skin. By far the biggest concern of any client is “how long will it last” which is an extremely difficult question to answer given the amount of factors that can affect how long the thing will stay in the body.
The best advice I can give to people is, “treat it like a tooth or eyeball”. Yes it’s a part of your body and it does have some permanence but it’s not indestructible and if you pull on it hard enough or rip it hard enough yes it can come out.
RM: What is the most painful body piercing an individual can get? Is the answer to that question different for one gender as opposed to the other?
CS: There are some piercings that are more painful than others of course (nipples are more painful than ear loves etc) but the level of pain each person experiences from a piercing is a very personal thing and can vary wildly from person to person. Like I said I can tell you that certain piercings hurt more, generally, than others, but some people who get pierced tell me their surface anchor hurt less than their lip piercing which is completely against dominant ideologies behind pain levels for those procedures…
RM: I saw that 26 point back corset you did on Oxygen’s “Tattoos After Dark”…How does one wash the area that sits behind the straps? Is that sort of just a temporary thing for events and such?
CS: Those particular type of piercings are only left in for a few days, usually while the model attends an event or photo shoot, then a few days later they come back to have them taken out. It’s a very temporary thing.
RM: What are your three most important rules you have for hygiene when it comes to the customer maintaining their piercings?
CS: Don’t touch it, clean it with a salt water solution (preferably something like the products available at seasaltsoak.com) and stay out of the pool/ocean/river
RM: What will the future of body art look like fifty years from now? Is there any kind of a “Beta testing” pool for such ideas, or does it pretty much start with a single person’s experimentation and then catches on based on trends within the industry?
CS: Progress usually starts with individuals pioneering certain procedures and then others taking what they’re done and perfecting it. It’s “open source” if you will but piercers egos are getting in the way at the moment. I think the best possible future for the piercing industry will come from a ego-less, open minded, open dialogue between professionals. A process that does away with elitist attitudes/stubbornness and relies more heavily on a fresh scientific approach to new procedures. And hopefully I’ll have made some kind of footprint from being the first Body Piercer to appear on a TV show.
RM: What’s up next for you in the remainder of 2014 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
CS: Not much I can tell you about right now due to stuffy boring contracts. I am taking piercing to a much more mainstream place I can tell you that and later on this month I’ll be appearing as a guest speaker at UC Riverside in CA. In 2014/15 you’re going to see a lot more of me I can tell you that, there’s a lot going on and I really do feel there’s a world of opportunity to conquer!
Official Website: http://csbodypiercing.com/
Chris on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chrissaintpiercer
Chris on Twitter: https://twitter.com/saintpiercing
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