our everyday life

Body Art Jobs

by Jennifer Burton

Most people don't consider jobs that involve body art as mainstream career opportunities. These jobs do exist, however, and can be quite lucrative. Body art jobs include tattoo artists, body piercing artists, makeup artists and costume designers. These jobs differ in the methods utilized to perform the duties of each specific role, but the industry for each is classified under the category of body art.

Tattoos as Body Art

According to a recent poll by Harris Interactive, 21 percent of adults in the US have at least one tattoo. Tattoo artists meet this growing need. They train under an experienced artist for a period determined by the artist. In this tattoo apprenticeship, the budding artist learns how to use and sterilize tattoo equipment and operate the tattoo machine itself. Artistic abilities are a requirement for any successful tattoo artist.

Body Piercing Specialists

Some may view body piercing as an alternative lifestyle choice, but in 21st-century America, many teenagers and young adults have considered piercing an area of their bodies other than their earlobes. According to a 2004 survey, 24 percent of 18 to 50 year olds said they had a tattoo and 14 percent reported a body piercing not on the earlobe, the American Academy of Dermatology reports. The Association of Professional Piercers promotes safe piercing techniques and provides a community for professionals in this field.

Makeup Artists

Hollywood has spread to places all over the U.S. in recent years as the movie industry looks to other locations to make movies and TV shows at lower cost. Makeup artists hired by the studio or by celebrities also belong to the body art industry. Many people may not think of a career as a makeup artist as being a body art job, but makeup artists are doing body art because they use cosmetics to decorate the human face. Makeup artists also work at department stores, beauty salons and retailers to provide makeup sessions for customers.

Costume Designers on Set

Costume designers belong to another group in the body art industry. In this unconventional job, they adorn the body with clothing, props, makeup and accessories in order to allow actors to take on different roles. Opportunities exist for artistic people who want to follow their dreams in a field that allows for creative expression in a variety of different ways.

About the Author

Jennifer Burton is a human resources professional based in California. She holds an M.A. in American studies from California State University, Fullerton.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images