Needle Talk - David Osborne / Electric Buddha Tattoo April 17, 2017 12:47

Welcome to Needle Talk our monthly blog series that tells you everything you need to know about yours, and our, favourite piercers and body modification artists.

Ever wondered what your piercers first body mod was? Or what their strangest request has been? This is your time to find out. This series will be a monthly dose of all things modified and a chance to get to know the people behind the needle.

If you would like to see your piercer or body mod artist featured then get it touch, we'd love to hear from you.

It’s been some time since our last instalment of Needle Talk but we have a great interview this month with David Osborne, from the awesome Electric Buddha Tattoo Studio in Ramsgate, Kent. The studio is owned by the talented Dan Stone. Electric Buddha has been in operation for around 14 years in which time has held many charity events, most recently for the mental health charity MIND.


David is a UKAPP member, his partner @Vanachanelle is a tattoo artist so much of their time is dedicated to the body modification industry. However, outside of the industry David has many varied interests such as gardening, meditation and has even climbed Mt. Snowdon. David also has a great passion for music and is the vocalist for UK Tech-Metal band Foreboding Ether

We hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did. Here is David's interview, enjoy.

Dave Portrait

Emba Mods: Who are you?
David: Hello, thank you for having me :) My name is David, I am a professional body piercer.

Emba Mods: Where do you work?
David: I can be located in the garden of England at Electric Buddha Tattoo, Ramsgate, Kent, UK.

Emba Mods: When did you get your first body mod and what was it?
David: I was about 11 years old. I had my ear lobe pierced at a hair salon, and the whole process seemed really wrong and impersonal to me. I didn't know any better, but worked out pretty quickly that I definitely shouldn't go to a butchers for my veg. It wasn't until a couple years later when I had my nipple pierced in a studio that I discovered the true nature and sacred magic of body piercing.

Emba Mods: What job title do you give yourself?
David: Professional body piercer.

Emba Mods: How long have you been a Body Piercer?
David: I began my journey in 2003/4

Emba Mods: What do you love the most about your job?
David: I help make people's vision of themselves become a reality, and it's a beautiful thing. People from all walks of life, and for so many different reasons, choose to be pierced; aesthetic, culture, religion, just to explore some unknown territory and understand themselves better, to name a few. Some clients are maybe a little self conscious about aspects of there body, and if we can work with them to spin that around into a positive, and they leave empowered and owning there body, it's a very special feeling. I'm stoked to be a part of peoples journey. Also Geeking out over jewellery and techniques haha.

Emba Mods: What would you be if you weren't a Body Piercer?
David: This is a difficult one. I've wanted to be a body piercer for as long as I can remember. But if I left the industry tomorrow, I'd pursue opening a vegan café.

Emba Mods: Do you do your own body mods?
David: I have performed some of my own piercings, yes, but not all. I used to enjoy piercing myself and pushing some mental boundaries. I still do, but now I'd much rather have someone do it for me. All are fond memories.


Emba Mods: What is your favourite piercing to do?
David: I have a particular soft spot for septum and daith piercings :).

Emba Mods: What is your least favourite piercing to do?
David: I don't really have a least favourite. There are a few that I don't enjoy aesthetically but that's subjective. Anything not suited to my skill set I would send to someone best for the job.

Emba Mods: Are there any body mods you want to do but haven't done yet?
David: The ones I am yet to do for clients on my journey :) Unique ear anatomy can be very fun. There is not much I haven't pierced, and those I haven't are generally bad ideas anyway.

Emba Mods: Do you prefer projects or individual piercings/mods?
David: I love them all. It is fun watching a project come together, but a single correctly placed piercing with the right jewellery can have just as much impact :).


Emba Mods: Whose work in the body modification industry inspires you?
David: So many of my peers inspire me, so so many, I'll try and keep this short; 

Jim Ward - had he not opened the first body piercing studio, we all may not be doing this.
Brian Skellie - a plethora of information, and always gives his time to help anyone in need.
Shannon Larratt - for giving us a voice.
Jon Cobb - was probably the first body piercer that opened my eyes.
Ron Garza - O.G. the most genuine.
Luis Garcia - always eyes outside the box.
Quentin Inglis - keeps me grounded when I can't see straight.
Chase Campbell - To live your dream, and to go do it, NOW!
Nicole & Roy Fowler - both so clean! Everything these guys do is just meant to be there.
Ash Voyle, Jake Thomas, Dan Biddle & Ciaron Steer All have played a part in me being the body piercer I am today

If you are striving to go above and beyond, you are an inspiration to us all.

Emba Mods: What has been your strangest request?
David: This will always be, to pierce an infant/very young child. Honestly, this is a regular occurrence. I personally feel you should not pierce someone who cannot give consent for themselves. Would you like to be pierced without given consent?.

Emba Mods: What is the most regular piercing you get asked for?
David: This is always largely dictated by what is currently trending, but helix, tragus and nostril piercings have always been very consistent throughout my career.

Emba Mods: What is the most un-common piercing you get asked for?
David: I have never been asked to pierce a septril so I guess I'm gonna roll with that :).

Emba Mods: Do you have any studio rituals?
David: Aside from piercing, very standard routine for me, coffee, clean, pierce, admin.


Emba Mods: Do any body mods freak/creep you out?
David: By no means do they creep me out at all, but eye tattoos, honestly I love love love the aesthetic, so much! But I can't even give myself eyedrops or wear contacts. I guess this is where my personal line is drawn, for now.

Emba Mods: What are your thoughts on the CIEH (Chartered Institute for Environmental Health) tattoo & body piercing rating scheme?
David: I think its a great idea, it's awesome to display that you are meeting minimum standards and creating clean environments to perform under, but, as with any hygiene rating scheme it does not necessarily reflect the quality of the work produced. Just because that restaurant has 5* does not mean the food is good.

Emba Mods: What irritates you about the industry?
David: Not the industry per say, but the over saturation of poor quality, and the demand for it.

Emba Mods: Any news in the industry that excites you?
David: The recent growth of the UKAPP (United Kingdom association of professional piercers) and the annual seminars. It's awesome to see a community coming together to promote and educate in safe piercing to both industry and public. And of course, the endless new creations by jewellery makers.

Emba Mods: Do you have any advice for people wanting to get into the industry?
David: Honestly, if you really want it, you will get it. Be passionate, love it and embody it, and soon enough you will be in the right place at the right time. An apprenticeship is 100% the only recommended way to learn, courses/classes can be a great learning tool, but shouldn't be considered an appropriate stand alone achievement to justify working on people (imagine if your dentist had just 1-7 days of training?!). Network. Be a friendly face. Don't be a dick.

Emba Mods: What are your industry predictions in the coming years?
David: Honestly, I have no idea. It continues to evolve in a beautiful way, I enjoy watching it.


Emba Mods: Any advice for people thinking of getting body mods/piercings?
David: Research your artist. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Always check portfolios, and of healed work too.  Think about your lifestyle and evaluate if they are going to work WITH you, not against you. Respect your body, this stuff is going inside you.

Emba Mods: Where can people find you?

Emba Mods: Any final words?
David: If you can think it, you can do it, now go and achieve great things.