Needle Talk - Leah Stanmore / Nine Lives Tattoo Studio / Magnum Opus June 24, 2016 09:00

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.

This instalment of Needle Talk is a bit of a change from previous issues and shows a different aspect of the body modification industry. This months issue is with Leah Stanmore, Scarification Artist at Nine Lives Tattoo Studio and Magnum Opus in Brighton.

Leah has worked in various studios since the age of 17, and began piercing at around 18.
Originally from Devon where she worked at various studios learning how to do micro dermal surface anchors and working the front desks, Leah moved to Brighton 4 years ago with a desire to 'do more' and has been pushing her work ever since!

This is Leah's interview, enjoy.

Leah Portrait

Emba Mods: Who are you?
Leah: My name is Leah Stanmore

Emba Mods: Where do you work?
Leah: I currently Manage Nine Lives Tattoo Studio in Hove (aka Brighton) and will soon be working out of Magnum Opus Brighton as well

Emba Mods: When did you get your first body mod and what was it?
Leah: Like most young kids,  I think I got my ear lobes pierced when I was about 11 years old ?
I think I class my nose piercing as my first 'body modification' because I was about 14 years old and I kinda knew who I was a bit more by then. 
My Mum went mad and I used to wear this little ring in it and get put in detention for it at school.

Emba Mods: What job title do you give yourself?
Leah: I am a Scarification Artist.

Emba Mods: How long have you been a scarification artist?
Leah: I have been doing Scarification for a little longer then 2 years now.

Emba Mods: What do you love the most about your job?
Leah: I love the fact that people contact me because they like the style that I do and they come to me especially for it.

Emba Mods: What would you be if you weren't a scarification artist?
Leah: When I'm not doing Scarification I am a 'Manager and Body Piercer'. So I guess if I wasn't a Scarification Artist then I would just be doing that....Or a cleaner! I love to clean! LOL.

Emba Mods: Do you do your own body mods?
Leah: I have done 2 pieces of Scarification on myself and 2 ink rubbings. I did them mainly to test out different methods of aftercare.


Emba Mods: What is your favourite type of client?
Leah: My favourite type of client is someone that contacts me for something rad, understands all the information behind it, is happy for me and trusts me to go ahead with designing what I think will work best and then looks after it perfectly!!!! I bloody love that!

Emba Mods: Is there any scarification that you want to do but haven't done yet?
Leah: There are lots of designs that I have that people haven't snapped up yet which I would really like to do but I've been pretty lucky and have always got to do awesome pieces I'd also really like to do some collaboration work with another artist soon.

Emba Mods: Do you prefer doing big scarification projects or individual pieces?
Leah: I enjoy doing bigger more intricate pieces than I do small, mainly for my own selfish reasons because I enjoy getting stuck in.


Emba Mods: Whose work in the body modification industry inspires you?
Leah: When it comes to Scarification I think my biggest inspirations are: 
Brian Decker
Chase Campbell
Wayde Dunn
Yann Brenyak
Brenno Alberti

Emba Mods: What has been your strangest request?
Leah: Since doing Scarification I haven't actually had any strange requests.......yet Confused Emoji

Emba Mods: Is there any scarification request you wouldn’t do?
Leah: I have turned away some facial scars, mainly because I haven't really done anyones face yet but also I haven't been approached by anyone that I've felt was 100% serious about it.

Emba Mods: What is the most common place on the body you get asked to do scarification?
Leah: Legs seem to be my most popular area that I've done so far. I guess because it's easier to look after and clean?

Emba Mods: Do you have any studio rituals?
Leah: Coffee....mop, clean, coffee.....prep for the day.


Emba Mods: Do any body mods freak/creep you out?
Leah: I wouldn't say anything really freaks me out so much/ There's just certain things that I wouldn't personally get done myself. 
I used to want my tongue split and I have thought about suspension, just not sure I am able to relax enough for it.

Emba Mods: What are your thoughts on the CIEH (Chartered Institute for Environmental Health) tattoo & body piercing rating scheme?
Leah: Yeah I think it's good but to be honest I can't see how it'll stop the bad Tattooist's/Piercer's from doing crappy things to the public or messing pieces up.

Emba Mods: What irritates you about the industry?
Leah: The thing that irritates me the most about the industry is how people seem to think that just because they've been 'taught' or  have 'qualified' then it makes them a good artist. It's so far from the truth.

Emba Mods: Any news in the industry that excites you?
Leah: There is nothing that really springs to mind but it's constantly changing so hopefully something will excite me soon LOL.

Emba Mods: Do you have any advice for people wanting to get into the industry?
Leah: Yes!!! It's not as easy as you think! You have to work hard and take a load of crap before you can just jump aboard, it's not all glamorous. It's constant learning, always.

Emba Mods: What are your industry predictions in the coming years?
Leah: I have no idea, the industry is constantly changing and growing anyway, I guess it can only get better?


Emba Mods: Any advice for people thinking of getting body mods/piercings?
Leah: Just research your artist! Don't go by price, go check out their work, chat to them and make sure that their portfolio is strong and that it's actually their own work. Tattooing, piercing, scarification, it's all serious stuff and you need to know what you're doing. There are so many hackers nowadays, but it's up to the client to do the research, unfortunately some people out there just want to take your money and call themselves a 'body mod artist'.

Emba Mods: Where can people find you?

Emba Mods: Any final words?
Leah: Just a massive thank you for asking me to be a part of 'Needle Talk' and appreciating my work. I am so happy that people like my work and what I do
It means a lot x