Needle Talk - Paddy Kielty / BodyAlter Body Modification April 7, 2016 08:30
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.
We've a great list of piercers and body modification artists lined up in the next couple of months and 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 with the lovely Paddy Kielty, owner of Body Alter Body Modification. The studio was established in 2010 - in its present location and has gone from strength to strength every year. They specialise in Fine High Quality Body Piercing, Body Modfications and Tattoo and offer everything from ear lobe piercing to a full body modification service. Body Alter have two Body Piercers, two Tattooists, and a couple of apprentices.
The studio also prides themselves in being the official Industrial Strength body jewellery UK wholesale distributor. The studio has been featured on multiple TV programs in the UK, and they work to be an approachable face in the industry.
Outside of the industry, in the real world, Paddy is a family man. His lovely family which includes his wonderful supportive wife and two awesome kids seem to collect fluffy animals, which are usually found on his Instagram. Paddy is also a member of the National Chopper Club where he and the other members build custom motorcycles and raise money for local charities.
This is Paddy's interview, enjoy.
Emba Mods: Who are you?
Paddy: I am Paddy Kielty - or Patrick to my Mum.
Emba Mods: When did you get your first body mod and what was it?
Paddy: Ohhh, My first piercing was in the back of a jewellers! (I know!) I didn't know any better at the time. Body Modifications wise I started with my helix punches back in 2003/2004.
Emba Mods: What job title do you give yourself?
Paddy: I have quite a few I like to get stuck in with our team here. In the shop I am;
• A Body Piercer
• Part-Time paper shuffler
• Coffee maker
and boss when the bills need to be paid!
Emba Mods: How long have you been a modification artist/piercer?
Paddy: I started back in late 2002, and performed my first mod around 2006.
Emba Mods: What do you love the most about your job?
Paddy: 100% the people. I love working with people and seeing their smile when they are happy with the work we have created.
Emba Mods: What would you be if you weren't a piercer/modification artist?
Paddy: Well, I was lucky to get into this from the age of 18 or so, so I've never really thought of that! I romance about owning a custom motorcycle shop (I'm not mechanically minded!) but thats it really.
Emba Mods: Do you do your own body mods?
Paddy: I have in the past, however now I have more friends in the industry to do them for me. My last Mod was my hand subdermals, which Lee did who works alongside me.
Emba Mods: What is your favourite piercing/mod to do?
Paddy: This is so changeable, the people make the piercing.
Emba Mods: What is your least favourite piercing/mod to do?
Paddy: I sound totally liberal, but honestly none. I feel privileged to enjoy my career for the most part.
Emba Mods: Are there any body mods you want to do but haven't done yet?
Paddy: Luckily no. I have been lucky to get to do alot of body modding. I would love to do another permanent hand web, as I never got pics of the last one I did. Any takers? ;-)
Emba Mods: Do you prefer projects or individual piercings/mods?
Paddy: With years of doing this, I love it when people come in tentatively for their first piercing, then seeing them blossom like a flower into it.
Emba Mods: Whose work in the body modification industry inspires you?
Paddy: I get inspired by people wanting to better themselves, those under appreciated people who aren't internet famous, but work really hard for their careers and our Industry.
In the early days I followed the likes of Samppa (Von Cyborg) and Howie (Luna Cobra) closely, now I am happy to do my own thing. I was very sad when Shannon Larratt passed over. I believe without his documentation our industry (BME) wouldn't have been anywhere near where it is today.
Emba Mods: What has been your strangest request?
Paddy: Last year I kept getting people demand tattoo appointments with me - for the record - I DO NOT TATTTOO! A penectomy is quite high up there too!
Emba Mods: What is the most regular mod/piercing asked for?
Paddy: The infamous Daith! and Ear lobe reconstructions.
Emba Mods: What is the most uncommon mod/piercing asked for?
Paddy: After a couple of sets - Achilles piercings, and true sub clavicle piercings. I get ask once or twice a year but I turn them away now.
Emba Mods: Do you have any studio rituals?
Paddy: Yup - through the week 9.30 start, steriliser on - ready for the first piercing at 10.30 other than that - I am fuelled entirely by coffee and smiles!
Emba Mods: Do any body mods freak/creep you out?
Paddy: Crusty ones, if you're getting this stuff done, bloody clean it!!
Emba Mods: What are your thoughts on the CIEH (Chartered Institute for Environmental Health) tattoo & body piercing rating scheme?
Paddy: It's a brilliant idea for the public to see a standardised hygiene rating they can understand, the downside is of course it doesn't mark the merit or quality of the work. Our area is yet to implement it I certainly wish they would we would easily get 5*
Emba Mods: What irritates you about the industry?
Paddy: I wouldn't say irritates more baffles me - studio politics within the same regional area.
God! If worked at clarks the shoe shop, I wouldn't be on the internet slating schuh!
Emba Mods: Any news in the industry that excites you?
Paddy: 110% the formation of the UKAPP - it has brought together alot of piercers who share the same ethics. Those guys are doing great job so far.
We as a studio are fully behind them, and you (Emba Mods) as ISUK (Industrial Strength UK) are too!
Emba Mods: Do you have any advice for people wanting to get into the industry?
Paddy: Work hard, stay humble, don't believe your own hype, and remember we all sit down to poo!
Emba Mods: What are your industry predictions in the coming years?
Paddy: More high quality safe studios, more growth for the studios who are investing their time in the industry.
And possibly a piercing that cures common cold and flu ;-)
Emba Mods: Any advice for people thinking of getting body mods/piercings?
Paddy: Research your chosen artist carefully, ask them for their portfolio.
Don't be afraid to quiz them. Go visit their studios if you can.
Trust your vibe - if it feels good it probably is, if it doesn't it probably isn't.
For yourself - make sure your are in good health, don't rush into it, and try to assess the implications that a body mod could have on your life.
Emba Mods: Any final words?
Paddy: Always be the best you can be.