The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


Tattoo training

Junior learns to tattoo and pierce as form of self-expression and self-comfort
Photo contributed
Junior Moth Smith uses tattooing and piercings to make others and herself more comfortable in their own skin. Smith began this hobby in 2021.

The walls are covered in various peoples’ art. Speakers are playing energetic, upbeat music. The therapeutic buzz of tattoo guns fills the air along with a feeling of safety.  All the while, junior Moth Smith is in the back getting a new tattoo and studying the technique of the professional.

“I’m learning how to perform tattoos to help people feel more comfortable in their own skin because I know what it’s like to be uncomfortable in your skin, and because it’s fun,” Smith said. “I like that it’s a way to make people feel better about themselves; it can be a big confidence booster.” 

For some people, tattoos can help them feel better about themselves and can even instill confidence. However, getting tattoos isn’t the best choice for everyone and can possibly be harmful.

“If it’s a well thought out tattoo, it can have a very positive effect because it’s something that will stay with someone for the rest of their life, but if it’s something they did just randomly, it could possibly have a negative effect or cause trauma.” 

Tattoos not only can have a positive effect on the person getting one, but they can also help the artist.

“Learning how to perform tattoos gave me something to focus on when I was in a really bad place,” Smith said. “I wanted people to feel better in their skin; I didn’t want them to feel like me. I wanted them to feel comfortable in their own body.”

The process to learn to perform body modifications like tattoos and piercing can be a lengthy, pricey and difficult process.

“It takes a lot of dedication as well as a lot of time,” Smith said. “To actually be in a shop, you have to apprentice under someone for over a year as well as get certified by the state to practice body modifications on people. If someone has patience, then it can be a great hobby or job.” 

For some people who are learning, the hardest part can be practicing. It takes many hours and can be very mentally and physically tasking

“Some artists like to practice on pig skin because you can buy it from butchers. It’s expensive, and in my opinion, gross,” Smith said. “Some artists prefer orange peels, some prefer fake skin, some prefer to practice with a special tattoo gun that uses a ballpoint pen instead of needles, and some artists prefer to practice on themselves. It really just depends on the artist. I mostly practice on myself.” 

While the learning curve is steep, learning to perform body modifications doesn’t have to be someone’s only focus.

“My main focus is cosmetology. I want to help people with their hair and stuff,” Smith said. “Tattooing is more of a hobby for me.”

Smith has made a lot of progress since she started in 2021 and has helped not only others feel better but herself as well.

“Tattooing makes me feel like I’m making a difference in the world,” Smith said.


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