My names Jesye Rosychuk and I’m a 19-year-old body piercing apprentice. I’ve been doing this for a little over a year now and I love it! It is the thing I’m most passionate about and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. I’m from red deer in Alberta, Canada. It is kind of a small town there isn’t much for body modification here! I work at dark day studios as a piercing apprentice.
I’ve been getting tattooed for about 2 years now and I’ve built up a nice collection; from my hobbit half sleeve to my finger tattoos! I have a few piercing and stretched ears at 7/8″. I’m also going for my master in cultural anthropology and psychology to do humanitarian work. I really love doing body piercing because I love how I can change how I want to look to feel more beautiful and I love that I can do that for other and open their eyes to this amazing beautiful industry.
When and how did you get your first piercing or tattoo?
I always knew I wasn’ going to have a normal 9-5 job and I always joked when I was younger that one day I would work at a tattoo shop. Little did I know that it was actually going to happen. I have always been in love with body modification ever since I was young I would tell my mom and my dad that I was going to be covered in tattoos and I would always draw on myself. I begged them to get my ears pierced and finally when I was 6 they took me to get them done. When I was 16, I got my first official piercing you could say which was my philtrum (Medusa piercing) which I still have today. It is by far my favorite piercing I have ever had. I wasn’t allowed to get another piercing or tattoo until I was 18 and out of my parent’s house. I grew up in a pretty religious family so being modified really wasn’t common. One day I decided though that I wanted to get a piercing so my twin sister and I went over to the town over, found a piercer that would pierce me and then sent my parents a picture. They were really mad but nothing was stopping me now and thus my addiction began. I got my first tattoo about a year later and it was an Awen that I had found in a book I was reading and it honestly just means inspiration once you translate it from Welsh. I still love it today, after all, it was my first tattoo.
How do you get a piercing apprenticeship?
I grew up in a really small town (Blue Ridge), it’s mostly oil field workers and farmers, so nobody was really modified but I would always search up pictures of piercing and tattoos and I saw people with beautiful pieces of work and stretched ears and I was just in awe. I knew that the body I was given was just too boring for me, and I knew that I wanted to grow up and look like the people I saw. Now thinking back to those days, I am so thankful that I followed my dreams and by some miracle, my mentor took a chance on a kid like me.
I started my apprenticeship on November 28, 2014 (I remember because of how nervous I was). I knew the tattoo artist at our shop previous to that from mutual friends and he had told me that they were looking for a piercing apprentice. I remember I woke up at 7 am that day because I was so pumped on hopefully landing this piercing apprenticeship. The tattoo artist at our shop had picked me up at about 9 am and as soon as I got there I started cleaning the shop and taking the garbage out until the owner (my mentor) got there. Once he finally arrived we went to the backroom and did an interview, I was so nervous! He said that we were going to do a test run and see how I worked out. I knew that I wasn’t going to give him the option of saying no to me. I kept going back every day starting at 9 am staying till 7-8 pm every day and working my ass off. Nothing was going to get in my way!
I know speaking from other piercers that how I got my apprenticeship was a lot easier than most. I was lucky that way that everything kind of just fell into place and I totally believe that it was meant to be. Just by messaging my friend and now tattoo artist at the shop out of the blue I landed the best thing that has possibly ever happened to me.
What was the biggest challenge so far in your apprenticeship?
I honestly feel the hardest part about my apprenticeship was overcoming my anxiety and having more confidence in myself. I didn’t have the easiest life growing up I didn’t have anyone to fall back on if I failed. In this industry, you are constantly around people and you pick up on their energies. I was 17 when I started my apprenticeship and I could barely talk to people. I was so shy and I didn’t think I was good enough for almost anything really, but I knew I wanted this. I have my mentor to thank for getting rid of my anxiety. He really didn’t give me much of a choice. He would make me do aftercare talks even if I was shaking and stuttering like crazy. He made me push myself every single day to be better. He pushed me to be more confident he knew what I was capable of anything. He knew that there was this girl in me just waiting to come out and I am so glad he did that. It sucked at the time, it really did, but I wouldn’t have wanted to have it any other way.
How do you become a body piercer?
It’s really hard to say how exactly you become a body piercer because every shop and every mentor is different. All I can really say is that it helps if you know people in the industry first handed and you can go in and ask for a piercing apprenticeship. Sometimes you don’t let them say no to you and you go back every single day. You work your ass off, keep pushing and then maybe a couple of months later you will hear your mentor call you his apprentice. It takes a lot of dedication and sacrifice and not everybody is cut out for it. I am so thankful for the guys I have at my shop as they were there for me and they have become like family to me. They saw something in me that others didn’t and I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have the boys. It’s just myself (Jesye) my mentor and body piercer (Barry Hannah) and tattoo artist (William Ray) at Dark Day Studios. Barry, my mentor, has been piercing for about 18 years (almost the amount of time I have been alive). He is honestly one of the most badass piercers I have ever seen and I’m very very lucky to be working under him. He pushes us constantly every day to be better and do better in business and in life. He is so dedicated to this industry it amazes me how passionate he is. Our tattoo artist has been tattooing for the last 5 years and he is honestly one of the sweetest funniest guys I have ever met. He is an amazing tattoo artist and he has done the majority of my tattoo work! Our style and energy just go so well together. He is constantly giving me pointers and helping me through my apprenticeship. He has helped me a lot in that way. There were sometimes where I wasn’t sure if I could do this and he always told me you know it sucks now and you will be tired mentally and physically but in the end, it’s worth it. We get to be in an industry that not very many people do. We get to help change people’s perception of themselves and that is rewarding enough on its own.
Is your dream to own your own shop one day?
One day it would be really cool to open up my own shop but for now and the near future I am really content where I am at! There is A LOT of work to have your own shop and it is never easy getting started! It could be a possibility and I have thought about it. I guess I will just see where the future takes me and if it happens it happens but that won’t be for years. I love Dark Day Studios too much to be anywhere else right now.
What is your goal for 2016?
My goal for 2016 is to finish my apprenticeship and just to keep learning. There is so much to learn and so many people to learn from! The only thing I want this year is to finish and to show my mentor that I’ll be that badass piercer he says will be. It will be a great accomplishment for me to show how hard I have worked and the things I have given up to do so. Also to prove myself that no matter what circumstances you are given in life, you can always change them it’s just up to you if you want to be successful and you can’t let anything get in your way!
Jesye Piercings and Tattoos
Rise Against Tattoo
I have been involved with the band rise against for year and years. They were my escape and still are. I have seen them live 4 times they are still my favorite band to this day. The lyrics are from their song: ‘the good left undone’ and it is one of my favorites. I got this tattoo just to remember that the feeling of being at home doesn’t have to just be you being at home it is for anyone or any place. That makes you feel like this is exactly where you are supposed to be. It’s for those nights hanging out with friends or sitting on a beach looking at the night sky any feeling.
Lord of the Rings Hobbit House Tattoo
I have been obsessed with Lord of the Rings since I was little and the movie came out. It was my go-to when I was sad, when I had a rough day or when I needed to smile. I watched the movie almost every week and I have two sets of books because my first one got ruined from reading it so much! I love fantasy and elves and I love the adventure. It is by far my favorite story and I’m going for a full-on fantasy. I told everybody since I was like 8 or 9 that I was going to have a lord of the rings sleeve.
Flying Books Tattoo
These babies were inspired by the page master. It’s just for my love of books. I always have an atlas book with me at all time. Ever since I was young I have been a huge book worm!
‘Never Give Up, Never Give In’ Tattoo Quote
This tattoo quote is just a friendly reminder for this time you guys put your head in your hands that you can never give in and never give up. Things don’t happen to people who quit. You have to keep on going and always get up!
They Were Wrong Tattoo Quote
I got the idea from a poem called: ‘to this day’ by Shane Koyczan. One of my favorite poems! It’s all about whatever name any bully person called you if they said you couldn’t do something. Well, ‘they were wrong’. I literally hear the poem that day and got this tattoo 20 mins later. I put it on my wrist so I can see it every day. I got picked on a lot growing up so this is a nice reminder that they all were wrong!
Four Elements Spine Tattoo
I found this in one of my hieroglyphic books and I loved it. I am a very spiritual person and I always have been connected with mother earth. This was by far the most painful tattoo I have.
Stretched ears 7/8″.
Probably my favorite! I have a twin sister so on our birthday we decided to get this done on our ribs because we are cheesy like that haha.
Thank you Jesye for your insights in what it means to be a piercing apprentice and become a piercer! If you want to see more of Jesye and her piercing apprenticeship, make sure to follow her on Instagram or Facebook!
Hello! My name is Emily and I obsessed with piercings (and tattoos) since I was a little girl of 6 years old. I was fortunate enough to make my passion my work after meeting my amazing husband Jeffrey who owned his own tattoo shop. I just recently finished my internships at some of America’s most famous piercing shops and a dream to start something together was born. After falling in love with each other (and each other’s piercings and tattoos) we decided to expand his tattoo shop and I got to manage my own piercing shop in the same space! I’ve never been so happy being able to share my love for piercings through my shop and this blog I started back in 2013. We love to share models and inspiration, so feel free to email me your suggestions, pictures or if you just want to say hi!