Tagged: Body Modification

Jak Nola

By combining sacred geometry, erotica, and ethereal psychedelic visions, artist Jak Nola reveals a world as unique and capturing as her own appearance portrays. Swathed in layers of tattoo, her tongue bifurcation, tattooed eyes, and scarification render her own body an art work in progress.

While visiting Australia, she catches up with Fareed to talk about her art, tattoos, and how to go about attaining a free mind.

*this article contains a graphic image of a tongue bifurcation.

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Hey, Jak. So, tell us about your life in New Zealand.

I was born in Napier, but I’ve lived all over the south and north island.  Out of all the countries I’ve travelled to, New Zealand is by far the most beautiful; the lands here are powerful.

I’m a vegan that’s been creating art since I can remember. I have played guitar for about 16 years, so music is a huge part of my life. I only play for enjoyment though. I love building things, such as tables out of drift wood, anything out of old instruments, usually guitars. And I’ve also found a passion for creating jewellery.

So, my life is generally me doing all the above while traveling. I can never keep still, I love exploring new environments as much as I can, because I’ve found that new information stimulates my creative ideas profoundly.

What is the motivation behind your body modifications?

The motivation behind my body modifications… the human body in my eyes, in a sense, is a walking canvas, so I’d feel a fool to live this life without expressing my own in a way I find visually appealing.

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Because of your striking tattoos you’re subject to a lot of positive and negative appraisal through social media. What is that like?

It appears people who tend to write negative comments, are either just bored, dealing with their own issues, or heavily indoctrinated…it’s easy to attack people behind a screen, but most wouldn’t do it in person… so I don’t take any of it personally. As for the positive comments, I appreciate them immensely and take them gladly to heart.

Okay, so, let’s break this down, can we can safely say you’re currently in a third permutation of a body suit?

Yup roughly third one, some areas less, some more. I started with traditional Celtic/tribal, all except one a design of my own, all terrible though! But that’s all part of it, I learnt, as with everything. Then eventually I gained a body suit and modifications rather fast, still not how I wanted to express myself. So now I’m in the process of covering everything, with a full body concept of blacks, whites and scars. A process that will take a lot of time and endurance but it’s a true vision of my body, for myself.

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One thing that will stay will be my full back piece, from the top of my neck down to my ankle it says “Maybe Logic”, which is from my most influential author, Robert Anton Wilson. His words have inspired this idea of reality being perceived more in an ambiguous sense, which for me is far more fun and confusing. I think to be subjected to one ideal obviously limits the mind’s exploration of its experiences.

In saying that, I do enjoy the idea of there being a “truth” to this whole experience, but I’d imagine it to be something we couldn’t conjure up with the instrument we have for processing (human brain). Maybe. Plus, being stuck in a linguistic construct doesn’t help that exploration anyway. Many writings as such, along with psychedelics, have heavily influenced my creations.

In what way?

Pure psychedelics have widened my perceptions, given new ideas, understandings and depths to my creative expressions. I take them with respect, they are not something I would abuse. Through psychedelics I learn, love, laugh and just enjoy life as I usually do but in new ways.

And while we’re on that topic, you create art on many mediums, such as painting, jewellery and tattoos, could you tell me about each?

I’ve drawn since I was very young, along with playing music. I’m self-taught in almost everything I do. My art has transformed immensely over the years due to life experiences and psychedelics. Generally, it’s a combination of geometry and sacred symbols, or sex… as I have a passionate love/hate for it. I’m aware of the immense positive and negative aspects to it.

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I started teaching myself tattooing around the age of 15, but over the years I have learnt different techniques with different artists around the world which I am grateful for. Most of my art is done on a thick paper because its best for me to travel with. I’ve been trying to do art on a canvas over the last few years but it’s much more difficult for me, it’s always worth it once I’ve finished though.

I’ve been making jewellery for a few years now, usually when I’m traveling I’ll find precious gems or pendants and make something with them. It’s very therapeutic.

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With my tattoos, I like to somewhat connect with the person, and I only do tattoos that I enjoy doing. In my mind, it’s an art form, not work. I love doing mandalas and geometric designs with dots. Although I’m always keen to learn new ways of tattooing, so I have no idea where that path will take me

 

Written on one of your paintings is ‘At the peak of every orgasm is a truly free mind.’ Could you elaborate on this?

I’ve written this in a lot of my art, it’s one of the truest statements in my mind. When you reach the peak of an orgasm, there’s no stress, no frantic thoughts, no worries, it’s just you and that peak of bliss. A free mind from all of life’s daily, cluttered thoughts.

instagram : jak_nola

facebook : facebook.com/jak.art.nz

online store : www.etsy.com/shop.jaknola

 

Interview with Indy Voet

Our Italian contributor Ilaria Pauletti chatted to handpoke tattoo artist Indy Voet, who works out of Purple Sun in Brussels, about his clean, straight lined tattoos and his relation to body modifications…

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How did you get into tattoo art and body mods? I started at the desk of a piercing shop when I was about 18, after about a year or two I was piercing full time and quite interested in general body mods. Since then I pretty much always worked in piercing and tattoo shops, piercing, getting tattooed, going to conventions etc. I would say the general transition into tattooing came during the last two to three years and voluntary or not I feel good about where I am right now and the people I am with.

Have you always loved the idea of hand poked tattoos or did you just try it on a whim? It felt more natural for me coming from the piercing background. It started out as just a few small things here and there on tattooers I knew, and then it all evolved from there to what I do now.

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Sometimes you work with classic tattoo machines. Do you like to mix the two techniques? I started using both not so long ago after a push and a gift from Jean-Philippe Burton. I guess for me it’s about making good tattoos no matter if it’s by machine or by hand. It helps me achieve a visual I can’t by hand, sometimes for certain styles, and it opens up to more options but of course I have a lot more to learn.

Are you more into symbolism or traditional art? I have to admit I am into a lot of different things and a lot of different influences. I try to get inspired by quite obvious tattoo references as much as less obvious ones.

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You do quite simple and very clean tattoos. Where do you get inspiration from? I guess that, by looking at my tattoos right now, the clearest influences are ethnic art, patterns and tattoos on one side, and western traditional on the other side.

What is the best part of your job? I actually love the whole process, from searching, to drawing, to meeting people. But if I have to choose the best part, that one is seeing the tattoo healed and settled. Seeing people and customers wear it in their everyday life. Seeing it interact with the rest of their tattoos but also with their general style. I enjoy that quite a bit and I always find it curious.

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What about the tattoo community in Brussels? Are you planning to travel somewhere soon? Brussels is not a huge capital city but I guess there was a good number of shops that opened during the last few years. I am grateful I get along with a lot of the local tattooers and shops. The fact I can go to say hello or chill at other shops, I really appreciate that. I’m trying to do some city trips within Europe, where I can meet people I know, and once or twice a year I plan overseas travels.

What are the parts of the body you enjoy the most to tattoo? I would say ears for sure but I also enjoy fingers, eyelids, the torso etc. I guess as long as I technically can do a good job, and as long as it’s possible to make the design work in harmony with the spot, I am happy to continue to do so.

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What are your top three images to tattoo? I don’t really have three but I would say anything simple with straight lines or anything not too serious, western old school are always fun for me to do.

Who are your favourite artists at the moment? Too many to mention, but to mention a few: Marine Martin, Burton Ursaeminoris, Bouits, Jacob Redmond, Matt Shamah, Florian Santus, Ronnie Ronson, Horimatsu Bunchin, Bastien Jean, Cokney, Chriss Dettmer, Jeff Zuck, Kane Trubenbacher, Toothtaker, Rudy Fritch, Dan Santoro, Gakkin, Lockhart, Josh Egnew, Duncan X and many many more!

Body Modification: Tongue Splitting

Meet 21-year-old Sophia Bickerton, an aspiring tattoo artist who we featured in our Stripped Back issue in The New Normal, a circus-themed shoot showcasing four inspirational people. Here tells us about getting her tongue split…

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I can’t say that I had a real reason for getting my tongue split, apart from the fact that I think it looks amazing! I love that you are able to do that to your body. I had wanted to get it done for the past eight years and only recently I plucked up the courage to actually go through with it! For two months before I got it done, I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind. I was dreaming about it almost every night. And I’m a big believer that what is stuck on your mind needs to happen. So it happened!

After a lot of research, I ended up travelling to London to have it split by Veronica Blades. When I woke up on the day, I was so excited – I  just couldn’t wait. While I was travelling I started to feel nervous, so nervous that I felt like I was going to be sick and in the end I had a panic attack because I was so excited and scared at the same time, I just couldn’t process it!

The actual tongue split was magical. I had forceps on either side of my tongue so when it had been cut, Veronica held them a part and I just couldn’t believe it. The thing I had wanted for so long had finally been done. I couldn’t stop smiling and giggling, I was over the moon! My tongue was finally in half! So after that I was on a natural high, I couldn’t feel a thing, only happiness.

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After everything was over and I had been sutured up, I sat down and talked to Veronica for a little while about aftercare and what my dos and don’ts were. After that, it was back to the underground to catch the tube and that’s when it hit me. I was in so much pain and, to make it worse, I ended up having a random coughing fit, which as you can imagine wasn’t very pleasant. It ended up making my tongue bleed a lot as it was putting pressure on my sutures. And that’s when I started to realise what I had done, I’ve just had my tongue split in half, and I must admit for the three or more hour journey home I started to regret my decision because it just hurt so much, it was throbbing and it was starting to swell.

Day two and three were the most uncomfortable, the swelling had taken over and my tongue had ballooned that much that I had to sit with my mouth open, my tongue just wouldn’t fit in my mouth – I couldn’t even push my tongue in to close my teeth. But pain wise, it didn’t hurt during the day but strangely would hurt at night.

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And sleeping, oh damn, that wasn’t fun. I went through so many tissues! The drooling was unbelievable and just when the pain would subside and I was drifting off to sleep I would wake myself up by drooling everywhere. In the end I had to sleep with tissues pressed up against my mouth so it didn’t go everywhere.

Day five was the best day, the swelling was minimal and there was hardly any pain. The only down side was the fact my tongue looked so disgusting due to the white scabs. After a week, I ended up taking the stitches out, they were so uncomfortable and hurt so much. But  without them, my tongue felt amazing, I felt free, it felt just like my normal tongue again. The best part was that I could eat properly again.

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People have had mixed reactions, my nanna doesn’t like it at all and doesn’t understand why I would do that to my body, where as my grandad was happy for me, as he knew it made me happy. My niece and nephew love it, they are always asking if they can see it, but for them, it’s normal. They have grown up around me and know that I’m a little different to the rest of the family.

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When I’m talking you can’t really tell what has happened, my tongue looks different but for someone who hasn’t seen it before they don’t know. I’ve had  people ask me what is wrong with my tongue and they seem shocked when I tell them that I chose to do it.
But for the most part, people don’t care, they find it odd but they know it makes me happy and that’s all that matters.

I plan on having my tongue split further back in a few months, which I am really excited about! It healed up just a tiny bit and I’d like to have my split as big as it will allow me without having to have my frenulum cut. I’d also love to get my ears pointed in the future,  but I cant see myself going through the healing process, as it will take months to fully heal and be very painful. For me, having my tongue split is the best thing I have ever done and it is now my favourite part of my body.

Burning Desire: Body Branding

Burning Desires is a short film created by Channel 4 that follows tattoo enthusiast Kerri as she has traditional Viking runes (letters) burned/branded onto her skin. ‘Burning Desires’ sits within a Body Mods C4 shorts series, which also features other forms of body modification including ear pointing and corset piercings.

Kerri chose the designs based on her fascination with Viking travellers and the way that they marked their skin. The runes, representing love and victory, are burned onto her skin with 500C-700C heat.

Watch the video below to see Kerri’s whole scarification experience:

‘Bagel Head’ Body Modification

What’s your party trick? Can you create a doughnut in your head for a night? Well people taking part in the underground modification scene in Japan can! Here’s how…

 

To create a bagel like shape on your forehead up to 400 cc of saline solution is injected under the skin.  The insertion can take up to two hours and the indention is created by the practitioner placing their thumb onto the middle of the saline bubble.

This modification is only temporary and lasts up to 24 hours, as the saline is absorbed into the body and the forehead returns to normal.

This body modification is regularly performed at parties, and it not only limited to the forehead but can be carried out anywhere on the body.

 

Images from National Geographic