#HowIGotMyJob: Danielle From Dublin Ink Fills Us In On Breaking Into The Piercing Industry
You might recognise her from her stint on reality TV show Fade Street, but Danielle Robinson has moved on from TV. She tells STELLAR why.
Tell us a bit about your working background.
I loved the tattoo and piercing industry as a teen. When I was in college I made friends with a few tattoo artists in a local studio in Waterford and started hanging out in the studio, watching what everyone was doing. That’s when I knew it was what I wanted to do. I started in Dublin Ink six months after they opened and I’ve been there ever since! That’s been six years now; seems crazy it was that long ago.
What sort of training did you have to do?
My training was really a two year apprenticeship in Wexford. The first year mostly involved watching people at work and doing a lot of reading. It was during the second year that I was able to bring in friends and practice on them. I’ll never forget how scary that whole year was!
Do you tattoo as well?
I love to draw and will often do it in my own time, but I don’t have the determination that the guys in the studio have to do tattoos. They’ll be sitting for hours in the studio tattooing and then going home to prepare their drawing for the next day. Your life becomes your job!.
Did your appearance on Fade Street open any doors for you in your career?
To be honest, I never pursued a career on television after the show, I just realised it really wasn’t for me. In saying that, it was an experience that I don’t regret. I met loads of new people, I got to do some really cool things like our trip away, photoshoots and press calls. In terms of a career gainer though, not so much.
Would you go back and do it all again?
I wouldn’t, no. Like I said, it wasn’t for me. It was quite stressful at the time. I was only learning who I was and adjusting to the whole TV thing was difficult. I’m really happy where I am now and what I’m working towards. I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.
If you had to be doing anything else, what would it be?
Maybe a Clinical Psychologist. I’m in my last year of my Psychology degree and just starting a diploma in Counselling. It’s hard work studying and working full time but I like working with people. I think I’d be pretty good at it if that was my profession.
What’s the best part of your job?
Definitely the people I get to meet. I get to talk to so many people with such a diversity in backgrounds. From young girls, to working professionals, to nervous mothers, you name it!
What’s the most difficult?
In the same breath as I say I love meeting new people, it can be difficult dealing with the general public at such a high volume. There’s absolutely no room for mistakes in Dublin Ink. Some artists have a waiting list that carries itself into the middle of the year, so if you mess anything up, it’s difficult to rectify. Not everybody can understand that.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
In my opinion you can’t do much better than working in Dublin Ink. It’s been my highest point while working in the industry.
Would you ever refuse to do a piercing?
Yes for a number of reasons, being of age is the most important. You need to be 18 for most piercings and we’re very strict on that in the studio. Another reason is anatomy, if I don’t think that particular client has the appropriate anatomy, I’ll turn them down. Everybody’s body is different and certain things won’t work for certain people.
Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?
I hope to have finished my PHD anyway. Ideally I’d like to see myself working between the industry that I’m in now, while also doing something with Psychology.
Any advice for people hoping to follow a similar career path to yours?
The body piercing industry is extremely competitive. You might not always be a welcome addition to a local area where the trade is in place. But it’s the clients who matter most, and it’s the clients who know your work best so be patient and persevere.
Psst! You can read Danielle’s Style CV in the March issue of the mag.
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