Long before he opened Westcoast Piercing and Ink, professional piercer Kelly began to reconsider his own body’s potential as a template for artistic self-expression. As a pre-teen during punk rock’s heyday in the early 80s, he became fascinated with big chains, spiked bracelets, and large rings—pretty much anything that would showcase his style and increase his radio signal. The scene’s do-it-yourself ethic often led his friends to experiment with unsanitary piercing methods, but Kelly thankfully knew better and decided to take the true D.I.Y. route: he became a certified piercer himself and opened Westcoast Piercing Guy.
Today, years after his initial stroke of inspiration, Kelly operates out of a health-board approved studio that has been given the seal of approval from the local medical community and clients alike. He continues to outfit ears and other body parts with piercings; only now he works alongside a band of piercers and tattoo artists who decorate skin with everything from colorful custom sleeves to blank crossword puzzles that help clients pass the time during morning commutes.
Gurneev Panesar, the mehndi artist behind Gurneev's Mehndi, decorates skin with elegant, abstract designs using a paste made from powdered henna leaves. She credits the creativity of her work to the time she's spent traveling the world, tapping into trends and influences from cultures in Kenya, Dubai, London, and elsewhere. Brides-to-be frequently make appointments for the elaborate traditional bridal designs that Panesar creates.
Art is in Jojo Geronimo’s blood. Her father was an illustrator, and her maternal uncles and two brothers work as comic artists and animators. Though she shares their artistic proclivity, she followed her passion for design in a somewhat different direction, working as a portrait and mural painter, a director in international advertising, and eventually, a tattoo artist. Armed with her artistic talent and Red Cross blood-borne pathogens safety training, she tattoos clients to their specifications with predesigned and customized body art.
As a certified intradermal cosmetics specialist, she also applies permanent eyebrow makeup, eyeliner, and lip liner. Though she gives clients her input during each session, she leaves them in complete control of the process and the final results. And Jojo still applies her talent to canvas, creating commissioned oil portraits and landscape paintings.