Brian Keith Thompson, 44, is a piercer and the owner of Body Electric Tattoo and Piercing in Los Angeles. We spoke with him for our October-December 2016 issue of Time Out Los Angeles about his work adorning Angelenos with edgy and fashionable piercings—and why he's betting that navels are the new nipples.
What is it like to be a piercer?
It's a fun job because you're not spending hours and hours with a client like tattoo artists are. At most, it's 45 minutes, then you're on to the next client. And every person's anatomy is different. You could do 10 nose piercings in a day, but each of the nostrils is unique.
How did you come to own Body Electric?
I was pretty high up in a company as a network integration engineer. I was 10 years vested in that company, but I just didn’t love what I was doing. I wasn’t feeling the love any more, I didn’t feel a sense of purpose. When the opportunity to buy the shop came up [in 2006], I just had this gut feeling and something told me to do it. Everyone told me I was making a big mistake, my mom thought it was a huge mistake, but you have to take risks... READ MORE