“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
The Point: The Quarterly Journal of the Association of Professional Piercers is a sixty-one issue publication, in its seventeenth year (and counting). It is – without a doubt – the living history of our industry, but we cannot move forward without stopping to look back at where we have been.
When The Point began in 1995, it was a black and white Xerox-copied leaflet that provided APP members with legislation information, early organizational outreach updates, and general piercing-related stories. There was no particular editor; instead, a handful of individuals worked to create issues #1 through #17; as such, there was no regular print schedule. Instead, the first seventeen issues trickled out over the course of six years. (These early issues of The Point, along with all back issues, can be viewed here.)
In 2001, Elayne Angel took the reigns as Editor—a position she held until June 2005. During her time, Elayne managed to bring something to The Point it very much needed: a consistent publishing schedule. She oversaw 16 issues during this period, authoring many articles herself and worked diligently to expand the content and scope of The Point. However, the most obvious and sweeping changes came about—in full color—in issue #33. Without even opening the cover, it is apparent when James Weber took the helm. He was responsible, with the design work of Jon Loudon, for much of what you see today. As James pointed out in that issue of The Point:
“The Point, like the APP, has come from very humble beginnings to become an established publication with distribution among not only it’s membership, but to diverse medical professional and legislators in not only this country, but around the world.”
Our publication would not look the same without the work of these two men over the last six years, and I personally owe them a great deal of gratitude. If it were not for James introducing me to The Point and the piercing industry in 2009, I would not be taking the reigns today.
I began my own work with The Point in late 2009, just after I started working at Infinite Body Piercing, Inc. Both positions were obtained as a result of being at the right place at the right time. Prior to my employment at Infinite, I worked in corporate America as an administrative assistant in your typical dress-or-pantsuit sort of position. I came of age in this environment, learning that while I was growing as a person, corporate America wasn’t growing with me. As each year passed, I became more and more visibly modified—and more and more publicly scrutinized. I began looking for a new job the day I was forced to write a policy banning visible tattoos, body piercings, or “unnatural” hair colors or styles in our workplace.
The Point is the perfect culmination of my passion for this industry and my passion for writing. Aside from my work at Infinite and with The Point, I also hold an AA in Liberal Arts and Certificate in Creative Writing, and I am currently an English major at Temple University. I am the founder and editor-in-chief of Transient Publishing, an online literary magazine and writing community, and I continue to write on a freelance basis.
In issue #59, James’ last as Editor, he noted that The Point “belongs to all of us, our industry and our community. It’s going to be what we choose to make of it.” So what are my hopes for the next phase in The Point’s “life?” What are yours?
By now you are aware of the most obvious change—that The Point is entirely online—but I personally hope to devote some more time to exploring the many names and faces of our industry. In issue #59, Cody Vaughn conducted an extensive interview of Paul King. While many of us know Paul—have taken his courses at Conference, spoken with him in the halls, or simply chatted online—I think few of us knew “all-about” Paul. This seems especially true of younger piercers and, as much as I hate to date myself, my generation. We all know their names, have seen their faces; however, I believe there is still a great deal to learn about their early professional lives and rise in our industry.
I also hope we can begin some open dialogues about topics that we tend to shy away from. Elayne Angel began one of these dialogues, also in issue #59, when she broached the topic of piercing videos online, putting out a call out for quality videos to combat all of the poorly performed procedures that tend to top YouTube view lists. In the current issue, we are opening yet another one of those dialogues with Kendra Janes’s article “An Exploration of Pain:” where Kendra attempts to define pain and its relationship to the piercing industry.
As a member of the piercing community, I am very much in my infancy. I know I still have a great deal to learn, and I look forward to learning it from you, my piercing friends and family.
So now I ask you to sit back and enjoy this very special issue of The Point—the first ever fully-online APP publication.