How to Become a Tattoo Artist
Have you wanted to become a tattoo artist but didn’t know where to start? The tattoo artist is a profession that is very much in demand if you are well trained and skilled. Read on to find out how to become a great tattoo artist.
There has been a rise in the popularity of tattoos and tattoo artists in the last 15 years. There has also been a rise in the amount of people who want to become tattoo artists for profit from this growing industry. Becoming a tattoo artist is about skill and persistence. Most people don’t possess the patience to follow through with all the required training and practice, and yet they still, un-trained end up getting a tattoo kit and using it on their friends because “they know how”. This is a mistake, and can be dangerous for a number of reasons including the contraction of hepatitis and HIV. The people who do become skilled tattoo artists are the ones that did it the right way and followed through with the steps necessary to become a seriously better-quality artist. The steps are easy if you are committed to this as a career and possess at least some real talent.
The first thing you need is some real talent. If you don’t have the artistic ability to draw well on paper, you most likely will not do well as a tattoo artist. Sorry.
Next, you are going to want to work on sharpening your abilities to draw with a tattoo machine. Taking a few lessons and advice sessions from a seasoned tattoo artist can work very well. Whatever you do, you must practice seriously for a long time.
Once you have started to become a capable artist you will need to a portfolio. A portfolio needs to show your strengths and skill levels to represent you as an artist.
The next thing that you will need is a tattoo artist or shop to give you a shot at working under them or for them. An apprenticeship can be free in some cases if you know the right people. Mostly, however, they are very expensive and can cost several thousands of dollars and they do not pay you for your time under an apprenticeship. This part makes it hard to have a job and the time to be an apprentice. Most people will live with someone else and hold down a regular job until the training is complete.
Just like apprenticeships in the old days, you will now have the honor of learning many valuable skills from the master. Most of the things that you learn have very little to do with drawing at all. You will mainly be learning to safely sanitize your tattooing machine and equipment. You will also be learning how to operate your tattoo machine and how to regulate your power supply. One of the biggest things you will learn in this process is how to keep your patrons and yourself from contracting a disease or an infection.
While finishing your time as an apprentice, you will practice and polish your skill. Your knowledge does not have to stop here however, you can also get the chance to hang out and learn from other tattoo artists in the shop or around your area. Getting a few tattoos in the process is also a great first hand way to pay attention and learn from other established tattoo artists. Every artist has a special flare to their work and it shows through their art and technique.
The shop you apprentice in may provide you with the tools you need, or you may have to have your own. Eventually, if you are planning to go far in this field, you will need your own tattoo machine. This is the piece of equipment that will be your bread and butter for years to come. We suggest looking at some good stigma rotary tattoo machines and plan on purchasing one if tattooing is going to be your career.
Usually with an apprenticeship the teacher decides that you are ready to go off on your own. In some cases, however, there has been a contract that was signed at the beginning of your apprenticeship. As long as you are not under any binding contracts or obligated to continue for a certain duration of time or signed anything that would prevent you from working for an opposing shop, you may decide to go off on your own whenever you feel that you have gathered all that you can from your instructor.
It makes no difference how long you are an apprentice for or how long you have tattooed people for, you will never know everything about the business or tattooing in general. There will always be more to learn, teach, new techniques to take on, and new ways to boost what you have already done. If you are a really good artist you must never be fulfilled with just satisfactory results and never let yourself grow to be narcissistic and big headed.
Good artists allow room for suggestion and implication. After all of your training and apprenticeships are over, you will see how easy it can be to believe that you have what it takes to become a tattoo artist, when you in fact know nothing about the art at all. Hopefully one day you can be the teacher for the right person who does have raw skill and the determination to become a really good artist like yourself.
When it all comes down to it, all you really need is raw talent and skill, a good portfolio, some modesty and a ton of enthusiasm. Having somewhere to live rent free while you try to take on a regular job to live on and take on an apprenticeship is a good idea for stress’ sake. Will power and fortitude will definitely also come in handy on your journey as will diligence. Some of the best artists are the ones that read the most books and manuals outside of the apprenticeship and practice.