With the tattoo industry becoming ever more popular, the opportunity for making a career from tattooing has opened up for a lot of people. If you are an artistic individual who can see themselves working as a tattoo artist, then there are some things you need to know first.
Learning how to become a tattoo artist isn’t easy. And it isn’t the career for everyone. The first requirement would be raw artistic talent. If art isn’t one of your strengths then a career in tattooing isn’t the job for you. The first step is to exercise and practice your artistic skill. Books, classes and fellow artists can help you do this. Once you feel you’ve honed your skills and practiced, practiced, practiced – put together a portfolio of your work. This is a collection of your best art work put together in a professional presentation to show to shop owners.
Next, take your portfolio around to shops where you’d like an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship is like an internship, normally you work for free or tips, and you observe and learn from the artists in the shop as you go. Apprenticing will give you valuable knowledge about the art of tattooing. Getting an apprenticeship is accomplished by networking and persistence. Ask your friends and all of your acquaintances if they know of a shop willing to take on an apprentice. You will probably have to pound the pavement and visit tattoo shop owners with your portfolio and try to sell the idea to the shop owner.
The tattoo apprenticeship normally ends when the teacher decides that the apprentice is ready to tattoo professionally. It is recommended that a contract be signed by both parties at the beginning of the tattoo apprenticeship. Some shops end up hiring the apprentice as a fully fledged tattoo artist. This is a good transition for most people just starting out. Once you have worked in the field for awhile, you would be wise to seek a position in a different shop. This will open up more learning opportunities. Different artists have different techniques. Tattooing is a constant learning experience.
Another option that is gaining popularity is attendance of tattoo classes at a tattoo trade school. This can be done in a productive, efficient course with hands on practice tattooing real people in some cases. For people that are unable to commit to a long period of time required for an apprenticeship plan, then tattoo school can be the answer.
Learning how to become a tattoo artist is never really over. As time goes on, you’ll learn new techniques and processes from fellow artists, workshops, and conventions. As a tattoo artist, you should always be evolving and developing your skill. This is the best way to become and remain successful artist.