Becoming a Tattoo Artist is one of the most creative, rewarding experiences an artist can have in their professional career. As a team of dozens of Tattoo Artists across the country who own and operate tattoo studios and the only nationwide trade school for the tattoo industry, we’re sharing our top 13 reasons you should launch your career as a Tattoo Artist in New York.
If you’re wondering how to become a Tattoo Artist in New York, find a tattoo apprenticeship near you, or get a tattoo license, you’ve come to the right place. Ink Different Tattoo School aims to be your one-stop shop for tattoos, including tattoo apprenticeships. Read on to find out why getting started as a Tattoo Artist at our Brooklyn, New York location and beyond.
Modern tattoo culture was born on the streets of New York, according to Insider. Tattooing was banned in New York for nearly 40 years, but that didn’t stop artists from doing their work. The Bowery neighborhood of Manhattan was home to many early shops, and it is still an epicenter of tattoo culture today. Some of these original tattoo shops now house historical relics, including early electric tattoo machines.
While the scene is no longer underground, the spirit of individual expression continues to thrive. The influence of Tattoo Artists of the twentieth century lives on, making New York City one of the most vibrant tattoo scenes in the world.
There’s no traditional degree program for Tattoo Artists. A number of Tattoo Artists start out in art school and see becoming a Tattoo Artist as a way for them to make a living by making art. Even if you have a four-year degree in art, you’ll need to learn your way around a tattoo machine.
Before Ink Different Tattoo School was formed, there were two general routes to becoming a Tattoo Artist: teaching yourself and becoming a tattoo apprentice. An apprenticeship allows you to study under an expert and build your skills and portfolio without the pressure of making countless mistakes and/or fearing the spreading or contracting of infectious diseases. The biggest challenge around taking the tattoo apprenticeship route was finding one! If you did find one, the second challenge was around how you were treated. How many toilets can you scrub? Can you handle harassment? How much humiliation can you take? Even having to think about answering these questions is frickin’ l-a-m-e.
Thank goodness that you found Ink Different Tattoo School! Now you can train to become a tattoo artist in a welcoming environment run by tattoo artists who respect you as a human being, not think of you as a robot servant they can kick for kicks. Even better, if you are accepted into the program and complete your apprenticeship, you will have a Guaranteed Job Offer waiting for you.
When you become a tattoo apprentice with Ink Different Tattoo School, you’ll start your professional Tattoo Artist coursework online in a live virtual classroom. You’ll start your training one-on-one with top Tattoo Artists who are also trained as trainers from the comfort of your home. After you pass your virtual classroom requirements, you’ll complete your apprenticeship in one of our studios. The program usually takes one year to complete. After you’ve completed your training with us, you’ll have a guaranteed job offer.
The average salary for a Tattoo Artist in New York State is $64,522, according to Zippia. That makes it the second-best state in the United States for average Tattoo Artist salaries. The highest 10% of Tattoo Artists in New York earn an average of $134,000. Not too shabby for doing something you love. Speaking of which…
When you start your career as a Tattoo Artist, you will be making art for a living every day. Some Tattoo Artists consider their work to be more of a craft than an art, and definitely not “work.”. At the end of the day, you’re adding beauty to the world with each new tattoo you create… and… getting paid for it! We’re sorry, not sorry, that the reality is that not all professionals can say that what they do truly makes the world a better place. As a Tattoo Artist, you will be impacting the lives of your clients and helping them express themselves authentically and confidentially in a world where being able to smile at yourself in the mirror is paramount to mental health and happiness.
Millions upon millions of people walk through life never feeling fulfilled in their work. When you launch your career as a Tattoo Artist, you can find creative fulfillment in your everyday routine. Instead of sitting at a desk crunching numbers or sending emails all day, you’ll create wearable art for your clients that they will enjoy for the rest of their days.
When you are first starting out as a Tattoo Artist, you will not be one hundred percent satisfied with your work one hundred percent of the time. This is just reality. You’ll make mistakes during your tattoo apprenticeship, yet that is what you’re in an apprenticeship. And that’s okay. You’ll grow as a Tattoo Artist with each new tattoo you ink. And if you’re doing custom pieces, your style will grow and evolve over time. You’ll look back on your previous work and be able to chart how far you’ve come, and as long as you manage your progress in regard to the complexity of each tattoo that you agree to do, your evolution will not have any adverse effects on your clients. We have particular experience and excellence around this at Ink Different Tattoo School.
The top Tattoo Artists in New York can charge up to $250 per hour of their time. Rates may change based on various factors, including your skill level, how complex the tattoo in question will be, how long the tattoo takes, and how long of a waiting list you have. The number of hours you can spend with the tattoo machine in your hand is only so many each week, yet when you’re a Tattoo Artist, you can put the starving artist stereotype to bed for good! For the most part, you are in control over how much money you make, and with over 9 million people in New York City… well… you’ll likely never run out of clients.
Depending on where you work, you’ll have schedule flexibility as a Tattoo Artist. At Ink Different Tattoo School, you’ll have total flexibility, as we operate by appointment, and you’ll have access to the studio 24/7, just in case you feel like starting your tattoos at 2 am. Many shops are busiest Thursday through Sunday, so you may have a three-day weekend every Monday through Wednesday. Some shops may let you choose your hours and your days. There are tattoo shops all over the country and worldwide, so your location options are nearly endless.
When you accept your Guaranteed Job Offer at Ink Different Tattoo School, you’ll have the option of tattooing with us in New York, Los Angeles, New Haven, Philadelphia, and Tampa, at the moment. If you’re the kind of mature person who can oversee their own shop, then you’ll have an opportunity at Ink Different to be part of our expansion. Talk about opportunity!
People get tattoos for a variety of reasons. Some people choose a tattoo because it simply looks cool and speaks to them at that moment. Others get tattoos to honor someone they lost or mark an important milestone in their lives. No matter the reason, you are putting ink on another human that will stay with them until they breathe their last breaths. No pressure. Joking aside, your clients will carry a bit of you with them forever. And that’s pretty special. Not too many other professionals can say that.
You’ll encounter some fantastic characters, both among your coworkers and among your clients. Obviously, we think people who get tattoos are some of the best people out there, and the people who create tattoos we adore even more! People who align with tattoo culture often value self-expression and individuality. When you pursue a career as a Tattoo Artist, you’ll become immersed in a community of people who share those same values.
At Ink Different, you’ll have an instant supportive community of fellow Tattoo Artists at the ready. Because our mission is to ensure equal opportunity for all who embody excellence in the tattoo industry, inclusive of all ages, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and backgrounds, you will create a peer group like no other. You’ll find your place in our community no matter who you are.
People frequently ask, “Is being a Tattoo Artist hard?” It’s no secret: Becoming a Tattoo Artist and building your career is not easy, yet we know that your hard work will pay off. After your apprenticeship experience, you might be thrown into a fast-paced environment where you work lots of hours. You’ll find that your skill will increase immensely during this time, and all of the hours you put toward your training and development as a Tattoo Artist will make sure you’re ready for whatever the industry throws your way.
Becoming a Tattoo Artist is one of the most rewarding career paths a person can pursue. You’ll give people the ink of their dreams every day. And every day will be a little different from the day before.
If you’re ready to take the leap, learn more about Ink Different Tattoo School Apprenticeships. You’ll have a guaranteed job offer when you finish your apprenticeship. When you change your career, you’ll change your life. Start today. You’re worth it.