We all know that getting a brand new beautiful tattoo is amazing! But did you know that the experience of giving someone a great tattoo can be even better? If you love art and you’re a fan of tattoos, a career as a professional tattoo artist is artistically satisfying and financially empowering. If you want to become a tattoo artist, the internet is overwhelming when you’re looking for advice on how to get started. That’s why we’ve pulled together our top 5 pieces of advice for aspiring tattoo artists.
The most important piece of advice for aspiring tattoo artists is to not tattoo on your own! Whatever you do, don’t buy a (hazardous) tattoo kit online and just start inking up your friends. Not only will you endanger yourself and your friends (bloodborne pathogens are bad news), but those kits aren’t even meant for human use! Even if you manage to get your hands on professional equipment, the skills and techniques necessary to keep yourself safe and create a quality tattoos can’t be learned from an online video. In-person, hands-on training with experienced professionals is required to learn to tattoo safely and effectively. Don’t endanger yourself or your friends by tattooing without proper instruction. You want to avoid having your first tattoo look like a disaster that you’ll regret forever.
Now that you’re looking into learning to tattoo from a professional apprenticeship or training program, you’re probably getting overwhelmed with all the options of where and how you can learn to tattoo. While some tattoo artist training seems expensive, other options might seem too good to be true. Some options have online components, while others are strictly in-person.
Regardless of which resource you’re looking at, they all require a commitment on your part and that can be scary. We’ve been there, and the best advice for aspiring tattoo artists at this point is to just dive in. Even if you’re just doing a one-day introductory workshop to see if you’ll like it, go ahead and try it out. The only way to be certain that a future as a professional tattoo artist is right for you is to get into a tattoo studio and find out for yourself. Just try not to procrastinate and you’ll be taking your first steps toward an amazing new career!
The next most important piece of advice for aspiring tattoo artists is to avoid training programs that are just out there to take advantage of you. So many “apprenticeships” pretend that the art of tattooing can be taught to you in a few days or weeks. That’s simply not true. You might be able to wrap your head around the concepts of tattoo flash and pulling clean lines. But the nuances and techniques required to create professional quality tattoos take much longer to learn. We always recommend looking for tattoo training that isn’t obviously too good to be true and allows a reasonable amount of time to teach you everything you need to know!
For decades the traditional path toward becoming a professional tattoo artist is to find a local tattoo shop and ask for an apprenticeship. This usually led to a years-long process of sitting at the front desk, mopping the floors, and eventually learning the art of tattooing. This is a time-honored way of learning to tattoo, and we absolutely recommend trying to get a traditional tattoo apprenticeship. That said, if you receive rejections or learn that you’ll just be buried in busywork, then we encourage you to check out our tattoo apprenticeship. Not only do we never waste your time with busywork, we have a curriculum that artists can work through at their own pace to learn everything they’ll need to become a successful tattoo artist. And the best part? We hire every artist that completes their training with us! Once you finish your apprenticeship with Body Art & Soul Tattoos, we’ll have a job offer waiting and ready for you!
Whether you find a traditional apprenticeship or learn the art of tattooing with us, the final piece of advice for aspiring tattoo artists is to never give up! Tattooing is a complicated but rewarding art form, and persistence and patience are key to success. We take the time to ensure that our artists are well-prepared for the first time that they apply a needle to their client’s skin. Remember, it takes time to develop your skills. Even once you’ve started real tattoos, a focus and dedication to your craft is required to make sure that you’re doing your best work and avoiding mistakes. So keep your head up and press forward, knowing that you’re bringing beautiful art into this world and helping your clients to express themselves!
We hope this advice for aspiring tattoo artists helps you as you take the journey to becoming a professional tattoo artist! While this career isn’t easy, it’s tremendously rewarding and we love to help artists achieve their dreams! If you have any questions about your future as a tattoo artist, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!