So you want to learn to tattoo but you have a few concerns that are keeping you from getting started? While a future as a professional tattoo artist is lucrative and creatively empowering, any change this significant can be scary. We’ve personally gone through these same worries, so we’ll break down the top 5 tattoo apprenticeship fears holding you back from the career of your dreams as a professional tattoo artist (and how you can overcome them!).
Let’s deal with the 800 pound gorilla in the room right at the top… Can you afford to learn to tattoo? A tattoo apprenticeship is very much something where you get what you pay for. You’re looking for reasonably priced training that will get you to the career you want with the training you need to succeed. A quick online class that costs a few hundred bucks might be appealing, but if you don’t have the skills you need to make beautiful tattoos, your career will be over before it starts. That’s why we recommend a comprehensive training program that has produced real results and isn’t too good to be true. For our tattoo apprenticeship we’ve built a pricing structure that works for artists but doesn’t skimp on the skills.
Download our education comparison report to get the numbers.
Probably the scariest fear out there is what if you pay for training, do everything you’re supposed to, but then don’t end up ready to actually tattoo a human being? There are no second chances when it comes to tattoos, so when you pay to learn to tattoo, you want to make sure you get what you paid for! We recommend looking for tattoo artist training that lasts months, not weeks (it’s just not possible to get in enough practice in a week or two). A tattoo apprenticeship should be able to show you a training plan that looks legit, and includes instruction on tattoo flash, time on practice pads, and eventually supervised tattoos. When you’re considering a program, ask about the tattoo apprenticeship’s graduates. If they can’t show you clear proof of the success of their artists, then it’s a red flag.
Tattooing is a huge business, so keep an eye out for quick cash-grab operations that don’t offer individual attention. You want to make sure that when you learn to tattoo your instructors care about your success. Make sure you meet your trainers before you make a commitment and watch how they train other artists. If the training is based on the model of a traditional tattoo apprenticeship, you’re probably in better shape than if it feels like a chaotic free-for-all.
It’s natural to be attracted to the convenience of online tattoo training, but it’s simply not possible to learn to tattoo without in-person instruction. Avoid the disastrous scenario of paying for online tattoo training and then panicking when your first real client shows up and you have no idea what you’re doing. Not only that, but without in-person experience you’d be putting yourself and your clients at greater risk of bloodborne pathogens! We recommend that you find an in-person tattoo apprenticeship that will help develop your techniques as you’re doing them. That said, if a program starts online with tattoo flash instruction and then has an in-person component later, that can be a nice way to get the training you need and save some cash.
Finally, what happens when you pay for good training, learn to tattoo effectively, but then can’t get a job? Avoid the anxiety by picking a tattoo apprenticeship that extends guaranteed job offers to everyone who completes their training! A job offer will be waiting for you when you finish your training and you can transition into working as a professional tattoo artist right away!
If you’re feeling better about your future as a professional tattoo artist because we have put your tattoo apprenticeship fears to rest, there’s no better time to start than now! Our tattoo apprenticeships are open to all artists and we offer a tattoo workshop that introduces you to our trainers, shows off our training strategies, and even gives you some in-person time on a tattoo machine!