How to Become a Tattoo Artist

By Stephanie Bajzik

The ancient art form of tattooing has evolved immensely since the earliest tribes around the world incorporated it into their diverse cultures. In the modern day society in which we live, tattoo body art has never been more universal. With artists around the world making extensive advances in tattooing, it has become an incredible way to demonstrate artistic talents and individuality. But, just how does one make a name for themselves in such a business? For that matter, how do you get your foot in the door of this expanding industry? Lucky for you, we have developed a comprehensive step by step guide to becoming a true tattoo artist.

Education and Age Mandates

Aside from a natural ability as an artist, there are some very basic requirements and prerequisites which must be achieved prior to entering this exciting field. The first step to this dream job is simply obtaining a high school diploma or GED. Along with these certifications, you will also need to be at least 18 years of age to work within a body art studio.

Artistic Ability Requirements

With the numerous tattoo studio shows which give you an inside look into the hard work and creativity that is put into every piece of body art, it has become much more commonly known that tattoo artists require a great deal of creative artistic ability. You must be a skilled drawer who possess a keen eye for attention to details such as colors and shades. Those who have never been formally trained in art should seriously consider enrolling in an introductory drawing course at the very least before pursuing a tattoo artist position.

On the other hand, those who are innately skilled drawers may not necessarily require further training. However, consistent practice of the craft is important in order to develop a quality portfolio. Your portfolio should be the finest work you have produced as it will act as a resume when applying for an apprenticeship.

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Studying the Craft

It is highly advisable for individual artists to invest in text books which explain the art of tattooing while offering styles, strategies, tips and general knowledge on the art form. A must have for study materials would be the “Basic Fundamentals of Modern Tattoo” text book.

Apprenticeships with Experienced Artists

When shopping around your skills to various tattoo shops and artists, you will want to seek out the most professional, talented and experienced artist possible. This will allow you to gain the highest quality learning experience from an intelligent expert. TIP: Never refer to a tattoo machine as a gun. This can often irritate staff as guns are used by amateurs and true tattoo machines are utilized only by professionals.

Making Yourself Useful

Once hired for an apprenticeship with the ideal tattoo artist for you, remember to always make yourself available to pitch in around the studio. Whether you mop floors or answer phones, your dedication to the craft and your love for the art form will be portrayed to the staff, making it easier to climb the ladder to your dream job.



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