Learning how to tattoo is a big step in the right direction for the creative individual. It can take years to perfect the craft, but doing so can add creative fulfillment in your life, and personal joy in the lives of others. The good news is that you don’t have to get a degree, or receive formal training to become a tattoo artist. It can be as simple as finding the right information online, tracking down a legit local mentor, and investing in yourself to purchase the equipment.
Start Where You Are
Typically, before someone becomes a tattoo artist, they already are proficient in painting or drawing. If this is the early stage you find yourself in, continue to build your portfolio (you will need this). Once you feel your portfolio demonstrates the quality of your work, it is time to start applying for apprenticeships.
Apply For Apprenticeships
Get to know the people that work in your local tattoo shop. Remember, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Tell them you’re an aspiring artist, and if they bring you on board accept any work they throw your way. This can mean doing the dirty work- mopping floors, cleaning toilets etc… Along the way, you will pick up valuable trade secrets by being in close proximity with the pros. As you study their craft by day, and work on your own sketches by night, you will be well on your way to becoming a professional tattoo artist.
Keep A Record
Take notes along the way. At first you will be overwhelmed with information. Some of this you will remember, some you won’t, but it’s all important. Logging it somewhere will prevent you from having to ask questions twice in the future. Doing so will also demonstrate to the artist you’re studying under that you’re serious. He or she will happily divulge information, knowing that they’re not wasting time and energy on somebody who doesn’t care.
The Internet Is Your Friend
Remember that there is a wealth of information at your fingertips. Also, keep in mind that if you’re looking to supplement your current training, there are plenty of online courses you can take. Many courses are fairly decently priced, and you can learn at your own pace without having to enroll in a traditional University setting. By adding all of these tips to your routine, you will be well on your way to becoming a tattoo artist. Remember that this is a creative pursuit, and that there is no single standard path to learning this craft. As you grow, learn to embrace your own journey and appreciate the process.