For some people, sitting at a desk with their eyes fixed on a computer monitor all day is the ideal job environment. Others take a more bohemian route to life and work odd jobs of some kind. Even further still, there are other people whose sole existence is to create, paint, give birth to new art every single day. If the last sentence adequately sounds like something you’d enjoy doing, then you’re in luck, as we’ll go over how you can go about getting your career as a tattoo artist.
Every profession has its pros and cons, but it’s said that if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. With that in mind, many people make the mistake of buying a tattoo kit to practice tattooing on their friends. Many who follow this path never become truly successful at tattooing nor do they acquire the skills necessary to compete in this business. Here’s what you need to know in order to start your career as a tattoo artist.
Very few people are born with raw talent, so it’s imperative that you at least know how to draw or take same classes to help you get started. Someone who can't draw isn't going to be a good candidate as a tattoo artist. You can also sharpen your drawing skills by working with other artists and even reading books about the history and technical aspects of tattooing. But on top of anything else, you need to practice at every opportunity.
If you’re already a great artist, you need to begin working on building your portfolio. This will help you showcase your different skills. Even if you have one particular style, your portfolio should reflect and highlight your talents. Again, practice is your best bet when it comes to sharpening your skills, but once you feel you can draw well enough, the next thing you need is an apprenticeship. Sometimes an apprenticeship can be free, but many times they cost thousands of dollars. You should find one with an artist that is aligned with your style.
Since there is no formal graduation from an apprenticeship, the artist whom you’re studying under will decide when you’re ready to start working on your own. No matter how long you apprentice or how long you tattoo, you don’t become a master without the help of others, so be sure to always be open to assist other artists. There is always more to learn, new techniques to adopt, new ways to enhance what has already been done. Never be satisfied with mediocrity, and never allow yourself to become self-centered, as this is a sure way to alienate yourself from clients and other artists.