Becoming a Tattoo Artist
Becoming a tattoo artist makes for an interesting career choice. Unlike nearly all other professions, the training for tattoo artistry has not be co-opted by university and tech schools where you can simply enroll, take a course, learn the skill, and then move out into the real world and become a professional artist.
In fact, the tattoo world has kept its doors closed to others, allowing people in one by one as an apprentice. This is a nod to the old school style of teaching a trade, craft, or a skill. It keeps the talent moving from person to person and creates a real personal touch to the craft.
The question is how to become an apprentice?
The easiest way to get moving on this is a simple one, but it actually stops most people from ever starting. This is the act of going out and asking local tattoo shops and local tattoo artists for their input on how a person can become a tattoo artist. This naturally leads to a good opener into the question of local apprenticeships and how one might get their foot in the door of such an opportunity.
At the same time, beginner artists might take the step of buying equipment on their own to get their hands dirty. This does not mean giving tattoos, as there is fake skin to practice on just for that. However, it is worth considering buying a tattoos kit or other type of beginner supply kit to understand what pieces are involved, how to handle them, how they work, and how to clean them.
With this knowledge fresh in mind, it may become easier to find a mentor who can see that you are serious about becoming a tattooing artist. Often the first step in the door means working for free doing mundane but necessary work around the tattoo shop, such as sweeping the floors and running the front desk. However, this is how people tend to start, and it gives an aspiring tattoo artist a chance to see how a shop is run, and in due time, a chance to work directly underneath a mentor tattoo artist.
It may not be the most efficient technique for producing tattoo artists, but it keeps the tattoo industry and tattoo culture something personal and close to the heart.