Are you talented at drawing or sketching amazing designs? Chances are I bet you’ve thought about how to become a tattoo artist if you’re reading this. If you are thinking about becoming a tattoo artist, the first thing you’ll want to do is check with the state or province you live in. The days of someone buying some needles and working out of a cardboard box in the back of an alley is over.
Now days, nearly every state or province requires a Tattoo artist to be licensed and a background check performed. Each state has it’s own standards, so be sure to double check the requirements before you go to school or plunk down a load of money for tattoo artist tools.
Once you find out what your state requires, you now have some sort of idea what it takes to get started in the tattoo business.
Tips On How To Become A Tattoo Artist
As stated above, you’re going to need raw talent to begin with. If you have that, you’ll then need to refine that raw talent for sketching and drawing. You may want to consider taking some art classes. If you can’t draw and sketch better than most people, forget about becoming a tattoo artist!
In order to gain some real world experience, you’ll want to search out someone willing to take you under their wing and mentor you. What you’re doing is looking for an apprenticeship. But beware, some tattoo shops just offer an apprenticeship in order to get free or low cost help. What you need to be looking for is a true Master of the craft. One you can learn a lot from and one you can get along with! This is only a little part of what you’ll need to know if you want to know how to become a tattoo apprentice.
Be aware, you may be the best artist around, but many shops will require some money to train you. You may also be required to work for free or for peanuts. Hey, it’s the cost most of the Masters had to pay when they started, so don’t think you’re special.Many students of the Tattoo craft find that they must work full time and then study to become a tattoo artist in the spare time. Unless you have money coming out of your ears, the chances are good you’ll also have to work while you learn.
Pro’s and Con’s of Starting Your Own Tattoo Business
At some point, you may think you know enough to go out and start your own tattoo business. Trust me, you don’t! In time, if you’re skills progress, the shop may offer you a position or you may become good enough to work for another tattoo shop. Just remember, in order to go out on your own, you’ll need a portfolio. The best way to get it is either in Prison (that’s a joke if you didn’t get it) or by paying your due diligence and working for someone else while you hone your skills and build up a portfolio.
What many potential new tattoo entrepreneurs fail to think about is that there is a lot more to starting your own tattoo business than just being good at inking people. You’ll need to know how to manage books, taxes, employees if you have them and how to advertise and keep your shop up and running. It may look glamorous, but in reality it’s a difficult task to juggle. That’s one reason so many talented tattoo artist fail and then have to go back to work for someone else. They my be Masters when it comes to ink, but they don’t have a lick of business sense. To be successful, you’ll need both.
Now that you know a little bit about how to become a tattoo artist, really think about this business before jumping in. There are shops opening up every day ran by true Masters. Reality based shows on TV like Ink make it sound all fun and games. But it’s anything but that. Just as there are tons and tons of Masters opening up shops every day, there are also tons and tons of Masters going out of business because they have no idea how to bring in customers or because their work is not near as good as they think it is.
Your customers will let everyone know how good, or bad, your work is. You want to find out before going into the tattoo business for yourself whether or not you’re really as good as you think you are. Let’s face it, your skills may suck and you have a bunch of friends and family who don’t want to hurt your feelings and tell you that you’re the best sketcher or artist they’ve ever seen.
Hey, maybe you are to them, but to someone who’s been around in the tattoo business a long time, your stuff my stink! Get honest evaluations from true Masters in the business! That’s the only sure way finding out how to become a tattoo artist.