Tattoo is no more a taboo especially after shows like the Miami INK or LA ink and is now being looked upon as a real art which can be highly profitable. Artistic youngsters, who admire the art of tattooing, may even consider becoming professional tattoo artists. However, becoming a professional does not come easy in this field and it takes a lot more than just being able to draw well!
Tips On Becoming A Tattoo Artist
Raw Skill And Passion
The basic requirement is having good drawing skills. You should be able to draw well and color within the lines. Many tattoo artists have degrees or diplomas in art. The degree only helps to hone your basic raw skill. Remember your tattoos will be only as good as your drawing. You should have good sense of design and color too.
A portfolio is a must have if you’re considering going into this profession. Put together atleast 50-150 colorful, versatile drawings or designs that reflects how complex or how intricate you are at art. Remember, as an artist you need to be very versatile because you’ll have clients asking for tattoo designs you might not have even seen in your life!
Apprenticeship is the first step into the trade. Most of these apprenticeships are not paying so you’ll have to rely on an alternate source of income through this learning phase. Many of these apprenticeships may actually cost you because you’ll need to provide for the instruments and materials for yourself.
You’ll not learn anything new except how to handle the machine, clean and sterilize them or how to avoid risks of diseases. You may also be able to see how your teacher actually tattoos on skin, something that you’ll rarely get to try hands on during your apprenticeship.
Learn And Grow
An artist never stops growing. If you want to successful you’ll need to learn different designs, motifs and combine things to create something new. The key is to be able to put your thoughts on paper, that too, attractively.
I suggest you travel to places especially historically significant ones to get new ideas about designs etc. Another way of learning is to get tattooed. If you know a good artist, get a tattoo done from him/her and I am sure you’ll learn a lot while carefully studying them while they are at work.
In many states you need to get a certificate to make you eligible for practice. However ,find out about the norms in your state and follow them accordingly. Once you have the certificate you’ll be able to start tattooing on human skin.
The most important part is to have proper communication with your clients. Many of them especially the first timers will ask you lots of questions. Answer the queries truthfully and well. Never say “it doesn’t hurt” or something fake. Remember you’ll have to gain the trust first and only then will you be able to make a regular clientele.
The other part of having good listening and understanding skills is that, sometimes a customer may want a tattoo that is in his/her head and you’ll have nothing but the description .It will be your task to understand his/her wants and draw the tattoo that he/she imagined.
Once you’re ready I suggest you work at a tattoo parlor and hone your skills further. I know every artist has a dream of making it on their own but this is where you need to start. While at work you’ll get to learn more from seniors. You’ll have customers of your own, now it’s up to you to win over the customer.
Make sure you take a picture of every tattoo you do as an addition for your portfolio. Working at a parlor opens new opportunities too. Artists take years to gain enough confidence and practice to open parlors of their own.