If you’re interested in learning how to tattoo, it is very important that you do it right. There’s nothing more damaging to your reputation that several people out there showing the whole world how horrible your tattoos are, or the infections they got due to your ignorance. It therefore pays to learn everything you need to know through a tattoo apprenticeship (learning from a trained artist with several years of practical experience) instead of teaching yourself to do so.
However, good apprenticeships are not easy to find. You may find yourself visiting several shops without finding anyone who is willing to take you in. But all hope in not lost. Here are four tips that can help increase your chances of getting a tattoo apprenticeship:
Do Some Research In Advance
Before asking the staff of any tattoo shop if they offer apprenticeships, ensure you admire their work, and that it is a place that you’d be excited to learn from. A good starting point would be a shop where you have been tattooed. Get to know more about the shop you’re interested in and their artists beforehand to ensure you’ll be a good fit. You can do so by talking to friends and family members who have been tattooed in the shop and reading the information on their website.
Your Portfolio Is Key
Tattoo artists aren’t looking for your knowledge or experience in the tattoo industry. On the contrary, they want someone with little to no experience in tattooing, but is willing to learn. However, you should have something to show the skills you already possess. The best way to do is through a well-written portfolio. Think of it as you CV and make it appealing to look at.
Be sure to include a wide array of art, focusing on specific traits like design flow, line consistency, and an understanding of color theory among others. Since you’ll be doing lots of line drawings during your apprenticeship, it is also very important to research popular tattoo designs, and include your own rendition of them in your portfolio.
No tattoo artists would want to dedicate several hours of their time teaching someone to tattoo, only for them to disappear after a few weeks. Therefore, you need to show your potential employer that you won’t disappear by being determined in your pursuit. If you’re turned down, come back a few more times just to say hello. While there, show that you’re interested in becoming part of the team by lending a helping hand i.e. help customers pick out designs, take out the trash can, offer to buy them lunch etc.
Mind Your Attitude
No employer is willing to deal with a person with a bad attitude, and tattoo shops are not different. So, be respectful at all times, even if one of the artists disrespects you. You are there to persuade them to teach you what they know, so don’t go about telling them how much you already know. Instead, remain humble and willing to learn and, and you have a much better chance of getting a tattoo apprenticeship.
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