How to Learn to be a Tattoo Artist

Posted by Dragon Tattoo at

Many young folks have the wish to become a tattoo artist these days. They see the profession of a tattoo artist as a potential for high income, and gaining the status of being cool in the society. Beginners tend to make mistakes like buying a kit and practicing on their friends, which is very unsafe.

If you really want to become a skilled and competent artist, you need to invest your time and acquire the skills necessary to compete in this highly competitive business. Before we continue with the necessary tips to become a tattoo artist, you should learn the job duties and the tattoo artist salary as well.

Job Duties and Salary
As a tattoo artist, your duties will be meeting with clients for a consultation in order to discuss placement, size, colour and estimated price of tattoo. You will have to discuss options and details related to the tattoo and produce a traced outline for the tattoo based on the shape of the body part receiving the tattoo. You have to learn to skillfully use electric needle and indelible ink to draw tattoo on specified part of client’s body. You also have to provide your clients with tattoo after-care knowledge and product options.

When it comes to the salary, the average US tattoo artist makes $32.000 USD per year. In many cases, tattoo artists are paid on commission by the tattoo studio they represent. For example, if a tattoo studio charges $160 per hour for the services of an artist, they will give the artist a percentage of that fee. Most often the fee is around 30% to 70%. Your fee will depend mostly by the level of skills you have.

Have Talent and Skill
Raw talent is vital for becoming a tattoo artist. If you can’t draw or color inside the lines, you should reconsider the decision of doing tattoos for a living.
The second step is to work hard on your talent and develop it into skill. You could do this by working with a fellow artist, taking art classes or reading tattoo related books. To sum it up, you have to work hard and practice all the time.

Build a Portfolio and Gain Apprenticeship
By having a portfolio, you will examples of your art to show your different skills to potential customers. You can gain an apprentice by learning a skill from someone else already skilled in the trade. Apprenticeship cost thousands of dollars, but if you’re lucky and have some connections, you could get if for free. The thing is, you can’t depend on your luck if you’re serious about tattooing, so find a way to save or acquire the money needed for your training.

Understand Art
The best tattoo artists have only one secret, they are passionate about their artwork. It’s a good idea to learn about other types of art, besides learning all about the art of tattooing.
The one skill that is vital for getting more clients is the ability to be good at sketching out ideas for them. Even better, you could the drawings in with colored pencils, water colors or markers. This will help you gain clients that are especially interested in life-like designs and the play of light.
To gain more knowledge about art, you could simply check out a few books from the library, or even take few art classes.

Even if you have 20 years experience as a tattoo artist, you will never know it all. You can always find more to learn, new ways to enhance what has already been done before, new techniques to adopt and similar. As an artist, you should never be satisfied with mediocrity. Don’t allow yourself to become egotistical and always be open-minded.

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