Learning to Be a Tattoo Artist

Posted by Dragon Tattoo on

In these days anyone with the right equipment can create a tattoo. Many artists learned the business by trial and error. Others may offer to perform free tattoos for practice or to barter for the cost of the tattoo. But be aware, anyone who gets a tattoo this way is taking the risk of being injured or getting an infection. The bottom line is tattooing should always be done by professionals only.

The tattoo business has grown in popularity, size and mainstream respectability. That’s why the image of the tattoo artist has evolved into that of a trained professional knowledgeable about safety and health issues as well as the art of tattooing. Professional tattoo artist can be considered anyone who makes a living doing tattoos. But many artists don’t agree with the rule. That’s why there is movement among tattoo artists to restrict the use of the term to those who have served a traditional three-year apprenticeship.



There is only one way to become a professional tattoo artist with the respect of other tattoo artists, and that’s through a one-on-one apprenticeship. But it is not always easy to convince a tattooist to take on a new apprentice. Those who are accepted as apprentices must be willing to do a lot of work as well. The work includes menial labor in the shop, including cleaning duties and similar. Apprentices learn the crucial hygiene and safety procedures needed to keep customers safe and prevent the spread of diseases such as AIDS. They also learn the artistic techniques of tattooing such as shading, design and tattoo placement.

When becoming a tattoo artist, you also must remember to follow established professional practices. For example, you always need to use a new needle and tube, new ink, a new ink container and new gloves for each new client. Professional tattoo artists always have equipment and procedures to sterilize and isolate any biohazard materials. They also maintain standards of cleanliness equivalent to a doctor's office.

Truly professional tattoo artist always answer questions about their background and training. Clients usually avoid doing business with any tattoo artist who does not meet or exceed these standards.

Income and Qualifications

Normally tattoo artists make $40,000 or more per year. The income of a tattoo artist is dictated by the business he generates. Most tattoo artists have high school degrees and at least a couple years experience in the industry. Before obtaining the required state license, it is recommended to train as apprentices for two or three years.

Most tattoo artists find clients through yellow pages, direct mail and online advertising. Referrals from highly satisfied clients do the job as well. Another factor that impacts tattoo artist earnings is the experience. Famous and experienced tattoo artists might charge higher rates that lead to higher incomes.

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