Tattoo Training

Posted by Dragon Tattoo on

Training to be a tattoo artist isn't easy. Your hours will be long, hard, repetitive and usually unpaid. When you start training to be a tattoo artist be prepared to give up your life outside of the shop. Tattooing requires a commitment and it normally starts out unpaid. Most will probably have to maintain a full time job on top of your hours at the shop to support yourself. Every certification and mentor is different in their demands, some places require you to do a specified amount of hours during tattoo training either weekly or in total before certification. Generally most people don't make it through their apprenticeship. For every person certified as a Tattoo Artist four or more didn't finish their tattoo training and then still more never even were offered an apprenticeship.

Tattoo training might sound like an easy road to a career, but if you are unsure if the career is for you or if you're just doing it because you feel it's an easy choice then you're doing both yourself and your future clients a disservice. When you start out training to tattoo, understand you are marking these people for life. They leave your chair forever changed from when they sat down and it is your duty to give them a positive experience. Though most people will undertake tattoo training for money the fact that most artists aren't well paid soon sinks in and those who stay after training generally do this job because they love it. Attitude can make or break you when it comes to tattoo training. So start out humble, knowing that you have a long journey to go before you become an artist.

Tattoo training exercises can involve anything from simply learning to draw, to rebuilding a coil machine. Each mentor has different ways of teaching though it is to be expected that at some point you will be in the room with them observing them work. Generally, before you ever get to touch anything there is a lot of theory and information you will have to process. For example knowing what a “hot” or “red” area is and how to handle the things in it. A lot of your tattoo training will be done through observation and recording before you even get close to the practical aspect of tattooing.

Probably the most important aspect of tattoo training is safety, both yours and the clients. Tattooing is essentially a minor surgical process and does involve a level of blood contamination. Knowing how blood borne pathogens are transmitted, replicate and survive gives you some basics and knowledge to stop their spread and to protect yourself and clients. Any artist worth their salt will know they need to wear gloves, but why, and how often should they be changed? Professional level tattoo training will cover all aspects of this and more; since it is of deadly importance there really isn't a short cut on this and if you aren't going to be professionally trained you're playing with your life.

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