Learning to tattoo can be a rewarding experience but there is only one safe and acceptable way to tattoo and it is through an apprenticeship. There are few self taught artists who are truly regarded well in the industry but in general, those who learn how to tattoo at home are usually not accepted in shops or considered as dangerous to themselves and others by both public and authorities alike. If you want to learn how to tattoo you need to go about it the right way, safely and professionally. Learning any other way is often illegal and dangerous putting both artist and client at risk.
Once you have decided you want to learn how to tattoo, you need to find an artist whom you admire and want to teach you. They may not be willing and they may turn you down but persistence can pay off and if you are really serious about it, eventually, your hard work will pay off. Just because an artist charges a lot of money it does not mean they are particularly skilled, neither does having decades of experience. If you want to learn how to do tattoos from the best then you need to be able to recognize their skills. Generally good tattoos are solid work – the line work is crisp and clean, the colors are solid and sharp and the fades are smooth and even.
There are two aspects to learning to tattoo, theory and practical. Understanding both is key if you plan on being able to do this job professionally. The theory behind tattooing encompasses safety issues such as chemicals and handling bio hazardous waste, while the practical aspect is both tattooing and drawing. To learn how to do tattoos successfully you have to do both and learning how to do each aspect well is what will make you a good artist. Usually your mentor will make sure you are well versed on the theory and the knowledge behind tattooing before you ever try it out. This can be as simple as asking you why they are doing something or whether or not they should be using gloves for shop tasks.
To learn how to do tattoos you do not necessarily have to be an artist, but, it is helpful to know the basics and your interest in learning to do more. There is a strategy and execution that tattooing requires just like any other creative job. Those who learn how to do tattoos but aren't generally artists themselves end up as tattooist or flash monkeys and paid accordingly. Those with creative inclinations often learn how to do tattoos and go much farther professionally as well as make more money.
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- Tags: Learning Tattoo Artistry, Practical Tattoo Practice, Tattoo Mentoring, Tattoo Theory