If you like working with people and you see yourself as artistic person, working as a tattoo artist may be a great choice for you. But before you make your decision final, you should know that it takes training, and it takes time—at least five years, to become a professional tattoo artist.
Talent is vital for tattooing. You can develop your talent into the skill it takes to become a tattoo artist. You need basics like shading and tracing, either from photos, artwork or logos and the ability to draw or sketch as well.
It is illegal to tattoo for "for fun" or as a hobby, and the health and safety are the biggest and the most serious reasons. It is extremely risky to use on-disposable equipment. The risks associated with home tattooing start with minor Staph infections and end with septicemia.
You shouldn’t use your home as a tattoo studio too. It can put you and your family at extreme risk of infections and diseases. Tattooing at home and as a hobby is both illegal and not safe.
Having an interest in tattooing and being able to draw are not the only things you'll need. You will need to have dedication, patience, and sociability. The rule is simple, if you can't be patient and persistent, you won't be a good tattooist. The truth is, dealing with clients is much more difficult than learning to tattoo.
When you become a tattoo artist, you will permanently apply images to other people's bodies and you will be exposed to needlestick hazards, infectious diseases, unconsciousness, rudeness, vomiting and blood. You will also have to know how to write "strength" in chinese, japanese, and farsi as well.
You will have to get business licenses, vaccinations and confidence in your drawing ability. But at the end of the day, you still will be rewarded by working with people you love, looking how you like, and creating art that people love enough to wear till the rest of their life.
Many professional tattoo artists recommend that you serve an apprenticeship before you make a step forward to tattooing. Apprenticeships can be either free or paid one, but it is highly recommended for a artist that wants to become a tattoo professional.
With apprenticeships, you will learn how to clean your equipment to meet health regulations, manage your business, price your work and similar. You can even sign a contact with some tattoo teachers a that outlines how long your apprenticeship will last.
Apprenticeships normally last 5 years, and the first couple of years, you will be expected to help with cleaning and running the shop. Along the way you will learn safety and health practices and customer service skills as well.
Most probably you first work will be on yourself, or your friends. You will be considered as a journeyman, when you have completed your apprenticeship. After spending 10 years as a journeyman, you will be officially considered a professional tattoo artist.