Creating Your Apprenticeship Portfolio

Posted by Dragon Tattoo on

* Purchase an attractive hard cover portfolio album. Having a website and or a Pinterest page may not get the job done in finding a tattoo apprenticeship. You need to make it easy for the artist you are asking to apprentice you, so have a well put together album. The portfolio needs to be large enough to hold your sketches/drawings of various sizes. In order for the studios to take you seriously, it's really important that it be well put together and professional looking for your presentation.
* Include a variety of your artwork using a variety of mediums; pencils, chalks, crayons, felt tips, inks, charcoal, paints and digital tools. Have at least two pieces of your work in each medium, you will stand out more and likely to be remembered by the artist if you showing versatility. Example: make the same image a few times, using charcoal for one, pencil for another, inks for another one or two, etc. Show off more of your work in the mediums you are most comfortable using...(like showcasing your work).


* Present a selection of subjects to the interviewing artist. In your career as a tattoo artist, you will need to create and design all sorts of images for customers. They may want a portrait from a photo and some that may want you to design pieces from scratch. You will need to show your works of art in both subjects and mediums. Include in your album artwork of people, animals, flowers, skulls, and symbols for example. Show some with color and some without. Skulls, dragons, butterflies, stars, hearts, roses, pinup girls, etc. are commonly requested. Display your ability in producing these.
* Clearly present your style as a tattoo artist, knowing, you should be able to produce tattoos in many different styles. Include a page in your portfolio that shows a tattoo design you have created; something maybe more simplistic like a skull or dragon. Show how you may recreate this same design in different styles to suit many customer preferences. Maybe include Celtic, neo traditional, tribal, realistic, Japanese, black and white, colorful – there are a lot of ways to show tattoo styles.

* Show your work. Do you remember your math teachers saying this to you? Same application here. You must also cite your work if you are duplicating another's work, such as, making a portrait piece. Photo reference what you worked from. If you’ve created a completely new piece, initial your sketch work. It is important to document how you have built your work and how you got to the final piece of art. It will help to identify your strong points, and can help the professional artist offer you suggestions where you may make some adjustments with your work. It also shows them how you might adapt to skin. In your portfolio include some unfinished work, such as anatomy sketches, and some of your completed work. This shows the tattooists that you take all aspects seriously, and a want to evolve which is crucial to tattoo work. 

* Include a few pages of flash tattoo designs that you have created in your portfolio. Flash designs are more simplistic style tattoo designs that can be many times over on any number of customers. The artist sees what sort of tattoo designs you might make if you started working in their shop, and it's good to leave some of your work. When you leave a page of flash and the artist begins to get more customers wanting the designs that you created, they will be more likely to phone wanting you to work with them.
* Offer your Resume' or CV. It is likely that you will not be offered a job while showing your portfolio, so, along with leaving some of your 'flash' work, leave behind also your resume' or CV. Either of these documents must include your name, experience, educational history, employment history, contact information, a little bit about yourself and a few smaller images (photos, scans or copies) of some of your best work.
* Portfolio completed? Now, be proactive and share it with tattoo artists in your region. Read all you can, talk with as many people in the business as you can. Become the best candidate you can be!

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