How to Become a Tattoo Artist: 7 Tattoo Tips for Beginners

Become a Tattoo Artist
Becoming a tattoo artist is on the horizon. Check out this guide to the essential tattoo tips for beginners to get started.

44 percent of Americans have at least one tattoo. The taboo around tattoos seems to finally be coming to an end, and with more people interested in getting a tattoo, there are more clients than ever for tattoo artists.

It’s a great time to become a tattoo artist, but the road to success is not an easy one. It takes a lot of hard work and effort, but with these tattoo tips for beginners, you’ll be a professional tattoo artist with a valuable reputation and loyal customers.

1) Get Ready to Take Your Time

When someone sits down in a chair to get a tattoo, they expect to be there for a while. They expect the process to take time. The same can be said of the process of becoming a tattoo artist.

Learning even the tattoo basics takes significant time. You’ll need to learn to draw well, handle customers, tattoo directly onto the skin, handle your personal business, and so much more. But that knowledge doesn’t come overnight. Take your time, and enjoy the ride. 

2) Consider Going to Art School

Not every tattoo artist goes to a formal college, but it certainly isn’t a bad idea. While you can’t get a four-year degree in tattooing, you can get a degree in the visual arts which will only serve your artistry.

While you learn from other sources how to become a tattoo artist, you’ll get to hone in on your drawing skills and develop your personal drawing style. That drawing knowledge will set you apart when you start finding tattoo customers.

3) Take An Online Course

A great source to learn the basics of becoming a tattoo artist is an online tattooing for beginners course. These courses can set you up with proper knowledge before you begin an apprenticeship in a tattoo shop.

You’ll learn hygiene rules, tattoo techniques, styles, and even some important business advice. Some states even require that you take official courses before you begin tattooing.

4) Get Advice, Experience, and Mentorship From Current Tatto Artists

After you’ve finished art school and completed online courses, you’ll need to find a tattoo shop to begin working in. Look for shops with openings in entry-level or apprenticeship positions.

Once you find a shop, find a mentor. If you’ve been hired as an apprentice, your mentor will automatically come, but make sure that you try to learn from everyone in the shop. Everyone will have a slightly different style, and you never know whose methods will work for you.

Be open to criticism because it’s the only way to learn, and take every opportunity that comes. Be helpful, courteous, and curious, and your time as an apprentice will pay off. 

5) Invest In Good Equipment

Invest in good quality equipment right away. Your tattoos will look better if they’ve been made with good equipment, and it isn’t worth sacrificing your reputation early on just to save a few bucks at the beginning.

Plus, if you buy good equipment now, you won’t need to replace it later with better equipment and end up paying twice. 

It’s also a good idea to learn how to service your own equipment so that you don’t have to pay for repairs. Tattooing is a trade and a craft. Learning everything about it and truly mastering it includes understanding your tools at an intimate and professional level.

6) Never Stop Practicing

Like any other art form, the key to success is to never stop practicing it. The practicing will never end no matter how professional or skilled your become. Your clients will want to know that you’re still growing and getting better.

Are you wondering how to practice tattoos? There are a couple of methods.

First of all, you should just practice drawing and sketching. Bring a sketchbook everywhere you go and let the ideas constantly flow. Draw everything that comes to mind at every moment the ideas hit you.

You can also use practice skins and fruits to practice your tattooing techniques on. This kind of practice isn’t as simple or accessible as keeping a sketchbook. So, make sure that you consistently block out time to work on it. If it’s a slow day at the shop, take out those skins and practice!

Eventually, friends, mentors, and regular customers will let you practice on them too. Take a deep breath and believe in yourself for these moments. You’ve been working hard and deserve the opportunity to give people a piece of art they’ll love forever.

7) Master All the Techniques But Find a Style

There are four basic skills that every tattoo artist should master. You need to learn lining, shading, coloring, and lettering. You’ll learn the basics of these skills in your tattoo course, but mastering them is up to your practice dedication.

Of course, you’ll need to find your own style too. Don’t give in to popular tattoo trends or just learn what the people are asking for because those styles will always come and go.

What will never change is your personal taste and style. And tattoo artists with integrity to their own styles are the ones that get return customers with similar tastes. The people getting trendy tattoos will go anywhere, but you need to build a regular clientele.

Tattoo Tips For Beginners

With these tattoo tips for beginners, you’ll be able to take your first steps towards your dream of becoming the tattoo artist you’ve always wanted to be. Take your time with your progress, invest in good training, find a mentor, and then practice forever.

Are you ready to start your first tattoo course? Contact us for more information about our courses!