Did you know that Americans spend over $1.65 Billion a year on tattoos?
If you’re considering becoming a tattoo artist, it’s important to do your research first. There are a lot of different tattoo artist apprenticeship programs out there, and not all of them are created equal.
Finding the right apprenticeship is crucial if you’re interested in becoming a tattoo artist. There are many things for you to know and consider when deciding, so here are nine of the most important ones.
1. What Are Your Tattooing Goals and Aspirations
If you’re thinking of becoming a tattoo artist, it’s important to have clear goals and aspirations. When considering an apprenticeship, the greatest place to begin is your goals and aspirations. Consider the following as well:
What Style of Tattoos Do You Want To Specialize In?
It’s important to understand yourself as an artist and what specific tattoo style you want to specialize in. This will help you choose the best apprenticeship for you and set you up for success because no two artists are the same. And neither is what you can learn from them.
Why Do You Want to Do This?
Do you want to be a tattooist strictly for personal reasons, or do you want to pursue a career in the tattoo industry? There are several reasons why someone might want to apprentice under a tattoo artist, but it’s important to be clear about your goals.
What’s Your Current Experience Level With Tattooing?
Tattooing is a complex skill that takes years of practice to perfect. If you’re just starting, it’s important to find an apprenticeship that will give you the time and opportunity to develop your skills.
Once you’ve decided on an apprenticeship, it’s important to do your research on the program.
2. How Much Experience Does the Artist Have
Deciding to become a tattoo artist is a big decision. It’s not something you can just jump into without doing your research. One of the most important factors you need to consider when looking for a tattoo artist apprenticeship is how much experience the artist has.
You want to make sure you’re learning from someone who knows what they’re doing and has a lot of experience in the industry. There are numerous tattoo artists in the world who are just starting and who don’t have a lot of experience. While there’s nothing wrong with that, you want to be sure you’re learning from someone who can teach you the ropes and has a lot of knowledge about tattooing.
Another factor to consider is how much the artist charges for their services. You don’t want to be ripped off by an inexperienced artist who charges too much for the experience.
Do your research and find an artist charging a fair price for their services. Tattooing is an Art form, and it takes years of practice to perfect.
3. What Is the Artist’s Tattooing Style
Do you want to learn to tattoo in a traditional American style, Japanese Irezumi style, or something else entirely? Research the different styles and find an artist specializing in the style you want to learn.
The tattoo industry offers a huge range of traditional to new school tattooing styles. You want to make sure the artist whose apprenticeship you enter has a style that you can see yourself tattooing. This is important because, as an apprentice, you will be doing a lot of tattooing under the artist’s supervision.
Lastly, consider the tattoo artist’s career trajectory. Is he or she currently working on any exciting projects? Is the artist well-respected in the tattoo community? These are each very important points to consider when choosing a tattoo artist apprenticeship.
Once you have found a few potential apprenticeships, take the time to meet with the artists and get a feel for their unique teaching style and personalities. The tattoo artist apprenticeship that you choose will greatly impact your future tattooing career, so it is important to take your time and choose wisely.
4. Will You Be Working With Any Other Artists in the Shop
When you’re apprenticing under a tattoo artist, you’ll spend a lot of time in the shop. It’s important to find out if you’ll be working with other artists during your apprenticeship.
If so, you’ll want to know their tattooing styles and if they’re open to teaching you their techniques. Some shops only allow their apprentices to work with one artist, while others have a more relaxed policy.
If you are allowed to work with other artists, and they’re open to it, you can learn a lot about variations in technique. Some of the many things you can learn from working with more than one artist:
- How to adapt your tattooing style to different clients
- Learn about different approaches
- Different ways to solve problems
- Different ways to work with clients
- Get critiques on your work from multiple artists
- Fresh perspectives on the art and craft of tattooing
You can also learn about the business side of tattooing, such as marketing and pricing. By working with different artists in different settings, you can get a well-rounded education in the art of tattooing. This can give you a distinct advantage when starting as a tattoo artist.
It’s important to find out what the policy is before you commit to an apprenticeship. You don’t want to be stuck where you’re not learning anything or cannot work with other artists.
5. What Is the Apprentice Agreement
One of the most important considerations is the tattoo artist’s policy on apprenticeship agreements. Be sure to ask about this before you commit to anything, as it’s important to understand what you agree to. In general, an apprenticeship agreement should outline the expectations and responsibilities of both the tattoo artist and the apprentice.
It should also define the terms of the apprenticeship itself. Make sure you’re comfortable with all of these things before signing on the dotted line. Some of the things you should look out for in an apprenticeship agreement include:
- The amount of time the apprenticeship will last
- How often you will be tattooing
- What type of training you will receive
- What your duties will be
- What the artist’s expectations are of you
- What the artist’s policy is on tattooing clients
Be sure to read over the apprenticeship agreement carefully before you sign it. If there are any points that you’re not comfortable with, be sure to discuss them with the artist before you commit to anything.
6. Does the Artist Use a Clean and Safe Work Environment
Any tattoo artist worth their salt will have a clean and safe work environment. This is important for both the tattoo artist and the client.
You should also ask about the artist’s sterilization procedures. This is important for both the safety of the client and the quality of the tattoo. Be sure to ask about this before you agree to get a tattoo from an artist.
Bloodborne pathogens can be present in tattooing, so cleaning the work area is crucial. This means that the tattoo artist must take precautions, such as wearing gloves and using sterile needles.
The tattoo artist’s workspace should also be free of clutter and debris. A cluttered workspace can lead to cross-contamination and an increased risk of infection.
You should also make sure that the artist has a good ventilation system. This is important for both the tattoo artist and the client, as it helps to reduce the risk of infection and allergic reactions.
The last thing a client wants is to end up with an infection or a poorly done tattoo. And the last thing you want as a new artist is to be associated with a place that might cause this. So, be sure to ask about the artist’s work environment and sterilization procedures before you agree to anything.
It’s important to have a clean and healthy environment for obvious reasons, but it’s also important because it shows that the tattoo artist is professional and takes their tattoo artist career seriously. A clean and safe work environment is a sign of a good tattoo artist.
In addition to a clean work environment, the tattoo artist should also have a professional attitude. The tattoo artist must be able to put the client at ease and answer any questions they may have. The tattoo artist should also be able to provide aftercare instructions so that the tattoo heals properly.
7. What Is the Shop’s Policy on Tipping
Tipping is always appreciated in the tattoo world, but it’s not always a given, especially for apprentices. Some shops have a policy where tips are mandatory, while others leave it up to the customer’s discretion. And there may be rules about whether you can take tips as an apprentice.
While you’re not going into the apprenticeship for the tips, it doesn’t hurt to have a little pocket money while you learn. This is good for your finances, but it also allows you to learn what to expect from clients when it comes to tip giving, what’s a normal amount, and what determines this. Remember, you’re not just learning the art of tattooing but also the business.
It’s best to know these policies before you take on the apprenticeship. That way, you’re not caught off guard, and you can be prepared to either give or receive tips.
8. How Often Will You Be Tattooing
This is an important question to ask because it will determine how much time you’ll actually get to spend tattooing. Some apprenticeships require that you tattoo every day, while others may only let you tattoo a few days a week.
However, even if you’re only tattooing a few times a week, you still need to make sure you’re getting enough practice. Otherwise, you won’t be able to perfect your technique, and you might end up with some bad tattoos.
On the other hand, if you’re tattooing every day, you’ll need to make sure you have enough time to devote to your apprenticeship. Otherwise, you’ll quickly get behind and will struggle to catch up. In either case, it’s important to find an apprenticeship that fits your schedule and gives you the opportunity to tattoo as often as you need to.
It’s also important to consider how often you’ll be tattooing because how often you get to tattoo will determine the length of your apprenticeship. If you’re only tattooing once a week, it’s likely that your apprenticeship will take longer to complete. However, if you’re tattooing several times a week, you can expect to be finished within a year.
9. What Is the Overall Atmosphere of the Shop Like
Take a look at the shop environment. Is it clean and professional? Do the other artists seem friendly and collaborative? You’ll be spending a lot of time at the shop, so you want to make sure it’s somewhere you feel comfortable.
The shop should be clean and organized, and the staff should be professional and courteous. You want an atmosphere that strikes a balance between the art and the business of the craft of tattooing. So, the atmosphere should look and feel professional.
You should also get the sense that the tattoo artists who work in the shop feel comfortable talking to other tattooists about their careers and asking for advice. If you become an apprentice in the shop, you don’t want to become boxed in and unable to ask questions freely. It’ll slow your growth, and it really isn’t professional for a business to limit your potential like this.
Are You Looking for a Great Tattoo Artist Apprenticeship?
There are many benefits to becoming a tattoo artist. For one, you can express your creativity and show off your artistry. Additionally, you can make a great living doing something you love. And, as an added bonus, you get to meet new people and travel to different places.
Florida Tattoo Academy is the perfect place to start your apprenticeship. We offer a comprehensive program that will teach you everything you need to know about this industry. You’ll learn from some of the best artists in the business, and after completing our program, you’ll be able to start your own tattoo studio.
Contact us today to learn more about our program and how you can get started on your tattoo artist apprenticeship.