The Complete Guide to Choosing a Tattoo School: Everything to Know

tattoo on human arm

Everyone loves a great tattoo, and for some, they carry deep meaning. You may be passionate about tattoos and have several of your own. The more creative and artistic among us have definitely thought: I’d like to create beautiful tattoos.

The thing is, being a tattooist is an educational and artistic journey that takes work. If you’re serious, then choosing a tattoo school that’s right for you is the most important thing. What you’ll need is time, love, commitment, and good teachers to succeed.

If you love tattoos and want to take the journey to one day becoming a master of the form, then you’re in the right place. Our guide will show you everything you need to know to choose the best tattoo school.

Enhancing Your Artistic Ability

This might seem obvious, but your artistic and drawing ability will matter. You should consider a school that teaches and polishes drawing abilities. Don’t go with one that expects you to have existing skills in these areas.

Tattoos are permanent. If you want to become a tattoo artist, you’ll need to perfect your art. Look for schools that can help you learn and improve.

Licenses and Reputation

Tattooing is the only form of art that is subject to regulations. There are good reasons for this, as tattooing can carry serious health risks if done wrong. These include everything from allergic reactions to skin diseases and blood-borne pathogens.

You need to find a school that is properly accredited and licensed. These can be few and far between as apprenticeship used to be the typical way of learning.

As a practicing tattoo artist, you’ll likely need a license for yourself and another for your shop if you own one. This varies by state, but in most cases, it holds true. To learn under a skilled tattooist, they may need a valid license, and this applies to schools too.

Check your state’s laws and choose a school accordingly. Don’t learn from an institution or educator that isn’t licensed or registered. Only go with a licensed tattoo school.

You should also look at the school’s reputation before enrolling. Check training track records, instructor skills, and the breadth of what they teach. If you’re learning how to tattoo, you’ll want to go with the best school available.

Equipment, Practices, and Personnel

The school you choose should provide you with access to the tools and knowledge you need to succeed. These can range from the programs and items you use to sketch your designs to using your tattoo guns. Having high-quality tools is only the beginning.

A good school will teach you how to tattoo, but they’ll also teach you about your craft and machines. You should be able to take apart and reassemble your equipment. This also means being able to troubleshoot issues and fix them before you hurt a customer or mess up a design.

Safety and personalized care is something any tattoo educator should stress when teaching. After all, you are working on a human canvas. This carries with it risks of infection and other medical issues.

Your school should let you practice on a variety of mediums. This includes grapefruit skin, pigskin, and other synthetic materials. You’ll learn sterile practices, how different works look on the skin, and how to do aftercare.

Everyone’s skin is different. This also goes for their allergies and sensitivity to different inks and techniques. A school that doesn’t understand this shouldn’t be teaching you how to tattoo.

History, Style, and New Developments

There are many types of tattoos and an equal number of techniques. When choosing a tattoo school, you need to consider the diversity of what they teach. Learning to draw is something you can do at art school – tattooing is more involved.

Starting with the history of tattooing and its many forms is important. Any school worth its credentials won’t skip these kinds of courses.

Tattooing carries with it deep symbolic and personal meaning. For most of human history, we’ve been using tattoos to celebrate our cultures, mark rites of passage, and express ourselves. Your school should expose you to as much history and variety of styles as possible.

As a tattoo artist, you’ll often do work for clients that has significant emotional weight behind it. Understanding the deeper history and symbolism behind different techniques helps you deliver. Another aspect often overlooked is new technological developments.

The tattoo industry is evolving all the time with new bio-inks and more efficient machines. Gone are the days of sketching on paper, as many shops use computer drawing software like Adobe Draw. You want to find a tattoo school that teaches and practices the latest and most accepted trends.

Learning How to Run Your Tattoo Business

Every professional tattoo artist knows there’s the artistic side and the business side. A good school will teach you how to deliver great tattoos and help with client satisfaction. Part of this is developing the skills to work with clients and create a welcoming atmosphere.

The first thing is learning to keep your shop and equipment clean and clutter-free. It sounds obvious, but it’s a work ethic that often needs teaching. You’ll also need to learn how to deal with clients.

Communication is key as you want to set clear expectations based on your skill, the customer’s needs, and how it’s likely to look. Clarity and listening skills are vital to making your clients feel comfortable.

Your school should prepare you for handling the running costs of your business and proper pricing. They’ll teach you what standard industry rates are for varying levels of work.

They’ll also teach you how much you can expect to drop on materials. Book-keeping isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time, but it’s an important part of the industry.

Your school will also teach you how to advertise yourself. There’s a variety of self-marketing techniques available, including social media like Instagram. These will help you build a proper client base.

Choosing a Tattoo School That’s Right For You

When it comes to choosing a tattoo school, you have a lot to consider. State laws and licensing requirements are one thing, but also check their reputation. The courses they offer, the practices they teach, and the instructors are paramount.

The best schools will also give you the knowledge to succeed as an artist and business owner. When it comes to high-quality options, Florida Tattoo Academy is a cut-above. Check us out today and take the next step in making your dreams a reality.