More Than Tattoo Artist Training: Why Students Need Apprenticeships

tattoo artist training

New tattoo artists are always eager to land their first gig in a killer shop, but you need to build up your experience and skills before you can expect your own booth. Here’s why an apprenticeship provides invaluable tattoo artist training and more. 

Testing Your Skills

During an apprenticeship, you get the opportunity to put your new skills to the test. This includes everything from your approach to client consultations to your use of basic tattoo equipment. This is a crucial time to develop your professional etiquette.

Even if you’ve taken a self-taught approach so far, you need these hands-on experiences to become a reliable tattooist. No online tutorial can replace the learning opportunity of working under established professionals.

Learning Styles

In the early stages of your new career as a professional tattoo artist, you’re still discovering your personal style and artistic vision. You’ve been practicing your artistic skills and tattoo drawing, dabbling in all sorts of styles in the process.

Working with established tattoo artists is a great way to see different styles in practice. Keep in mind that some shops will specialize in a specific style, while institutions like Florida Tattoo Academy will expose you to a wide range. Discovering the style that aligns with your natural skills and artistic vision will make it easier to build a portfolio and a career you love. 

Getting Real-Time Feedback

Becoming an apprentice gives you access to mentorship. When you’re working with a mentor, you’ll receive real-time feedback on your:

  • Interaction with clients
  • Ability to translate a client’s requests into actual art
  • Attention to detail
  • Use of tattoo equipment
  • Choice of color and shading skills

In truth, this is just the tip of the iceberg. No matter how talented you are, new tattoo artists can and will make mistakes. When you’re no longer practicing on synthetic skin, real-time feedback can save you from making mistakes that upset clients or put them in harm’s way.

Developing Professional Knowledge

Depending on where you’re getting started, you may need a license before you begin your apprenticeship. Licensing requirements often include proof of bloodborne pathogen training or first aid training. However, this isn’t always the case.

Regardless of what your state or county requires, mastering safety practices is a must. Without proper sanitation, tattooing comes with high risks for both you and your clients. Fulfilling your apprenticeship through a reputable shop or academy will help you develop your professional knowledge of tattooing health and safety. 

Building Your Network

Interpersonal relationships go a long way in the tattoo industry. When you’re in good standing with different tattoo artists and shops, you open the door to long-term or guest positions. Instagram may have enhanced tattooist networking opportunities, but nothing compares to working side by side with respected artists. 

At Florida Tattoo Academy, you can go from a novice to a professional in as little as one year. Our courses cover everything from the art of tattooing to tattooing safety practices. We provide an alternative to the traditional apprenticeship experience that students love.

Contact us to schedule a campus tour and find out more about our program.