Did you know that there are more than 44,000 tattoo artists in the United States? If you’re thinking about becoming a tattoo artist, you’ll have to make your way through all this competition. But where should you start?
How can you make sure you become a talented tattoo artist? It starts by entering a tattoo apprentice program. Becoming an apprentice is one of the best ways to learn about creating beautiful tattoos.
But what are the benefits of participating in a tattoo apprentice program? How can you make sure it’s the right route for you? Keep reading and learn more about what it has to offer below.
1. Learn About Important Tattooing Equipment and Techniques
You might know that you’d enjoy tattooing, but you might not know the first thing about doing tattoos. Tattooing is similar to drawing and painting, but it has some very important differences. The main difference is that you are drawing on a real person’s skin instead of a piece of paper.
The other difference is that whatever you tattoo on a person’s skin will be permanent. You can’t use an eraser if you make a mistake. This will leave you with a very unhappy customer.
This is why you must go to a tattoo school before you start doing tattoos on real people. Before you ink anyone, you will learn about the different tools and techniques that are used in this field. You will explore the different needles used for different styles of tattoos.
Some are best for very fine linework while others are better for shading. Others might be better for blocking in large swaths of color. Mixing up these different needles could have disastrous consequences.
There are also many different techniques you will learn to create different effects. There are techniques for creating hair textures, airbrushed styles, shading, and so on. You will first apply these techniques on a piece of paper.
It is a good idea to have a good understanding of art and drawing before going to a tattoo school. But you can also learn how to draw while in school. Drawing on paper will give you better hand-eye coordination.
It will also help you create better forms and designs. Once you master the art of ordinary drawing, you will move on to tattooing pig skin or synthetic skin. These options are very similar to real human skin.
They will give you a good feel of what it would be like to tattoo a person. You won’t have to worry as much about the consequences of making a mistake either.
2. Build Your Tattooing Portfolio
The goal of a tattoo apprentice program is to help you acquire the skills you need to become a real tattoo artist. But once you have the skills, it might be hard to get hired if you don’t have a good portfolio. Attending a tattoo apprentice program is perfect for building a portfolio.
A portfolio consists of all your best works. Having one is important for showing off what kind of style you specialize in. It also shows what kind of special skills you might have.
You don’t want your portfolio to look like everyone else’s. You also don’t want it to be a collection of mediocre creations. There is no need to put half-finished sketches in your portfolio.
It should consist of completed works that you are proud of.
What You Need to Know
You will need to show off your portfolio if you want to work in a tattoo shop. This is the main way other tattoo artists can gauge if your skills are good enough to get a job.
If your portfolio isn’t very large or impressive, you might have to practice more and continue to build your portfolio. Start building your portfolio early once you enter a tattoo apprentice program. While your early work might not be very good, it is important to keep a continuous stream of work in your portfolio.
You can then weed out the more mediocre designs once you get more talented and accomplished.
3. Learn Different Tattooing Styles
While most tattoo artists choose a style to specialize in, new artists should learn all styles. Some are hyperrealistic while others are cartoonish. Some mimic the style of ancient Japanese paintings while others are tribal.
Others may be abstract, colorful, monochrome, and so on. You might not have an interest in all these different styles, but that doesn’t matter. Practicing in different styles will improve your skills and make your talent more flexible.
Some styles are much harder and more time-consuming than others. Hyperrealistic tattoos are famous for being very difficult. Faces are also known for being hard to make accurate.
These are very specialized styles and they require more work and dedication since they are so specific. There is more room for experimentation with cartoon and abstract styles. But there is still plenty of skill needed to pull them off.
An abstract tattoo doesn’t mean that you can scribble on someone’s skin and call it a day. You still need to put a certain level of artistry and effort into the tattoo. You also need to consider the client’s desires.
The client will be very unhappy if you take liberties with the design they wanted. If you don’t have a good reputation among clients, you won’t get any work. But learning from a tattoo apprentice program will make sure you have all the right knowledge to be a good tattoo artist.
4. Your Tattooing Skills Will Become More Sought-After
No one wants to be tattooed by a novice. They are more likely to make mistakes and may not produce the design that the client was hoping for. As a novice yourself, you will need to apply yourself to the art of tattooing to get more talented.
This may take some time. Most apprenticeship programs take several months. This gives you plenty of time to hone your skills and learn different styles. You will also build upon the knowledge you learn every week.
You will soon reach a point where you can accomplish very impressive designs. Once your designs start to look more professional, people will seek out your services more. You will likely become known for doing a specific style.
People will know to come to you if you are very good at doing a particular type of tattoo. You may also have a wide range of tattoo styles that you do. This would also make you an attractive choice to clients looking for new tattoos.
The more talented you become, the more clients will want to come to you for their tattoos.
5. Learn Straight From the Masters
Being an apprentice will keep you near tattoo masters. It is important to learn directly from them since they have years and sometimes decades of experience. They have had years to learn new techniques, new styles, and new ways of creating fantastic tattoos.
Learning from them is one of the few ways you can become a tattoo master yourself. While you can learn the basics from reading a book or watching a video, that will only get you so far. Creating your own designs on a piece of paper or a slab of synthetic skin will only get you so far too.
Learning from expert tattoo artists will allow you to reach a new level of education. They can adjust your techniques and give you tips on how you can improve. If they see that you are doing something wrong, they can correct you right away.
This ensures that you don’t keep making the same mistake. You will also have the chance to observe how these expert tattoo artists create their tattoos. Observing this process helps you absorb all the little details.
Some people choose to be tattoo apprentices for many years. While this isn’t necessary, it will give you plenty of time to learn as many techniques and styles as you can. Once you graduate from being an apprentice, you can try your hand at being a professional tattoo artist.
The Benefits of a Tattoo Apprentice Program
Attending a tattoo apprentice program is one of the best ways you can become a professional tattoo artist. It gives you all the resources you need to learn new styles and tattooing techniques. You will become familiar with the different tools, ink techniques, and so on.
You can then build a portfolio that may help you get a job after the program. To learn more about how it works, check out our program.