Did you know that it can take between one and five years to become a professional tattoo artist? While this may sound like a long time, if tattooing is your passion, then you will certainly find that the commitment is worth it.
Most people get their tattoo education from a reputable tattoo school, although some tattoo artists may get most of their education from apprenticeships instead.
But what is the benefit of attending a tattoo school, you might ask? Are tattoo schools really worth the time and money or should you spend your efforts elsewhere?
Keep reading and learn more about why tattoo schooling is so important for your career as a tattoo artist.
Tattoo Schools Give You Educational Structure
If you’re debating whether you should go to tattoo artist school or simply become an apprentice, you should know that a tattoo school triumphs over apprenticeships in several ways. This is especially true if you want to become a professional tattoo artist fast. When you are an apprentice, there’s no knowing what you might learn.
Sometimes, you might sit around a tattoo shop all day and not learn anything. There’s no textbook to follow. As an apprentice, you might not actually do any tattooing for years.
This, of course, is not a great way to become a tattoo artist. This is not to mention that it can take forever to find a tattoo artist who is willing to take you on as an apprentice. This is not the case when you opt for a tattoo artist school.
When you go to a tattoo school to become a tattoo artist, there will be far more education structure. You won’t have to worry about wasting time sitting around. Instead, you will actively be learning new techniques and styles.
You will also have the chance to improve your drawing skills on a daily basis. Remember that the art of tattooing is rooted in the simple art of drawing. If you can’t draw, you’re not going to be able to create a good tattoo.
While an apprenticeship alone can teach you a thing or two about drawing, this education is more likely to be sporadic and inconsistent.
When you go to a tattoo school, you will sign up for classes and you can expect to learn certain subjects on certain days. Having this kind of structure will make it much easier for you to plan ahead and keep track of the things you’re learning. After completing a class, you will not only feel accomplished but you will also walk away with far more knowledge about tattooing than you ever had before.
This is not to mention that you can get through your tattoo education much faster and more efficiently as compared to an apprenticeship. Of course, for extra education, you can always practice as an apprentice while also taking classes from a tattoo school. That way, all of your bases will be covered and you will learn a whole lot about tattooing.
You Will Build Your Portfolio
A tattoo artist is nothing without a stunning portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of all of your tattoo designs, patterns, and drawings. It shows your unique style as a tattoo artist and it is very important for getting a job as a professional tattoo artist down the line after you’re done with school.
If you don’t have a good portfolio or any portfolio at all, you won’t have anything to show that you are indeed a skilled tattoo artist. A good portfolio should have around 20 to 30 works. While this may sound like a lot, having this many drawings and designs show that you are dedicated to your craft.
More than that, it will show the breadth of your style and what you’re capable of as a tattoo artist. Going to tattoo school will help you substantially when it comes to creating the perfect portfolio. As mentioned before, you will learn a lot about drawing, tattoo techniques, and other artistic methods while in school.
In particular, you will hone your skills as an artist no matter whether you’re using a pencil or a tattoo needle. For example, as a tattoo artist you will need to learn and understand linework, shading, coloring, and so on. You will practice all of these aspects using simple drawing techniques.
Of course, it is important to learn these techniques completely before you dare to tattoo a real person, otherwise, you might make a mistake and end up with a very unhappy client. Tattoo schools have entire classes dedicated to the art of drawing, sketching, creating designs, and so on.
Honing Your Artistic Skills
After drawing for some time, your portfolio will finally start to come together. In fact, with all the drawing you’ll be doing, it will actually start to form rather quickly. However, even if you create dozens or even hundreds of sketches and drawing while you’re in school, this doesn’t mean that you should add all of them to your portfolio.
Instead, you should only add your best works to your portfolio. After all, your portfolio is a collection of your art that you will need to show to potential employers in the future. For that reason, you will only want to show off your best and most important pieces of art.
Try to avoid adding any incomplete or sub-par drawings to your portfolio. Also, as you progress through your tattoo education, you will be able to look back on your previous works and see how you improved. For example, some of your first works may have some trouble with shading or coloring.
But after some time practicing different techniques and styles, you will improve upon these aspects. Then, you can compare the works you’ve done over the years and spot the differences. You can also start to think about how you would like to continue improving in the future.
This is an important consideration since a good tattoo artist should always aim to keep improving throughout his or her career.
Learn How to Use Tattoo Equipment and Techniques
Tattooing is not as simple as picking up a tattoo gun and starting a tattoo. You might not know this if you’ve never gone to tattoo school. In fact, the practice of tattooing is actually a long and complex process.
You need to exercise great care in every part of this process or something could easily go wrong. For example, in tattoo school, you will learn the importance of using sterile tools and avoiding blood-borne infections. When you tattoo a person, you are using a needle to pierce the deep layers of their skin.
If you use a dirty needle, you could easily inject harmful bacteria into the person’s skin which could result in an infection. Of course, the last thing you want to do is give your client an infection that could potentially be very serious.
Without the right education, you would never know how to prevent infections of this kind and how to keep your tools and workstation as clean as possible.
Tattoo school will also teach you all about the different types of tattoo equipment and how to use them. For example, certain types of tattoos require certain tattoo guns and needles. Suppose that a client wants a very fine linework tattoo.
What You Need to Know
The last thing you want is to use a huge mag with several needles that will produce thick, bold lines. Instead, you will want to choose a very thin and delicate needle to produce the thin linework that the client wants. Without the right education, you could easily confuse these different types of equipment or forget which one does what.
Besides that, you will need to know how to use each of these different tattooing tools. Some require firm pressure to get the right kind of bold lines or colors. On the other hand, other types of tools might require very light pressure or whip-like motions to get a certain look.
This is especially true for realistic tattoo styles and styles that require a very delicate hand.
The Benefits of Tattoo School
If you would love to pursue a career as a tattoo artist but don’t know where to start, going to a good and reputable tattoo school is the perfect solution. A tattoo school can teach you all sorts of important information such as how to keep your tools sterile, how to create certain designs, and so on. You also have the chance to hone your artistic skills and build a great portfolio.
To learn more about going to tattoo school, don’t hesitate to contact us here.