How To Become A Professional Tattoo Artist In 5 Steps
Currently, the tattoo industry is worth over $3 Billion and is growing at a rapid pace. A reason for this swift growth is the increasing interest in ink work shown by the younger generations. Thus, the tattoo industry is yet to go through its golden years, granting ample opportunities to those who are willing to work for it.
So, if you too plan on becoming a professional tattoo artist, we applaud your decision on picking a fruitful career. However, similar to any business, you need to put in the work to become successful.
We’ve come across many aspiring tattoo artists who give up on their dreams just because they do not know how to kick-start their careers. And we suspect that there may be loads more out there. So, to help everyone out, we at “Entre Lagos Tattoos” came up with this read on “how to become a professional tattoo artist in 5 steps”.
Education Is Key
Despite the career you pick, education will always play a huge part in your success. And by education, we mean knowing the ins and outs of your trade. There are a few routes you can take to educate yourself on the art of tattoos.
Ones the self-taught route, which many successful tattoo artists have taken. Similar to any craft, however, teaching yourself can be a tedious journey as much as it can be rewarding. Regardless, if you are confident about your resolve, we say go for it. We suggest you start off by practicing drawing and then turn to the works of famous tattoo artists. Knowledge of disease prevention and treating infections will also be valuable in the long run.
However, if you prefer a helping hand to guide you, we suggest you enroll in a tattoo school or an institute that teaches the trade. Most colleges now have courses on tattooing and you might even be lucky to land on a scholarship if you are gifted.
Secure An Apprenticeship
No amount of study can give you the experience hands-on training or an apprenticeship gives. However, we suggest you enroll in an apprenticeship program only when you are confident about your drawing skills and the ability to design appealing tattoos.
An apprenticeship puts you alongside an experienced tattoo artist in a professional setting. Here, you will learn many valuable skills, such as operating a tattoo gun (unless you’ve used one before), sterilizing equipment, and dealing with customers. And if you excel at it, you might even land yourself a job.
Typically, an apprenticeship can cost anywhere between $3000 – $10000 depending on the time frame you’ll be trained for. Further, it would also require you to sign a contract. As this is quite a hefty sum of money, be sure to research the apprenticeship program before any investment.
Create A Portfolio
A great portfolio is your gateway to a successful career. No customer would ever lie on your chair to get tattooed unless they’ve checked your previous work. Therefore, we suggest you gather samples to showcase your work as soon as possible.
Further, an attractive portfolio will allow you to land an excellent mentor as well. Thus, be sure to save all the designs you come up with as you push yourself to become a professional tattoo artist. Once you are more experienced, you can filter out the designs that you consider amateurish.
However, do not copy the work of other tattoo artists. Doing so can get you a bad reputation proving it difficult to find work in the long run.
Get The Required License
Most countries require you to have a license to become a professional tattoo artist. And there are certain prerequisites that you need to complete before obtaining one. These prerequisites depend on the country and even the state. Thus, we suggest you do a thorough search on how to get a license that allows you to practice the trade.
Having the proper license will prevent any issues with the law, and you do not want any trouble as a beginner tattoo artist. Any law-related issues you face at the start of your career will affect your reputation and keep many potential customers away.
Either Go Solo Or Join A Team
Once you’ve completed all the steps mentioned above, you should feel pretty confident about entering the tattoo industry as a professional tattoo artist. You can either go solo and start a business right from the get-go or apply at an existing tattoo shop.
If you prefer working among fellow artists to learn the trade better, we suggest you join an existing tattoo studio. However, if you’ve got an entrepreneurial mindset and have the means to start your own business, a private tattoo studio will suit you better. After all, creating your own business brings about many favorable perks, such as unshared profits.
Regardless, the decision is up to you and we believe you’ll make one that fits your personality.