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Tattooing is traditionally an apprentice based art.
Apprenticeships last approximately three years before they are considered
You are making permanent,
often visible changes to another human being and if proper procedure isn't
followed, could be jeopardizing that client's health and emotional
well-being. By taking advantage of the knowledge of
experienced, professional artists, you will avoid many costly mistakes.
Apprenticeships are by far not easy to get, you can
expect to hear a "NO" more often then "YES", but let me
advise you persistence pays off!
They may even cost you money and you might have to sign a contract regarding your future business practices.
This is not unusual! Just as in any other profession, you need to pay for
schooling, but not always!
First, you should
put together a portfolio, anything reflecting your skills with
composition, color and line work.
In the tattoo biz
these are called "tattoo-flash". They should be no smaller than 11x14!
sets, one set with 4 pages of color, and one set with 4 pages of
black and white. It helps
to visit a tattoo shop or better a tattoo
and check out what professional flashes look like. For each shop make color copies of your flash work, make sure each
one shows your name and contact info.
Now, having this, you are
ready to go out and ask for apprenticeship in a tattoo shop. This is the
first impression shop owners will see from you, so PLEASE make sure, they
look as best
as possible, and reflect
all your skills, imagination and sincereness about becoming a
Be aware, that
this portfolio will be a main deciding factor between "YES" and "NO"!
Choose the shops you would like to work at well, make
sure it is a professional organization, and get a feel for the vibe in the
shop. This is essential, and requires checking out places in your town a
couple weeks before
you go out and ask for
are many people asking all the time! Even though you are not going on a
job interview on wall street;
be well prepared,
confident, dress sharp and be smart!
In other words, make a positive
impression! Try to put put yourself into the position of a shop owner,
and think about under what criteria you would choose an
Make sure the person in charge is there, and has time, in
other words, do NOT go there on a weekend, they won't have time to
talk to you, choose a slow day, this will improve your
chances for someone to talk to you a a lot!
Let them know that you
have some flash you would to show them, tell them about your artwork,
tell them a little about yourself, and mention that you are looking for an
You will be able to tell right away whether he is into it
or not, and go from there.
In any case, try
to leave your flash work there, you never know who comes across it!
more material from you is laying around somewhere the bigger the chance,
that someone will call one day!
It's as simple as that...
Most likely you will hear a
"no", for what-ever reason, at least ask WHY
?! No-one will be mad if you do!
It is your right to know!
do they have enough people?
did they not like my flash?
Whatever it is, find out, and make corrections~!
Success or failure is determined well and truly before
result is actually attained.
This may sound a little strange but the successful result
very deeply within how often we fail, learn from our
adjust accordingly, try again, fail again; and so the
continues until our experience and talents lead us to
% this applies to your entire career as a
tattoo artist! you will never finish learning!
"NO" or rejections as a lesson to learn, and one step further up the
ladder, mistakes are costly, and therefore should not be repeated!
is easy to get frustrated and discouraged, but bare in mind,
other people that have made it, and if you are serious enough,
and this really
IS what you want to do, then there is absolutely nothing in your way!
There are some organisations that provide schooling, check out the following links:
Jade Dragon Tattoo
Now, if you feel lucky today, you can check out a couple listings of available jobs and apprenticeships openings
and start applying what you just learned!
What else do you need? nice equipment? at least to look at for now?
ok, here is a very cool company, check them out, they will asssist you with all your questions,
should you have any!
the caped crusader
writer and editor