Really?!? You want to draw on people’s skin with permanent ink!? OK then. Becoming a tattoo artist is not something to consider lightly. An intimate relationship exists between artist and client that holds within it a great deal of responsibility.
What’s At Stake?
When tattooing, you are applying a permanent decoration to someone’s body and getting paid handsomely to do so. There is a lot of pressure to provide your client with an image that is as close to their vision as possible. Unlike a bad haircut, a tattoo won’t grow back in a month and will require either removal or cover up if it is not applied correctly and to the clients’ wishes. In addition, you are spending time with someone who is experiencing a great deal of pain and that is not always easy. It takes a certain type of person to cause pain to another, even if it is in the name of art.
As a tattoo artist you are also accepting responsibility for the safety of your client. Some diseases or illnesses can be spread through unclean needles. It is imperative as a tattoo artist that you are able to follow all guidelines of cleanliness and accountability to insure the health of your client.
Some of the better established tattoo artists are making some mad money tattooing. What is not readily seen are the hours they put in doing countless dolphins on any number of drunken college students. It takes time to build a reputation in tattooing as in any business. There is a “cutting your teeth period” which is the natural time it takes to get good enough to earn accolades and get your self known.
If you still want to be a tattoo artist there are some options. Getting a formal tattoo education is a valid possibility. There are many different programs available where you can learn the trade and the “ins and outs” of the industry. By searching online you can find a reputable school to get you started.
Another way to go is with an apprenticeship. This would involve finding a talented, successful tattoo artist that would be willing to take you under their wing as you learn the trade. There are a variety of different financial arrangements you can agree upon as you are learning. The apprenticeship method of learning will likely offer you a better form of marketing than going to a school. While you are apprenticing, you can also begin to build a clientele.