My mentor thinks that making people pay is a rip off. He says that if the right person with the right portfolio comes along at the right time, they shouldn’t have to pay. He thinks it’s enough that you provide at least a year of unpaid labor (before you actually begin to tattoo) and agree to stay at his shop for five years. You more than make it worth his while and yours. I did have to buy all my own stuff. He suggested what I should get and helped me to set up accounts with quality suppliers.
One of the other interesting things he told me after I completed my apprenticeship was that only about 1 u 10 people who start an apprenticeship actually have what it takes and become tattoo artists. He’s pretty good at finding talent though. He found Josh Woods, Josh Avery, Joel Menter, and Brian Pierce before me. I can only hope to be in their league some day but if he chose me, I want to make him proud and hopefully surpass them all some day.
I wouldnt mind paying something, I think it is more of a sign of cimmitment to the best mentors than any kind of fee