Take in a well-done portfolio to your local (decent) shops. Include different styles you can do well, colour, B/G, japanese etc, but don’t include tattoos you may have done already (unless you did them in a professional shop).
For the first 12 months you might just be sweeping floors and prepping machines. No tattooing whatsoever. You just gotta be patient, and don’t give up 🙂
Hey man thank you very much for your feed back. I appreciate it allot. Some times its hard to get any artist at all to talk to you. I usually work on really large full color paintings. I do oil, and acrylic. I have a pretty wide variety of pen, and ink, but a small portion of those are actually in color. Do you think a shop would be interested in my paintings, or should I expand my portfolio with more traditional styles of art?
I have had many come into my shop wanting to learn to tattoo….so far none of them have had the x factor im looking for. This x factor is, determination, wanting to learn with a passion, wanting to live and breathe tattooing, with the right attitude and determination you will hopefully get yourself an apprenticeship. First off you need to be a good artist, second you need to listen, third be prepared to for you teacher to possibly be hard on you. Get a portfolio together, go and get some tattoos with an artist that you respect, keep going in there, let them know what you want and are willing to do….I worked free for a year and took alot of shit, but i was determined as hell to get where i wanted to go…I wish you luck
Hey thanks for replying. I’m going to S.A.I.C right now for a master of the arts. Its a six year degree, and I’ll get it in four. I just finished a 5ft by 7ft painting that I have been working on for over a year. If that doesn’t prove I’m one motivated son of a gun I don’t know what will. I have lived, and breathed tattoo since i was 4 years old when I saw my first tattoo. I used to get in trouble in elementary for drawing Sharpy sleeves on kids. If I was from your town I would sleep on your door step in the rain until you took me on as your apprentice. Sadly the work I have seen from most of the shops in my home town doesn’t add up to yours. I’ll just have to travel until I find the right teacher for me, but I will. thank you for your feed back. I’ll keep that in mind.
Oh joy. Another spam bot.
Die spam bot.
Love. Peace. Metallica.
I have recently taken my first baby steps into the world of tattooing after doing as much research online as possible and buying a kit from a reputable US/UK based supplier.
Here in the UK there is no formal rules about tattooing other than being registered with the local health authority once you are tattooing people, which I am not planning on rushing into in any way!
I am having to self teach and plan to approach my own tattooist for any guidance he would be willing to give but as I have a mortgage/bills to pay, an apprenticeship is not a viable option for me.
I am under no illusions that this will be a quick or easy road and under no circumstances do I plan to cut corners, but this is something I am determined to do.
I do find the whole “scratcher” debate quite derogatory to people who just want to learn the craft and do the best with the resources they can get.
My ultimate goal is to learn to as high a level as I can and eventually open a home studio.
By home studio I don’t mean tattooing outta my kitchen, but completely strippping my spare room and fitting it with clean surfaces and having an autoclave and all other essential sterilization equipment.
However this is many years away and at the minute I am merely using practice skins etc until I feel I am ready to take the next step onto my own skin (using all disposables!)
Many tattooists may look down their noses at this route but not everyone is lucky enough to be in a position to apprentice and surely it is better to hone your talent and learn the skills you need by whatever means you can than live in regret of never having tried!
Just because we are new to this doesn’t make us all idiots with no common sense or concern for sterilisation/safety!
Hi, just wanted to say that I’m actually undergoing an apprenticeship at an extremly good studio with two amazing artists but I’ll be leaving soon through no fault of mine or theirs and I just want to say that there is alot of luck involved in getting an apprenticeship because alot of people still won’t take people on no matter how good their portfolio is.
I joined this site to just get a view of how other artists work and what hints and tips they have as it’s better ‘learn’ from many than from just the two I’m working wih as I’m very aware that every tattoo artist brings something of their own to the table… I’m currently not tattooing on anyone bar myself as I don’t want to make a mistake on someone else when learning a new technique, I also have a sterile room in my own home for doing this, which includes an ultra sonic and autoclave, I’m very clean and safe about what I do and do not consider myself a scratcher, atall… maybe that is a big headed statement but I think it’s a derogative term for dirty tatttooists.
thats a fair staement to make rachie_c and im glad to hear your doing it safely, unfortunately this forum is not a teaching forum and techniques, equipment and materials discussions are only allowed in the pro/licensed artist area… if you wish to post some of your work up then please keep it your member gallery as it is not allowed in the open forum and please dont ask for comments or critique on your work in the open forum…. welcome to ttf 😉
First of all pardon me for my two cents.:rolleyes: And as for being a professional I am not. I am just a women that lives with an incredible artist. An artist that works from my home, he has had no “professional” training and does not possess a license. Yet his art work is all done using the highest of the standards when it comes to sanitary procedures. when it comes to the discussion of the quality of work, I don’t judge some one as being good because they “studied” under another artist. This is not always true. I received a tattoo from an artist in my home town, not only was he licensed he owned four more shops. It was shautty work and the the shop was unorganized. And the “Professional” that did my work scarred my skin so bad that I can never go back for more work on that one spot because of the pain it causes.. I know call me a whip…:obut I think that it is wrong to say some one can’t follow their dreams as an artist because they don’t have a piece of paper. At the same time there are a lot of things to learn if you are working with people’s skin. You should do as much research as you can and try to get all the info before you pick up a tattoo gun, it isn’t always your skin you are working on. And that person will have to live with wahtever you put on them.
i can fully understand your thoughts on licensed and unlicensed artists, but that does not change the rules of the forum….. unlicensed artists can not gain access to the pro area and also unlicensed artists can not discuss tattoo equipment, supplies or techniques. nor can they post imagfes for critique or praise…
Hey there! Im Tim from Russia.Im tattooartist,but we’re workin without license here.. sorry.. alot of great russian tattooists are work without this paper..( so,im not great artist…)))) well, are you agree my person to your society or not? wants to discuss about tattoos with other artists… may i load my gallery to profile? 😉
I am a professional tattoo artist living and working in Phoenix Arizona.
I have tattooed for about 7 years, beginning with a self-taught, continuing with an awesome apprenticeship,
and rounding out the edges with several guest spots. and I am STILL learning.
I currently own my own shop and have worked at several of the bigger shops in the area.
Again: I am self taught, and DID tattoo from home, professionally for some time.
With that being said;
I just read up on the “this is not an instructional site debate” (leave it to my noob ass to pop up and comment on a 2-year old post… lol)
My two Cents:
Our artists, clients, suppliers, and fans comprise an industry, and as an industry, we need to support our professionals.
The question is not about if you are passionate, dedicated, oreven PROFICIENT at what is a very deep and robust craft, but if you are a PROFESSIONAL at it.
If we examine the other professions, we do not find people who are “good at” setting bones becoming doctors or calling themselves such.
People who know a lot about legalities do not call themselves lawyers.
The professionals in these and other industires maintain their professionalism by first becoming Educated in their craft, then often completing an internship and/or apprenticeship, then becoming licensed * (or the equivalent) and THEN continuing to pursue continuing education by researching, reading publications, periodicals, and publishing as well, advancing their craft.
Likewise, professional tattooers, read, write, research, experiment and manufacture for tattooing. We are constantly striving to advance our craft.
Though many so-called professionals suck at tattooing; please do not insult this profession by saying that because you do “good tattoos” you are doing tattoos at a professional level.
Though our profesionals are called “artists”
Tattooing is a craft, a science, and PROFESSION, as well as being an art.
PART II:The 2nd cent:
This is why the debate is important:
The full time dedicated individuals are losing key business to part-timers, artsy moms, scratchers, and other non-professionals. Not to mention poor work done by non-professionals damages the image of tattooing as a culture.
I am going to use strong language here at the risk of sounding like a jerk, but consider this:
Observing our recent healthcare depate brings a valuable lesson:
If professionals are dissatisfied with the industry, frustrated with inappreciation, or have quit because we dont make enough money to justify the 40-60 hours a week that we spend at our studios engaged in the research, craftwork and advancement tht we put into the industry, where will the craft go?
Where will you buy needles when suppliers cant sell them any more?
I make mine- but it’d be damn inconvenient to have to go back to that… not to mention cutting my productivity in half… lol
It is one thing if you are tattooing your friends… but if every artists tattooed just their friends, who would go to tattoo shops?
(No smartass commetns abt coverups… lol)
If you really love tattooing, support it.
Dedicate yourself to it, learn to do it full time, DO it full time, or stay out the game.
PS- at the very least, recognize the effect your having on it 🙂
Corey Miller started in his house at the age of 15, with a homemade tattoo machine from a rotary motor and guitar string, I dont need a shop license where I,m at either but we are trying to get my location to change that. Not saying all people should tattoo but there have been greats to come from there homes
Armando “Placaso” Casas started at his home when he was 12, and now is a great tattooist from LA ,Casas, who is widely known among the west coast tattoo scene, Im not supporting people doing this from home, but some of the great did come from homes, When tattooing first started there werent any shops, they were done in temples by priest, Cleopatra and King Tuts faces were tattooed as many Egyptian Pharaohs were and im pretty sure the priest there were licensed lol, My point is dont give up on people and please do get the proper training to do tattoos, that way the spread of disease will at least slow down
How are people to learn, minus spending several thousand on an apprenticeship, if they cannot ask questions of the “pros”? :confused: I’m in college and have a deep love of this particular art form, but as a college student, I havent the money to afford an apprenticeship. Is doing house-tats really such a bad thing if the art of it is still preserved? I don’t think so, and I, personally, would love having advice from knowing artists to help me move along until I CAN afford an apprenticeship.
I think there should be at least one thread dedicated to learners and “pros” can post if they feel like it or the learners could help each other out. I think banning it completely is stupid. It’s like banning learning.
Just because some of the greats started out this way doesn’t mean that it’s an appropriate path nowadays. People are more educated now and much more aware of the health risks involved in tattooing. Doing tats on live people without going through the proper channels is irresponsible. You’re putting people’s health at risk and you’re also probably scarring them for life with some crappy tattoo. Then again, if someone is stupid enough to get inked by some guy doing tats in his kitchen, I reckon you both get what you deserve. If you really want to practice before you get an apprenticeship, then do it on fake skin which is designed for this purpose.
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