Not trying to be sarcastic or whiney or anything like that. My step father started his own garge with the same kind of history and a settlement from a caustic accident at an engine foundry. I did go to law-school for three years and funded that myself with work and also took out 5k in student loans to make up the difference. So I’m not necessarily into shortcuts, just a clear path if gives you any kind of idea as to what kind of person I am.


Most apprentices I’ve talked to or read about (at least those that weren’t born into money) have funded their apprenticeship by working a second or third job. It’s not exactly an easy road to travel, especially when you start traveling it so ‘late’ in life. :S


The lack of money to go the right way was my reasoning in not immeadiately putting my equipment back in the box and seeking out the apprenticeship. I basically put my family first and my thought process at the time was that I love them more than I cared about what people thought.

My circumstances have changed now and I have accumulated plenty of money to step back and do things the way I should now. I don’t necessarily need the advice on how to come up with the money personally. My thoughts were how someone who isn’t a Jack of all Trades like myself would get up the money to devote the time needed. It just seems sad that there is potential out there that gets wasted simply because of financial means.

Why aren’t there respected/student loan backed programs out there? Why aren’t shops required to atleast give a minimum wage to apprentices? How is it that everyone is ok with the tradition of someone buying into an apprenticeship as well as work thier asses off? Seems like in any other industry this would violate labor laws in even the most probusiness/antilabor states.

Dave Van

I’d like to interject here, though probably not in any way that will interest you. I am in the same boat as you as far as funding an apprenticeship goes. I have the talent, and I feel very confident that with the right mentor I could probably be one of the best, but I can’t find anyone willing to just give me an apprenticeship, and I sure as hell can’t afford one nor will I be able to in the foreseeable future.

But I am an artist first and foremost. I have recently had people interested in having me do some airbrush work for them. Well, this does not require a license, mistakes I may make are easily repaired, and I have a potential to make a comfortable living off of my artwork if not make a real name for myself.

The reason I’m telling you this is that I checked out your link and I noticed a lot of extremely impressive photographs there. Are these yours? Because if they are, why are you spending so much time trying to do something that is clearly a lesser talent? Don’t get me wrong, some of your pieces were pretty tight, bro, but some of them were just plain shady. Every one of those photographs, however, were strikingly beautiful. Follow your talent and your dreams will fall into place. You could even earn enough from your photography to afford another apprenticeship, but I’m starting to think that I would rather airbrush than tattoo, and I probably will follow that direction.

Just some observations. Best of luck to you man. We all deserve to be rewarded for our talents.


Thanks Dave. I do have the money at this point. That’s one of the things that is motivating me back into an apprenticeship.

To let everyone know: The photography in the photobucket link is a mix of mine as well as my wife’s photography. They’ve been mixed up in our computer files so much that it’s hard to tell who did what at this point. lol So I don’t take credit for all of them. That natural ability to spot and take good naturalist photography is part of my drive toward a graphic arts program that I’ll be starting over the summer.


I think you made the right choice by stopping, I know it’s a hard road, nothing really good is easy, do what you know you gotta do, take the tough road, get back in an apprenticeship, one year of working with some good guys and you will be on your own, good luck, I wanna see your work

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