How to Become a Tattoo Artist

tattooTattoos are becoming more and more common around the United States and around the planet. More and more people are seeing them as great ways to express themselves. There are approximately 21,000 tattoo studios around the country. Nearly 20% of all American adults have at least one tattoo. Women are increasingly getting tattoos. By some estimates, almost 60% of all people with tattoos are women. In 2012, Oxygen Media reported that the most popular tattoo designs for women were hearts and angels. Tattoo’s rising popularity has correlated to an increase in the popularity of the tattoo artist school.

While going to a tattoo artist school may be the first step for many people in becoming a tattoo artist, it is not the only thing aspiring tattoo artists need to do. Here are some steps you should take if you want this to be your career path.

  • Work on your art. If you have not taken an art class, before you go to tattoo artist school, you should start with a drawing class. There is a reason people who work in tattoos are called “tattoo artists” and not “tattoo appliers” or something else. Most people who design and draw tattoos take their art very seriously. If you are serious about working as a successful tattoo artist, you will be serious about your art as well. Practice it as often as you can so that you can be as good as you can be.
  • Learn to love working with people. If you love your art but do not like dealing with the general public, there are other jobs that might be better for you. There are jobs where you can work on your art but never have to deal with customers or clients but working as a tattoo artist is not one of them. In fact, working with the public may not be a skill you can learn in tattoo artist school but it probably should be. When you become a tattoo artist, your art work is worn by your clients. It is a very personal thing for them and many people feel a bond with the artist who created their tattoo(s). You should see it as an honor to create art that people want to wear.
  • Become a tattoo apprentice. Becoming a tattoo apprentice is one great way to learn what it is like to be a tattoo artist working in a tattoo studio. This is one of the best ways to get to know the business and the different people in the tattoo community. When you approach the tattoo studios in your community, be humble and appreciative of their time. They get a lot of requests for this kind of thing so you have to show them that you are hard working and dedicated to becoming a tattoo artist. When you get the apprenticeship, do not wait to be asked to do grunt work. You want to be seen as a team player. Become a valuable member of the team and this can be a great experience for you.
  • Get your license. Not every state requires tattoo artists to get a license but it helps your credibility and makes the pubic trust you more when you have one. Even the most talented tattoo artists need to be trusted by their clientele.
  • Go to tattoo artist school. This is required by some states to get a license but is also a great way to learn aspects of the tattoo business that you might not get a chance to learn in any other way. This training is also another good way to gain the trust of the general public.

Becoming a tattoo artist is a long process. It begins when you discover you have a love of and affinity for art. It can also be a very rewarding career path to take. When you see how happy your artwork makes the people you tattoo or when you see people walking around your town wearing your art work, it is a very special experience. If you work at it, you can cultivate a great reputation as a tattoo artist who people will travel to see.

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