9545 Reseda Blvd. unit 2, Northridge, CA (818) 700-2818
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Apprenticeship Blues

I completed three years of tattoo apprenticing at two separate shops. I moved shops because the first guy decided I was done, which I felt I wasn't. After about two years if not more with another old tattoo guy he ended up dying and now I'm at a loss, not only is a great friend gone but everything he helped me accomplish seems wasted.
I can't find anyone else in town who will help me out despite actually having experience. The problem seems to be that everyone around here is so worried that a new artist is going to take their precious business away. Everyone is too busy, not busy enough, wants 20 grand ffs ect ect.
Maybe Im just biased and a little butt-hurt, but I feel like I've wasted 3 years of my life on this. I want to tattoo, I understand health and safety, sterilization, making needles, and art is my passion but what the hell should I do when I need more experience tattooing people. I dont want to open my own shop yet, I still need more skin practice not to mention the fact that I cant get reputable suppliers since I have no shop! I dont even have a machine since buddy died right before he was going to give me a pair. ARG so frustrated, life is a lie!!


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RE:Apprenticeship Blues

Hey man,
Just read your post.. what a brutal situation. I'm sorry all that happened to you.
Where abouts are you located?
It sounds like you have a real passion for the business and if you keep that at the forefront I know you'll find your way.
I was only a few months tattooing when a shop hired me as the head artist because they lost their artist..
My advice would be put together your portfolio and apply at every shop you can. Something will open up for you and you'll get that experience you need.
Don't give up on it.
There are people all around us opening shops and tattooing anywhere they can after just buying stuff on ebay and teaching themselves. Someone who has actually done a 3 year apprenticeship shouldn't lose out.
But tattooing has become like most other trades. overrun and competitive.
I wish you the best in your search. keep drawing and keep your head up even in the hardest times.

God Bless
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