9545 Reseda Blvd. unit 2, Northridge, CA (818) 700-2818
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Bad apprenticeship

I have been looking up tattoo information for about 3 months and said I wanted a apprenticeship. My girl friends uncle is best friends with a guy who owns a shop so we go visit him. He tells me it's not the right time and stuff like that he's busy. So I get impatient and start tattooing out my house (long story) but I decide I didn't want to go that route anymore. So almost a yr later after first talking to the guy who owns the shop he says he is ready to take me on. We wrote up a contract I put 500 down I had to pay off 1000 more which was 200 a month until it was paid off. The apprenticeship last a yr and I started in July. So after a month goes by he tells me to bring ppl in I can do 2 free tattoos which I do. October comes around he stops coming in so I stop paying him. He doesn't come back in until January. When I text him I get no reply, even if I ask should I take on this tattoo or not. He doesn't ever show up hardly still. The shop will be closed most of the time so when I get an appointment I can't even tattoo them. And I am having a real hard time getting clients so I asked if I could do free tattoos at least until I learn more or until my apprenticeship is over he tell me no. Nobody wants to get tattooed by the guy that's barely did any tattoos or barely has been tattooing long. Am I wrong for trying to find another shop?


Replies:

RE:Bad apprenticeship

Well, the first thing you did wrong, was give the artist money so you could be an apprentice. Secondly, find a new shop that does't ask for money and one that actually believes you've got what it takes to be a tattoo artist.
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RE:Bad apprenticeship

I would strongly suggest looking into another shop. It is not very uncommon to see a mentor charge an apprentice a certain amount for the training. But a good mentor is going to teach you what it is that you need to know (the fundamentals of tattooing) I know from my personal story of being an apprentice it was tough, tough work! I had to put up with a lot of BS to get to where I am today. While my mentor, and I butted heads a lot we still managed to work under the same roof and he was able to get me on skin! I am now working my ass off to obtain my own shop because of the training I got from him that pushed me this far. I never had to pay any funds up-front..I was asked to give 50% of every tattoo to the shop for the two years of my apprenticeship. Once I finished I was paying monthly booth rent and was no longer under the no compete part of the shop. But in a good apprenticeship in all honesty you WILL be the shop slave for some time (cleaning stations, prepping stations, cleaning the shop, buying supplies, cleaning supplies) this is to teach you how the shop is run..it seemed pointless at first because as apprentices we were all eager to get onto skin! but you HAVE to learn EVERYTHING about the shop, and every detail of tattooing if you want to become a well rounded artist. If you feel these important areas are not being met by your mentor I would look into another shop,but be weary about location as this can start drama between shops and your old and new mentor..I saw it happen several times with the other shops around me. When you land a good apprenticeship be ready for a lot of hard work! tattooing isn't a hobby you're learning..its a life style.
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RE:Bad apprenticeship

I agree with you both. I figured that ima just stay and try to build myself . It is stressful because I am not where I want to be because I feel like no one is teaching me strictly but ima take what I can out of it and see where it takes me. If I have to but books and be on this forum everyday then so be it. Some people try for years to get in a shop so at least I took the right step. Every cloud has a silver lining I guess
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