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Building a Portfolio


I want to build an art portfolio so I can get a better apprenticeship. (Currently left an mentor due to his MIA status and unresponsiveness) When I started the apprenticeship, I didn't have a portfolio, he took me under his wing from just a few paintings and drawings I had done.

Anyways, I want to build up an art portfolio with drawings and I am wondering from a tattoo artist prospective, what type of drawings are you looking for in a portfolio?

Is there specific types of art that I should focus on in the portfolio such as portraits, line drawings, abstract, etc.?

Should it be only in pencil? If no, charcoal, paint, pen, ink is ok?

Should there be lots of art with shading?

I did get advice not to add any type of anime (which I don't draw anyways) to add in it.

I am working my way through this slowly and anxious to keep learning.

Thank you :)


RE:Building a Portfolio

I wouldn't avoid anime completely. There may be some useful reference material in there to inspire you.
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RE:Building a Portfolio

It really depends on the person looking for an apprentice. Depending on the type of artist they are such as: realism, traditional, illustrative. From my experience 10-12 of your best drawings/paintings in an exceptional looking portfolio, not on your damn iphone! Show your skills, shading, light sources, clean lines. Dress sharp! Hope that helps.

Also get to know the shop/artists you will be working for. A general understanding of the heavy hitters in the industry is a plus.
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RE:Building a Portfolio

Hey thanks for the replies,

But I'd still like more information from my questions. I know some tattoo artists and I asked one so far, he only responded with "completed pieces".

I just want to get my portfolio started and I want to put the types that tattoo artists look for. I don't want to waste a tattoo artists time with art work that an artist isn't looking for.

I want to get in the business and get under someone, I have lots of folks asking me to tattoo them and I refuse because I want to get an apprenticeship. I am confident I can do it but I still know I need the learning.

I have taken the BBP (Have 2 certificates actually) and CPR. I even took a EMT class. Fall semester I will have another art class. Been drawing since i was a kid and have taken many classes throughout my life including AP Art in high school and various classes in college. 2 of my art pieces were selected into the college art exhibit also.

One piece here: http://instagram.com/p/pTx8EePrEa

It's using tempura paint on a 19" Poster size.

I don't want to be a "scratcher", I want to be part of the industry. Any information to build is helpful and greatly appreciated.

Thanks :)
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