superman on 02.10.11canada
you got ambition, thats cool. however don't let the industry frustrate you. if you try and do things on your own, your going to develop alot of bad habits. there is so much you can learn from a good apprentiship. when I did my apprentiship, i started on pig skin. however you can hamburger the hell out of pig skin to get the image you want. but without proper guidence, you'll never know when real skin is getting over worked. the pig skin is not going to tell you that your going too deep, or not enough. if you really want to do this as a career, be patient. I saw your art, pretty cool. if you can keep a great portfolio, then more and more artist may be inclined to take you on. when I started, i had no intensions of becoming a tattoo artist, but I've been drawing realism and portraits for 20 years. one day when I was gett my sleeve worked on, I showed my tattooer my work. he offered me a free apprenticeship immediatly. he told me if I can do on skin what I do with pencil, id be famous. that felt pretty cool. however once I started my apprentiship, my master showed me alot of stuff and got me progressed very quickly, only because I have the aptitude of drawing. he can see my strength and weeknesses and help me fly through the learning process. now that i've drilled into your head how important an apprentiship is. let me share some of my experience with pig skin.
1 pig skin has a short shelf life. pick tattoos that are going to take you less than 5 hours to complete. because the skin dries out fairly quickly
2. stencil stick to pig skin like cement, very hard to wipe off.
3. pig skin is more porus than real skin the ink goes in quite differently. also the stencil tends to bleed out alot more, which blurrs your image.
4.start tattooing on pig skin on a flat surface first, then after your comfortable start wraping it around cylinders and placing it on other round shapes. put different things under the skin to help replicate working on softer and harder surfaces.
5. try to keep your needle depth at 1/16 or about a millimeter for now just to help with your dexterity. however when you tattoo real skin, everyone has different types of skin and you will need to learn the feel how the ink is being put in.your actually needle depth will change depending on the persons skin type and where they art getting the tattoo done.
6. spend alot of time using the palms of your hands as well as your fingers to stretch the skin to help build your strength.
(however by teaching your self, you will not know when to stretch the skin and when not to stretch the skin to achieve a certain shade or tone). if your new the common thought is to always stretch the skin no matter what. but if you watch a black grey artist. they adjust what to stretch and what not to to get the desired effect. play with this concept on the pig skin.
7. all though you have a great machine,I own one too. it will help your ability to use others. coils ect. the weight of the machine will also help with your dexterity.
if you finally decide to do this on your own, your chances of success is much less. but my best advise is if you cant find a good teacher, then save your money and fly around the world and get tattooed by the best in the industry. ask them if they wouldn't mind giving you tips during your tattoo. if your tattoo cost $500 then give them an extra $500++ tip for their advise. perhaps if your lucky you might get a recomendation from one of these pros, and they may help steer you in the right direction to getting a proper apprentiship.
good luck. don't ever get full of yourself. no matter how good you think you are there is always someone better. respect the industry and the people that make it great. don't ever disrespect any artist even if they suck ass. keep your opinions to yourself and simply try to avoid these people.
hope this helps a little. ....take care