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What to tattoo as an apprentice

Hi everyone, first time poster and to be honest, I'm a little terrified haha.

I'm apprentice tattoo artist for about 2 years now and I'm in my tattoo stage for about 2 months. I have to do a series of tests to be able to complete my primary stage and move onto tattooing customers.
I have this one customer next week who is particularly laid back and 'doesn't mind' what I do on him. I've already done a lot of old school easy tattoos like swallows, anchors, etc. I was wondering if anyone could help me out and let me know what would be an easy option for a coloured tattoo on a male? Thanks!


RE:What to tattoo as an apprentice


Hey Donna,

I would try and move on to a pieces that requires a little more line work and an opportunity to begin working on your shading, layering and blending. A traditional piece is a great base to build your precision and hone your skills as an artist before moving on to other styles. Doing a proper traditional piece is quite difficult to do really clean, it takes lots of practice, and it doesn't leave any room for mistakes... So with that I would suggest trying to Do a clipper ship, or perhaps a traditional lantern. both of these have tons of line work and opportunities to work on your whip shading, layering and color blending... However, make sure your mentor is confident that you can pull this off, and hopefully watch over you should you have any difficulty.

Hope that helps. Take care.

Stephen Stacey
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RE:What to tattoo as an apprentice

You've BEEN apprenticing for 2 years, and you're just now starting to tattoo? Did you pay for this apprenticeship? Seems to me like you mentor is abusing you. Unless you're an incredibly slow learner, 2 years is plenty long for an apprenticeship to be completed.

That's one of my biggest gripes about this industry. Too many prima donnas trying to keep up-and-comers out of their market.

But, to answer your question. I think lettering is a good skill builder, as is tribal ( I hate doing both ). They require fundamentals. Also, like already said, AmTrad style pieces are also good learners. My first on-skin piece was a rework. That is a great way to start. The art is already there, all I had to do was freshen it up. It was a great way to get a feel for penetration depth and skin stretching.
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