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Wanting to tattoo help needed

Hi to everyone,
I'm hoping to get some advice from those that know better then me. I want to start tattooing and have been searching the internet for advice on apprenticeships, and have found everything from "it's all in house so don't bother" to someone who made it sound like I would have to go through an inquisition before I'd be considered.

I have made use of some of the advice, I have spent the best part of a year building a portfolio. I have read books, watched DVDs, tutorials and devoured any information that I can find on the topic. I have bought my own guns (not crappy eBay ones but professional rotary ones) and I'm currently practicing on synthetic skins, and pig skin.

I feel I'm ready to go for try for an apprenticeship - but with so much conflicting information I'm wondering does anyone know the best way to go about it?

Thanks in advance
Jay rose


RE:Wanting to tattoo help needed


Hey Jay,

Getting a solid portfolio is a great start. It would help to share a link with us to help you with your art (If it needs it) to help you even more.
The idea of apprenticeships has changed a lot since 20-30 years ago. many artist are taking on 4 and 5 apprentices without even having the skills to teach. so it is hard to tell if you are getting the proper guidance. This is very common when an art student goes into a shop to try and gain one. I hear it so often of artist just taking advantage of these people and just take their money. So be cautious when you do your search.
Usually a good way to gain an apprenticeship is to take the time and go to a few shops and get to know the artist there. Get a few tattoos by the artist you like, and politely mention that you would love to become a tattoo artist. Make friends with these guys and spend some time with them if they don't mind you hanging around. mention that you would like to visit more often if they don't mind and offer to help them out with anything they need, like cleaning, or organizing a few things. the key is to build a relationship that the artist can see you are truly interested. if they decide to test you and have you hang around for 6 months without you losing your patience, then maybe they will see something in you that they like and they may take you on... for the most part just be yourself, don't try and fake you way in by acting the way that you think they would expect you to...
The one thing I would suggest is do not tattoo yourself, once you cross that line, you will never go back, and an artist will not want to retrain you if you have already started tattooing yourself or your friends.. be patient, especially if your young. I was 34 before I started tattooing and so was Bob Tyrrell, so stay motivated but don't let the road getting there overwhelm you... work on your art, study all that you can.....

Hope that help. Take care.

Stephen Stacey
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RE:Wanting to tattoo help needed

superman nailed it i would just like to add have bbp and first aid under your belt so as u are covered before hand. anyone interested in this lifestyle needs these certs it is a necessity and info u def want to know. would def like to see some of your art if u can post a link
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