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

Taught wrong!!

Ok going to try and keep this as short and sweet as I can. I have been into tattooing for about 2 years now and even though I have learned some things, I still feel I haven't learned anything. Finally got what I guess you can call an apprenticeship........wasn't taught much though. It starts as every apprentice does, gotta learn the basics. Well that my friends is just that.........the guy that was supposed to be showing me didn't show me jack shit. It was getting so frustrating that I was doubting myself at every turn. Now here I am trying to start over and I wont lie it sucks trying to forget all the shit I was half ass'ed taught. So I have decided to try to get back to the basics and really need some advice. I have decent machines but having a hard time getting them tuned to me. Just and example........I fucking hate to admit this but wanted to try a simple reaper design about the size of a hand. Nothing major 5 inches wide by 7 inches tall, basic black and grey and not a whole lot of fancy stuff going on. Simple dark edges and minor shading. Took me fucking 7 hours.......was not happy. I know its hard to say what needs to be fixed without seeing or knowing more but I kinda wanna start small so there wont be a long ass paragraph that bores the shit of you nice folks. I have a few basic machine books but for me learning like that is not easy. Some info would be greatly appreciated.......I almost gave up all together due to the frustration of half ass teachings. I feel I have found something that I can love for life in tattooing.


RE:Taught wrong!!

Hey man, I know where youre coming from, I had an apprenticeship by a great artist but who would probably openly admit had gaps in machine setup knowledge, to be honest Im still trying to figure alot of it out but what I found really helps is getting to conventions and watching top class artists at work.
I have done this and found a lot of artists can be really helpful and flattered if you compliment they're work and just ask for help, look at everything, what machines used for what jobs, hand speed and technique, needle angle and depth, voltage, client position, lighting, anything that may help and take notes.
If you can find any seminars in your area, these are great too, some will even critique your own portfolio. There are many videos on youtube on how to tune and setup machines, some of these may seem contradictory but its usually clear who is an experienced artist and who is a kitchen wizard.
Hope that helps!
top of page

RE:Taught wrong!!

your first mistake was choosing a mentor that you were not 100% in awe of their work.

as far as being taught at all, there is a plethora of personal traits we look at before we advance our students to the next lesson. Most of us are still learning and we surely question weather or not we have any business teaching in the first place.
anyone else who dosn;t think and stress like the above paragraph truly has no business teaching, and often is scaming slave labor and money.

now you see how multi faceted and complicated tattooing really is, you have two choices: pivot or persevere.

i'm self taught, i was offered a reluctant apprenticeship for 7K, hinging on weather or not i had 7k to give. I didn't, but i'm also a nurse and a life long artist. And since most of you are not then i say pony up or see another career choice.
because nothing worth doing will be easy.
Dont choose unworthy mentors
Don;t give money to anyone
always be honest with yourself and your clients
and be patient as this shit takes years to get the hang of.
top of page