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

Hi guys,

I started an apprenticeship in a studio about 1 year ago,it was quite unconventional in that I began using a machine in the first week or 2 and tattooed my legs and had a few people let me practice on them, I picked up some skills very quickly and soon I was taking customers.

A few months ago the main artist in the studio left unexpectedly leaving me ( the only other worker) to run the shop and find another artist. I haven't managed to find anyone and have been running the place and tattooing without any problems by myself for months now.
The owner of the business has very little interest in what is going on here as long as the rent is paid etc. I have not heard from him for a long time in fact and he does nothing to help me or promote the studio (which it needs) and I have grown tired of it.

So this is what I'm getting at : I need to find a place to work that will help me to further my skills (I think my tattoos are good for somebody who has only been in the industry a year) and will not treat me as a new apprentice,sweeping floors etc. as I feel I am beyond this stage. How would you experienced tattooers feel about somebody approaching you in my circumstances? Am I likely to get anywhere?Any feed back would be appreciated.

Sorry for writing such a long message!



RE:career dilemma

Hey bro. It sounds like your handling things you shouldn't be handling after only tattooing for a year as an apprentice. The sole responsibility on this is the owner who sounds like he/she should not even be in this industry. Cut your ties.
Make sure you have a nice portfolio and try to find a studio that will take you in AS AN APPRENTICE. You have tons of more learning to do.
I have been tattooing for 25 years. Am I over the stage of sweeping my floors? the answer is NO. Although I have 2 apprentices I never slack on my own work ethics. Always set the example. Live by example.
With diligence you will get into a new tattoo environment. Maybe get into a studio that is run by a competent artist. Never think your beyond any "stage"
just my 2 cents. wish you luck
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RE:career dilemma

Hey, I would stick with the shop your currently at if you don't want to be an apprentice again ,I'm sure if you keep looking you will find another artist soon, you've been given a golden opportunity to build your shop up and run it the way you want without people telling what you can and can't do I would love to be in your situation the shop I currently work at only cares about money not art which means the owner rushes his tattoos and expects me to do the same thing which is causing major issues at work as I would rather take my time on every tattoo I do and make it the best it can be, quality over quantity is the only way to make a name for yourself, and if you want to learn more you can learn plenty of stuff from seminars and other artists through sites such as this forum the majority of things I have learned is through I have learned through other tattooists, all I learned from my apprenticeship is the basics, once you've learned the basics everything from there on is trial and error and it's up to you to teach yourself the rest, hope this helps
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RE:career dilemma

Thanks for both of your replies.

in reply to Kulturetattoo:

I agree,I am taking on things I shouldn't be doing but it has been a pretty steep learning curve for me and has given me some valuable experience,I will be getting a portfolio together and saving for my own equipment with the view to moving on at some point. The remark about the floor sweeping,i worded that badly,I basically meant I don't want to start at step one again being the skivvy after a years experience ( I actually don't mind sweeping,cleaning etc.). I appreciate your 2 cents,they are valuable.


It is a good opportunity and I have embraced the idea of running the place,I've put new art on the walls and changed the setup and it's a great little work space,however, the shop is new and in a pretty poor location and is quite hard to find so gets very little passing trade and is not advertised in any way apart from word of mouth ( the owner seems to have lost interest and only cares about money). I know I may be leaving behind a good thing but I feel I need to in order to progress. I'm going to watch more seminars and tutorials,I think that is sound advice.

Many thanks to you both.

Any other advice or recommendations would be appreciated as I'm really not sure what to do at the moment, cheers!
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