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[Question] Artists, how did you start?

A friend of mine really wants to become a tattoo artist. She can draw very well, and has plenty of her own. However she does not have a portfolio of her work yet. It is my understanding this is needed.
However lets say she is not ready to start a portfolio yet, and she is going to take a year and practice drawing tattoos daily, then start compiling one.
My question is, should she get a book of tattoos and either trace them or free hand them for practice? If so what types of tattoos?
- Should she start with tracing tattoos? If so what type/kind - What would be a good "sketch pad" to get her for her to start tracing these in?
- What would be a good set of or type of writing/drawing instruments to get her for the pad?
- Do you have any tips hints or suggestions into the process that would help me understand what she needs to do?
Thank you very much for your time.