Starting out as a tattoo artist

Tattoos are increasingly accepted, and so is the choice to become a professional tattoo artist. However, the life of a tattoo artist is not as glamorous as it is made to be. Just getting started in the tattoo industry requires years of hard work, personal dedication, and raw talent.

As tattoos continue to grow in popularity, so does the appeal of becoming a professional tattoo artist. But what many people realize is, being a tattoo artist is far from easy. Tattoo artists work hard to be successful, and work long hours and hours. While it may seem like the glamorous rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, there is definitely no such thing as easy money in a tattoo artist career.

While working as an established tattoo artist is not without its challenges, getting started in the tattoo industry isn’t easy either. Many aspiring tattoo artists think the way to get started is to practice on themselves and their friends with a do-it-yourself tattoo kit. These types of devices are far from the precision and quality of the tattoo machines used by actual tattoo artists. It’s also becoming more common for someone to take a “course” in tattooing, which lasts only a few weeks and is issued a certificate upon completion. This is another gimmick too, which many people fall for who wants to be a tattoo artist. Ultimately, aspirants just hand wads of cash to substandard tattoo artists looking to make quick cash. People who turn to this quick strategy don’t become real tattoo artists.

So how did you get started as a tattoo artist?

The first thing you need is raw talent. Without your natural ability to draw great designs, you wouldn’t go very far in the tattoo industry at all. Unfortunately, the tattoo industry is full of tattoo artists who can’t draw – but these tattoo artists are limited to tracing or stenciling, and therefore don’t become popular and don’t make a lot of money. The majority of people don’t just want a generic design that every second person has, they want a tattoo design that is meaningful, well-drawn and completely unique. The best tattoo artists are real artists, who usually come forward to do custom tattoos in popular tattoo studios. These custom tattoo artists have the potential to gain success, recognition, and popularity – because they bring talent to the table.

If you think you have the drawing skills to become a successful custom tattoo artist, the first thing you need to do is find yourself a tattoo apprentice. Building an impressive portfolio to showcase your artistic skills is absolutely necessary if you want to be considered by a respectable tattoo artist. Tattoo internships aren’t usually advertised in newspapers or on the internet, so you should endure enough to get as close to as many tattoo artists as you can find. This will be a difficult quest, as many successful tattoo artists are reluctant to share their tricks of the trade. But dedication, hard work and passion, and raw talent, should be enough to recommend you.

Some tattoo internships are free, but many require some sort of payment.

For people who are serious about becoming professional and successful tattoo artists, this is just another trifle along the way. However, over the years, tattooing can be physically and financially draining. If you are not 100% committed to becoming a real tattoo artist, it is best to stop while you are ahead. The tattoo artist profession requires a great amount of study, perseverance and experience – having a natural artistic flair is just the starting point. To succeed in the competitive and demanding tattoo industry, you will need a very high level of personal determination, as well as the capacity to endure a period of hard work and continuous learning.

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