We wrote a number of posts on how to get a tattoo license. We blogged about if you need a tattoo license in order to tattoo others (click here to read the post) and how to get a tattoo license so you can being tattooing others (click here to read the post). So now we are going to write about how to actually get started with a tattoo apprenticeship and where to look for them.
You can easily start by yourself but no one wants a tattoo from someone that just started tattooing others. People take pride in their tattoos now a days, its a big trend and very popular. You want to start getting some experience in so you can build a good portfolio and then the clients will pour in when you can show your skills off. You might think your the best artist in the world and think you can be a great tattoo artist right away, wrong. It takes time, skill to build, and patience. You will get there with time and practice. Even veteran tattoo artists learn something new every day, so stick with it and you will get there.
Here is some tips to help land you that apprenticeship you are looking for:
1. If you are extremely new and are just inspired to be a tattoo artist then start reading our site to become a great tattoo artist. Draw a lot of different things people would want to get tattooed on their body. Build up your portfolio of drawings so you can show the tattoo shop what you are able to do. If you aren’t really new and bought some tattoo equipment, practice your skills on fruit to get better and also draw some images on paper to build your portfolio.
2. Buy something to put your portfolio in like a binder or some kind of portfolio case. You can pick these up anywhere, just look at some local office supply store like staples. You want to show off all your nice artwork and skills in a neat and organized way.
3. Keep building your portfolio up and make sure you separate all your drawings and pictures into separate categories. You don’t want to be sloppy because the tattoo shop will just think your another kid thinking you can tattoo anyone and be good at it. If you already tattooed others and it wasn’t at a tattoo shop, don’t add this in there. Professionals will frown upon this and your chance of getting an apprenticeship just went out the door. Adding pictures of fruit and such is a plus, it shows the tattoo shop you are serious about trying to learn and doing it the right way. TIP: Make sure you have your “tag” or signature on your artwork to prove its yours, it helps a lot.
4. You got your portfolio ready, so lets find you a tattoo shop! When searching for an apprenticeship I usually search online. I usually type in google: “tattoo shop in “. Most of the time these shops have a website so you can either contact by email or phone. Or you can just show up and ask about their shop and if they are accepting any apprentice at this time. Showing up is a huge plus, it shows you want to take action right away.
5. Now you should have an interview for your apprenticeship set up. Make sure you try to act professional and dress normal. You don’t have to go all out and dress extremely nice, I mean it is a tattoo shop after all. But make sure you aren’t sloppy and you look clean. Tattoo artists take health very seriously. They need their shop and equipment to be top notch so no one gets any diseases, so don’t show up like a slob.
6. When you are at the interview make sure you ask questions like will you be getting paid, what will I be doing, how many hours will you be working, when will you be able to get hands on and start tattooing others, how long does the apprenticeship last so you can move on to the next step. These are just a few suggested questions you should be asking when you finally get your interview set up. Asking these questions shows how committed you are.
7. Hopefully by now you got hired and are on your way to becoming a tattoo artist! Good luck and leave any comments below if you have any questions!
Another reminder: DO NOT tell the tattoo shop you have been tattooing from home! It’s unprofessional and they will throw your application right out the window!