Inside: Tattoo Apprentice + Definition.
What is a Tattoo Apprentice?
As a tattoo apprentice, you work in a tattoo studio under the supervision of an experienced tattoo artist to gain experience. Your job responsibilities focus on assisting with studio operations while training to become a professional tattoo artist.
- Draw everything, every day: Drawing constantly is hugely important for two reasons. Firstly, drawing and creating lots is going to provide a great foundation for your portfolio. To really stand out from the crowd, you’re going to need a portfolio packed full of unique, creative work.
- Be patient and resilient: Getting a tattoo apprenticeship and training up can take years of critique and refusal. So, you’re going to need to be resilient and able to take criticism on the chin.
- Get as much feedback on your work as possible: Being able to take criticism is an absolutely vital part of being a successful tattoo artist. Not being able to listen to feedback is not going to get you very far as a new artist.
- Tattooing is one of the most rewarding, fulfilling careers that you can have in life. It’s creative and thoughtful, yet busy and fast-paced too. The connection between an artist and a client is truly inspiring, and being able to provide someone with a piece of art that they’ll treasure for life is an absolutely magical experience.
It is, however, pretty difficult to get into tattooing. To become a tattoo artist, you need to find a tattoo artist who’s willing to take you on as an apprentice- and this is a lot easier said than done. It’s incredibly rare to find a studio that’s actively hiring for apprentices, and it can take a lot of persuasions to get an artist to take one on.
Do I Really Need to Be a Tattoo Apprentice?
To become a tattoo artist, you absolutely need an apprenticeship. There is a long list of reasons why, but mostly it’s because most states require a tattoo artist or piercer to have a license. Since most licenses require training, and one of the only ways to get training is an apprenticeship with a licensed artist, you need an apprenticeship. This means that you need to find a veteran tattooer who thinks you have enough talent to merit the time and energy it will take to train you.
How Long Does an Apprenticeship Take?
Usually a couple of years, but some last 3 years or more. It’s smart to check your particular state’s requirements on the state’s Department of Health website.
What Will You do During Your Tattoo Apprenticeship?
First, in addition to those menial tasks, you will work with your mentor to learn professional business skills, hygienic work practices, and tattoo design. But first, you will do a lot of watching and listening. This is the first step to learning, so stay attentive. You will learn how to make needles, use the autoclave, and take health precautions.
Our Favorite Tattooing Ideas + Styles
Do You Get Paid as a Tattoo Apprentice?
How Can I Ask for an Apprenticeship from a Tattoo Shop?
- You need to know who you’re working with just like every other career, so do your homework first. Research the website of the tattoo shop, look at the bios of the artists, and watch their work and reviews.
- Don’t go on a weekend, at a time when it’s not too busy.
- Demonstrate Individually. The cleverest and most straightforward approach is face-to-face.
- Speak to the front desk guy, and ask what the best way is. Provide fair respect to everyone you meet. Keep in mind that the person you refer to is possibly either a future tutor or an apprentice like you would like to be, and they all have something to teach.
- Put along with your portfolio. If possible, you might leave it there for a few days to allow them to look at it.