While they might not be for everyone, there’s no denying the appeal of tattoos on those who suit them well. You might already be well-inked up yourself, or perhaps you have creative or artistic talent, and you want to see if you can make a career out of it. Becoming a tattoo artist may well be one of the most commercially practical ways to make use of those skills. They’re becoming more popular year after year. But what does it take to get into the business and perhaps even open up your own shop?
Get the training you need
If you want to be able to tattoo, you have to be able to draw or paint. Artistic skills are necessary, and you can build on these with design skills, such as learning the principles of graphic design. Most studios are going to want to see a portfolio of pieces that could be turned into tattoos, too. There are formal tattoo courses you can visit, but most tattoo artists get their start apprenticing for a studio owner. It can be pretty tough work, as apprentices are expected to also do a lot of menial work for free while being mentored, so you have to make sure that you choose a mentor that will actually teach and not take advantage of the free labor. Make sure they have had apprentices that have become tattoo artists before.
Starting your own studio
It’s not uncommon for even relatively new tattoo artists to open up a studio of their own, but you have to make sure that you have the experience and portfolio to prove your skills, first and foremost. Aside from the necessities of setting up a business, such as finding your target market and marketing to them, you need to make sure you’ve got a good location, as well as supplies such as a tattoo machine, cleaning products, and a tattoo stencil solution. Do your research on everything you need to set up, and how much it’s going to take to budget for it all.
Getting your license
No matter where you are before you’re able to start tattooing on actual customers, you’re going to need a tattoo license. There are a very few places in the country that don’t require a tattoo license but, in these cases, you’re going to need to be registered with a shop that does have a license. If you’re working as an apprentice with another tattoo artist, they are usually the ones who will help you get your license. Otherwise, you need to do your research on your local requirements for a tattoo license. Most places that require you to have a license need you to show proof of training hours and will ask for a fee, as well, at a minimum.
The tattoo world is not always easy to get into. But it’s always in search of new blood to help fill out the stores and meet the growing demands for excellent body art. Hopefully, the points above give you a better idea of what it takes to get into the business.