5 Things To Know Before Becoming A Tattoo Artist

5 things to know before becoming a tattoo artist
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If you’re thinking about pursuing a career in Tattooing, then this video is made for you! We talk about the realities of becoming a Tattoo Artist, common misconceptions, things to know about shop life, and what to expect from this career path.

Credit: Tattooing 101

Video Transcript:

Hey, what’s up everyone welcome to another video today, i’m going to be going over five things. You should know before becoming a tattoo artist, so i’m gonna go over these five things that you probably don’t know about the industry but you’re about to, and as always all you have to do is like and subscribe down below. So you can keep up to date on all our new content, so there’s a ton of different things out there and some kind of stigma going on with how it is to be an actual tattoo artist, how it is to work in a studio. All of these things in a big thing that has compromised that would be television. When i first started, we didn’t have you know television shows about tattooing and all this crazy stuff and it’s kind of becoming more and more dramatized.

You know people ask more questions about like what’s the craziest tattoo you’ve ever done, and all of these things so number one on this list would be being a tattoo artist is not what they portray. It is on television. All of those things are pretty much fake, and most of it is scripted, so everything you see on tv is pretty much fake right. Everyone knows that, but in the back of your mind you like to watch it because you know it’s interesting. They spark up drama that keeps you coming back every time so when it comes to being an actual tattoo artist, you’re not going to be dealing with these crazy things on a daily basis.

You know clients getting into fights all this stuff that you see on tv. Just realize that that’s on tv, for a reason, you don’t really see those things hopefully outside of that. Now, if you do that’s a big red flag, so you should get out of that shot, because that is not how a tattoo studio is supposed to be ran and also on a daily basis with a tattoo artist. It’S pretty uneventful you’re not going to have. You know crazy stuff happen, you’re just going to go and do your tattoos and come home as it should be.

Number two would be when you start tattooing um. First starting out going into the motions of becoming a tattoo artist, you’re not going to be tattooing. What you want you’re going to be doing a lot of infinity signs, maybe little script, maybe even some tribal, which is super fun to do um. No, honestly travel is probably my least favorite thing on the whole list of tattoos. To do i’d rather do an infinity sign, but on those things you know some people get into the industry being able to paint, realism or draw you know, neo-traditional stuff, very easily or new school or whatever you’re doing.

But when you get into actually tattooing, it takes a long time to build up all the fundamentals. You need to be able to transfer that into actually tattooing it. It is completely different than just drawing on paper or painting and all those things. So that’s why, when you first start out it’s going to take a long time to build up a name for yourself and for you to be able to tattoo what you want um. You know it takes years in order to get the clientele that you want in order to do a specific style.

The reason for this is when you first start out, you’re going to be practicing on people you’re going to be doing the simplest things to build up. All the fundamentals you need in order to tattoo correctly you’re, not going to just jump in there doing crazy tattoos, uh crazy pieces on people’s backs and all that fun stuff. It takes a long time kind of grinding away at all the simple things in order to get somewhere when it comes to the point that you’re actually ready to do your style you’re not going to be great at it. It takes a long time to fine point everything that you’re doing to understand exactly how to do it and even like with picking colors. If you’re doing neo-traditional new school, the right colors go with the right tattoos.

All of those things go into creating a really great tattoo. Once you go through all that stuff, then you’re going to be able to tattoo the style that you want, but even when you’re at that point, it’s going to take a while tattooing these designs for cheaper than you normally would on clients or even doing them for Free on people just so you could post them up online, so you could get that clientele coming in. You know i finally got to that point in my career a couple years ago, but it took a long time of grinding to get there. So just remember nothing comes overnight um. This is a battle uphill for a while to get to where you want to in this industry, and number three goes into this as well, along with doing all these small tattoos that you don’t want to do when you first start tattooing, you’re not going to be Making money at all or very minimum money, some tattoo artists, if you go to them for an apprentice, we’ll make you pay or give you one for free, and then you have to work at the shop for free.

So, if you’re, not paying for your apprenticeship, usually how it works is for the first year you’re going to be working around the shop figuring out, how things work in the inner workings of the tattoo studio, cleaning up stuff, answering the phones, booking appointments. All of the super dry things that no tattoo artist wants to do. That’S going to be your job and the worst part about this job is you’re not going to get paid for it. You are doing that to pay off the knowledge for becoming a tattoo artist and that sucks, that’s one of the biggest things that have new apprentices drop out is just they don’t have the means to survive without making money. So if you have to get another job on the side or work around your schedule to figure out how to get in there and build up all of these things, so you can get your time and to actually start learning with that.

It normally takes about two years until you can build up all the knowledge to actually start tattooing, and that is a big chunk out of your life. That’S why a lot of the apprentices you see nowadays are so young just because they don’t have all that extra pressure of like having kids, you know needing to pay bills, um all of those things because, like i said, you’re not going to get paid for the First part of your actual tattoo career and also another key point about this. If you are going into a paid apprenticeship, make sure you’re not giving the full amount as soon as you walk in the door, because there’s a lot of shops out there that will take that money, not really teach you anything and then, when you quit, they just Pocket it so the best thing you could possibly do is come up with an agreement between them say i will give you this amount right now and i have the other amount, but i’ll give it to you as soon as i start tattooing. As soon as i start making money all of these things and let them know that you’re going to work there for two years, you know. So if you start there as soon as your tattoo artist, you work there one or two years and that kind of sweetens the deal because they don’t want you just finally getting your license and jumping to a new shop because they want to be able to make Money on you as well so that’ll, be my best advice for that on to number four, and this is often overlooked.

But being able to talk to clients is a huge deal, especially in this industry, because everything that you say, everything that you do um being able to reply to customers at the appropriate time is going to help you along your career, even when you’re just sitting down Tattooing, someone and they’re asking you questions, you could be super standoffish and they don’t want to come back to you. They want a pleasurable experience when it comes to tattooing and it is kind of an intimate experience. You know you’re putting them through pain. You were sitting there very close for hours on end just sitting there talking so making that as comfortable as physically possible is a great way to build up clients, because there’s a lot of tattoo shops out there that really don’t care about that at all, and they Could lose a lot of customers from that? Another key point would be even if you’re tattooing, a small tattoo like we talked about earlier, make sure you go above and beyond with every tattoo.

You do it doesn’t matter if it’s a super small tattoo that you don’t personally care about. You want to make sure that you’re doing everything you can for every client, because that one small tattoo that day could come into a full sleeve or a full leg sleeve. Eventually someday, so you want to make sure you’re putting your all into every client and doing everything you can to make sure they’re having a good experience. So i’m sure that you saw this on, you know television shows and everything – and this is one thing that actually does happen in real life. You will have clients come in and talk about.

You know their problems or you know their accomplishes in life or why they’re getting a tattoo or even some sadder moments in life to like a family member dying and that’s why they’re getting a tattoo so being prepared to be able to have those conversations that aren’t Necessarily fun to have or kind of awkward to have will help you a ton, be able to kind of relate to your clients, and this will get easier with time. This was really hard for me because, i’m you know kind of standoffish, i’m not really good. At talking to people, but i eventually built that up just from you know doing it putting in the time every day, tattooing and learning my clients and eventually i got pretty good at it and last but not least, number five as a tattoo artist, you don’t get Any time off what i mean by that is, you know you could take time off. You could go on vacation all of these things and you could be away from tattooing, but you’re still going to be having people reach out to you trying to get into tattoo appointments they’re going to reach out having questions about the tattoos that you’ve done last week. People are going to reach out wanting to know how much you charge for this tattoo that they’re probably not going to get anyway they’re just wanting to talk and sometimes waste your time, um, not everyone that messages you is going to actually get a tattoo they’re.

Just wanting to know price and when that price is too much for them, they’re, just not gon na reply, so there’s a lot of things that go into this with being a tattoo artist. It isn’t just you open up and close and you get to go home. Just like any other job, you are going home and you’re drawing for your appointments for the next week. You are replying to customers, and sometimes customers will message you at three o’clock in the morning. So when you wake up in the morning, you have five misread messages.

When they were just messaging all night long and sometimes they get upset for not replying as quick as possible. So these are all things that you definitely should know before becoming a tattoo artist, because it could be really stressful whenever you are first starting out and trying to figure out how to deal with all these things, it’s only getting worse through times whenever i first started Out you know we had a shop phone all of those things. Nowadays, everyone really uses their cell phones and people just reach out directly, which was really weird for me, um transitioning into that because you know i have clients call me on my phone all the time which i’m used to now. But when i first started out, it was just a really weird feeling that, having my you know, personal number but yeah everything’s, changing especially with social media people can go on there at any point of their day. Look at all your stuff and just send you a message just that quick um and this isn’t going to change.

It’S probably going to get worse through time. So this is something that you should be prepared for and have a good understanding of social media, because a lot of your clients are going to come from there. With this point, i wanted to let everyone know that, with being a tattoo artist, you do not have time to slow down if you slow down and you kind of take time off or put off a tattoo or put off drawing for a tattoo someone else down. The road is going to do that that day and they’re going to have that push to take care of that, and then you just lost a client. You have to push every day of your life in this industry if you want to get somewhere and that never stops, you have to continuously keep doing that for the rest of your life, but awesome.

These are my five points that i think that you should know before you become a tattoo artist or if you are becoming a tattoo as things you should know before getting into this industry awesome. I hope this helped you out and as always like and subscribe down below, so you can follow me and see all the new videos i come out with each week. I come out with three videos each week and i hope that they can help you out awesome. As always have a great day,

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