How To Become A Tattoo Artist – Tips from Jo Chastney

How to become a tattoo artist with Jo Chastney
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Are you interested in becoming a tattoo artist? It can be a very rewarding career, but it’s not without its challenges. Here are some important pointers from Jo Chastney.

Credit: Jo Chastney

Video Transcript:

What’s up beautiful people? My name is Jo and welcome to today’s video. Today I’m going to give you some suggestions if you want to become a tattoo artist and where to start.

First of all, I would suggest starting to draw if you haven’t already. I would like to think that if you are thinking about becoming a tattoo artist, you probably have started drawing or drawing is a passion of yours. I’m not saying you have to be good at drawing, I think my drawing was slightly questionable before I became a tattoo artist, luckily after practicing quite a lot of the time I got better. I think if you’re passionate about anything, if you want to do whatever job it is, you just practice. If you’re not naturally good at it, you get better by practicing.

Pick up that pen and start. I’d also suggest doing different styles. There’s loads of different styles of tattoos so there’s also loads of different styles of drawing as well. Don’t just stick to one thing that you perhaps think that you’re good at, or just really interested in.

I would really advise doing kind of all the different styles, seeing what just comes more naturally to you. Mine was actually surprising to me. I wanted to do more traditional style tattooing and drawing, but I actually found it really difficult to get my head around. I now prefer doing fine lines, dots, really delicate kind of realistic tattoos. So definitely try different styles because you never know where you’re going to end up.

I would advise getting your own Instagram page just for your kind of tattoo slash drawing. So if you have a private page and I don’t know you’re just posting selfies every week, I would definitely recommend separating it and starting to just have your drawings on there or just changing it up so you’ve got like tattoo or art or artist in your name and then change your feed so it is more of your artwork. That’ll kind of change your following a little bit, start creating those relationships with potential clients in the future, let people know that you’re starting to draw because you like tattooing, and it’s just building up that following that you’re gonna need when becoming a tattoo artist.

I used to do a lot of my drawings, back in the day – all those many many years ago, when it was all done with pen and paper. However, now I do everything on an iPad. And this might not be accessible to everyone, I fully understand; I appreciate they are very expensive, however people can still see your work on pen and paper. If you do have access to an iPad, I would definitely recommend getting an iPad. The program Procreate is an absolute lifesaver, it’s really cool, you got loads of different pens, you can just delete everything super easily without having to scrunch it off and throw it in the bin again and again and again. Either way you’re drawing, so either way is really good.

I’m gonna tell you now what not to do and it might be really hard because it can be quite hard to get into tattooing and get an apprenticeship, but please do not buy tattoo equipment online and just start tattooing your friends; you’re probably going to end up infecting them and giving them really bad tattoos. Maybe you do okay tattoos, it’s not going to be hygienic, you’re not going to have the right equipment so please go about it the right way. Do it through a studio or through another tattoo artist. I think that’s about it from this stage about what not to do.

Get tattooed. That’s a really good way to get into tattooing. Obviously you don’t have to if you don’t get tattooed then don’t. I do know a very few tattooers that don’t actually have any tattoos and it’s weird. Get those relationships, start going to different studios, hanging out there; I don’t want to say pestering because no one likes pestering, but create that relationship with a tattoo artist because you never know they might end up giving you an apprenticeship.

Yes, that’s what you want so you can watch them whilst you’re getting tattooed, so you can watch what they, do the process, you can ask them for like tips like, “oh hey I’m thinking about getting into tattooing what would you suggest?” Some people might be more helpful than others, but generally you should get quite a good response of things that you can do to get in there.

Be prepared for it to take a little while. It took me a long time to get into a tattoo studio, um I think I started off around Bournemouth just going in and I had my paper portfolio because nothing was online back then, and I got some good responses and I got some bad responses, but I kept going because that was what I wanted to do.

It’s gonna be hard, I mean it might not be hard – it’s probably gonna be hard just keep going. If it’s something that you’re really determined to do, you’ll do it. So keep going until you get there.

Do some research, there’s plenty of resources online like Youtube, watch videos of how to get apprenticeships (I’ll do another video once you have an apprenticeship or what to expect in your apprenticeship), start following people on Instagram, social media, create those relationships. Also research tattooing in the history of tattooing. That always proves how interested you are like seriously into tattooing and I think tattoo studios or tattoo artists will really appreciate the effort of you going to to actually fully understand tattooing. It’s obviously quite a popular industry to get into and people want to be tattoo artists – yeah super cool, but just for because it’s cool they don’t care about the whole process and the history and that makes a lot of difference.

Okay, I think that’s enough information on how to become a tattoo artist and where to even start. Thank you for watching today’s video, please give me a thumbs up if you enjoyed it, please follow me on my social media. Here is where you can find me, let me know if there’s any other topics you want me to cover on the tattooing side of things. I shall do a follow-up video soon on what to expect when you get a tattoo apprenticeship so please keep an eye out for that one thanks for watching and I’ll see you next Friday at two.

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