Tattooing is an age-old form of body modification that involves permanently embedding ink in skin to create designs or images. Tattoo artists are professionals who design and apply tattoos to all areas of customers’ bodies with specialized needles. When dealing with customers, tact and patience may be required. Long periods of sitting are often a part of the job, as some designs take a considerable amount of time to create.
You will need to know the basics of drawing. Courses in Fine Arts, Art History, Colouring, 2-D Drawing will come in handy for those interested to take up a career as tattoo artist. Taking art classes, either in high school or through a local community Centre, can help an aspiring tattoo artist learn various art skills, including scale, proportion and shading, all of which are necessary to work successfully as a tattoo artist.
Aspiring tattoo artists should possess great artistic ability and creativity. Before an artist can gain an apprenticeship working in a shop, he or she needs to complete a professional portfolio exhibiting his or her best works of art. The portfolio should showcase the tattoo artist’s versatility and ability to draw a variety of subjects. A portfolio can contain both original works and high-quality photographs of drawings.
- You need to be artistic, with a steady hand
- Be very meticulous and detailed in your work
- Have loads of patience as it takes long hours to make a basic tattoo
- Good communication skills required to deal with clients; a lot of them can be high-flying people
- Eagerness to learn and continuously keep pace with changing trends
- Possess knowledge of skin diseases, allergies and needles
Institutes for Apprenticeship:
- Michael Cowasji, Delhi
- Xed Lehaad, London
- Richard Tat, Singapore
- Inkaholik, Delhi
Complete an Apprenticeship
During an apprenticeship, a prospective artist will work in a shop alongside a professional tattooist learning to design tattoos, to operate a tattoo machine, and sterilize equipment. Additionally, some apprenticeships include lessons on business aspects of tattooing and may prepare aspiring artists to have their own shop. An apprentice often pays the artist to teach him or her or signs a contract agreeing to work for the shop he or she apprentices in for a set number of years after the apprenticeship is complete.
Things to be careful about:
- Getting inked requires a strong mind as it is something that will be visible on your skin for your entire life.
- It is the responsibility of both the tattoo artist and the person getting inked to take appropriate safety measures.
- How the tattoo looks in the end depends a lot on the aftercare and the healing process.
- Because of the high risk that prevails because of the fresh tattoo on the skin by dangerous pathogens and various other bacteria, you as a tattoo artist need to notify your customer to be careful and take suitable precautions.
- There is a risk of spreading infection and diseases like Hepatitis with contaminated needles, so you are advised to use clean tools and needles every time you work on a tattoo.
- Tattooing is a serious business. It’s not just a cool career option but also very serious.
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