I am currently looking for an apprenticeship to tattoo around Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire or anywhere close to them.
To work as a tattoo artist would be a dream come true to be able to produce art that people are more than happy to have on their skin I believe that is a brilliant achievement. HVAC Apprentice wanted: Looking for an individual with a strong work ethic, desire to learn, and good people skills. My names Jay, I started my apprenticeship in a studio based in Kent around 8 months ago, I have been tattooing friends and clients for around 4 months.
Sadly the owner of the tattoo studio really messed me around, and didn't really want to teach me, it looks like he was more for free labour so most of the stuff I learnt is from putting a lot of time in and watching. I am currently looking for a new position but it's hard knowing where to start and also I wondered whether I could get feedback on my work. Hello jay, firstly I can sympathise as my mentor for the most part just wanted me to learn through observation and 'getting on with it', very little direction. I think you're doing pretty well, for the time you've been tattooing, I think your main problem is attempting overly large and complex pieces too soon.
How would you describe your style?   I really like traditional tattoo art with a modern twist, I guess neo-traditional.
Is there anyone you would like to get tattooed by? I’d love to get tattooed by Tiny Miss Becca, but from what I’ve heard she has a super-long waiting list! Do your tattoos have meanings? I guess the majority of my tattoos have meanings, if I really think about why I got them.
How would you describe your style of tattooing? I wouldn’t say my style was all neo-traditional, but it can be seen throughout most of my designs.
Previous shop experience, customer consultations, design work, reception duties, studio hygiene. I get my tattoos done in lots of places, usually I find an artist I like via Facebook or from previously tattooing my friends.
Victoriana seems to be pretty ‘in’ at the moment, but I’ve loved imagery and art from the Victorian period and also renaissance for as long as I can remember.
It would be awesome to get tattooed by any of the artists from Spider Murphy’s, my shop recently bought their book and every page of flash is incredible.


It’s the famous face of the opera singer Lina Cavalieri, recreated by the Italian artist Fornasetti.
The Russian doll on my arm has ‘Mum’ written on it, because the big babushka dolls hold and protect all the smaller ones inside them. Who do you practice on? Initially, my boss got me to do lots of drawing and paintings to get a feel for tattoo design and technique. Special thanks to apprentice Tony at 5 Star Tattoos in Elmira, NY for giving me exactly what I wanted!
In my free time I create drawings and designs for my portfolio and also I get requests from my friends for designs for their tattoos. At this stage, before it becomes second nature, you should be putting everything into making sure every single line and blend is the absolute best you can do. If you can find someone who would invest their time to teach you properly I think you'd be set.
I’d never realised before that there was a whole artistic background to tattooing, past the crappy flash churned out from street shops back at home.  A few people in my class at university had some really interesting tattoos and it made me realise that I could put my artistic talents to good use. I’ve had two done at The Family Business in London, my rib piece and leg by Rachel Cavalier at Tattoo Shed in Apsley and also my Russian doll by Jake X there.
I’d like to get lots more added to the Cinderella piece I have on my left arm, maybe a castle and the dress which she makes herself before her step sisters rip it apart. I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic, so a few of my tattoos seem to be based around love and happy endings. He made thousands of different images using her face, and I decided to make my own version by adding the moth, kind of like the poster image for Silence of the Lambs. I was in the last month of my degree and walked past a local tattoo parlour – The Grasshopper in Harrow – and they were advertising for a new apprentice. I try to look at what a customer wants and add my own touch, instead of outright copying someone – I would hate for someone to do that to me. The main art style I am focusing on at the minute is dot work and mandalas as I believe you can do such unique styles and pieces with these formats of art.
In the tiger for instance the black areas look very patchy( I know it's the style to an extent but you need to still pay attention to good saturation) on the owl, the lines leave a lot to be desired, and on this style the line work is everything.


My first tattoo was a tiny heart on my wrist which I got on a whim during an unplanned night trip to Brighton with a friend. Simon Erl from Jayne Doe did a Shakespeare piece on my arm and I’ve had a few small ones done by Oli Christensen. I’d like to get portraits of my parents on my back and more Victorian book illustration style pieces around my Fornasetti tattoo. I have a large piece of Marie Antoinette on my ribs – I am fascinated by her life story and like the fact that she went against her heritage and lived her life the way she wanted to. I brought my portfolio back in an hour later, and did a few initial designs for them and the boss decided to take me on the following week. However, with neo-traditional tattooing so popular at the moment, I guess it’s hard to constantly come up with completely original ideas for pieces. My advice would be to slow down, concentrate on getting smaller pieces as perfect as you can then advancing yourself slowly. I recently travelled up to Sheffield to get a Wizard of Oz tattoo done by the amazingly talented apprentice, Amy Williams. If your mentor isn't guiding you, it's up to you to regulate yourself and not to run before you can walk. A few of my tattoos have also been done by my boss at the shop I work in, which is a bonus as they are done for free! I guess it’s a very competitive industry, especially with social networking being such a big part of advertising yourself. We’d have lessons after hours – where I’d bring a friend along and my boss would shadow me and talk me through what I was doing.  Gradually, over several months, I became more confident and then started doing small simple pieces on paying customers.
There’s so many tattoo shops within a five mile radius of my shop so, with so much competition, it’s important to try and be the best you can be.
I’m really grateful for everything my boss has taught me, he’s a really good teacher and has an eye for all sorts of art and design – as well as different medias such as egg tempera painting and mosaics, which was really interesting for me as I come from a fine art background.



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