When you decide you want to learn how to become a tattoo artist, you will find that there are a lot of different paths you can take. Some tattooists become “scratchers,” learning the basics the hard way and practicing on whoever will let them.  For someone who is really serious about learning how to become a tattoo artist, however, the true path to a professional position usually requires an apprenticeship.
At the beginning of an apprenticeship, you may wonder if what you’re doing has anything at all with actually teaching you how to become a tattoo artist.  This is because most apprenticeships start out with a lot of “grunt” work. The master artist wants to see that you are dedicated and motivated, that you’re a hard worker who is eager to do everything necessary to be a success.
The next step may require you to learn how to tattoo by practicing on fruit, animal skins, or fake practice skins. Generally, you will only be able to do a small amount, perhaps a bit of lining or tattoo shading to start out.  This is a really exciting time in a tattoo apprenticeship because not only are you learning how it really feels to put the needles to the skin, but you also know that your master artist is impressed with you and has confidence in your abilities. Even though getting an apprenticeship is a major part of learning how to become a tattoo artist, it is not all that easy.  Master artists have their pick of apprentices, and the competition is fierce.
One way to improve your chances of learning how to become a tattoo artist from a true master artist is to have a stellar portfolio.
If you find that you’re having a hard time finding a master who is willing to teach you how to become a tattoo artist, you may not be presenting yourself in the best way possible.  Politely ask for advice on what you can do differently to ensure that you will have better luck with the next place you try. Originally Posted by Dunc Such a cool studio with amazing artists, shame its a bit too far Such a range of artists working there too, aswell as them being incredibly talented.,You'd certainly be exposed to lots of different styles and skills. Similar Threads Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post Bad experience with regular tattoo artist, did we do something wrong? You will be expected to have good references and your portfolio to hand when you come to see us. Someone who can be a good teacher, show you the things that they have learned through out their years of tattooing.


You will need to find a Tattoo artist who will devote their time into you as your mentor and instructor. A portfolio is the key to people seeing your work and making the decision to get a life long piece of work on their body by you.
Gary has numerous testimonials that can be read, so that you fully understand his devotion to you as his student.
Been lurking around the forums for a little while so thought I'd say hello and introduce myself. I'm 26 and have moved back into the folks place and all but quit my job to do it so here's hoping it goes well!
I will update my portfolio as soon as I get a chance to include the stuff I have created specifically with tattooing in mind as my current portfolio has no colour work, but feel free to check it out anyway.
Well done, hope its goes well, I'm six months into mine and starting to pick up the needle. You will probably be expected to clean up the shop, spending your time sweeping, dusting, and washing windows, rather than actually inking clients.  This is the time when an apprentice can really start to make a good impression. It can take years of waiting to get the apprenticeship you want…or even to get one at all.  Many apprentices have found that they must actually relocate in order to find opportunities to train in the field. We want someone who is hard working and truly wants to become a tattoo artist, no time wasters or attitude (Rockstars and scratchers need not apply). Depending on the state, individuals might be required to complete an apprenticeship before they become licensed. I found out Wednesday I've been lucky enough to land an apprenticeship at Dragstrip tattoos Southampton, I'll be learning under the amazing artists there Alex Bowron, Duncan Whitfield and Marcelina Urbanska.
If your not familiar with the awesome work the shop puts out please also visit the Facebook page and have a browse.


On my first day I got given a shader to rebuild, since then I've been watching amazing tattoos every day trying to pick up as much as I can. I'm not an expert on the subject by any means but it's my understanding (and certainly what they are intending for me at Dragstrip) that they take you on as they are confident that once you develop you will take a space in the shop as a full time artist and earn as part of the team.
Sorry to resurrect an old thread but I thought I'd post some pictures up to show my progress!
Best and toughest job I've ever had, I wish everyone who is serious about it the best of luck! 141 09-03-2016 04:55 PM Apprenticeship Wanted - Manchester Area - and with Reputable Experience! Feel free to add me on facebook (Lee Bunker) and generally geek out about tattoos with me, If you are local come in and say hello! Everyone there is amazingly nice and helpful and they've already asked me to work the Liverpool convention with them so I'm pretty damn happy! They are super nice people who just really love tattooing, I feel so honoured to be invited to join the team. You should be doing all the general tasks in the shop and earning your right to learn but I don't think you should pay.



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