Traditional rose tattoo on hand for guys

Useful Tips On How To Become A Tattoo Artist

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In 2021, there are many ways in which you can make a living off your art. From being a traditional artist to a graphic designer to a tattoo artist, there are plenty of ways to combine your love of drawing with making money. Becoming a tattoo artist has always been alluring to those who are creative, love to express themselves, and share their art.

If you’re looking to break into the industry, but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about becoming a tattoo artist in 2021. Combine your love of drawing and body art with your dream job by following tips and tricks!

Learn how to draw and design

Pirate head tattoo on the hand
Pirate head tattoo on the hand.

The first step to doing any job in the arts is to learn how to draw. You don’t need to be the next Michaelangelo to become a successful artist, but you do need to have some basic skills. As a tattoo artist, you’re going to be asked to design, create, and re-create many different tattoos. A good knowledge of how to draw will give you the right tools to be able to handle whatever tattoo comes your way. If you feel your skills are sufficient, expand your roster with foreign styles, designs, and techniques.

Find a mentor

If you’ve got your drawing skills down and you’re ready to get out there and start learning the real work, it might be time to find a mentor. Learning alone is great, but you miss out on any important knowledge and advice you can get from an established mentor. Finding a tattoo school, mentor, or apprenticeship is a crucial part of becoming a fully-fledged tattoo artist. Having a mentor to show you the way and challenge you is crucial. A good mentor saves you time, ink, and energy and helps you grow. It’s a great way for you to practice, learn the craft firsthand, and build your portfolio.

Practice, practice, practice!

Cat tattoo on the sternum
Cat tattoo on the sternum

Tattooing is a skill, and like any other skill, you need to practice it to get good at it! If you’re just starting out, practice is crucial for honing your craft and becoming a better tattoo artist. Whether it’s improving your art skills or keeping your hand steady, or interactions with customers, practice makes perfect! Practice and always be on the lookout for ways in which you can improve or challenge yourself. No matter at what stage in your development you are as a tattoo artist, there’s always room for improvement!

Build your portfolio

Having a CV or portfolio for your work is important, and the same rings true for your work as a tattoo artist. Whether you’re planning on finding a job in a tattoo parlor, or you want to start your own and attract clients, you need to have a tattoo portfolio. Building your portfolio should be a life-long endeavor, from before you start to well after your career ends.

You should always strive to include only your best work and work that captures your style and abilities. Your portfolio is a great way to show off your skills, style, and what you can do. Being able to show your range of skills is essential if you want to land that job or that client.

Find your own style

Framed chain tattoo
Framed chain tattoo

When it comes to being a tattoo artist, there are plenty of different styles and techniques to choose from. If you want to stand out from the crowd and attract your own loyal customers, you’re going to need your own style. Developing your own style can happen at any point in your tattooing career. You start developing your style from the moment you first start drawing, to after years and years of experience. The general rule is, the more you create and appreciate art, the closer you will come to developing your own style.

Don’t forget the paperwork

The skills, experience, and portfolios are not the only things you need to become a tattoo artist. Before you get to tattooing, you need to make sure you have all the necessary paperwork. To become an official tattoo artist, you need to get licensed, so make sure to check with your state requirements. If you’re opening up your own shop, make sure it meets all the health and safety regulations and that you have all the equipment and papers you need.

White tulip tattoo on the right shoulder and arm
White tulip tattoo on the right shoulder and arm

Now that you’re up to date on the essentials, you’re ready to become a bonafide tattoo artist! Start your journey by learning the ropes on how to draw and how to tattoo either by yourself or with a mentor. Build your portfolio and work on finding your unique style. Remember that practice makes perfect and don’t forget to always do your paperwork! Good luck and happy tattooing!