How to Become a Tattoo Artist

There are over 31,196 tattoo businesses in the U.S., which shows how popular this career is.

Becoming a tattoo artist is a great way to capitalize on your passion and flex your creativity skills. But, if you’re new to the tattoo world, it’s difficult knowing the first step in your new venture. Maybe that’s why you’re here; you want to pursue your dream of becoming a tattoo artist and need a nudge in the right direction.

Sounds familiar? Luckily, we’ve got your back. Here’s how to become a tattoo artist.

Learn To Draw

The first step in how to become a tattoo artist is perfecting your drawing. Get inspired by tattoo designs and see how they differ from traditional artwork. You should also practice using digital software like Procreate to master your skills.

Take Art Courses

One of the top tattoo artist requirements is having received an education. Luckily, tattoo schooling is affordable, especially if you only take a specific number of classes. If you’re currently searching for a course, check out to get started.

Find a Mentor

When you’ve received a tattoo artist certification, it’s time to find a mentor.

Ideally, you’ll want someone with a similar style and who works at a reputable tattoo shop. As you browse options, ask about whether they’ve mentored an apprentice before and who goes the extra mile to challenge you. Also, mentors will teach you the latest in hygiene regulations to ensure that your clients are safe and happy with their new tattoos.

Not sure how to find one? Then, ask the budding tattoo artists in your life for a lead.

During your search, familiarize yourself with their portfolio and see whether you’d want to learn from them. You should also meet each prospect in person so that you can decide whether or not you click.

Build a Portfolio

Every successful tattooist has a portfolio to showcase their skills. Make sure you include pieces that are completed and that you’re proud of. You should then apply to tattoo parlors that employ artists that you respect and can learn from.

Get Certified

Once your education is complete, you must get certifications in specific areas. This includes a blood-borne pathogen certification and receives training on skin diseases. Note a tattooist’s requirements will vary depending on your state, so research these first.

Then, when you’re ready, apply for a license, regardless of whether you’ll work for a shop or as a freelancer.

Buy Your Own Tattoo Equipment

A tattooist is only as good as their tools. At the very least, you’ll need a tattoo gun, sterile needles, and ink. You’ll also need sanitation supplies to keep the area clean.

Become a Tattoo Artist Today

Hopefully, you’re now ready to become a tattoo artist.

There are many steps to take, such as elevating your drawing skills and taking a specialized course. Tattoo artists should also find a great mentor and get certified before getting down to business. Good luck!

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