The Life of a Tattoo Apprentice

Becoming a tattoo apprentice New school tattoo art School for piercing and tattooing


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Have you ever thought about one day becoming a tattoo artist? Making a career out of tattooing can be a very rewarding experience, but the path to get there is not an easy one. It takes years of practice, and great artistic ability, to become a tattoo artist. In order for a person to become a reputable tattoo artist, they must first become a tattoo apprentice. Tattoo apprenticeship programs are a challenging step in the process of becoming a tattoo artist, and only the most dedicated students are even offered an apprenticeship in the first place. If you want to learn how to tattoo, it is important to first have a good understanding of what you are up against.

What is a Tattoo Apprenticeship Like?

A tattoo apprenticeship is a necessary step in order for aspiring tattoo artists to fulfill their dreams. A licensed tattoo professional will offer an apprenticeship to students they think have the drive and perseverance to make it through the program. During an apprenticeship, the apprentice learns all of the skills necessary to learn how to tattoo. This includes learning the proper techniques, how to keep things sanitary and safe for clients and improving their drawing skills. The apprentice is given this experience in exchange for working in the shop for free. This can include everything from cleaning, running errands and any other tasks that their tattoo master needs help with. Since apprenticeships are unpaid, it is often necessary for the apprentice to work another job on the side. This means putting in a lot of work with probably very little sleep.

Are There Alternatives to Traditional Apprenticeship Programs?

There are other options for those who choose to steer away from the traditional apprenticeship path. Although there aren’t many out there, tattoo schools offer programs that replace the traditional apprenticeship in a shop. You still learn all of the necessary skills and gain many hours of hands on experience, but in a classroom setting as opposed to a tattoo shop. One of the benefits of taking this route is that you have a pre-determined length of time for your tattoo apprenticeship. In a tattoo shop, the apprenticeship is only over when the tattoo master believes their apprentice is ready to graduate.

Why are Tattoo Apprenticeship Programs Necessary?

As challenging as they may be, tattoo apprenticeship programs are an important step for aspiring artists. Not only do they learn how to properly tattoo other people, but they learn how to keep a sanitary work station and how to ensure that there is not contamination from client to client. Blood born pathogens can be easily transferred between people when needles are involved, so maintaining clean tools and practicing safe procedures is an essential part of the job.

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