Tattooing has been around for quite some time. Since the ancient times and in the most primitive of tribes the art of tattooing and the process of doing it have been in existence. People have worked on the art, experimented with the methods and the use of colors for a long time. As such the process of tattooing has not required a person to have some formal qualification. Actually a tattoo artist must showcase their talents with the samples of their work, their dedication to this type of work and should have been an apprentice with someone more qualified and experienced.
Here are some steps that will help you become a good and established tattoo artist:
Complete high school education: You need to get a high school diploma or finish General Education Development requirement. You need to be above 18 years of age and have to complete on of these to start on a career as a tattoo artist.
Assess your artistic skills: You have to know that tattooing is rendering art on live skin. This means the skill and talents have to be of extremely high levels with a steady hand, attention to the minutest details and an amazing grasp on hues is a must. You should consider some formal training in art or at least taking up a course for drawing before moving on to tattooing. If you are already good at drawing then you should practice even more and put together a portfolio of your work. This will help when you are trying out for apprenticeships with other artists. You also need to have great vision and really steady hands to be good at tattooing.
Apply to work as an apprentice with a good established artist: This will let you watch and learn things as well as get some grasp on the techniques of doing things. You will fare better with the guidance of someone who is good at what he/she does. You need to pick a mentor with care. The length for which you have to work as an apprentice will vary with statutory requirements. Some artists may charge you for the apprenticeship; you need to research on this aspect too.
Do a course on tattooing: While being an apprentice will teach some of the practical aspects of tattooing you will be well advised to take a course on this. This will educate you on factors like hygiene, prevention of infection and things to do with skin diseases etc. This information may also be part of the statutory requirement to get the certificate.
Attain the certificate: The needs and specifications for each state with regard to certification may vary. In general you are required to finish a certain period of apprenticeship and complete a written test successfully as a minimum requirement.
Ensure that you license is updates: You need to ensure that your license is up to date by completing the formalities as per the statutory requirements.
Look for customers and update your portfolio: To get customers you need to demonstrate your skills on many people as is possible. Capture the work you have done along with the positive feedback you get and keep records of these. Your portfolio should speak about the type of work you are capable of. Take part in competitions as a means of demonstrating your skills. You need to be open and friendly while discussing tattoo designs with prospective clients. You can show your skill level by knowledgeably making suggestions. It would also be prudent for you to learn the business aspects of learning to run your own tattoo parlor. This way you know how to handle all aspects.