The work of a tattoo artist

Tattoos have existed amidst humans since a long time. While it was then used to mark humans and delineate authority, achievements and various other concepts, tattoos have today become mainstream and increasingly popular, regulated and creative in concept.

Tattoo artists are those who design and apply tattoos to their customers. They have to ensure they maintain a safe and clean environment and protect against the spread of infectious diseases. They not only have to keep the work area clean, but also keep on devising new designs in their spare time. They have to keep abreast of the latest tattoo designs and meet their clients to discuss their desires. They also have to keep up to date with the latest in health and safety procedures.

Skills and expertise

Tattoo artists have to be knowledgeable in art and the body so that the tattoo is safely applied while following health regulations and meeting their customers’ expectations. They don’t need a college degree to apply tattoos, but do need a state license.

Some may take art courses in school or community colleges to learn how to design and create better tattoo ideas. It goes without saying that tattoo artists not only need to have a love for attractive colors and a flair for design and creativity, but also have a steady hand with lots of patience and dedication.

Apprenticeship is a must

They should preferably start in an apprenticeship spanning at least three years wherein they learn the trade of not only designing tattoos, but also operating the tattoo machine and the right sterilization methods. Free apprenticeships are however rare; apprentices need to pay the experienced artist for teaching their trade.

Tattoo artist trainees also have to buy their own equipment and sterilizing kit while working as an apprenticeship, and not expect to be paid for the apprenticeship. They will have to work for about 6 hours a day for 6 days a week and will be handed more responsibilities as they progress, till they can apply a simple tattoo unsupervised.

It’s thus better to have a contract stating the terms of their apprenticeship. They will move on to creating complex tattoos as their experience grows. Generally, a tattoo artist is termed fully qualified only after gaining experience after working full time for 5 years.

Requirements to become a tattoo artist

Once tattoo artists have sufficient experience to practice alone, they need to get a license which has varying requirements in different states. They generally have to complete a fixed number of training hours and a fixed number of applied tattoos. Some states require that the artist be at least 18 years old and others that the artist should be abreast of laws through continuing education courses.

Tattoo artists should also have an artistic ability, manual dexterity, creativity, customer service skills and have some knowledge of tattoos and tattooing. It’s also better if they have tattoos as if they plan to give others tattoos, its better if they first display their own tattoos! Remember people planning to have tattoos have questions, and the tattoo artist should be able to answer these questions through personal experience, and thus put all fears of tattooing at bay.