- Draw as much as you can
- Practice on fruit or pork skins
- Familiarize yourself with the equipment
- Get tattooed yourself
- Under supervision, tattoo your friends, family or yourself
In order to become a tattoo artist, you will more than need to start with an apprenticeship which can last a few years. During your learning period, you will likely draw constantly and practice things like pork skin and fruit first (think bananas, grapefruit, and oranges).
Apprenticeship is certainly the best way to start a successful career in the industry, but becoming an apprentice is not easy. (If you haven’t found an apprentice job yet, read our article How to become an apprentice tattoo artist ). Once there, you’ll have an experienced tattoo professional ready to pass their knowledge on to you, whether it’s the best tattoo machines or what needles to use .
But what kind of things will they teach you?
1. Draw as much as you can
All the artists we’ve spoken to tell us the same thing: draw, draw, draw! This is the best advice for anyone starting out as a tattoo artist. We spoke with Julian Siebert, manager of Corpse Painter in Munich, Germany, who told us to draw as much as possible and in a variety of different styles.
A strong interest in art is something that will not only help you become an apprentice at first, but will also help you become a good artist in the future.
Practice the track as well. Many tattoo artists will start by tracing simple tattoos on paper to work the line. This is a great way to practice stabilizing your hand and getting used to transferring a design to the skin.