Get Licensed In Your State
Each state has different licensing laws. Some states require artists to be licensed as individuals. Others just require the shops to be registered and for artists to have Bloodborne Pathogens Training. If youre not sure how to become a licensed tattoo artist in your state, you can find the requirements here.
Whether their state requires it or not, a good tattoo artist will know the health risks of tattooing. Even if you dont have to take a Bloodborne Pathogens course, we highly recommend it.
Learn How To Market Yourself
Whether youre an experienced tattoo artist or a complete novice, knowing how to market yourself is essential to building a solid client base. Its never too early to start building your brand. How do you do that?
Be active on social media. You can post pictures of the shop where youre working or apprenticing, your designs, and, eventually, your completed tattoos. As you build a following, you can narrow down who you are as an artist and interact with potential clients. Remember, people arent interested in giving their business to faceless companies. People buy from people. Inject your personality into your posts, and dont be afraid to be yourself.
Create a custom watermark. Your watermark is like the signature on an art piece. Include it in every tattoo picture you post to increase brand recognition.
Build a website. In this digital age, people get most of their information online. If you dont have a website, youre missing out on a lot of potential clients. Of course, you cant just build a website and wait for customers to come rolling in. You should optimize your website for search engines. That way, youll be easier to find when people use Google to search for local tattoo shops. Adding blog posts and pictures to your site will make it more appealing.
Attend tattoo conventions. Your target audience will flock to these conventions. Create a booth with displays that help you stand out from your competition.
Health Concerns In Tattooing
Because tattooing involves the practice of actually breaking the skin of a client, it is an inherently dangerous activity. Most of the time, there is blood involved, and that means that all kinds of blood-borne illnesses can be transmitted in the tattoo shop. A clients blood could make its way into a cut on the artists hand, for example, or a dirty needle used on two separate clients could transfer a disease from one to the other.
For these reasons, health and safety are major concerns in the tattooing world. Most equipment is not only cleaned, but also sterilized on a regular basis. Tattoo artists generally wear gloves while working, and many choose to wear glasses, as well. Left over inks are disposed of and not reused. The risk is so great, in fact, that tattoo shops must be certified and undergo health inspections. These are just a few of the precautions that are taken to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
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The Skull Tattoos For Beginners
Have you ever seen a biker without a skull tattoo? Me neither. Skull tattoos are very popular all around the world. Who gets such a tattoo? It is true that in the past maybe only bikers did, but now its a whole new trend.
Skull tattoos are also associated with pirates. The skull is in the end the symbol of the pirate life. And as we all know they are very popular these days especially among young people. Pirate movies and characters like Jack Sparrow made the skull tattoos very trendy and many people get them.
But not only pirates are associated with skull tattoos. Have you seen those rockers? If you are a bit hardcore you will surely enjoy getting such a tattoo. Are you a biker? Nothing can say bad like a skull tattoo does.
There are lots of attributes which make skull tattoos a great design idea. First of all, a skull is a quite simple shape nothing to complicated or complex about it. This makes it easy for an artist to draw really smooth lines and high detailed designs. And a tattoo is only as good as it has been inked. You can choose the greatest design ever with shades and lights, with a 3D aspect and all but its the way it gets implemented which makes it nice or not.
Have A Stencil On Hand
Did you make a stencil before you started? You will transfer the stencil onto the clients skin.
It will be a very convenient and correct guide to action. Be sure the stencil will save you from mistakes.
When you apply the stencil on the skin, keep the skin tightened. After all, the stencil should be placed on the skin of the natural.
I would recommend making the design scheme beforehand again, but with the help of ink and one needle.
After the stencil, you must again clean the clients skin before starting the basic work creating a tattoo.
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What If The Needle Goes Too Shallow/deep
If the needle only enters the epidermis or the outer layer of the skin, the ink will transfer but wont stay in the skin.
As the needle leaves the skin and the bleeding occurs, it will push out the ink out of the skin as well. By the time the tattoo heals, the majority of the ink will have left the skin and one would end up with a partial, messed up, and faded-looking tattoo .
On the other hand, if the needle goes in too deep into the skin, the hypodermis layer, it might cause more serious issues. It will be harder for the ink to fully leave the skin, but it will also be significantly less visible. Moreover, such tattooing will hurt significantly more than the regular one done properly.
Because the ink is so deep in the skin, as a result, people can develop serious tattoo infections and skin irritations. There is also a chance one would experience a tattoo blowout since the ink moves freely in the fat layer. So, even if you end up with a healthy tattoo, it will look distorted and messed up.
Putting The Puzzle Together
Once you understand the basics of the tattooing puzzle, you have a foundation on which to place the rest of your pieces. Understanding the tattoo machine, for example, prepares you to dive more deeply in and start learning about the different types of needles bars and their uses. Realizing the importance of tattoo placement helps you to create your own designs that complement the clients physique and improve upon your own reputation.
Tattooing can be an incredibly rewarding field for those who have the drive to make it their career, and it all starts with grasping the basics and building from there. There are a lot of resources that can help introduce you to the components of tattooing, and from there you may want to start a conversation with an actual tattoo artist to start filling in the gaps of your own knowledge.
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A Blood Borne Pathogen Certification
Since the canvas of a tattoo artist is human skin it is essential that they follow strict health and safety guidelines. Preventing blood borne pathogens from being spread and working to preserve the health of the client and the artist will be a focal point of your training. You will be required at some point during, or after your apprenticeship program, to become certified in how to prevent the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C, and other infections while creating a tattoo, and youll need to be able to show proof of blood borne pathogen certification upon request.
Take Art Classes At Your Local Community College
Taking art classes at your local community college is the most affordable way to get an education in art, however, its not as robust as formal education at a tattoo school or university. Here, you can learn many basic design concepts and sharpen your skills by practicing creating art for a wide variety of applications.
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Three Fundamentals Of Tattooing
There’s a lot of ground to cover when it comes to the basics of tattooing. Most will learn through apprenticeships, but there’s a benefit in doing research independently as well. This blog is a brief look at three fundamentals of tattooing.
Lining – lining is the technique used to create the basic shape of a tattoo. They can vary from thin to thick. There’s a common technique known as building up lines by using multiple passes very close together to create a thicker line. Lining is a beneficial skill in tattooing and crucial in all tattoos because they can provide definition to the design.
Photo by: Thiago Barletta
Shading – Shading creates depth in tattoos, typically done with black ink. There are vast techniques you can use to create darker or lighter shadows. Artists can start with heavier pressure at the beginning of a stroke, lightening touch as they lift the needle off the skin at the end of the stroke. There are other methods for creating a lighter shade, too. Some artists will add white to black to make a custom gray. Others choose to add more water or other fluid to their black. It’s important for an artist to understand how light falls and how to translate that.
Photo by: Allef Vinicius
Lettering – First and foremost, make sure you spell everything correctly because there are no do-overs. Spacing is a factor that comes in when lettering because you don’t want the letters to run together and be eligible. One helpful element is taking your time. .
Improve Your Artistic Skills
Drawing on people for a living only works if you know how to draw. Painting, sketching, and digital art are skills that can easily transfer.
You dont have to know how to draw everything in every style to be a tattoo artist. Famous tattoo artists often have a specific look to all their pieces that make them stand out. Why not try to develop your unique style?
As you develop your artistic eye, put together a portfolio of completed work that displays your skills. Try to include various pieces that would work well with the Rake and Striking method, small designs, and even full sleeves. This variety will help you snag an apprenticeship with a licensed tattoo artist, which leads to our next tip.
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Get Your Bloodborne Pathogens Certification
Bloodborne Pathogens Training is a course that prepares you to protect yourself and your clients from potentially deadly infections, which youll need to do every day as a tattoo artist. Almost every state requires tattoo artists to have a valid certification, so youll need to take a BBP training course to legally tattoo in your state.
To Learn Hygienic Work Practices
Because tattooing is a body modification that punctures the skin and draws blood, theres a certain standard of hygiene that must be met for both the artist and clients safety. Youll learn how to create a sterile work field, how to keep your tattoo machine clean, when to change gloves, and more. Remember that reputable artists take hygiene very seriously ask to review an artists hygiene practices before agreeing to apprentice under them. In fact, its an excellent idea to get a tattoo by the artist you want to apprentice under when possible.
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How To Give Yourself A Tattoo
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If you’ve never gotten a tattoo before, you should get it from a professional. But if you’re looking to get into the art and practice on yourself, you can learn to do it safely and effectively. Learning to tattoo properly involves preparation, concentration, and safety. Learn how to get inking the right way.
Warning: The risk of blood-bourne infection is much higher when you’re doing a tattoo at home. Sterile conditions, new needles, and proper care are essential. It’s recommended that you get all tattoos at licensed parlors.XResearch source
How To Set Up A Liner
The idea behind a liner is to hit hard and fast.
These are not hard fast rules to live by, just a general basic setup that you should expand upon as you grow as a tattoo artist.
There are better ways to control your speed and how hard a machine hits than with the nickel and dime gap rule. For instance, to get a good liner set up you will want to have softer and shorter springs and a lighter armature bar. Both will help speed up your machine more than the basic nickel and dime gap rule.
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How To Draw Tattoo Designs
If you want to become a tattoo artist the first thing you need to learn is how to draw. Your ability to draw is the ceiling of your potential as a tattoo artist. The better you are able to draw, the better you will be able to tattoo.
For some people, this is a natural skill. Others have to invest time into developing that skill. Luckily, its possible to speed up the learning process if you follow these steps:
Work With An Established Tattoo Artist
Once youre confident about your drawing skills and ability to design attractive tattoos, its time to gain hands-on experience and to start applying the techniques youve learned in a real-world environment. Tattooing isnt something you can learn from a book its critical to work with a mentor who has been tattooing ideally for many years and who is willing and able to take you under their wing. Heres what to keep in mind when finding a tattoo artist to work with:
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So Where Should The Needle Go
The tattoo needle should go into the dermis layer of the skin. This layer lies in the middle, and is the perfect spot for ensuring the ink will stay in the skin, and not bleed out as the tattoo heals.
The epidermis is not a good ink location since it is too exposed and too outward, while the hypodermis is too deep into the skin, which means the ink wont be as visible and the pain during tattooing would be twice as intense. Also, if the needle penetrates the hypodermis, the client will most certainly experience an infection.
So, how deep, to be exact, should a needle go into the skin?
The answer is approximately 1/16th inch deep into the skin. This means that the ink will be placed exactly between the 2mm of the dermis layer.
If youre wondering how a tattoo artist knows where the dermis layer is in the skin, weve got you covered with that as well.
Before the tattooing process begins, the tattoo artist adjusts the tattoo machine and the needle in regards to the parameter of the dermis layer location. So, the dermis layer is approximately 1/16th inch deep into the skin.
With that knowledge, the tip of the tattoo needle is adjusted to only enter the skin at such depth, not a millimeter shallower or deeper. This means that the tattoo needle should not stick out the tattoo machine more than 2mm, or less than 1mm.
The Basic Equipment Every Tattoo Artist Needs
Youll need at least two tattoo guns that you like using, an ultrasonic, tubes and grips, sterile needles for lines and shading, green cleaning soap, spray bottles, small plastic cups for ink, gloves, and other supplies needed to keep your area clean. Expect this equipment to cost a few thousand dollars or more depending on what you get.
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Tattooing 101 What You Need To Know To Start Tattooing
Its been said that tattooing is both an art and a science, and these words are certainly true. As an art, tattooing requires an understanding of form, flow, color, and design. As a science, it involves electricity, magnets, and biology. In order to truly become an expert on tattooing, you have to be able to put all these different pieces of the puzzle together to create a picture that makes sense.
To do that, were going to start with some of the most basic principles of tattooing. In the terms of a puzzle, you could say were starting with the corners and edges to make it easier to work your way toward the center.