Thinking about becoming a tattoo artist? Not sure where to start? As demand increases for quality tattoo artists in London and Surrey more and more regular artists think they have what it takes to become one. Tattoo artist job opportunities are steadily rising and there is space in the market for more. In this blog article we list 8 important steps that you need to follow in order to become a successful tattoo artist.
Tattoo artists are highly competitive as they try to have their work noticed and attract new customers. Many will begin by buying a tattoo kit and practicing on friends at home but this is not the way forward. Health and safety risks are high, so consider a different route to achieving your career goals. Think big from the beginning and lay the right foundations for a bright and lucrative future.
RatedInk 8 Step Guide to Becoming a Successful Tattoo Artist:
Raw Talent Required
Are you skilled artistically? Do you have a good intuition and knowledge of how to draw, colour and shade complex works of art? If you have no experience at all but feel an urge to still pursue your career as a tattoo artist it is highly advised you find and develop your talent before embarking on this journey. The most successful tattoo artists have a raw talent for creating artistic masterpieces according to client requirements. Get yourself a sketch pad and maybe even attend some fine art courses to help you learn the basics or improve your current skill set. Connect with other artists, read artist technique books and practice until you develop your own unique style. Traditional hand drawing techniques offer a great way to start the process and Adobe Illustrator is also used by many.
Build your Portfolio
Once you have a collection of tattoo designs on paper you can then proceed to build your portfolio in a case or binder. Include as many different styles as possible to show off your design flexibility and quality of your work. Make it look neat, presentable and Google terms such as ‘how to build a portfolio’ to help you. Take some time to research other tattoo artists in your area and visit them for valuable feedback on your work.
An excellent eye for art and design may not be sufficient to make you a successful tattoo artist. You will be required to have excellent attention to detail, astute hand-eye coordination, the ability to focus and concentrate for long tattoo sessions, a steady hand, a natural awareness of hygiene standards and a strong confident customer service approach. Your client needs to trust you before you take a needle to their skin!
If the feedback on your portfolio is positive and existing tattoo artists are enthused by your work request a position as a trainee or apprentice. Look at all the different options for ‘tattoo apprenticeships’ in London or Surrey and personally visit tattoo parlours you would like to work with. You may need to save up for some apprenticeship schemes so do your research and find the best deal.
Check your Trainer Ask your teacher to see his/her Bloodborne Pathogens Certificate – this should be an essential piece of paper often displayed on the wall or as part of a tattoo artist portfolio. If your trainer does not have one you may have chosen the wrong venue to develop your skill. It is not a difficult or expensive certification to achieve and every tattoo artist should have one. Find out which ink is used, do your own research to ensure equipment is sterilised properly, find out about aftercare services offered and know that you are working and learning from professionals. Read more about what you can do to check your trainer.
Learn the Skill
Have you secured your spot as an apprentice and feel ready to get started? By this point you should be confident in your ability to design tattoos on paper – it’s now time to learn tattoo skills from your teacher. Learn to maintain hygiene in the tattoo workplace, learn to operate a tattoo machine, learn how to adjust the power supply, how to correctly apply a tattoo, and most importantly, how to protect yourself and your client from risk of disease. Never stop developing your artistic techniques and try to learn from multiple tattoo artists all the time regardless of where your base is. Knowledge is power!
There are no set entry requirements for becoming a tattoo artist but you must get licensed. Register with your local council for a ‘Tattoo, Piercing and Electrolysis License’ as it is illegal to work as a tattooist without being registered.
As you begin to take on clients and your skill continues to develop make sure you build strong relationships with customers and colleagues along the way. Social media is a valuable route to getting valuable feedback from other like-minded artists and a great way to secure more work
Bring customers of your own to your place of work, promote your colleagues and brand yourself through marketing.
Give customers an experience to remember & encourage ‘word of mouth’ to get more work. Good luck on your journey to becoming a tattoo artist in the UK.
Visit RatedInk UK tattoo artist review site to start your search for a professional, safe and protected tattoo artist career. Feel free to post any queries or questions and connect with us on Facebook at @RatedInkDirectory.