How to Start a Career As a Tattoo Artist

Whether you want to be a tattoo artist for fun or earn a living, there are many ways to become a successful tattoo artist. Apprenticeships, experience, and pay are among the factors you need to consider. Read on for tips on how to start a career as a tattoo artist. Then, you can set your own price and timeframe for working on each client.

Getting started as a tattoo artist

If you are interested in becoming a tattoo artist, there are a number of things you need to do to get started. First of all, you need to know the different types of tattoo art. There are traditional Japanese tattoos, abstract designs, black and white tattoos, tribal tattoos, and more. You also need to know about different techniques in tattooing, such as shading and focal points.

Next, you need to learn about proper hygiene, tattooing techniques, and how to use a tattoo machine. You’ll also need to put in a lot of hours as an apprentice, so you’ll need to be prepared for this. In addition, you may have to take a few art classes and obtain an official tattooing license.

Creating an impressive portfolio is an essential first step. A portfolio should contain between 25 and 100 finished drawings or tattoo designs, preferably showcasing your versatility. It’s important to include both traditional and modern pieces, so you’ll have the ability to demonstrate a wide range of styles and techniques. The portfolio should also contain your best work.


If you’re thinking about becoming a tattoo artist, it might be a good idea to sign up for an apprenticeship. These programs will allow you to work under an experienced artist. Apprenticeships usually last 1-2 years, although some take shorter time. As with any apprenticeship, it’s important to know what to expect and to follow the artist’s instructions.

Apprenticeships for tattoo artists include hands-on training and education in professional business practices. Tattoo artists also learn about safe and hygienic work practices. They also learn to use the autoclave to sterilize needles, and to take proper health precautions while tattooing. This training is essential for a successful career.

The first step in an apprenticeship is finding a reputable studio where you can learn. If possible, try to visit several places before you apply for an apprenticeship. If you find one you like, make sure to follow up by phone or in person. Remember that it can be difficult to land an apprenticeship in this industry. If you don’t find anyone in your area, you may have to travel to another city.


Tattoo artists often work for themselves or for a fee. They may also have an apprentice, perform front-desk duties, or do various admin tasks. Some artists even hire an accountant to take care of the finances. In addition to paying for their time, tattoo artists also incur the costs of materials and possibly working in an aseptic environment.

Unlike other professions, tattooing does not come with a set salary, so it’s difficult to determine how much a tattoo artist should charge. In the beginning, new artists won’t earn much. However, as their portfolio grows and their skill level increases, they can start charging higher fees. However, this may require a lot of hard work and money to sustain the business.

To make money as a tattoo artist, you must first establish a reputation. This will increase your client base and your annual income. Once your name is known to clients, you can even consider working as an independent contractor or freelance tattoo artist. Tattoo parlors are located throughout the world, both in small towns and in major cities. However, to succeed in this field, you need to have painstaking concentration and good communication skills. This is important because you need to be able to communicate your design plan to your clients. You also want to avoid making mistakes when you work.


A tattoo is a form of body art that is used to enhance the body. Tattoos can be simple or elaborate and can represent anything from cartoon characters to personal events. The tattoo artist creates the design based on the client’s request. They may also perform body piercings or other body modifications.

It is important to choose a tattoo artist who has experience in the field. Experienced artists will have a portfolio to show prospective clients. Tattoo artists who hesitate to display their portfolios may not be experts in their field. The portfolio of an artist will give the customer an idea of the artist’s style and services.

Besides being highly creative, a tattoo artist should have a background in other artistic fields. Tattoo artists may work in studios or independently. If you are interested in becoming a tattoo artist, you may search online for local studios. Alternatively, you can build a private clientele and work in your client’s home.