Becoming a tattoo artist is more than simply ordering a tattoo kit through a tattoo magazine and experimenting on your friends! Tattooing is an art form with rules that have to be respected.
Failure to adhere to those rules can result in much more than a dodgy piece of art work but can result in the transmission of potentially fatal diseases and lawsuits running into millions of dollars not to mention earning the reputation as a ’scratcher’!
It takes a lot of time and money to become a tattoo artist so it helps if you have some formal training in art to give you an understanding of form and color technology. But it is an art that can be learned without formal training and contrary to popular belief there are still a few tattoo artists out there who are willing to take on apprentices to teach an eager student how to become a tattoo artist.

If you have decided to go the route of apprenticeship the best course of action is to visit as many tattoo studios as you can and strike up a relationship with the tattoo artists. Most tattoo artists are open and don’t mind being asked questions or allowing you to watch while they work - within reason!

Watch how they operate. If you have a portfolio of artwork show it to them. Bounce ideas around and suggest that you would like an opportunity to even help them around the studio in return for a chance to learn more about the craft of tattooing.
If your artwork is any good you may be surprised that a lot of tattooists will be keen to share their techniques with you and maybe even employ you full time in their studio. A good junior tattoo artist can work wonders for their business and raise their own profile as well as your so really show them your worth. Really let the tattoo artist know how passionate you are about tattooing and how keen you are to learn.

When it comes to becoming a tattoo artist Albert Einstein’s theory that “imagination is more important than knowledge” holds true. Be creative and don’t be afraid to share your ideas with other tattoo artists.

Eventually someone will recognize that you are serious and will allow you the opportunity to work under their tutelage. Eventually as you gain confidence and more experience you will find that you will be able to tattoo someone professionally. At that stage you will then become an employee to some tattoo artist with their own studio or even break out on your own to become a well known tattoo artist in your own right.

Remember there is much to learn before becoming a tattoo artist but it is a journey worthwhile taking if you feel that it is your calling. Nothing beats the feeling of creating a work of art that is going to stay with someone for the rest of their lives.
Bottom line…follow your passion!