Introduction of Tattoo Artist
Tattoo artists use their minds, emotions, and hands to create strong and enchanting images that adorn the client’s body and communicate with the outside world.
Similar Job Titles
- Body Artist
Typical Job Responsibilities
What do Tattoo Artists do?
A Tattoo Artist would typically need to:
- Make use of your artistic abilities to produce permanent designs or images on the client’s skin.
- Schedule a consultation to let the customer understand the tattooing process and choose a design and location on their body.
- Ascertain that the client is of legal tattooing age and that they can pay for the treatment; process the payment and give a receipt
- Make an appointment for the tattooing; either manually or with the assistance of a thermal imager, design a stencil.
- Clean the tattooed area with rubbing alcohol, then shave it smooth with a disposable razor and clean again.
- Moisten the skin with a stick deodorant or soap and water to let the design transfer easier and to produce a darker likeness of the eventual tattoo.
- Before prepping the tattoo machine, ensure that the client approves of the likeness.
- Place the inks in tiny cups known as ink caps; remove the needles and tubes from their sterile pouches and insert them into the machine.
- Fill a cup halfway with clean, distilled water to clean the needles and make ink changes easier.
- Keep some ointment on hand to use on the transfer design to prevent it from rubbing off accidentally and to assist the needle slide smoothly so the client feels less discomfort.
- Attempt to relax the client during the tracing and linework until they become accustomed to the discomfort.
- Depending on the size of the tattoo, switch to a new set of needles known as magnums/mags or another tattoo machine specialised for shading and colouring.
- After obtaining permission, clean up the tattoo and gently apply a hot towel to it; photograph the tattoo for their portfolio and for the customer.
- To avoid bacterial infection, put a protective layer of ointment and seal it with a bandage.
- Provide extensive aftercare instructions to the client, both verbally and in writing; ensuring the client understands they are completely responsible for the tattoo’s aftercare.
- Provide traditional and non-traditional henna temporary tattoos; provide body piercing services if educated as a piercer
- Follow the most recent hygiene and safety procedures before, during, and after the tattooing procedure.
- To prevent cross-contamination, clean and disinfect tattoo equipment and work areas; answer phones and book appointments.
- Store spare components in a convenient position so that no time is lost during a session to replace defective pieces.
- Keep up with the current tattoo trends; experiment with new ideas and sketch them out.
- Maintain open, interactive, and long-term business communication with clients, vendors, and private representatives.
Standard Work Environment
Tattoo artists typically operate in clean, well-lit, temperature-controlled studios with a relaxing atmosphere for their clientele. Furthermore, disposable nitrile gloves and face masks help to avoid contact with other people’s skin, blood, and plasma while tattooing.
Full-time tattoo artists may work on weekends and evenings to suit clients, while most studios claim to be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. As a result, while you may work six days a week, your real schedule may consist of short one- to three-hour sessions to maximise your focus and attention to detail.
Finding a new job may appear difficult. Tattoo artists can improve their job hunt by soliciting referrals from their network, contacting firms directly, using job search platforms, and leveraging social media. A part-time job is another popular alternative.
Tattoo Artists are generally employed by:
- Tattoo Studios
- Tattoo Chains
- Private Clients
Unions / Professional Organizations
Professional associations and organisations, such as The Tattoo Artists’ Guild, International Tattoo Artists Association (ITAA), and The Alliance of Professional Tattooists, are essential for Tattoo Artists who want to further their professional development or connect with other professionals in their industry or occupation. Membership in one or more of these organisations adds value to your CV while strengthening your credentials and qualifications.
- Intense concentration with little room for error can make this job physically and mentally exhausting
- Long and variable work schedules can negatively impact work-life balance
- The need to remain calm in the face of rude customers
- High probability of cross-contamination
- Fear of being shut down if unable to pass regular inspections by the health department
- The need to keep up with the times and stay in tune with the latest trends to keep the business profitable
Suggested Work Experience
You must apprentice under an accomplished, well-known tattoo artist who is prepared to teach a novice the intricate trade of tattooing. You will need to purchase your equipment and sterilising supplies, and the apprenticeship normally does not involve a stipend.
A well-crafted portfolio of original designs and various thoughts can assist you in obtaining a lucrative apprenticeship, which could last anywhere from a year to three years. Artist assistants or managers, artist and repertoire screeners, and independent visual artists are more likely to be accepted as apprentices. Prior experience working as a cashier, sales associate, or customer service person may also be beneficial.
For the first six hours of the day, six days a week, you may appear to be doing nothing but observing the tattooing process, cleaning up after everyone, putting up and pulling down tattoo stations, and running errands.
Remember that you are attempting to complete a difficult task that will require patience, attention to detail, skill, and strict adherence to safety and health standards. You will eventually learn how to disinfect equipment, mix inks, operate a tattoo machine, take necessary health and safety precautions, and design tattoos.
Before inking live skin, you will need to practise extensively on artificial skins or fruits. You may perform at least a hundred tattoos on willing family members, friends, and work clients for free (material and equipment will be invoiced to you). Your payment will be the photographs you shoot and add to your portfolio in order to attract new clients.
A typical learning curve would include progressing from tattooing simple designs under expert supervision to more intricate ones done autonomously over the course of five years of full-time employment experience. You will take the test and be certified at some point during this time, following which you will be able to charge for your job.
To demonstrate your devotion to prospective apprenticeship providers and employers, read about the profession and interview/job shadow skilled Tattoo Artists.
Tattoo Artists, like most artistic vocations, do not require formal schooling beyond a high school diploma or GED (General schooling Development) in most places.
Those who believe that formal education is necessary should obtain a recognised certificate, diploma, or associate degree in art, fine arts, graphic design, fashion design, visual communication, or logo design. Furthermore, a bachelor’s degree in the previously stated topics will allow you to hone your craft.
Because the limited tattoo schools and courses now available do not appeal to experienced professionals, look for fine art and illustration degrees that provide the best value for money if you do not wish to pursue a formal academic route.
In high school, concentrate on art, English, math, computer science, and graphic design.
Certifications, Licenses and Registration
A safety certification from a reputable and objective body can train you to cope with blood-borne pathogens and avoid skin illnesses and infections. Additional training in first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) will be advantageous.
Certification normally requires a mix of education, experience, and examination, though criteria vary by location. By including a Code of Ethics, successful certification programmes defend the public welfare.
In an ideal world, such certification would assist you in obtaining a licence and becoming an independent consultant who has earned the trust of their clients.
A person’s job history, education, credit history, motor vehicle records (MVRs), criminal record, medical history, usage of social media, and drug screening are all examples of employment background checks.
Tattoo artists may also be required to register themselves and their studios with the local environmental health department or municipality, which will inspect the facilities and equipment on a regular basis.
Projected Career Map
Tattoo Artists’ career advancement is driven by performance, experience, and the acquisition of professional certifications, which may lead to positions such as Manager or Operations Manager.
It is also feasible that you will start your own firm after establishing a name for yourself and amassing the necessary cash. You might earn extra money by charging other tattoo artists or piercers for renting space.
Candidates with talent, a great eye for detail, patience, focus, and a willingness to learn will have the finest job opportunities.
Beneficial Professional Development
CPD will assist an active Tattoo Artist in developing personal skills and expertise through work-based learning, a professional activity, formal education, or self-directed learning. CPD also allows for the consistent renewal of desirable recertification.
Maintain your portfolio’s diversity and creative elegance by staying up to date on current trends. If you’re interested in body piercing, you can expand your search. To progress in your career, you may need to relocate or work in an atmosphere that is different from what you expected.
Conclusion of Tattoo Artist
People acquire tattoos for a variety of reasons, including vanity, commemoration of a cherished memory, or simply to make a statement. A competent Tattoo Artist can share the client’s point of view and write their tale on their body in a hauntingly beautiful way.
Advice from the Wise
Persistence and tenacity will enable you to give your all while pushing yourself to accomplish better.
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