How To Become a Tattoo Artist


Becoming a tattoo artist starts with passion for the industry. A lot of hard work and willingness to learn and to study are involved, and without dedication you might find it difficult to persevere in such a competitive industry.

Get a Portfolio

If you’re passionate about tattoos and making them your living, then you need to start practising your drawing skills! Being good at drawing is a bit different than being good at tattooing; it takes a lot of hard work to be able to know tattoo as well as you can draw. Drawing skills do, of course, help you but transferring those skills to tattooing is much like drawing something and then trying to carve it on a pumpkin – it takes practice. You can’t just copy designs from magazines or from other artists; you need to build a portfolio of your own original artwork that shows your creativity and passion.


An Art Degree is Always Good

While natural aptitude for drawing is always a plus, an art degree will help you understand forms, shapes, and colours in new ways. Degrees like Graphic Design and Painting will give you new skills that you can apply to tattooing. Don’t forget that tattooing is an art in which you never stop learning!


Before you can become a tattoo artist, you will to have an apprenticeship with an experienced tattoo artist that you admire. With your portfolio in hand, be ready to undertake at least a year of probably unpaid work while you learn from experts. You are likely to only see how a tattoo studio works during that period of time and little else, which is why you need to be passionate about the industry.

You’ll start small after the first year, working on your own designs to perfect your tattooing skill. As you’ll be working on commission, your salary will depend on how many tattoos you do. Your name will progressively get out there and you’ll get more clients. You might find that you need a second job for the first couple of years until this happens, which is when your dedication comes into play.


Get Professional Training

More common in modern times, you can undertake a course at an official tattoo academy . You’ll receive professional training by some of the most experienced tattoo artists and gain a qualification in the industry. A diploma or certificate will be delivered, proving your experience in keeping to the British Health Authority Standards. With both theory and practical lessons, you learn how to prepare needles, skin, and actually tattoo live models.

Becoming a Tattoo Artist

After getting your foot in the door and beginning to work on your own designs, you’ll need to invest on your own tattoo equipment. Starting up, you will need a few basic equipment such as tattoo machines, tattoo needles, tattoo parts, medical supplies, and art and stencil supplies. The investment might seem daunting, but you need high quality tattoo equipment to guarantee your clients a professional and safe experience.

At Body Shock we have a wide range of products you can choose from to compose your own tattoo equipment. You can get in touch with our team if you want to know more about our tattoo equipment; we’re always happy to answer any question you might have!