(Continuation of the article Tattoo artist apprenticeship)
As we already told you before, the best thing to do – and the most correct too – would be to become a tattoo artist apprentice, in order to learn everything from the beginning. And by everything, I mean both the art of tattooing, and also the occupational hazards (yes, there are some), such as those things related to the managing of your own tattoo parlour. And that is because it is not only about tattooing, but it is also about creating tattoo designs, learning how to sterilize using medical equipment, being very careful or having a very strict cleaning habits. Besides, it is also important to know how to solder our own needles, and some other significant things, such as how to deal with clients, because after all, one must know how to screen many clients. Not everyone that comes into a tattoo parlour is –let’s say- ‘normal’ or ‘apt’ to get a tattoo. One day, I will tell you some interesting stories, funny stories –and even scary- that I have personally lived in this business.
Yoji Harada (Miami Ink apprentice) –presumably- with just staring at the tattoo artist, you are being an apprentice and you are also letting them have you enslaved (for example, keep cleaning the tattoo parlour)
But, let’s go back to the topic that concerns us, about the tattoo artist apprentices. We have already said that it is difficult to get to be one, since the tattoo artists from nowadays seem to be surrounded by a kind of a divine aura that makes them better than everyone else. They earn a lot of money (we will dedicate a whole article to this topic), and well, they don’t want to share the secret of ‘how to earn money’ with anyone else. Unless they can get something from you, and here is when I refer to the figure of the ‘joke’ I made in the previous article: that you are a pretty girl (and it is actually not such a joke).If you find a tattoo parlour by chance where the tattoo artist is a decent person that values your enthusiasm and artistic level, rather than your breasts, go ahead and take the ‘job’. And I say it in quotes, because they won’t pay you for being an apprentice, you don’t earn a salary, because ‘presumably’ you earn just enough once you have already learnt. Of course… In theory this has ‘its logic’, and here the moral of each tattoo artist comes into play, if he will pay you, or not. We, the apprentices, will basically be cleaning the parlour, going on errands, going to the supermarket to get X… We will be seeing how the tattoo artist does the tattoos, yes, but basically we will be slaves to our ‘admired tattoo artist.’ Many of them take advantage of it. They teach you how to tattoo while they enslave you –and don’t pay you- with that excuse of that what they are doing for us is priceless.
This shouldn’t be like that. Even when you go to do a trial day as a waiter in a bar, they pay you for that day. However, we are in the industry of the tattoos, where there are no laws, there are many innocent people, and many freeloaders, yes: the tattoo artists.
What really matters is drawing. Non-stop.