1. Get great at drawing. – Keep drawing all the time. Keep improving.
2. Be humble and appreciative of any advice you get. – Ask for criticism and portfolio advice. Act on that advice.
3. Make an amazing portfolio and mini portfolio – Take the time to make a seriously impressive portfolio. Likewise make a gorgeous mini portfolio you can leave with a tattooist if they can’t see you when you call.
4. Be professional at all times.
5. Get tattooed (a LOT) and make contacts in the industry.
6. Immerse yourself in the tattoo industry. – Research the history, styles and tattooists past and present. Show prospective employers that you live and breathe this industry!
7. Keep trying. – Don’t let rejections put you off.
8. Look the part – Have tattoos – Non-tattooed people don’t get apprenticeships.
9. Be willing to move towns. – Whatever it needs.
10. Do things that make you stand out from the crowd. – A lot of people are looking for apprenticeships. Be different.
TOP 10 DONT’S OF FINDING AN APPRENTICESHIP.
1. DO NOT be an asshat! – Don’t have a rockstar attitude. This never goes down well.
2. Don’t have a big ego. – You have to be humble in this industry.
3. Don’t approach potential employers via Facebook and social media. – It implies you don’t care enough to come in and visit them in person. You will never get anywhere this way.
4. Do not fall for Tattoo Schools which promise an easy way in. – They are generally scams to take your money. You can’t learn this skill in 2 weeks.
5. Do not badmouth other tattooists. – This will not show you in a good light. Any tattooist will wonder what you are saying about them to other tattooists. Not good.
6. Don’t show up drunk, dirt or late if you get chance to talk to a tattooist about an apprenticeship. – Be professional. Show them respect and appreciate their time.
7. Don’t try and apprentice with a tattooist who does bad work. – You will only learn bad habits.
8. Don’t call a tattoo machine a GUN. – This pisses tattooists off quicker than pretty much anything else. It’s a MACHINE!
9. Don’t show any tattoos you have done on your mates. – This will get you into BIG trouble. Just keep that quiet! OK?
10. DON’T GIVE UP. – If it was easy everyone would be doing it.