It sound simple, but how do you make the initial contact with your target tattooist? How do you move it forward? There are loads of ways that people lose themselves an apprenticeship before they even start. I have so many people approach my studio who just blow it straight away and I’m going to share with you where they go wrong so you don’t make the same mistakes. Tattooists are busy people and they don’t have time to dick about. You get one shot at this and you’ve got to get it right! So here’s how to go in for the kill…
APPROACH THE TATTOOIST IN PERSON
DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT approach them on social media! I cannot emphasise this enough. If I had a dollar for every person messaging me on Facebook asking for an apprenticeship I’d be a rich man and wouldn’t have to write this book! It automatically marks you as a lazy douchebag who hasn’t got the initiative and manners to get off your ass and come into my studio. This approach DOES NOT WORK. All tattooists hate it and will get you straight onto their “do not apprentice” mental list. Be warned.
BE WELL PREPARED
When you pop into someone’s studio make sure you are well prepared with your awesome main portfolio and also the mini portfolio we talked about. That way, whatever the outcome you have something to show or leave. We have people who come into the studio to ask about apprenticeships and when we ask to see their work they don’t have any and say “Well I’m working on my portfolio at the moment” That’s no use! Have it all ready and perfected before you go in.
MAKE AN EFFORT
Look like you really want to do this. Like you love tattooing. Like you made an effort. Not like you just get out of bed or are drunk or stoned (tip – we don’t think that makes you look cool) Don’t look dirty or scuzzy. Look professional. Simple.
If a tattooist gives you half an hour of their time to look through your portfolio or chat be appreciative. It means they went home half an hour later in order to help you. Remember what your Mom said about nice manners and say thank you.
BE READY FOR REJECTION
Not everyone will be able to give you an apprenticeship. Not everyone will want to. Don’t take it personally. It’s just circumstances. Lots of rejection can get you down but you just have to let it go and keep trying. Do not get down about it. You will get there in the end.