How to Become a Tattoo Artist?

how to become a tottoo artist?
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Tattoos have been around since ancient times, but the tattoo industry has boomed in the last decade. Many factors are responsible for the popularity of tattoos, such as a show named Tattoo Fixers. Such shows have contributed a lot to the acceptance of the tattoo industry.

EMR’s global report shows that the tattoo market will grow 9.6% between 2022 and 2029. Since the industry is growing, many people want to start their careers as tattoo artists. But they don’t know how to become a tattoo artist? Tattooing is an artistic skill that helps people feel better about themselves. If you are a free spirit and have drawing skills, tattoo artistry might be a perfect career for you.

To become a tattoo artist, you don’t require a specific degree but at least have finished high school, and you should have a tattoo license. A license will help you land a job as a tattooist.

How to Become a Tattoo Artist?

how to become a tottoo artist?

If you want to start a career as a tattoo artist but have no idea how to become a tattoo artist. Don’t worry, and you have come to the right place. The steps explained below have everything piece of information that would guide you on how to become a tattoo artist.

Learn to Draw

If you want to start a career as a tattoo artist, it begins with visually attractive designs. Therefore, you must learn drawing skills. If you already have some knowledge about drawing, you should focus on improving your drawing skills and illustration technique. You can’t be an expert tattoo artist without being a pro in drawing and designing.

The first thing you can do is to start drawing practice on your own. Keep a pencil and a sketchbook and draw in your free time. Draw the things you see, things you think, and the thing that other people describe. See whether you enjoy and feel comfortable drawing unique art for other people because, as a tattooist, you will be drawing for others. Try to be comfortable with others’ specifications.

Along with drawing the sketches, study the art of renowned tattoo artists. Explore different tattoo artists with varying styles of tattoo and observe their work. Some famous tattoo artists include Chris Nunez, Mirko Sata, Gerhard Wiesbeck, and Stanislaw Wilczynski.

If you aren’t sure what kind of art you should explore as a tattoo artist, try to explore different art forms. Before deciding on your career as a tattooist, make sure what type of art you like the most. Drawing is the first step that will teach you how to become a tattoo artist.

Get Art Education

If you are committed to starting a career as a tattoo artist, you must consider getting a formal art education. Your art education degree will give you enough opportunities to become a well-known tattoo artist. But be realistic before taking any decision. Evaluate your financial condition, skill level, and interest before admission to any art college or university.

Tattoo artists don’t need any formal education or diploma, so it’s essential that you weigh all pros and cons as getting a proper art degree from college or university is a big step. Still, it’s also true that the more time you will spend on developing a skill, the better artist you will be.

Establish Design Skills and Knowledge

To become a good tattoo artist, you must know how different design elements work and how they impact each other. You should learn the design elements whether you obtain a formal degree or choose a self-taught route.

How to become a tattoo artist? For that, you should have a basic knowledge of graphic design. Whether you obtain this skill through education or develop the skill through experience but you should have the graphic designing skill. You must learn different line, shape, color, value, texture, and size theories. Also, you will need to learn how to implement those theories to create the desired image.

You should also learn graphic design principles such as balance, repetition, contrast, alignment, and space. These principles will help you originate a beautiful and neat tattoo.

Make a Portfolio

A portfolio is significant for tattoo artists. The portfolio showcases your best work and skills that allow the prospective client to learn about you and decide whether your style and abilities are what they are looking for. Your portfolio should be impressive.

Make sure you create a professional portfolio. The portfolio should be professional and attention-grabbing. It should have all the essential details of your work, but it shouldn’t be too long and shouldn’t have unnecessary and irrelevant information. Use a three-ring binder with sheet protectors. The outside of your portfolio should be sleek and uniform.

Include 25 to 100 completed tattoo designs and drawings in the portfolio. These can be your original work or a copy of any designs. Make sure that the designs you choose should represent your skills and expertise. Also, add a cover letter highlighting all your strengths and work, and make sure you add only completed work in the portfolio.

You should also avoid some mistakes while creating a portfolio. Do not copy other artists’ work. That is plagiarism and illegal. You can add the designs of your work but do not include any tattoo you have made because you are not a professional artist yet, and it’s illegal to make tattoos without a license.

Look for an Apprenticeship

Once you are confident about your skills, it’s time to get hands-on experience. How to become a tattoo artist by applying the techniques you learned in the real world. Tattooing can’t be learned from books. It’s practical and can be mastered with the help of a mentor.

But how to choose the right mentor?

You must pay particular attention when looking for a mentor or any tattoo shop for an apprenticeship. Make sure that your mentor works at a reputable tattoo shop, or the shop you are applying for an internship should abide by all the hygiene and health guidelines. Also, a mentor or a shop should have plenty of clients. Also, look for the one that has mentored an apprentice before. Mentoring is not an easy task; a person who hasn’t mentored anyone before won’t have an idea how to teach you. Don’t choose a mentor who is too easy to please; instead, look for someone who can challenge you and push you past the limits. This way you will learn how to become a tattoo artist apprentice.

Obtain Pre-License Certifications and Training

After your apprenticeship, you can obtain a few pre-licensing certifications or specific training in tattoo making. Make sure that courses or certifications meet the requirements of your state. You can get any certification or training, depending on your state.

  • Get License

Once you have completed all the conditions of becoming a tattoo artist, you are ready to start tattooing.

Before applying for the license, check your state’s requirements, as license requirements are different for every state. For example, a tattoo artist in Oregon must have completed a minimum of 360 hours of training with a professional and approved tattoo artist, and he should also have made 50 tattoos. Along with that, he should also have passed the written exam and skills test. Only then can he apply for a license. While in other states, the only shop needs a license. But it’s necessary to review state license requirements.

  • Purchase Tattoo Equipment

Tattoo shops require a tattoo artist to have his own equipment. That’s why you should have your own set of tattoo equipment. This is your initial investment to start your career.

The basic equipment you will need is tubes, grips, ultrasonic, sterile needles for lining and shading, spray bottles, green cleaning soap, gloves, and small plastic cups for ink.

  • Start your Career

After obtaining a license and purchasing basic tattoo equipment, it’s time to start your career. Here is how to become a tattoo artist and start your career.

You can apply for a tattooist job at any tattoo shop. You can even apply to the shop where you have completed the apprenticeship. You can also apply at the local shops by dropping off your portfolio.

Suppose you don’t want to do a job as a tattoo artist and want to open your own tattoo studio. Then you will need a few things to start, such as a rental space, furniture, and other equipment. You can open a shop where you can get more business.


There is no such qualification required to become a tattoo artist, but you should have a good knowledge of drawing and sound knowledge of graphic designing

Tattoo artists can make good money as they are skilled and can create any design. Famous tattoo artists can earn up to $500 per hour or more.

If you want to start tattooing and don’t know how to start it, you should read this article to get all information regarding becoming a tattoo artist.

If you want to become a tattoo artist without an apprenticeship, you should learn to tattoo online. There are many free and paid sources available online that will help you how to become a tattoo artist.

On average, it takes almost 2 to 3 years to become a tattoo artist but it also depends on your skills and learning ability and how quickly you pick up the things.


The tattooing industry is growing, and many people seek a career in it but don’t know how to become tattoo artists. To become a tattoo artist, you should fulfill specific requirements.

In this article, we have covered all the information on how to become a tattoo artist. If you also aspire to be a tattooist, you should read this article to equip yourself with all the necessary and vital information.

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