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Are you ready to become a real tattoo artist? For some people, learning how to tattoo is a life-long dream. For others, it's a newer fascination that may have started when they got their own first tattoos. No matter what the spark for wanting to learn how to tattoo, there are five essential steps that each person can follow on the path to becoming a pro. Step One: Passion and Ability Above all other things, there are two major factors that go into determining whether or not you have what it takes to become a real tattoo artist. Sure, the other steps outlined here are very important, but if you don't have both passion and ability, you are unlikely to succeed. That's not to say that someone can't figure out how to tattoo and even find a job. Unfortunately for them, though, tattooing will never be more than just that...a job. If you're just looking for a paycheck, then there are far easier ways to go about earning one, and you won't put other people at risk of getting a bad piece of skin art from someone who doesn't really care all that much about what he or she is doing. As for ability, that is something that can be improved upon. While a tattoo artist most definitely has to have some natural talent, art classes and continuous practice can take him or her to the next level. On the other hand, someone who can't master the skills required to create good images just doesn't have a place as a tattoo artist. Getting outside, non-biased opinions of your abilities is one of the best ways to start recognizing if you have enough skills to build on in order to learn how to tattoo well. Step Two: Be an Observer One of the best ways to learn how to tattoo is to observe it firsthand. The most likely way to start is to go ahead and get one or more tattoos yourself. Choose to have the design placed somewhere that allows you to watch the entire process from beginning to end, and take mental notes of what your tattoo artist is doing. How does he hold the machine? Does she apply the inks in a particular order? How does the shop safeguard clients from illnesses and accidents? If you're lucky, your tattoo artist may even be willing to explain the process as you go along. Ask thoughtful questions, and don't forget to actually listen to the answers. Keep in mind that different tattoo artists have different methods, so perhaps you will want to get your ink done by a couple of different artists or possibly at more than one shop. Step Three: Offer to Work in a Shop In order to really show that you seriously want to learn how to tattoo, you may have to get your


hands dirty...literally. Many, many tattoo artists got their start by offering to work in a shop, oftentimes for free. During this sort of "internship," you won't actually be allowed to tattoo, but you may be allowed to split your time between sweeping the floors and watching the artists at work. This also gives you the opportunity to become familiar with the equipment used in the tattoo process. From needles to inks and from tattoo machines to safety equipment, there is a whole lot that goes into even the tiniest tattoo. By working in a shop, you will get to know the jargon (what is "flash" for example, or how can you tell the difference between a "liner" and a "shader") and will become familiar with the codes and regulations that govern the legal aspect of a shop. Step Four: Get an Apprenticeship Working in a tattoo shop shows that you have both the initiative and the drive necessary to really learn how to tattoo. Some people will suggest that you can even start giving simple tattoos while working in a shop. Maybe you will be encouraged to practice on yourself, on friends, or even on what are called practice skins. Before you take that step, though, consider whether or not you're going to want to go through the most conventional channels and try for an apprenticeship. Some tattoo artists don't mind at all if their apprentices have practice doing simple tattoos and may even prefer it. On the other hand, some will not accept you as an apprentice if you've already begun on your own. This is because they don't want to have to "unteach" any bad habits or have to deal with an ego of someone who thinks they already have it all figured out. So, keep this in mind when planning for your future. That said, getting an apprenticeship is not usually an easy process. You may have to wait for a long period of time or even relocate to another city to learn how to tattoo from a qualified artist whom you respect. It is hard not to get discouraged, but if you have the passion and ability already mentioned above, then you've got a much better chance at taking this big step toward becoming a professional. Step Five: Learn Everything You Can Your apprenticeship will likely not begin with you learning how to tattoo right away. Instead, you may be asked to perform many of the duties you did when you were working in a tattoo shop before you became an apprentice. You will likely clean up the shop and will probably help with the sterilization of equipment. As time goes by, however, the artist you're working with will offer you more and more responsibilities and will teach you methods and techniques that will get you on your way. There are other ways to increase your knowledge, too. While you can't necessarily learn how to tattoo by just reading a book, you can certainly use tattoo books and tattoo magazines to build on the knowledge you already have. Even the simple act of examining someone else's tattoos can help you learn more about technique, color theory, flow and design, and more. The result of all this hard work can be a full-fledged career as a tattoo artist. Just remember that the industry always changes, and the best artists are always willing to learn more to expand their art. By using these five steps, you can set yourself up to learn to tattoo the right way.


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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chuck_Palzno

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