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How Do You Get an Apprenticeship for Tattooing?

Apprenticeships are an excellent way to gain practical skills and knowledge while earning a wage. However, you may wonder, “How do you get an apprenticeship for tattooing?”

Embarking on a tattooing career can be an exciting and fulfilling journey. However, before becoming a professional tattoo artist, acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge through a tattoo apprenticeship is crucial.

This article provides a step-by-step guide on obtaining a tattoo apprenticeship, ensuring you’re well-prepared for this rewarding profession.

How Do You Get an Apprenticeship for Tattooing

Step 1: Research and Preparation

Before diving into the world of tattooing, it’s vital to familiarise yourself with the craft and industry. Undertake extensive research on various tattoo styles, techniques, and artists who inspire you. Attend tattoo conventions, exhibitions, and workshops to understand the art form better. This groundwork will help refine your artistic vision and demonstrate your dedication to potential mentors.

Step 2: Build a Portfolio

Developing a strong portfolio is crucial when seeking a tattoo apprenticeship. Begin by honing your drawing skills and experimenting with different artistic mediums. Create a diverse collection of your best artwork, showcasing your ability to work with various styles, subjects, and techniques. Include sketches, illustrations, and other relevant artwork highlighting your creativity and attention to detail.

Step 3: Seek Out Tattoo Studios

Now that you have a solid portfolio, it’s time to find a reputable tattoo studio where you can apprentice. Research and identify studios that align with your artistic style and values. Visit these studios, talk to the artists, and familiarise yourself with their work. Developing a rapport with the artists is essential as it demonstrates your genuine interest and commitment.

Step 4: Networking and Building Relationships

Tattooing is a close-knit community, so networking is vital in securing an apprenticeship. Attend local art events, tattoo conventions, and social gatherings where you can meet established artists. Engage in conversations, ask questions, and show genuine interest in their work. Building relationships within the industry can lead to invaluable opportunities and mentorship possibilities.

Step 5: Approach Tattoo Artists

Contact them professionally once you have identified the studios and artists you admire. Write a concise and polite email or letter expressing your passion for tattooing, your admiration for their work, and your desire to learn from them as an apprentice. Attach your portfolio to showcase your artistic skills and potential. Remember to be patient, as artists receive numerous requests, and it may take time to receive a response.

Step 6: Showcase Your Commitment

Demonstrate your dedication and commitment to tattooing by immersing yourself in related activities. Consider taking courses in bloodborne pathogen training and first aid to display your seriousness about maintaining a safe and hygienic tattooing environment. Additionally, work on your customer service skills, as tattooing involves interacting with clients on a personal level.

Step 7: Embrace an Apprenticeship

If a tattoo artist expresses interest in taking you on as an apprentice, take the opportunity with gratitude and enthusiasm. Understand that an apprenticeship involves starting from the basics and undertaking menial tasks such as cleaning equipment and observing artists at work. Embrace this humble beginning as it lays the foundation for your future success.

Step 8: Learn and Grow

Throughout your apprenticeship, absorb as much knowledge as possible. Observe and learn from experienced artists, ask questions, and be receptive to feedback. Engage in continuous practice and improvement, both artistically and professionally. Respect your mentor’s guidance and adhere to the studio’s rules and regulations.


Securing a tattoo apprenticeship requires dedication, perseverance, and a genuine passion for the art form. You can increase your chances of landing an apprenticeship by conducting thorough research, building a strong portfolio, networking, and approaching tattoo studios professionally. Learning is a lifelong process, and becoming a skilled tattoo artist is rewarding and fulfilling.

Updated on July 13, 2023

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