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How To Make A Portfolio For Tattoo Apprenticeship

Creating a successful tattoo art portfolio as a tattoo artist requires some thought and preparation. You want to distinguish yourself by portraying yourself as professional, competent, and ready for any tattoo apprenticeships that may come your way. 

Here are some essential elements to make a portfolio for a tattoo apprenticeship.

Display Your Ingenuity and Innovative Concept Ideas

When a tattoo shop considers your eligibility as an apprentice, they will consider the quality of your artwork and your ability to come up with new ideas that will wow clients. 

Include work demonstrating your ability to use your imagination to create unique designs, such as precise line work or creative use of colour. You should be able to elevate a client’s concept or idea with flair, uniqueness, and a point of view.

A potential mentor is looking through your tattoo art portfolio to get a sense of your perspective as an artist and to determine if they can assist you in developing or improving your work. Include drawings that show your ability to take a concept and play with it, giving your spin on well-known tattoos or themes. A bland, dull tattoo style and approach will almost likely not help you obtain an apprenticeship; a creative tattoo style and approach will almost surely help you get an apprenticeship.

Showcase Your Drawing Skills

While a great creative idea may help you attract the attention of a tattoo shop, excellent sketching abilities may assist you in obtaining an apprenticeship. Choose work demonstrating your drawing skill in various figures, shapes, and perspectives. In addition, your portfolio should show your ability to accept and implement a client requirement, integrating your creativity with technical drawing skills.

As an aspiring tattoo artist trying to become an apprentice, you do not need to be a master sketcher. On the other hand, your portfolio should show that you have a basic understanding of the technique and can execute it successfully. This will show a potential mentor that you have more to learn but already have basic sketching skills in your work.

Include a Wide Variety of Tattoo Styles

To show your versatility and skill as a tattoo artist, provide examples of some of the most popular tattoo styles, such as intricate lettering, realistic portraiture, and tribal patterns. Clients often request these tattoos, so ensure your portfolio demonstrates your skill to perform them reasonably well. Include your best work in a specific style, such as portraiture or typography, if you think you are better at it. This shows your ability to work with various genres.

Display 50 to 100 of Your Favorite Tattoo Designs

Though you may be tempted to include a work in progress, try to limit yourself to just submitting polished, completed tattoo art that you believe to be your best to date. A well-rounded tattoo portfolio will include at least 50 colour and/or black ink designs to demonstrate your skill level. 

Having 50-100 finished and coloured pieces will show that you have put in the time and effort necessary to improve your skills and that you are ready to expand on your existing skill with a tattoo apprenticeship. 

Consider showing the work in progress of the completed tattoo art. In this way, you will be able to offer the whole process, from ideation to execution.

Include artwork in your best medium, especially ink work and watercolours, since they are the closest akin to actual tattoo art. The more high-quality, complete examples you have to show, the more likely a mentor would accept you and help you grow as a tattoo artist.

Maintain Both an Online and a Physical Copy Portfolio

Many aspiring tattoo artists will have an online and physical portfolio to show to potential businesses in person. Your online and hard copy portfolios should be of high quality, with clear, easy-to-see images of your work. Keep a hard copy of your portfolio in a hardback cover, which can be bought at art supply shops to show your artwork during a tattoo apprenticeship interview.

Updated on August 29, 2022

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