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Important Skills for a Tattoo Artist

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Important Skills for a Tattoo Artist

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Want to know more about the tattoo artist and the skills required to become one? Then, you’re in the right place.

Here we will discuss everything about the tattoo artist, including important skills for a tattoo artist.

Let’s get started……

Who is a tattoo artist?

An individual who designs and applies images to people’s skin using indelible inks is known as a tattoo artist. A tattoo artist is also called a tattooist or body artist. Tattoos have existed in human culture since ancient times. The ancient Europeans used to paint themselves and their surroundings with ornate designs.

Furthermore, primordial peoples used a variety of natural materials to mark themselves permanently. They used to mark themselves to showcase their authority, heritage, achievements, and many other concepts.

Eighteenth-century sailors were the first to come into contact with the art of tattooing. Since then, art has become extensively popular. There was a time when tattoos were considered taboo. Today, with more and more people getting tattoos, they have become more mainstream. You’ll find every third person has a tattoo: many celebrities, artists, players sport impressive tattoo designs.

A tattoo artist plays an indispensable role when it comes to getting an impressive tattoo design. It is important that an artist you choose is skilled, trained, and experienced. Going to a reputable tattoo artist can make a huge difference in the choice of your tattoo.

Let’s take a look at the important skills for a tattoo artist, along with other details.

Qualification for a Tattoo Artist

Initially, a tattoo artist starts as an apprentice. This usually takes around 2 to 3 years.

For an apprentice, a tattooist should approach a more experienced tattoo artist and apply for the apprenticeship. More often than not, tattooists are not paid for the apprenticeship. In addition, they are expected to buy their own equipment and sterilizing kit.

Tattoo artist

As an apprentice, you will learn essential aspects of the job, like different techniques, health and safety, and designing skills. The apprenticeship is necessary to obtain work experience and a license to practice independently. Once you have enough work experience, a license to practice independently must be obtained from the local council. You cannot work without a license; it can incur a heavy penalty. The tattoo artist is considered fully qualified only after about five years of full-time work experience under and alongside other artists.

Also Check: 21 Secrets of Tattoo Artist

Working hours of a Tattoo Artist

Tattoo artists are expected to work around 30 hours a week (about 6 hours a day for six days a week). However, many tattoo artists say that Saturday is their busiest day.

Often they work pretty standard hours, but sometimes they need to work for extended and sustained periods at a time.

Important Skills for a Tattoo Artist

The job of tattoo artist is very dedicated that requires a unique set of attributes, such as:

  • Designing and creative abilities.
  • A steady hand.
  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Understanding of alternative cultures.
  • Patience and strong dedication.
  • Extremely good attention to detail.
  • Tenacity and Determination.
  • Flexibility to create any design asked by the client.
  • Empathetic nature, with the ability to turn clients’ ideas into reality.

Salary and Benefits

How much a tattoo artist makes will depend on a number of factors, such as the number of clients an artist receives, the reputation of the tattoo studio, and the tattooist’s personal experience and reputation in the market.

A trainee tattooist starts on around £12,000 per annum. In comparison, an experienced tattoo artist in a decent studio can expect to earn between £18,000 and £30,000 per annum. However, the best artists are highly sought after and can manage to make massive amounts in just one sitting.

Many tattoo artists opt for their own business. A tattoo artist has his own studio, and employing others can make more than £50,000 per annum. Before starting your own tattoo studio, you’ll need to build up a reputation and rapport with your clientele.

See more: Career As A Tattoo Artist- About Salary, Skills & Job Outlook

Working Conditions

Tattoo artists often work from a tattoo studio. Tattoo studios must be registered with their local council (body providing a certificate for tattooing, piercing, and electrolysis).

As a tattoo artist, you’ll need to sterilize ink pens daily and after each use. You need to be accustomed and familiar with a variety of colored inks used to create different effects on various skin types.

Usually, working hours are from 9 – 6 or later maybe. A six-day week is typical, out of which Saturdays are the busiest days. Sometimes you may have to work on Sundays as well.

Each session with a client lasts between 1 to 3 hours, depending upon how intricate the tattoo design is. On the one hand, tattoo artists’ jobs can be mentally tiring as each session requires intense concentration. While on the other hand, it can be quite rewarding as you’ll have the constant challenge of creating unique tattoo designs for different clients.

Overall, due to the nature of the work and long working hours, it’s a very demanding job option.

Responsibilities of a Tattoo Artist

Following are the responsibilities of a tattoo artist:

  • Cleaning and sterilizing tattoo equipment and work areas on a daily basis.
  • Devising new tattoo designs in your spare time.
  • Staying up to date with the latest fashions in the world of tattoos.
  • Meeting clients and discussing their desired tattoo designs in detail.
  • Applying a pre-made or bespoke design to clients’ skin.
  • Keeping up to date with the latest health and safety measures and procedures.

Tattoo Artist Career Progression

The only way into the profession is through an apprenticeship. Tattooing is such a niche craft that it becomes mandatory to learn it from an experienced tattoo artist. You should have a real interest in the subject and genuine artistic abilities to be accepted as a trainee.

In addition, you will need to prepare a portfolio (just like a graphic design portfolio or a digital marketing portfolio) to gain a position as an apprentice. Once you gain enough experience, you can either choose to open your own tattoo studio. Or you can work as an employee in somebody else’s studio. But the real money comes from having your own tattoo studio.


So this is all about the tattoo artists and important skills for a tattoo artist. Undeniably, the job of a tattoo artist is very demanding, but at the same time, it is rewarding as well. Once you have enough experience, you become eligible to start your own tattoo studio, which helps you earn in excess.

I hope this post helps you get enough idea about the tattoo artists’ job.

Happy Tattooing…. ☺ ☺

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