Skip to content

How to become a Tattoo Artist

Tattoo Artist
avg. starting salary

Like to Ink big? You should be a Tattoo Artist… Tattoo Artists, also known as Tattooists, design and apply tattoos. Using specialised needles and ink, it’s their job to leave a lasting image on a client’s body that can stand the test of time (and taste). Tattoos may be completely original designs created from scratch, or be part of a pre-designed set of templates to help clients find the perfect ink for them. Typical duties for a Tattoo Artist include:
  • Consulting with clients to see what kind of design they want
  • Creating original artwork based on clients’ needs and opinions
  • Tracing the chosen design on the client’s skin, either by freehand or by using a transfer
  • Using a tattoo machine (never call it a tattoo gun) to apply tattoo
  • Sterilising all equipment and maintaining a clean and healthy environment to minimise the risk of infection

To become a Tattoo Artist, artistic flair and creativity is a must. When done properly, Tattooing is an art form, and one which requires dedication and an in-depth knowledge of the craft to succeed. Also, although you don’t have to have your own tattoos to get into this profession, most Tattooists will generally choose to practice what they preach. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that these designs are always the best example of their work… Other necessary attributes for a Tattoo Artist include:
  • Manual dexterity
  • Excellent customer service and interpersonal skills
  • Patience
  • Tact
  • Attention to detail
  • A respect for safety regulations

"I got my first tattoo when I was 18, on a dare from a friend. It just seemed like a bit of a laugh, but as soon as I had it done, I was hooked. I started designing more and more tattoos, for myself at first, then a few for friends. I built out a portfolio and started an apprenticeship with my tattooist a few months later, and have been designing ever since. I love being able to be artistic every day and think of more innovative designs to really push the craft. The best part? Knowing that my designs will be on someone’s body for the rest of their lives. Nice right?"

Get qualified