Tattooing is a career on the rise, but to be a good one is not as easy as getting a degree. It takes a lot of practice to enhance your skills and make a name for yourself as a tattoo artist.
This article will help you become an expert in tattooing and enjoy what you do best.
Step 1: Improve Your Tattoo Drawing Skills
To become a good tattoo artist, you first need to know how to draw. Drawing tattoos is not the same as drawing on a canvas. You cannot make a mistake if you want to maintain and get new clients. Drawing is an art that takes time to master and will need you to learn it step by step.
You will need to do the following to sharpen your drawing skills:
Improve your understanding of lines
Tattooing is learning how to manipulate lines. Tattoos are a collection of lines drawn to come up with an image. Start with simple lines and work your way to more intricate patterns. You can study and sketch other tattoo artist’s designs to help you understand tattoo lines better.
Master the art of drawing
Any tattoo design starts on paper. Most clients will want you to reciprocate their imaginations on paper before they are convinced that it is suitable to go on their skin. If you cannot sketch their designs, how will you convince them that you can draw on their skin? A well-drawn sketch will get clients moving on to inking. For you to master this skill, you will need to practice for long hours.
Practice will make drawing beautiful tattoo designs an easy and fast task. You can start by tracing simple designs already created as you work your way to producing perfect original designs. Strive to learn how to draw with a pen, as it makes you look like an expert.
You will rarely get to tattoo on a flat surface. People are made of differently shaped body parts. Hence drawing on shaped items will feel like tattooing on someone, especially if the surface is skin-like.
Objects you can start on are fruits like apples, oranges, melons, and such. These fruits have skin-like surfaces and are contoured. If you master the art of drawing here, then you are halfway to being a professional tattooist. You should be patient as learning this skill might take as long as two years. The important thing is regularly drawing till doing so feels natural.
Draw on a friend
Once you feel comfortable reciprocating a tattoo design on contoured surfaces, you can now test the theory on a friend. You can use a non-permanent marker or henna to draw on your friend. It will give you valuable experience of how to tattoo on someone feels. It will also highlight to you the challenges tattoo artists face during a tattoo session.
Using a marker is not quite the same as using tattoo machines, but it is a good start. Henna is a traditional dye used to decorate the skin. Using henna will allow you to get the clients’ review of your abilities. Make sure to buy non-toxic henna to prevent burns and allergic reactions.
Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with the Equipment
Once step one becomes a piece of cake, you can move on to learn about the machines, how to handle them and how they operate.
A tattoo machine is heavier than a pencil, which is why it is necessary to familiarize your hand with the machine’s weight by using a weighted pencil. Add about 80 grams to your drawing pencil. Practice with this until you are comfortable drawing with the added weight on the pencil. You should have a tattoo transfer printer.
Once your hand is strong enough to accommodate the machine’s weight when drawing, you can purchase a cheap one to learn from and practice with. Try to hold and use it for extended periods, as a tattoo session can sometimes go for hours on end. You can practice drawing tattoos on fruits with the machine. This will help make you comfortable with operating the device.
There are very many different tattoo machines available in the market, and you will need to know how each one functions. These machines also have other parts. You need to learn how each component works before using it. It will help you understand how to maintain the machine and parts that may require replacement. You should consider joining a tattoo school or register for an apprenticeship for this and the next step. If you can’t do that, then you can always visit YouTube and Google.
Step 3: Working with the Machine
Before you draw a permanent tattoo on someone, you will need to be sure of what you are doing. Being an apprentice to a professional tattoo artist is the best way to learn. If you are under their wing, use that chance to observe how they operate the machine. Try to emulate what you have seen to perfect your skills.
In this step, you can now graduate from fruits to pig and synthetic fake tattoo skin. Synthetic skin is expensive, but it is the closest resemblance to human skin. Pig skin is more similar to humans than fruits and is cheaper and more affordable than the synthetic one.
Frequently Asked Questions
How deep in the skin should I tattoo?
The skin layer is roughly 2mm thick and you should tattoo along this depth.
What is the best fake tattoo practice skin?
Material made from silicone is best for you to practice tattooing with. Silicone is similar to human skin and can be shaped to one’s liking.
Can I draw a tattoo on myself for practice?
Yes, drawing a tattoo on yourself is recommended as you are practicing on real human skin and not a resemblance of it.
Tattooing is an art, and it requires a lot of skills and expertise. Being a tattoo artist is fun and rewarding but getting there is a challenging journey. If you want to pursue tattooing as a career and are passionate about it, then practice will be a joy for you.