If you intend to be a tattoo artist, you will need to be prepared to become an apprentice. Tattoo apprenticeships are part of learning how to be successful in this trade. The Alliance of Professional Tattooists (APT) in the United States believes this is a necessary part of anyone who wishes to follow this art and craft. Many tattoo artists, present and in the past, followed this route. Whether they were famous in their craft or worked away on a ship or at a circus without recognition, they served their time as an apprentice.
The Skilled Apprentice
Originally, apprenticing, including tattooing apprenticeships, was the natural step to learning any trade or skill. In Medieval times, apprenticeships were the first step to becoming a master. An apprenticeship was followed by the next level. You became a journeyman. This meant you moved from Master of a shop to another shop. After a specified period of time, and with enough money and experience under your belt, you became a master. This meant you could open your own shop and hire journeymen. You could also then take on apprentices of your own.
This same pattern continued in several trades over the centuries. Even when the industrial revolution began to separate the skilled workers from the non-skilled ones in factories, the practice continued. Even today, certain trades retain the practice and schools prepare and send workers into the skilled trades through this method. Carpenters and electricians still take on apprentices. Tattoo apprenticeships are also a part of this ancient relic of a time when guilds controlled the trades and arts.
The Legalities of Tattoo Apprenticeships
An apprenticeship in a tattoo shop may be part of a traditional route most beginner tattooists take. They use it to further their knowledge of the skills they need. They use it to home their designs and creativity. They may even find it a means of studying the business and learning how to manage such things as books and appointments and taxes.
While working as an apprentice, the individual must be prepared to learn about such things as hygiene and health issues. This is an important aspect of the trade that will ensure he or she can continue to work in it without facing legal complications from the Board of Health and clients that have been affected by tainted tattooing equipment.
Tattoo apprenticeships also complete another requirement of the laws of a state. In many American states, in order to operate, you have to have a license. In order to obtain a license, you will have had to apprentice in the trade for several years. If you want to tattoo in most American states, therefore, you must serve your time as an apprentice first.
Yet, obtaining an apprenticeship may be not as easy as first appears. It may be hard to connect with the right shop. If you want to improve your odds of getting into the right apprenticeship, consider going to tattoo college first. Some, such as Master Tattoo Institute, offer you the chance to explore your craft and hone your artistic and business skills. They can help introduce you to the people who may prove vital in getting you an apprenticeship that will work.