How to start tattooing

Keys to start tattooing and not fail in the attempt


If you love art and design and have a passion for tattoos, becoming a tattoo artist can be a fulfilling career.

As with many creative professions, it is not easy to pursue a tattoo artist career. The cost and time commitment to get a job as a tattoo artist is high, but it pays off in the end.

There is more than one way to start tattooing - which one you choose largely depends on the type of artist you want to become, your financial ability, talent and the facilities available in your area.

However, there are a few general steps that all aspiring artists should follow to improve their skills, gain knowledge of the craft and master the art of tattooing.

In this post, we explain how to develop your tattooing experience and how to get started.

Starting to tattoo

If you want to fulfil your dream of becoming a tattoo artist, you should do an internship to learn the basics. There are also private tattoo schools where you can earn a diploma and learn how to tattoo. There you will learn many essential basics.

Regardless of the country, be aware that tattooing has to be learned. It is best to practise on oranges, tattoo skin or dolls before attempting human skin.

As in many other professions, it is worth investing time and money in a good education.

To start a career as a tattoo artist, your excellent reputation is the be-all and end-all. Apart from keeping your clients, it also brings you new ones through good word of mouth.

In addition, you should have a good portfolio ready to showcase your best work. Through social media, like Instagram, you can also spread the word online and attract more attention.

So, where do you start?

Practice drawing

As a tattoo artist, there is one thing you should have to achieve a reliable result: a steady hand. And a talent for drawing is also an advantage to visualise the sometimes abstract wishes of your customers.

You can also develop your style by drawing your own motifs.

So our main advice is: draw, draw and then draw some more!

Get a tattoo training

There are no legal requirements for training to learn to tattoo. The training is not subject to any content-related specifications and can be completed by anyone. The training locations are also not defined, but private training providers offer online tattoo training.

In this case, there is no time frame for the training, and the providers of training courses do not have a uniform regulation on the duration of the training.

Follow the tattoo artists

An excellent way to learn about the art of tattooing is to follow and study the work of famous artists. Find famous artists with different artistic styles and study what they have created with ink and a tattoo pen.

See what works for you and what the market is like for the type of tattoos you want.

Learn how to work the tattoo machine

With the tattoo machine, the actual tattooing process can begin. The ink is transported from this machine into the skin, making the work of art take place. Even though the tattoo machine takes over this work, the tattoo artist ultimately creates the tattoo.

To fully develop your skills, you need to understand the technique and procedure of the tattoo machine. Only then you can use it effectively, even though it will sometimes take a lot of your skills, time, and patience.

Only when you have acquired the necessary knowledge, and after a long time of practising on tattoo skin, you can think about trying tattooing on real skin.

Learn the techniques

Being a tattoo professional means learning a wide variety of tattoo styles and techniques. Knowing them and putting them into practice is essential to meet the needs of those who want a tattoo for life.

Keeping up to date with procedures, techniques and materials is one of the foundations of a tattoo artist's business.

When it comes to tattooing techniques, the possibilities are endless given that this world is in constant renewal. The most current ones include adding luminosity to a tattoo or adding realistic textures and more basic things like knowing the depth of the needle to apply the tattoo in each technique correctly.

Build a portfolio

Looking for a tattoo apprenticeship is similar to looking for any other job. You probably don't need a CV or cover letter, but you should have a decent-sized portfolio of your work (drawings) to show what you've got.

When you hear 'portfolio', you might wonder how you are supposed to create one when you have just started as a tattoo artist. But don't worry, the portfolio of an apprentice is very different from that of an established artist.

You should create a portfolio of drawings - the cornerstone of what makes you a tattoo artist in the first place. So get a clean book with clear covers and show your work with pride.


But how to get a tattoo apprenticeship?

You can do it with your tutor or by looking for a tattoo parlour offering a vacancy for an apprentice.

When you start your apprenticeship, you can expect to learn about tattoo design, tattoo machine and ink handling, hygiene practices, professional business skills and customer service.

Talk to people. Talking to someone in person is the best way to find out if they will take on apprentices or if they know someone who would be interested.

Even if the person says no, you have the opportunity to build a relationship with them. At the end of the day, making friends in the industry is always beneficial.


You can constantly improve your skills in your spare time, no matter where you are in the process of becoming a tattoo artist. Or you can just book your online tattoo training with 10MASTERS and start right away.

Good luck!