….then follow this advice.
If you’re looking to become the best tattoo artist, and want it overnight, then abandon your romantic notions of “overnight success” because it won’t, and simply can’t happen. Tattooing is an art that requires a lot of factors in order to become good – let alone great. It’s an art that revolves around one base platform, the human skin, and unlike any other canvas in the world, the human skin is a living organism.
Now attached to that canvas is a human that can move, scream, and sometimes be downright unruly. At times you may also have to deal with stubborn skin that won’t take to the ink, and then you have to deal with contours, color variations of the skin, as well as people with a varying degree of pain thresholds. On another note, we all dream of having the client that’ll sit like a rock, but every so often you’ll get the person that has to take a break every 10 minutes – and we all know how that can break our groove – but it’s something we have to deal with.
So now that we’re done with the basics, let’s get into a few things you’ll need if you’re looking to become the best tattoo artist ever.
AMBITION: You have simply have to want it. You need the drive, the passion and the work ethic, and the short story is you have to pay your dues. Art in itself, is like life, it knows if you’ve put in the work and it gives back equally. There has never been a great artist or successful business that has reaped any rewards for laziness and complacency. Success won’t fall into your lap. I promise you that.
PRACTICE: You have to put in the hours. You can’t get better by dreaming. If you have no clients, give away your art. Now I know a lot of artists may read that with dismay, but let’s be real, if you have no clients, and haven’t made a name for yourself, you’re simply not an artist – you’re a rookie. In order to become an artist you have to make people believe in your art and the only way they’ll believe is if you have a portfolio of work. The bottom line, seeing is believing and always remember that we all start in the industry as rookies and there’s nothing wrong with it, so long as you do something to elevate your game.
PATIENCE: You have to be patient. The most successful artists in the world have put in years of work. Don’t be enamored by the glitz and glamour of their career, instead, think about how long they’ve been working at their craft and it’ll make you realize that you’ve probably got a long way to go.
FRUSTRATION: There will be a time you’ll want to give up, and that’s the time you need to step on the gas and power through the pain. Nothing great ever came easy, and there’s millions of artists that have stopped shortly before their artistic gains were ready to sprout.
LOSE THE EGO: Your ego is not your amigo. If you’re looking for the name, the fame and appreciation of your industry then you’re headed down the path of doom. Love what you’re doing, watch, listen and learn and at the end of the day, do it for a cause, and not for applause. Trust me, the rest will fall into place.
So in closing, I want to wish you all the best of luck in the career path you have chosen. Yet even as you progress and become better and better, just always remember that there will always be room for improvement.