Finding a Shop In Another State

KyleBl4ck

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So long story short I was let go from my job at the tattoo shop I worked at.
[One of the artists was stealing from me and broke my arm rest so I called him a fucking douche bag in front of the boss lol.]

My question is this though :
If I were to be looking for another shop to work at since I have never actually had to go look for a shop to work for besides this one, what is a good way to find one in another state?

I am currently finishing out my Masters degree in July and planned on continuing to build up my portfolio with things that diversify when you look through it however I'm not sure on how people actually go about finding a job in another state besides being like "Hey guys are you hiring?"

My plan was to save up as much as I can for rent and a uHaul and just move wherever theres an opening that isn't a horrible one or one where I have to deal with someone stealing from me or shorting me on my pay [which seems to be a common occurrence in tattooing.]

I'm about 2 years into skin and 1 year out of my apprenticeship and have been working on my portfolio but I know I'm not good enough to go somewhere like LA, Vegas, Denver, etc yet and I was looking at Rent + Tattoo position availability more than anything but figured I would ask if anyone else has anymore suggestions on what to look for or how to make the journey to another state to work in another shop.

As someone who is sober, like 100% sober... I don't think it would be an issue for me to just walk-in to a walk-in based shop and ask for a job but again I've never actually gone about it because the shop I was at was the base for my apprenticeship and the first shop I had ever worked at.

Tl;DR?
1. Whats a good way to look for a shop possibly hiring online?
2. What state would you recommend for someone who doesn't want the high rent but loves tattooing and wants to continue doing it for a living?
3. What would you recommend having in a portfolio? [I was thinking lettering, flowers, comic book esque, and solid black fill stuff.]

PS Main reason Im looking at other states is because where I live the average rent is 1450 a month for a house and 800 for a 1bedroom apartment. I can't afford that fresh out of college / apprenticing.
 

TexasPT

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there are shops EVERYWHERE looking for artists. East coast, west coast, gulf coast. Look at cost of living when you go for sure. It would be worth it too to take a trip to the city your looking at and make sure you vibe well with the crew.

be honest about your abilities and the areas you feel like you need to be better.
 

KyleBl4ck

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there are shops EVERYWHERE looking for artists. East coast, west coast, gulf coast. Look at cost of living when you go for sure. It would be worth it too to take a trip to the city your looking at and make sure you vibe well with the crew.

be honest about your abilities and the areas you feel like you need to be better.
Appreciate the link man.
Ill have to check it out and yea my main concern was 100% the cost of living, I've lived in every state so I pretty much get along with everyone. [Most people anyway.]

So far I was looking at Wyoming, Texas, Ohio or Missouri as far as shops go just because I know artists in those areas.
 

TexasPT

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I've got a buddy who owns a shop on the Northwest side of Houston. He is looking for an artist but looking for a realism guy....You should reach out. He posted on that page. Don't know you well enough to recommend you...but I'll at least give you a push in the direction.

 

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Seems like right now is a great time to be looking into shops since demand for tattoos is so high after the lockdowns were lifted etc. I'd honestly just find the area you feel you could live and call the shops around there to ask what they would like to see in a portfolio in that area -whether they are hiring or not. Very possible they will know of an opening that may not be posted too. That isn't my experience but my friend's experience when he was tattooing (part of the reason I had interest was how fairly easy it seems to move around). He would just go down the list by reviews of shops in the area and ask them how to interview for their shop. And a solid cover letter. He had cover letters and business cards.
 

KyleBl4ck

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I've got a buddy who owns a shop on the Northwest side of Houston. He is looking for an artist but looking for a realism guy....You should reach out. He posted on that page. Don't know you well enough to recommend you...but I'll at least give you a push in the direction.

Ill check out his page for sure.
I can draw realism, just haven't had the opportunity to do many realism tattoos yet.

My main focus has been comic book stuff and lettering because of where I was working [It was a comic store / tattoo shop combined]

I do plan on doing some realistic roses and such soon though since I have a good grasp on how to do them in BnG and Color. Just haven't put the fundamentals for it to use on actual skin yet.

For real though, I appreciate the links. Ive been looking at every shop that pops up on Facebook this last couple of weeks because of being let go.

[Plan is just to get a really good portfolio done by July and relocate.]
 

Beirdo

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I've got a buddy who owns a shop on the Northwest side of Houston. He is looking for an artist but looking for a realism guy....You should reach out. He posted on that page. Don't know you well enough to recommend you...but I'll at least give you a push in the direction.

I just saw that posting in one of the groups and was like 'soon' lol.
 

KyleBl4ck

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He would just go down the list by reviews of shops in the area and ask them how to interview for their shop. And a solid cover letter. He had cover letters and business cards.
Appreciate the response.

I actually just ordered some business cards and a slide portfolio so I can carry it with me to shops. I'm also working on an ePortfolio right now, just been busy with setting up shop in my apartment.

Also, that's pretty much what I've been doing with going down a list of shops. I've been looking at the ones with 5 stars to see what people want from a shop and the ones with low ratings to see what they dont want. So far a lot of them I could definitely work at in terms of skill, just not so much in terms of how much I have in my portfolio. My portfolio atm at best has like 10 really good tattoos.
 

Beirdo

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Appreciate the response.

I actually just ordered some business cards and a slide portfolio so I can carry it with me to shops. I'm also working on an ePortfolio right now, just been busy with setting up shop in my apartment.

Also, that's pretty much what I've been doing with going down a list of shops. I've been looking at the ones with 5 stars to see what people want from a shop and the ones with low ratings to see what they dont want. So far a lot of them I could definitely work at in terms of skill, just not so much in terms of how much I have in my portfolio. My portfolio atm at best has like 10 really good tattoos.
Sounds like a solid start man. I'm sorry to hear about your shop letting you go but sounds like it was a shitty shop if they had folks stealing from each other in there. Better off outside of that. They have a comic book style shop like that here in Vancouver, WA (it's like 20 minutes from Portland) (Geekster Inc I think) but it sounds like a franchise and may be hit or miss as far as what the shop might be like. Cost of living may be prohibitive though.
 

TexasPT

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Fix your instagram to represent your artwork so you can link it via messenger and email.

and just because he needs to replace a realism guy doesn't mean someone who isn't into realism doesn't have a shot. :)
 

KyleBl4ck

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Better off outside of that.
Facts. I'm actually glad they let me go, I kind of got tired of being there 12 hours 7 days a week to only make 100$ a week lol.

Fix your instagram to represent your artwork so you can link it via messenger and email.
That's not a bad idea, I haven't actually gone through and updated it in a bit, it still looks like I'm an "apprentice" at said shop.
Thanks for the advice.
 

TexasPT

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just looked...your ig is solid...not sure you'd have a problem getting on somewhere. And after 40 tattoos in the new shop you'll be even better
 

KyleBl4ck

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just looked...your ig is solid...not sure you'd have a problem getting on somewhere. And after 40 tattoos in the new shop you'll be even better
Appreciate it man, I actually just updated it to only show my artwork and tattoo stuff.
I've been lazy on that front but mainly because I hate social media and would rather just tattoo all day xD

I agree though, I'm planning on working on some stuff from my house on people who volunteered as guinea pigs. I've got a friend who said he wont go to anyone else but me so he's gonna get a lot of free stuff tbh.

[I did the whole soundcloud rapper / producer thing, gets old.]

Also the cool thing is, my mentor already told me hed vouche for me as an artist wherever I go. He told me the shop I was in just wasn't a good fit for someone like me because "Tattoo artists are assholes and you're not." lol.
 

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Appreciate it man, I actually just updated it to only show my artwork and tattoo stuff.
I've been lazy on that front but mainly because I hate social media and would rather just tattoo all day xD

I agree though, I'm planning on working on some stuff from my house on people who volunteered as guinea pigs. I've got a friend who said he wont go to anyone else but me so he's gonna get a lot of free stuff tbh.

[I did the whole soundcloud rapper / producer thing, gets old.]

Also the cool thing is, my mentor already told me hed vouche for me as an artist wherever I go. He told me the shop I was in just wasn't a good fit for someone like me because "Tattoo artists are assholes and you're not." lol.
Weird that such a sacred industry and art form with such strong gate-keeping would have so many assholes in it lol. That's awesome he said he would vouch for you. May even have been a 'for your own good' type of situation. You'll do well anywhere you go if you're taking the kind of attitude you've displayed here with you. Keep us posted!
 

KyleBl4ck

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For sure man and no point staying negative. It gets old.

But yea I think it was for the better tbh. Ill finish my degree without having to miss sleep so I can make an appointment lol. And it's legal to tattoo out of your house here as long as you're licensed and have a separate room.
 

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For sure man and no point staying negative. It gets old.

But yea I think it was for the better tbh. Ill finish my degree without having to miss sleep so I can make an appointment lol. And it's legal to tattoo out of your house here as long as you're licensed and have a separate room.
Damn really?? May have to move haha how hard is it to get licensed?
 

KyleBl4ck

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Damn really?? May have to move haha how hard is it to get licensed?
Here it's just a business license, BBP cert and tax certificate.
Tattoo license is a kind of broad word because some places have an actual license, others make you pay taxes and they say youre licensed.
 

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Here it's just a business license, BBP cert and tax certificate.
Tattoo license is a kind of broad word because some places have an actual license, others make you pay taxes and they say youre licensed.
Yeah Oregon its a license that you have to go to school for. Across the river in Washington its BBP cert and thats it, you just have to tattoo out of a shop that is certified and has passed health inspections. SO different.
 

KyleBl4ck

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Yeah Oregon its a license that you have to go to school for. Across the river in Washington its BBP cert and thats it, you just have to tattoo out of a shop that is certified and has passed health inspections. SO different.
Main reason they did what they did in my city is because a lot of people were tattooing out of their house because of there being limited shops and all the "Gangsters" wanting to be tattoo artists. No judgement, but that was the terminology used lol.

So they made it where as long as you're paying taxes on it if you're getting paid and certified regardless, you're fine.
 

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Main reason they did what they did in my city is because a lot of people were tattooing out of their house because of there being limited shops and all the "Gangsters" wanting to be tattoo artists. No judgement, but that was the terminology used lol.

So they made it where as long as you're paying taxes on it if you're getting paid and certified regardless, you're fine.
They went the total other way for the same reasons and created a task force to 'crack down on illegal tattooing'. The task force lost funding, the schools became predatory, and folks are either driving 15 minutes to another state or tattooing in their homes anyways. Sadly a lot of folks come out of the school 9 grand short and thinking they can get into a shop only to find shops in town will want them to apprentice anyways. Total shit show here.
 

gadsden1776

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my brother went to school there. he tried to get me to move there once upon a time. he said i needed to learn to tattoo & move there because there was only a shop or 2 & they were booked out for months at a time.
 

KyleBl4ck

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my brother went to school there. he tried to get me to move there once upon a time. he said i needed to learn to tattoo & move there because there was only a shop or 2 & they were booked out for months at a time.
Yea I apprenticed at one here.
And I'm getting my masters from Adams.

But yea even as an apprentice I was usually booked out for a week to 2 weeks.

Its because Tapout sessions here are only 250 to 300 and all the shops are super open to tattooing pretty much anything unless its racist or hateful.

Honestly though, I'd never wish living here on my worst enemy šŸ˜‚. Its a nice scenery but the separation of people is still pretty bad here.
 

gadsden1776

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yea. i think the only reason for me to get out there are the dunes or if i ever start riding motorcycles again... not a bad loop to make back to the front range.
 

KyleBl4ck

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Yea now I just gotta hustle and find some clients.

Its a appointment only shop and its a hideaway shop. Gotta walk through another store to get to it lol. My type of place šŸ˜ˆ
 
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