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General Advice and Introduction

Esq

Premium
Joined
1 Feb 2021
Messages
127
Location
Glen Burnie, MD
First Name
Esq
Gender
Male
Hey everyone, very new to the craft here and want to see if I could pick the brains of the members here.

I want to start by giving some context, I have been drawing and sketching tattoo designs since I was 12 when my mom gave me my first sketchbook. I would draw doodles for people all through out school and even got voted most artistic in my graduating class. Tattoos were something that fascinated me and I spent hours treading through flash art books and copying the pieces within them. Hell, doing those designs are how I met my GF of 10 yrs back in 2011. I had a small apprenticeship for 5 months at a local shop by me, but at the time I was young, impatient and interested in gaming over art.

Fast forward to now, I am 28, working at a gaming company as a Project Manager and this year I decided in a self fulfilling bout of inspiration, that I would finish what I started at the age of 17 and give an actual asserted effort to try learning tattoos. I am a digital Illustrator with a lot of miscellaneous doodles and designs (Light Portfolio here) However, I suffer from what I call "Artist FOMO" where I keep chasing all these different styles and forms of art. From Resin, Sculpting, 3D Modeling, Illustration, Screen Printing, Carving, Tattooing, etc. My mind is constantly wondering from one art form to another. I'm left at the end of the day with imposter syndrome feeling like my work won't amount to the industries expectations

Tattooing however is something near and dear to my heart and something that I want to go all in on. Which brings me to this post. For starters, at 28 with a full time job and a mortgage, am I too late to this game? I want to explore the potential of something like a weekend apprenticeship, but I have no gauge how absurd something like that might be to established industry professionals. Am I better off just learning on my own and figuring it out?

What are tips or pointers that you wish you knew when entering this field? Be real with me because I genuinely want to dedicate myself to this and I feel like right now I am at a disadvantage with where I am in my career as I try to pivot.

Right now, my biggest weakness is Shading, Lighting, Color; are their any good videos or tutorials out there that you can send my way.

Lastly, as I dive in, I am trying to build up my arsenal and using a CNC Q2 and a standard Chinese coil machine. What is a great foundation machine recommendation for a beginner in addition to where I should buy them, seeing as how Amazon is known for fake or misrepresented products.

Appreciate you all feeding in! I was excited to find this community and I plan on being an active member with in it. If this post is too broad let me know and I can provide more focused questions.

TL:DR I am new please help! <3



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Cyberthrasher

Premium
Joined
23 Sep 2019
Messages
711
Location
US
First Name
Allen
Gender
Male
Tattooing however is something near and dear to my heart and something that I want to go all in on. Which brings me to this post. For starters, at 28 with a full time job and a mortgage, am I too late to this game? I want to explore the potential of something like a weekend apprenticeship, but I have no gauge how absurd something like that might be to established industry professionals. Am I better off just learning on my own and figuring it out?
If you want it, and really want it, then it's never too late. You have the classic Da Vinci syndrome so just be sure that THIS is a medium you'll always want. Considering you started, stopped, then came back, that's a pretty good sign. Now prove it to local shops and go for another apprenticeship.

I'm 38 years old, mortgage, full-time and up career and I'm holding down an apprenticeship as well. It's tough. I get to work early so I can leave early and go to my apprenticeship for a few hours or more before the shop closes, then I go home and practice/draw until bed. Many days I get to work at 6:30 am and don't get home until 10pm. But that's the disadvantage I have to work through in order to support my family until I can make money tattooing.

Get your art together in a portfolio, go get some tattoos and find an artist you click with that you'll be able to learn from. Depending on where you're at there may be a lot to choose from. Find the one that fits your personality that's not going to lead you down the wrong path or let their ego get in your way.
 

gadsden1776

Premium
Joined
8 Oct 2011
Messages
468
First Name
n
artists FOMO... lol. so true.

creative types "need" to create. & it's a never ending chase of creative outlet.

"industry expectations" - art is art. the only expectation is yours & if applicable a client. in tattooing there is science/established practices - mostly "don't f up your client"... so learning & executing that is important. beyond that - create man. if someone doesn't "like" your art - they don't have to buy it, wear it, hang it on the wall.
 

Dzikichrzan

Premium
Joined
5 Sep 2018
Messages
571
Location
Tunbridge Wells
First Name
Jakub
Gender
Male
@dzikichrzan
hello and welcome man :) two tips what make difference for me are:
1 Dip needle in the ink cup for only a sec and dont suck it up all when lining
2 Maintain your breathing when pulling lines ( I use to almost hold my breath)
+ I would really advice to get some reelskin asap :) I see you own this cheap chinese hard skin, lininig on it must be nightmare, I remenber it well...
 

DKJ

Premium
Joined
23 Oct 2017
Messages
971
Media
3
Location
France
First Name
Mathieu
Gender
Male
thetattooyoyo
Hi and welcome,
You may want to pick up a style and grow on it.
Going for color realism is not the same path as etching/engraving style.

When you'll have a path in mind, learn the techniques needed for this particular style by doing little and simple designs, techniques to be learned one by one, or you'll end up mastering none.
From my experience, it's better to prepare a lot before tattoing. Only work with great designs, with great stencils, analyse your reference before the session, then let the challenge begin!
It's all about trial and errors, and building muscle memory. Nothing is quick in tattoing, unless you work everyday and learn from every error you made (like not repeating what didn't work).
Here, you'll have many individuals with as much many ways to tattoo. Tell us about all the problems and challenges you faced and you'll get the answers.
Slowly but surely, everything comes to light, tattoo after tattoo.
As times passes, you get to understand more and more what exactly the more experienced peeps are talking about.

Peace,

DKJ
 

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