Welcome To Help Me Tattoo

To get the most from our website you will first need to register.
Some areas will be locked for Premium members only, so if you like what you see, please consider an upgrade.

Register Log in

Going It Alone


RobbOrtel

Member
Joined
7 Jul 2012
Messages
11
Location
Orange County, NY
First Name
Robb
I was fortunate enough to find someone to show me the ropes and pass her knowledge along to me in exchange for my giving her airbrush lessons. She is not a goo artist, per say, but she does have knowledge and the ability to relay the information. I had my first lesson and it went well. She tod me the basics and it was very informative and helpful.
I emailed her today to set up a time for our next meeting and was met with her telling me that after speaking to her peers she decided she can no longer pass along "trade secrets" to someone not going thru a traditional apprenticeship. And her dong so is disrespectuful to those who had gone thru such an apprenticeship.
It pisses me off! And the fact that certain people may have layed out $5 grand to sweep floors and throw out garbage for months before even touching a machine should not mean that everyone in the world should do the same!
In my opinion a tattoo apprenticeship, in traditional terms, is a complete rip off and a way to extort money from some poor kid in order to stroke some artists ego. Don't get me wrong. I am a firm believer that everyone's time and knowledge is worth something. And if you are taking the time to teach someone correct procedures and techniques, by all means, you should be compensated accordingly.
However, union jobs, such as plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc offer apprenticeships, which are PAID apprenticeships. Yes, you are learning from someone but you are also working and that work is MAKING MONEY for the shop. That makes it valuable and the apprentice is paid for their work.
So not only is a tattoo shop chsrging $5-7000 (which is the rate in central NY) but when you are finally "allowed" to tattoo, you are making money for the shop but not earning a dime for yourself.
So it really bothered me that because most people pay the money for the tattoo apprenticeship, they feel that EVERYONE should go the same route!
I am a very established and respected tattoo artist for the last 15 or so years. If someone wanted me to teach them how to airbrush, and that prson had a skill that I wanted to learn, why is that not a fair trade??? Yes, I've spent money on classes and seminars to hone my skills, as do many artists. Is my "trading" skill for skill against some secret code among artists? Am I breaking an unspoken rule of artistry??? HELL NO! If I can pass along my experience to someone willing to pass along their skill then good for each of us. If someone else thinks it's not right because they layed out alot of money to learn than that's THEIR problem. Not mine and certainly not the "student" wanting to learn from me.
Yeah, I'm heated, incase you couldn't tell.
Anyway, it makes me even MORE appreciative of sites such as this. Therefore, I am back to searching for my information thru blogs, websites, forums, books and videos.
Thank you all for responding to threads in order to help a less informed or mistaken fellow artist without charging an arm and a leg to do so!
 



Remove Ads Close


a7x812

Premium
Joined
5 Jul 2012
Messages
40
Location
arizona
First Name
frank
I can agree with you on your feelings. I had a friend who lied about doing a full apprentaceship to get in to a shop.
He said its b.s. to have to go through it. To say the least after a short time in a shop tattooing and effing alot
of people skin up, because he is the worste artist I have ever seen and new nothing of tattooing. Now he refuses
to give any trade secrets That he may actually know. cause
he fell into their world that he lied to get into. I have people now that choose to come to me over him, they happen
to be both of are friends. which bites him in the
@zz. cause he has to see on our face books that they came to me and not him. as well I as he has seen people come
to me to fix and finish some of his screw ups.
I hope you can do the same, learn the art and be a heck of alot better of an artist and genrally a person then
they. I wish everyone the same, to make these people realize that they arent needed to learn, it just would make
it easier. Especially some of the artist that are on this site. They are way better then people in these
shops that wont give us the time of day.They are afraid of us. they want the industry to themselves. They know
they suck and once we become of full knowledge they have no chance.
Hope you can learn everything you need here at the forum, and surpass them @holes .
It pisses me off to hear stories like that.
Best of luck!
 

TexasPT

Donator Plus  
Donator  
Premium
Joined
9 Dec 2011
Messages
4,796
Location
Texas
Media
49
First Name
Mark
True apprenticeships are labor for knowledge...now money for knowledge. that's called school... and I'll be damned if I ever mopped a floor for anyone in college.

knowledge is everywhere and your limits are self-imposed. The more you want, the more you'll find.

Let me know if I can help.

Mark
 

Reddrizzy

Member
Joined
14 Jun 2012
Messages
25
Location
netherlands
First Name
James
Dido for me to mate, I feel ya pain man. I did an apprenticeship in europe a few years back and didn't learn squat!!!!:icon_evil:......because in my reagion of the world ya don't haveeeeeeeee anything called a realllllll "tattoo shop"....if you can do the work then fine no one will tell ya otherwise and all of the tattooers there are self taught period!!....I was taugh by an oldschool tattooer for 35 years who travelled allot in his younger years tattooing and seatlled down back in my country before I did an apprenticeship and learned a heck of allot more and knew a whole lot more then the so called 'tattoo shop" that wanted to teach me. And he was self taught!!!....what the h=.xxx.....and it was free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!........I'm an airbrush artist aswell and self taught and proud of it!!!!...as are most airbrushers in my opinion, it just takes allot of preseference, dedication and practice...and ya still learning new things every day and those are the same principels in every type of art including tattooing. It took me a while to realise and accept this but I paid my so call "deus" when I studied under the oldman back home, I just needed to practice and hone my skills with the knowledge he passed down to me....back then:icon_cry:......but its never to late in life to pick up where we left of:icon_cool:......cheers mate
 

Sylence

Premium
Joined
15 Jul 2012
Messages
290
Location
Stadthagen / Germany
First Name
Stefan
Exact the same , also Airbrusher :icon_cheesygrin:. Same Situation here , noone wanna teach me tattooing , exept one hometattooing guy, he offers me some help , but the best way in that situation ist to turn ur feelings in other direction.
Instead of be pissed off, go and push urself. Put ur Goal to get better than them !
And we have a real great Forum here where many kind ppl share stuff whis us .
So lets train hard and bet them on there Disipline :icon_mrgreen:

I hope u understand what i mean , its hard to explain something in other languages :icon_lol:
Greets sylence
 

captkildare

Premium
Joined
27 Sep 2011
Messages
47
Location
Jay, FL, USA
First Name
John
Ahhh...I've been subconciously waiting for this thread and the opportunity to pull out my soap box and rant. Were to begin? Some of this will be slightly off topic but a rant on the direction of the industry. Let's start with the fact that I read a lot of the trade magazines and books, as I'm sure most of the good folks on this site do. What I've noticed is a vast majority of the hot, up and coming artists started out just like us. Getting a kit and doing it on our own. They scratched and learned on their own and then got discovered by a shop and was then brought in to apprentice. They say, essentially, in their articles, "That's how I got my start, but I don't recommend it for you". The way I read this is "I was talented, intelligent, and driven enough that it worked for me, but you shouldn't try it because I'm assuming in my pretentiousness that your not". These same artists that started out like us, are the ones pushing suppliers to sell only to pro shops and not individuals so that we can't be out there learning on our friends or however we decide to do it. The have a false belief that by us tattooing people we know, we are preventing potential customers from coming to them and the potential client should be forced to only come to a pro shop. The tattoo art form is being taken over by the pretentiuos, which I belive, is away from it's roots and traditions. I believe that if a person wants to let an amateur tattoo them as a learning experience than that is their right as a person and who is anyone to tell them that they can't or shouldn't. this person would probably never get that ink if they had to go to a shop and pay $100-$200 and hour for the work. If they do have the money and want world class tattoos then that's their call as well and they'll go to the pro shop. Or they'll go to the wrong "pro shop" and get a worse tattoo then they would have from their friend.
In the area I live in we are saturated with tattoo shops. And most of them, Like every where else, won't give someone the time of day if asking for direction or advice. I was lucky, I found an excellent experienced artist who started out "scratching" and was willing to give me direction and advice without an apprenticeship. He actually brought in people for free tattoos from me, with the promise that he would guide me, and fix any mistakes or bad ink as we went or down the road once it healed. He did supervise and luckily didn't have to do too much repair. Hell of a guy if you ask me. But most of the artists in my area that have gone through apprenticeships do mediocre ink at best. And that is being kind. What the hell did they learn in their apprenticeship? Maybe they had a good teacher but they no longer respect their artform and are just in it for the money and don't care what they push out. I also do not believe that everyone that can afford a kit should be tattooing, but this has been going on forever. It's not a new thing. People have been doing homemade tats for eons and it's not going to stop. It's their right to put what they want on their body, good or bad. I also spent 20 years in the medical field in the military. I can tell you that the sanitary standards I see in most shops are sub-par. Infection control goes far beyond just wearing gloves and bagging your machines I promise you. A lot of places I wouldn't let my dog get a vaccination there let alone a tat or piercing.
I think a person that's learning to tattoo should 1) Keep it clean. Let's not make people sick or hurt them. 2) Respect the people you tattoo for the brave souls they are, and strive to make every piece your best. 3) Be honest with yourself. If you practice and practice and are not improving, not putting in ink you would proudly wear yourself, don't put in on your friend.
4) Learning is a life long journey, never stop. 5) When your world famous and in all the magazines, remember were you came from, share your knowledge, and send us a post card. :icon_cheesygrin:
That's it for my rant. I need to get off my soap box and back to work here on the bridge. I myself make a very good living in my field, and want to learn tattooing because I love the art form. Not for the money. I'm not out to steal anothers "piece of the pie" if you will . I'm very thankful for places like this and my mentor where the sharing of knowledge is the rule and not the exception. Wonderful forum folks. Cheers and keep the faith.
 

AaTma

Member
Joined
16 Jul 2012
Messages
4
First Name
Jay
I was fortunate enough to find someone to show me the ropes and pass her knowledge along to me in exchange for my giving her airbrush lessons. She is not a goo artist, per say, but she does have knowledge and the ability to relay the information. I had my first lesson and it went well. She tod me the basics and it was very informative and helpful.
I emailed her today to set up a time for our next meeting and was met with her telling me that after speaking to her peers she decided she can no longer pass along "trade secrets" to someone not going thru a traditional apprenticeship. And her dong so is disrespectuful to those who had gone thru such an apprenticeship.
It pisses me off! And the fact that certain people may have layed out $5 grand to sweep floors and throw out garbage for months before even touching a machine should not mean that everyone in the world should do the same!
In my opinion a tattoo apprenticeship, in traditional terms, is a complete rip off and a way to extort money from some poor kid in order to stroke some artists ego. Don't get me wrong. I am a firm believer that everyone's time and knowledge is worth something. And if you are taking the time to teach someone correct procedures and techniques, by all means, you should be compensated accordingly.
However, union jobs, such as plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc offer apprenticeships, which are PAID apprenticeships. Yes, you are learning from someone but you are also working and that work is MAKING MONEY for the shop. That makes it valuable and the apprentice is paid for their work.
So not only is a tattoo shop chsrging $5-7000 (which is the rate in central NY) but when you are finally "allowed" to tattoo, you are making money for the shop but not earning a dime for yourself.
So it really bothered me that because most people pay the money for the tattoo apprenticeship, they feel that EVERYONE should go the same route!
I am a very established and respected tattoo artist for the last 15 or so years. If someone wanted me to teach them how to airbrush, and that prson had a skill that I wanted to learn, why is that not a fair trade??? Yes, I've spent money on classes and seminars to hone my skills, as do many artists. Is my "trading" skill for skill against some secret code among artists? Am I breaking an unspoken rule of artistry??? HELL NO! If I can pass along my experience to someone willing to pass along their skill then good for each of us. If someone else thinks it's not right because they layed out alot of money to learn than that's THEIR problem. Not mine and certainly not the "student" wanting to learn from me.
Yeah, I'm heated, incase you couldn't tell.
Anyway, it makes me even MORE appreciative of sites such as this. Therefore, I am back to searching for my information thru blogs, websites, forums, books and videos.
Thank you all for responding to threads in order to help a less informed or mistaken fellow artist without charging an arm and a leg to do so!


You guys are lucky that you atleast have lots of tattoo equipment shops out there, so atleast you walk into a shop and buy youe machines and practise. here there hardly any suppliers and the ones who are here are selling crap for loads of rupees, artists here also are like the same u mentioned above, and apprenticeship here means a standard amount of 1lac and twenty thousand rupees, course period 1 month daily 3to 4 hours and i guess they also give a crappy cheap china made kit to the students and they say they will certify them...
1lac 20thousand for 1 month cant even call it a highway robbery...
i have done a training seccion in a government hospital things related to hygene , sterilization, cross contamination etc, coz i think its a very responsible and crucial profession.Now i will set up my home studio with utmost cleanliness and i will learn it alone and i WILL BECOME A TATTOO ARTIST.
 

RobbOrtel

Member
Joined
7 Jul 2012
Messages
11
Location
Orange County, NY
First Name
Robb
Thank you Captkilldare. Incredibly well put! As soon as I read the first sentance I was certain you were going to tear me a new a-hole. Glad to see I was wrong about that and that I am justifiably disappointed in the holier-than-thou tattoo artists that will only help out a fellow artist for loads of money!
 

captkildare

Premium
Joined
27 Sep 2011
Messages
47
Location
Jay, FL, USA
First Name
John
No problem Robb. And don't get me wrong. A "quality" apprenticeship/ training in an even handed exchange is well worth it I think. What ever the give and take would be. Whether monetary or a barter system as you stated. I personally couldn't do a formal apprenticeship without declaring bankruptcy first. I've got bills. But people need to realize it's not the only way, and it's all about what is put in to it by both apprentice and mentor, or the person digging for knowledge werever then find it. Garbage in, garbage out. If both aren't making an effort, than it is worthless and nothing more than a check in the box. Whatever you're trying to master, be it tattooing or operating the shovel on the sh*t truck, it takes effort and sacrifice as you already know. Dues will be paid. Whether it's hundreds of hours searching and studying, or taking out the trash, and cleaning the pisser. Endeavor to persevere my friend. "Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're absolutely right" - My personal motto. Keep slinging the ink and enjoy every minute of it. Nothing will make them sadder. :icon_biggrin:
 

lamb of god

Premium
Joined
24 Jun 2012
Messages
294
Location
San Diego
First Name
Sam
No problem Robb. And don't get me wrong. A "quality" apprenticeship/ training in an even handed exchange is well worth it I think. What ever the give and take would be. Whether monetary or a barter system as you stated. I personally couldn't do a formal apprenticeship without declaring bankruptcy first. I've got bills. But people need to realize it's not the only way, and it's all about what is put in to it by both apprentice and mentor, or the person digging for knowledge werever then find it. Garbage in, garbage out. If both aren't making an effort, than it is worthless and nothing more than a check in the box. Whatever you're trying to master, be it tattooing or operating the shovel on the sh*t truck, it takes effort and sacrifice as you already know. Dues will be paid. Whether it's hundreds of hours searching and studying, or taking out the trash, and cleaning the pisser. Endeavor to persevere my friend. "Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're absolutely right" - My personal motto. Keep slinging the ink and enjoy every minute of it. Nothing will make them sadder. :icon_biggrin:
awesome replies lol, at first when I was thinking of learning to tattoo, I asked a shop for what I would need to be an apprentice, he told me we don't take apprentice, and a lot of other shops don't, and you will probably never find anyone who will take you as an apprentice because its extremely hard, then he said what you don't what to do is buy your own equipment and learn by yourself and become a craiglist scratcher and infect everyone...and he went on and on...

that was very discouraging to me and I then I was like am not going to do it...but after learning about tattooing online...and finding this forums I decided to go for it and not let that piece of shi* discourage me. (Without this forums, I would have done nothing and would have never tried it.)
 

ChrisWarren

Premium
Joined
4 Jul 2011
Messages
304
Location
USA
Media
46
First Name
Chris
There is about a dozen shops around me and only about 4 of them actually receive enough business to keep open. The rest are scraping by. Slowly but surely I'm gonna keep stealing business until they get tired of it and just decide to see it my way and hire me. I know they've seen my work and I find it specially funny when people ask my brother in law where he got his sleeves done because they say no ones doing black & grey that well around here (He works in a drive through fast food joint so he sees a ton of people.) There will always be "scratchers" and there is nothing the industry will ever be able to do to stop it, I personally find it to be a goal of mine to try and produce work that is better than theirs.
 

Gavfield

Premium
Joined
15 Jun 2012
Messages
10
Location
Stoke-On-Trent
First Name
Gavin
This is so true! I've asked for an apprenticeship at nearly every single shop in my area and been turned down every single time, the thing is, they're never even polite about it, I may not be the best artist, but I just keep thinking to myself (and feel free to disagree and argue the point) I bet these so called 'trade secrets' are just ways of cutting corners, many trades have them, so why should tattooing be any different?
It may take me the next 30 years to get to a stage where I'm confident to even begin to think about tattooing my designs onto people, but I always figured, if somethings easy, its not worth doing.
 

TexasPT

Donator Plus  
Donator  
Premium
Joined
9 Dec 2011
Messages
4,796
Location
Texas
Media
49
First Name
Mark
I personally find it to be a goal of mine to try and produce work that is better than theirs.
This has always been my goal. There are already a few shops around here I've succeeded in that...but not that GOOD shops. Those are the guys I'm gunning for. :)
 
Top