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How to be a good apprentice?


Chopper20

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Joined
10 Jun 2019
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577
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Eastleigh
First Name
Andy
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Male
I begin my apprenticeship on Monday and the nerves are creeping in. I’m wondering how I should approach my first day? Should I take initiative and start cleaning up, making coffees etc or wait to be told what to do? Don’t know if I’m there to observe the other artists or be the studio dog for a while.

What do you guys think? I know a few of you have been through apprenticeships and some of you apprentice other people so be good to get some insight before I rock up 😬 thanks!
 



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Ruffian_93

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11 Jul 2019
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Chelsea
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Hey Chopper, congrats on getting your foot in the door, I hope you get to know your collegues well. I myself haven't apprenticed for a shop yet but have worked before with a team with a couple of bosses...made things interesting! I'd say be friendly and ask if you can watch and observe the first few days, if you want to make coffees that's sweet and you can only take that positively. Maybe clean if you see something that may have been overlooked and trt to relax around customers and staff (it can be hard)! I always get the jitters the first days. Just go in as yourself and be ready to learn. The thing I would want is to see everyone's work, Id try not yo pry but I love watching people draw and tattoo. You may be able to help on front desk with bookingd and phone/ customer service if they tell you.
Good luck and enjoy the learning process!​
 

Chopper20

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Joined
10 Jun 2019
Messages
577
Location
Eastleigh
First Name
Andy
Gender
Male
Hey Chopper, congrats on getting your foot in the door, I hope you get to know your collegues well. I myself haven't apprenticed for a shop yet but have worked before with a team with a couple of bosses...made things interesting! I'd say be friendly and ask if you can watch and observe the first few days, if you want to make coffees that's sweet and you can only take that positively. Maybe clean if you see something that may have been overlooked and trt to relax around customers and staff (it can be hard)! I always get the jitters the first days. Just go in as yourself and be ready to learn. The thing I would want is to see everyone's work, Id try not yo pry but I love watching people draw and tattoo. You may be able to help on front desk with bookingd and phone/ customer service if they tell you.
Good luck and enjoy the learning process!​
Thanks Ruffian_93 👍
 

Me16363

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25 Mar 2013
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234
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Uk
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Shaun
They will be easy on you to start but realistically expect to clean up and do menial tasks. They will want to test your commitment and push your skill sets. But they should show you how they like their station to be set up and how to break it down after the tattoo. Remember you won’t get anything for nothing but ultimately if they are a good shop it will set you off on a really good footing. Don’t be to pushy and don’t forget your sense of humour, nobody likes a diva. Enjoy it mate these opportunities are rare. 😜
 

Chopper20

Premium Gold
Joined
10 Jun 2019
Messages
577
Location
Eastleigh
First Name
Andy
Gender
Male
They will be easy on you to start but realistically expect to clean up and do menial tasks. They will want to test your commitment and push your skill sets. But they should show you how they like their station to be set up and how to break it down after the tattoo. Remember you won’t get anything for nothing but ultimately if they are a good shop it will set you off on a really good footing. Don’t be to pushy and don’t forget your sense of humour, nobody likes a diva. Enjoy it mate these opportunities are rare. 😜
Cheers! Yeah looking forward to it, just want to make sure I start off with a good impression. Once the first day is done I think I’ll feel better about what’s expected of me 👍
 

Me16363

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Just don’t wear anything designer that’s knocked you back a few quid 😈😈
 

Chopper20

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577
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Eastleigh
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Andy
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Male
Just don’t wear anything designer that’s knocked you back a few quid 😈😈
Ah yeah...they did tell me that...but I already learned the hard way.
Had my best shorts on, tattood some fake skin on the cylinder when I first made it, let go of the cylinder to get some kitchen roll and the cylinder rolled off the table and landed on my lap, ink side down 😡

At least I now have a nice pair of tattooing shorts 😁
 

pedr0g0mes

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13 Jul 2019
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Pedro
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Male
great news mate ! So are you doing that while working full time or you gonna dedicate your whole time to it? i wish you the best luck ! :p
 

Girlie666

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3 Jun 2019
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Barnsley
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ANGIE
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Female
All the best!!! I so wished I could do an apprenticeship but I just can’t afford to give up the day job 😕😕
 

Chopper20

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10 Jun 2019
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577
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Eastleigh
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Andy
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great news mate ! So are you doing that while working full time or you gonna dedicate your whole time to it? i wish you the best luck ! :p
Thanks pedr0g0mes yes I'll be working my regular job 3 days a week and working the apprenticeship around that....hopefully after a year I can go full time tattooing. Just taking it one step at a time!
 

Chopper20

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Eastleigh
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Andy
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All the best!!! I so wished I could do an apprenticeship but I just can’t afford to give up the day job 😕😕
Thanks Girlie666
Yes it's going to be tough. I'm not getting paid anything for the tattooing at the moment but they will supply carts, inks, and other studio supplies. I'm feel lucky to have the opportunity to do it whilst I still work otherwise there's no way I could do it.

Is it worth asking around your local shops to see if you can do Saturdays to start with?
 

Girlie666

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ANGIE
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Thanks Girlie666
Yes it's going to be tough. I'm not getting paid anything for the tattooing at the moment but they will supply carts, inks, and other studio supplies. I'm feel lucky to have the opportunity to do it whilst I still work otherwise there's no way I could do it.

Is it worth asking around your local shops to see if you can do Saturdays to start with?
I might try that.... I only work weds-fri. I know most tattoo shops are closed on Mondays, so there’s at least tues and Saturdays...
 

Chopper20

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10 Jun 2019
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577
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Eastleigh
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Andy
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Male
I might try that.... I only work weds-fri. I know most tattoo shops are closed on Mondays, so there’s at least tues and Saturdays...
It’s worth a try, definitely!

My shop has asked me not to tattoo from home once I start there although they said I could do family as long as I’m not charging...and they also acknowledged that nearly everyone starts off at home and they didn’t have a problem with that.
 

Skasha

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Aww dude where'd you get in with? Made up for you x
 

pedr0g0mes

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Pedro
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thats perfect i wish i had something like that, thats great really. they sound great, well done, just please share some of the knowledge that you will have :p
 

Skasha

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I've just had a look. Their work is amazing, you're going to do so well under them, made up for you x
 

TexasPT

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Mark
congrats on the apprenticeship!! Can't wait to see ya grow. Don't forget about the kids here. :)
 

Skasha

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UK
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Sharon
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It’s worth a try, definitely!

My shop has asked me not to tattoo from home once I start there although they said I could do family as long as I’m not charging...and they also acknowledged that nearly everyone starts off at home and they didn’t have a problem with that.
That's what mine have asked too. My kit is now at work :)
 

Irisnawer

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Cork
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Iris
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The best of luck with it!! You can continue giving us more updates about this, that will help us a lot in our future apprenticeships :)
 

Driley

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Santa Cruz, California
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Dianne
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Show initiative but don’t be too much of a suck up. Cleaning is always a good look. It’s your shop, too. I dust, scrub, polish, sweep, mop and organize. I help keep an eye on inventory and take care of the little things like keeping the paper products and hand soap filled in the bathroom. Honestly the people at the shop I worked with suck at maintaining all the regular tasks bc they’re busy working, whereas I am a mother and the only parent working/apprenticing there and I just naturally feel the need for things to be in order. They’ve all thanked me. It’s never a bad look!
 

79josh81

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25 Oct 2019
Messages
39
Location
Wisconsin
First Name
Josh
I’ve never had an apprenticeship tattooing but I am a professional firefighter/paramedic and being a “probie” for a year when starting at a department probably isn’t too far off from coming in as a tattoo apprentice. People who have been through a tattoo apprenticeship, if I’m way off, let me know. This is just the stuff I went through and the stuff I watch new guys go through trying to prove they’re worth it.

You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen to what they say and ask questions right away if you don’t understand something. No one likes the guy who says they get it and then, when it matters most, you screw up and they realize you never understood it in the first place.

Be cool but reserved at first until you figure everyone out. The people that have been there for a while are a family of sorts and you’re changing that dynamic. Be cool, but also don’t act like you’re one of them right away because that will turn guys off. Just be cool but not “as cool” as them.

Expect to do shit work sometimes and pick up the work that no one else wants to do. Doing that type of work gets you respect and shows you’re down to eventually be one of them because you’re doing the work that they do on regular basis besides tattooing. Be like them, not just like a tattoo artist.

Until you’re there for a while kind of “forget” what you already know about tattooing. Not saying you should really forget everything you’ve learned, but no one likes the guy who comes in and “already knows” how to do everything. Your way might even be better, but it’s the wrong way (for now) if they want you to do it a different way.

Don’t kiss ass. Kissing ass comes off as fake and that you’re only doing it until they like you. There’s a difference between kissing ass and genuinely caring about the opportunity and showing them you’re all in.

Learn to take shit from everyone at first. Then, after a while, figure out who you definitely still need to take shit from and who you shouldn’t be taking shit from. No one respects an all around smart ass or a doormat. Find the middle ground.

Show initiative but do it without kissing ass.

Relax when you first start. These guys are just normal people with normal problems just like you. There’s plenty of shit in life that you do better than these guys and plenty of shit that they do better than you. That’s life and that’s what’s great about it. They’re (presumably) better at tattooing than you are but don’t let that make you feel like you’re less than them in some way.

These obviously are from my experiences in my profession but I have a feeling that they’ll translate over pretty well. Half of the battle is getting everyone to like you. After that, the tattooing part is something you’re familiar with so that part of the apprenticeship will be easy. Good luck 👍
 
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MalligaMallan

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Should be pinned up on some kind of imaginary wall here on the forum ⭐
 
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