Starting a Little Later in Life.

Beirdo

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For what it's worth....the apprentice we just brought on is 44.
What does this process look like for him? So far the only real information I've gotten from what an apprenticeship is like is free full time labor doing a lot of cleaning, set up, and breaking down work stations for like 6 months or more and then maybe some art assignments here and there. What was your apprenticeship like?
 

TexasPT

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Beirdo All apprenticeships are different. I'm sure. I don't need counter help, I can take out trash and I'm not afraid to scrub a toilet. :) He had tattooed from home previously but actually stopped when he reached out to the shop owner 6 months before and she said he should learn some fundamentals. He gets realism but couldn't line, didn't understand how to shade, didn't understand needles or safety...just rough all over.

Week 1 he traced flash. Even though his is an AMAZING realism artist....he couldn't seem to connect a line or pull a solid curve. It was eye opening to him the attention to detail needed. We talked about drawing from the shoulder, airplane-ing in and out of lines. It took him a day and half to correct all his mistakes and not make new ones. We covered set up, break down, paperwork, stencils...he took out trash

Day one of Week 2 he colored flash with prisma colors...looked like a f'n copy machine. He literally matched everything like it was photocopied. Unreal eye for detail. We covered set up, break down, paperwork, stencils...he took out trash. But he also sat next to me and we discussed how a coil machine works, how different needle groupings are used. He watched me tattoo and I talked through everything I did. By the end of the week we let him do a tattoo on a friend to see where he was. I attached it below. It sucks...he BUTCHERED the skin. (I wasn't near him for this one)
 

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TexasPT

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We talked things out...we discussed hand pressure, voltage, needles...we stressed simplicity and lines. How everything comes together to get nice lines. He did a little better on the next one. Nothing is more important than the mindset of being a student.
 

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TexasPT

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so we coached. We talked about WHY he was getting thin lines. WHY his shading was rough. he soaked it up...LoVED it. He kept getting beter but struggled with hand speed and depth...so I made him ride the tube. The bird reflects that. It also reflects his initial understand of shading. Then he did the hooded guy and the eye. His realism started showing in the eye. I gave zero coaching on that one because I wanted to see what he'd do.



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TexasPT

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He did the sacred heart next...not so bad. Then we tried a 7rl instead of a 9...he got cocky and I don't care for the lines on this one. He rushed. so we had a great talk about patience, and steady...and he listened.
 

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TexasPT

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He did these today with very little coaching. He HATES the stars in the bird...and he tried to ride the tip and fucked it up. I let him. But then he fixed it...because that's what pros do. We don't leave shit broken. We don't make excuses...we fix it. And he did.

I'm so fucking proud of this guy. as we wrap up week 3 he is doing amazing. I don't do timelines...I do effort and ability. He is willing to be taught so he's making strides. I did a piece tonight with a realistic eye and asked him for help...he almost shit himself. :)

so that's his journey. He will keep getting reps and we will keep adjusting as needed. Now he's drawing HIS version of simple...HIS ideas to tattoo. We quiz him daily and ask him to draw "walk in" tattoos...and then we are a pain in the ass like walk ins are. So he coaches us into better solutions. :)

sorry for all the posts but splitting them seemed like a good way to do it.
 

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TexasPT

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Oh...I never had an apprenticeship. I used this site for years, then got some mentoring from a friend with 15 years plus in the business. I cant' stress how much there is to be learned from this place. There was a member that coached me via email and DM for months...he has since passed away but his time and effort was so amazing. He said you have to give back...you have to share what you know. (as he was dying of cancer) So I've tried here and that's why I am still here. That's what this site is about.

Do you need an apprenticeship? Not if you are able to learn on your own. Will it expedite the process? 100000% Absolutely...you go from YEARS to months. His work is proof. He tattooed for years from home before we got him. That first skull was what he was capable of.
 
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Beirdo

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Dude you are awesome for replying with such detail. He seems to be rocketing right along and showing real improvement. And likely improving YOUR work in the process (I know when I was teaching airbrush and graphite portraiture I ended up improving quite a lot myself). Certainly has me rethinking the possibility of doing an apprenticeship myself. Or at least being much more open to that possibility.
And I've seen how you are on this site. You would be a hell of a mentor to have. I think your buddy would be proud of you for sure man. Thank you again for all of this. There was a lot of info here. A lot to think about.
 

DKJ

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Well Mark, i have nothing but respect for you... It's everything i'm made of: share what you know, make people feel good about their evolution, make them feel how reality works, let them grow over their experiences.

I learnt so much from this site, and that mean a lot of people in here. Everytime i repeat anything i already wrote for someone new, i think it's cool, i'd like anyone who knows even a little bit to do the same for me.

Thanks to all of you, and keep on, for you and for us!
Mark, you're where a lot of us would love to be, so enjoy your new life to the fullest, you're there because you're an amazingly good person!

Peace,

DKJ
 

Juneau23

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I'm 40 too.. I had all the same doubts, but on thinking about it I figured if I didn't do it now I would kick myself like I did all the times I didn't.I have two kids and wasn't able to be very selfish, plus I tried for years to get someone to apprentice me and no-one would, I live in the ass end of nowhere and opportunities aren't there, but kids are getting older now, and I've discovered that I can learn everything I need to know on t'internet. When the student is ready, the teacher appears, n' all that. Good for us I say girl! Let's do it and be the granny scribblers and show all 'em all. The way I see it, I've had lots of time to learn how to learn, and am picking this up much more quickly than I would have done as a flibbertygibbet young 'un. ;) Good luck! Don't give up!
Great way to put it. I´m 31 years old now and I´ve been delaying to actually start tattooing until I realized the best time to start doing it is... Now!
 
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