Tattoo Shop Talk – Apprenticeship vs Tattoo School

Tattoo Shop Talk – Apprenticeship vs Tattoo School

In this talk myself and Janis from tattoo shop Rigas Tinte in Latvia we will talk about importance of apprenticeship and what it can benefit. And we will share our opinion about tattoo schools based.

Being tattoo artist is way more than just stabbing skin and being cool. And there are many ways how to learn tattoo art in our opinion best way is apprenticeship and everything else is to either pick up basics or

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  1. I read a lot about some of the tattoo schools most specifically body art and soul, DO NOT EVER GO THERE. It’s a scam, they blacklist you from other tattoo shops and they only want you working for THEIR shop and from the get go they are observing how good you are to take advantage of you. No one knows who the owner is, and his partner is just a money man. They don’t even have tattoos and no shop will take you if you bring in their “certificate”. There’s things you learn in a shop that you will not get at a school, and one teacher with 20+ students isn’t giving you the same experience as a mentor and you. Also this specific program is 9 months, they don’t know how to build or fix their tattoo machines, and most apprenticeships are YEARS long for a reason. There are no short cuts in this job field and nor should someone take the “easy route”. Don’t waste your money, don’t get scammed ✌️

  2. “Tattoo school” is such a joke. I think
    It’s good that it’s so hard to get into tattooing. It means only the people who are truly dedicated and truly love it will succeed.
    If you are dedicated enough, you can get in.
    Luck is preparation meets opportunity.

    It’s simple, draw, a lot, draw tattoo stuff, paint, learn the history.
    Most importantly get tattooed. Go to the shop you would be excited to apprentice at, and get tattooed! You can spend hours on the shop and artists will get to know you, then you can develop a relationship and from there an apprenticeship may occur.

    People who want to be tattooers but don’t wanna go get tattooed before don’t belong.

  3. Hello I am at a bit of a cross road and I was wondering if you could help me out. I live in Sweden and they offer a three year tattoo school here where after they will help you get an appretancship at a shop guaranteed. I have tried to apply for some apprenticeships already but with no luck. I want to honour the tattoo culture as best I can so I was wondering what you think is best. Should I go to the school or continue applying for apprenticeships on my own. Thank you.

  4. The tattoo world is xenophobic and that's the bottom line. It's an art form that was monopolized by outlaw biker gangs that care more about holding that monopoly than pushing the art form. All you have to do is look at the average tattoo artists work and attitude. Many are more concerned with being cool and making money than they are about tattooing as an art form. Simple as that. Now with the rise of nerd culture and the shift over into who gets tattoos, tattoo culture is swiftly changing for the better. I don't knock tattoo school, you'll learn less at your average tattoo shop.

  5. The problem is so many tattoo artists are assholes and that's why it's virtually impossible to get a license. They're more worried about how they can work or abuse an apprentice than they are about teaching one anything. At least at a tattoo school you won't have to worry about getting "apprenticed" for 2 years and dropped for no reason. Fact is tattoo schools save people from horrific apprenticeships.

  6. As a tattoo artists… I hate the fact its so hard to get help or to get started. Im happy they started schools for it but its still not enough. Theirs no place to sign up to be an apprentice. Ive been looking for a master for 6 years. And every artist i came across didnt want to take me in and kind of was jerks about it. If shops was more open to taking in ppl who are ginuwine about the craft i would be a master my self. But with or without a master im going to learn… Im about to go to a school here in jersey. Not for the art. But really for the technical side of it. Like whats the best machines, how to correctly tune a machine, how to properly sterilize a machine… What needles is best for what job. You tube is really no help. You need hands on experience.

  7. Self taught artist I observed closely every time I got tatted and a firm arm no shakiness most importantly have to love what you’re doing ✍🏽

  8. Would you say it's almost impossible to get a job at a real shop with a tattoo school license? Or maybe going to tattoo conventions and working then using that as portfolio before applying to a real shop. Would that work better maybe?

  9. I have a question-
    What does one do if shops are only interested in hiring artists that already know how to tattoo?

    I drove around to a few well regarded studios yesterday but most were busy. Luckily two had the time to view my portfolio. When I asked the first place about apprenticeship the owner told me they couldnt take anyone on but was happy to look through my work. He told me that I was way ahead of the competition and said that I could draw better than many tattoo artists, and that if I learned to tattoo I would have no trouble finding work in a shop.

    The second place also wasn't taking apprentices but the manager and senior shop artist looked through my work were very encouraging. As I left the senior artist gave me his card in the parking lot, and he builds and sells custom machines.

    I started to think that maybe these artists learned at home first and were either insinuatimg that I do the same and come back or were pulling my chain.

  10. Apprenticeships are so important and it molds us into strong well rounded tattoo artists. They break you for a reason. You can handle terrible clients and how to have a thick as fuck skin. I had a super hard apprenticeship and I’m so grateful I stuck it out even when I wanted to quit. It was the loneliest period of my life. Worked my bum off. Not only are you learning technique but also blood borne pathogens. Teaches self motivation too

  11. Ive learned to tattoo in prison. Apprenticeship?? How about tattooing for 6 years in a place where u get stabbed for fucking some one up???? Does a prison term tattooing count as apprenticeship? Check me out @miami_ zae on INSTAGRAM. Im still in prison!!!!! Still tattooing fuck a apprenticeship!! Dont plan to on being some ones bitch for a sec. Not in prison not in the freeworld.

  12. in my country exist a tattoo school that u make 10 classe, 1 per week about 6 hours a day and u pay 1000 euros and u receive a kit and the diploma

  13. Tattoo school make Money more not better ist a Master and after the option to lehrn more und more and you lehrn never out ! Sorry for my bad English is not my fist language:-) your channel rocks:-)

  14. Dude, the 'soul in the tattoo' commentary hit home so hard. Ive tried to articulate this often. I'd rather look at a real life woman with flaws and all, over a perfect plastic photoshopped covergirl any day. Perfection is impressive, but it doesnt often invoke emotion.

  15. In the state of Oregon it’s actually required to attend schooling before you can even apply for an apprenticeship. No shop can legally let you tattoo ever in their shop without going to school and getting licensed. The schooling is expensive as well, over 10k. The road to tattooing is hard before you even begin…

  16. There is a pretty famous Youtuber named Elijah Daniel who has a face tattoo above his eyebrow that reads ‘PHAG’. He has a pretty strong following but has recently come under criticism by many because his tattoo looks different in certain pictures and he allegedly claims he fills it in with marker which sounds absurd and like a sad excuse. If you scroll back on his instagram you can see when he initially got it and the pictures he has taken since. A lot of people are suspicious that its fake. I think it would be really cool if you made a video addressing it since if anyone could determine the legitimacy I feel it would be you, not to mention it would no doubt get a lot of views since reaction videos tend to and he is famous on Youtube.

  17. I don’t see why people hate scratchers if you do it correctly you can do the same great work as an apprentice at a shop if not better. I started about a year ago, I had $40 left in my pocket so I bought myself a tattoo kit to learn all the basics of a tattoo machine the different parts what everything was used for, then little by little I started upgrading everything didn’t do a tattoo after 5 months, then I did some small tattoos on my friends some hearts and some small crosses came out like shit but an apprentice would have done the same, yet none of my friends have asked to get the tattoo removed or covered cause the lines are pretty straight and it looks great. Over a year later I kept studying drawing every single day I’ve seen almost every single tattoo video on YouTube I upgraded everything built my own coil machines tuned them myself. Still not charging people for tattoos because I want to build a portfolio once I have I will take the license test and work at a tattoo shop. Once again not everybody has the ability to work at a shop for free and give their time like that, not everybody is ok with being mistreated over something they can learn on their own. I don’t know about you guys but I did pretty good and my work shows it and I’m better than many of the artists that I’ve gotten tattoos from.

  18. I'm a self taught tattooer I would never pay for a tattoo school. There are no easy shortcuts in this… I've been an artist my whole life and been tattooing almost a year and I haven't even scratched the surface… I respect the craft but where I live there is no one willing to help me so I do what I have to do…. now I know a lot of great artist started this way…