In order to be able to master tattoo art drawing and make tattoo designs, you need to meet certain requirements and have certain predispositions and equipment that will help you become a good and successful tattoo artist. This chapter will list the six most important things that make a good tattoo artist.
First of all, you need to have completed high school and to be at least 18 years old. You can either take up tattooing as a hobby or apply for apprenticeship and then practice for years before you yourself become a tattoo expert ready to open your own tattoo parlor. Given the increasing demand for tattoos, it may be a good source of income, so you may consider turning this hobby into your profession.
The basic tattoo kit consists of a tattoo machine (or few tattoo machines that you may use for different purposes), tattoo needles, tattoo grips, tattoo ink of various colors, ink cups, disposable tubes and a sterilizing machine, or autoclave. The tattoo kit also goes with a power supply, foot pedal, clip cord, grip stem, while certain tattoo sets come with an adjustment spanner and a tattoo training DVD.
Tattoo machines come in different forms, they are made of different materials and they are used for different purposes, that is, for shading or for lining. You can choose which one suits you best or start with only one tattoo machine and then purchase as many as you need, depending on whether your tattooing business expands.
When it comes to tattoo needles, they can be round, flat or magnum. They come in different sizes because one tattoo needle actually consists of several needles. The round needles can be liners or shaders, depending on how close the needles are placed in the central area. The round liners are ideal for tattooing small lines, details and technical designs. The loose round liners are mostly used to make bold lines, such as in Japanese or Haidi tattoos. The round shaders are used for color filling and for basic shading. The flat needles are mostly used for lining because they inject more ink into the skin. This is why they enable you to make darker and more visible lines with only one stroke. You may use the larger flat needles for color fills, too. In addition to round and flat needles, there are also magnum tattoo needles that are best for all kinds of shadings. They inject a large quantity of ink, which makes them perfect for coloring large areas since you do not need many passes over that area, thus causing less damage to the skin.
The tattoo grips also come in different sizes, forms and materials and they are attached to the tattoo machine. Some people prefer larger and heavier grips that keep the tattoo machine steadier, while others prefer smaller grips that are like pencils, so that they can draw with them as they draw with pencils.
The autoclave is used to sanitize the tattoo equipment with the use of heat and pressure. It is extremely important to keep all your tattooing equipment sanitized and to use new sterilized needles and tattoo tubes for each client to prevent possible infection.
Second, tattooing requires great artistic skills, so you have to be good in drawing. You may be born with this talent, or you may want to improve your drawing skills by taking drawing lessons before pursuing a career in tattooing. Regardless of whether you were born a good artist or you decide to learn this skill, you will have to be able to draw well and have an eye for color, light, depth and contrast. You should know where to put white highlights or live the area on a tattoo skin-colored for greater contrast or depth. You need to bear in mind the light when shading a particular tattoo. You should also be able to make good sketches as they are the initial point of every tattooing process.
Tattooing also requires creativity because you will have to start every tattooing process by drawing sketches that most of the time you yourself will have to create. Just like drawing, you may have inherited creativity from your parents or you may practice and develop it in time. Anyway, you will need to use your creative skills when designing a tattoo and making a good sketch that will eventually turn into an excellent tattoo. Even if you do not use your own sketches, but stencils, your creativity can come to the fore during the coloring and shading process because the stencils may define the outlines of a certain figure, but the inside is all yours.
Excellent vision is another must in the tattooing business because you need to see perfectly to be able to follow all the lines on a particular tattoo, as well as make sure that every part of the tattoo is colored or shaded equally so as to avoid gaps where there should not be any.
You need to have a steady hand and a firm grip to be able to hold the tattoo machine firmly to make straight lines and follow precisely the outlines of the tattoo.