Art is everywhere we look. From the billboards that pepper our highways to the music that jingles from phones and radios, art forms the backbone of every human society on the planet. It’s hard to know where we’d be without it! Tattoo art is one of many art fields with a lengthy and fascinating history and a lucrative career path for those who love illustration and working with people. There are many ways of becoming a tattoo artist, from attending a tattoo trade school to signing up for an apprenticeship — below I’ll detail a little history around this beautiful art form, basic facts you should know and how you can go about making your mark.
History Of Tattoo Art
Did you know that an estimated 14% of the American population has at least one tattoo, if not several? There are over 21,000 tattoo parlors in the United States alone, all doing work ranging from consultations to touch-ups to full, beautiful sleeves. The first professional tattoo artist in the U.S. was Martin Hildebrandt, a German immigrant who first moved to Boston in 1846 before starting his business. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of people who have tattoos are women — common imagery includes hearts, angels, flowers and quotes. But what about new school tattoo art?
Becoming A Tattoo Artist
There are many ways to become a tattoo artist. One way that has been around for many decades is signing up as an apprentice artist, serving under a mentor with years of experience under their belt. You start out with small tasks, such as tracing art and assisting the more experienced artists, and gradually work your way up to designing tattoos and consulting with customers. Tattoo work is just as much medical as it is artistic and you need to know the ins and outs of cleaning equipment and caring for a new tattoo before you first put your pen to someone’s arm or leg. There are apprentice tattoo kits you can use to simulate what a tattoo environment is like before you make the plunge, too. New school tattoo art is an ever-evolving field with its roots in our everyday culture and history — where are you going to start?