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What do I need to prepare for becoming a tattoo artist at 16?

What are some good ways to practice and perfect my skills other then tattooing fake skin and my skin?

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To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you


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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Chantal !

In order to be a tattoo artist in your state, you must be 18 or older. You also must be licensed to do tattoos and or body piercing. It costs $250.00 in Washington state to apply for your license and you can complete an application on line for it. I have left a link for it below. But before you can apply for a license, you are required by your state to obtain a Bloodborne Pathogen Certification for Professional Tattoo Artists and Body Piercers. You will need to take the Bloodborne course and pass it, and include a copy of your certificate with your application for the license. You must renew your license, keep it active and in good standing with no violations. According to Washington state law, you can only do tattoos on people age 18 and older.

Think about taking an on line tattooing course from any courses that are offered. One to look into may be the courses at the website Tattooing 101. I have provided a link to it below. I think interacting with them may be a good way to learn more from A - Z about tattooing and you may even be able to find local avenues to network in. You can always look up local groups in your area and see what opportunities they may offer.

The best way to practice is to draw every day. If you need practice you may want to stick with fake skin or the rind of a fruit or vegetable for now because in your state you do have to be 18 to work on someone else. For starters, you can become familiar with tattoo software. There are some very useful software websites that will probably help you with your drawing. There is a list on the website 10 Masters and I have left a link to it below. In the long run, it will pay off if you continue to draw every day and even start a portfolio of your art as early as now. You also may want to buy temporary press on tattoo supplies and make some temporary tattoos and also experiment with learning how to do henna tattoos. Be as versatile as possible to broaden your career opportunities.

I hope that this was of some help and I wish you all the best !

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