Question for the pros..tattoo schools?

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karatemomx4
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Question for the pros..tattoo schools?

Post by karatemomx4 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:08 pm

Okay, forgive me for sounding ignorant here, but I'm really curious as to why a tattoo school shouldn't even be considered for someone seriously interested in tattoing as a career. My kid wants to be a tattoo artist. Besides drawing several hours a day for most of his life, he's taking college art and design classes. IMHO, (yes, I'm a bit biased; I'm his mom, after all! :) ) he's a really great artist, whom I think could have a great future, if he does it correctly.

But why are tattoo schools so bad? I'd think that it would be a good thing to get some concentrated learning from a program dedicated to a particular skill; kinda like cosmetology, or culinary school. Maybe it's just that they all suck? Lol...but how do you determine that they do? Are there ANY out there that are worth the time? And what about paid apprenticeships? There's a shop here in my town that has an apprenticeship program...looks pretty decent to me, but I'm not necessarily a good judge.

Any opinions? Seriously, not just "yeah, tattoo schools suck; don't go to one".

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Freddie
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Post by Freddie » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:15 pm

... Part of me dies a little whenever a parent thinks that tattooing is a "great career choice" for their kid....

to schools, I can answer your post directly :

But why are tattoo schools so bad?

A typical apprenticeship last between 1-3 years. A tattoo school lasts a couple weeks. An apprenticeship is a one-on-one learning experience, in a legit tattoo shop, that will teach said apprentice not only how to tattoo, but how to deal with the daily goings-on of a legit tattoo shop. A tattoo school is an instructor with a handful of wanna-be tattooers, in a classroom, only teaching the barest of bare minimums about simply and solely putting a tattoo on another human being.


I'd think that it would be a good thing to get some concentrated learning from a program dedicated to a particular skill; kinda like cosmetology, or culinary school.


You're incorrect. A school could potential teach some dangerous and unsafe habits to an individual from the get-go. Habits that will be very hard to un-learn later.
You're also comparing tattooing to cosmetology and cooking. In that, again, you're are starting from an incorrect premise. In cosmetology, if you mess up, the client washes off the make-up and waits for the hait to grow back. In cooking, if the meal is terrible, you simply don't eat it and cook another. In tattooing, you can scar someone for life and potentially spread major diseases if not properly trained in the craft. Big difference.


Maybe it's just that they all suck? Lol...but how do you determine that they do? Are there ANY out there that are worth the time?


The idea, itself, seems to be the issue. Nothing against the people that run them, it's just that the idea itself of an isolated classroom being rush-jobbed out the door sounds (and is) sketchy.

That said, there was 1 guy (in Florida if memory serves...) that ran a school and owned a handful of street shops. He did classroom learning a few days a week, and on-location stuff in the shop the others. I think his curriculum was a bit longer as well. I personally didn't think that set-up was the worst idea, but it's still nothing I'd personally go in for.


And what about paid apprenticeships? There's a shop here in my town that has an apprenticeship program...looks pretty decent to me, but I'm not necessarily a good judge.

A paid (or unpaid) apprenticeship is the way to learn to tattoo, provided that it's from a legit professional in a legit shop. Apprenticeships are generally long, hard endeavors. Endeavors in which the apprentice will make no money and bust his ass. That said, if said apprentice has the wherewithall to stick it out, he'll be a better person in the end for it.

Hope this helped a little.

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karatemomx4
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Post by karatemomx4 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:23 am

Thank you so much for your input. I can definitely see the difference in the career choices mentioned. I appreciate the honest feedback.

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Stubarber
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Post by Stubarber » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:29 am

Culinary or Cosmitology schools generally last several months or even years. Even then, you don't come out as a seasoned cook or beauty expert - you start off as a grunt chopping veggies and doing the most basic operations.

Tattoo schools might get more respect if they lasted longer - but even finishing it you'd still probably be in an appretiship stage or opening your own shop and possibly butchering unsuspecting customers.

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kohlhaas
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Post by kohlhaas » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:11 pm

Freddie's response was great, as usual.

One thing I'd add is: if there is a shop in your town offering an "apprenticeship program," I would be very skeptical of it. I would think that whoever running it is more interested in making a quick buck than being a good mentor and teaching his apprentice the right way. I have heard of people paying several grand for an apprenticeship only to be taught nothing and sent on their way.

If your son is interested in tattooing, the best way to get into it would be to put together a portfolio of what he feels is his best work (and perhaps some of his older work to show how far he has come) and hit the pavement. Freddie wrote a really good post on advice for people seeking apprenticeships, which is stickied in this forum.

Best of luck!

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yorvo
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Post by yorvo » Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:48 pm

He should do a few mind altering drugs and score a couple hookers to see if he has it in him.

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sidelvar
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Post by sidelvar » Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:36 am

Stickied for now as this is something that gets brought up quite a bit.

Freddie - As always, great post.

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fang
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Post by fang » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:54 pm

I think go to tattoo school or tattoo studio,any is ok.Your son could get basic knowledge and practise there.
In theory,one could spend 10 years or so trying to figure out design on their own.So apprenticeship just take a little fraction of the time.
No matter where you go ,practise is the most important than anything!

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arnoldsantos1
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Post by arnoldsantos1 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:55 am

Tattoo school would just be a waste of time and money. No reputable shop would hire anyone with a tattoo school diploma.

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arebirt
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Post by arebirt » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:37 pm

It takes a couple years before you learn enough to not need the advice of your teacher. A school cannot provide that kind of information in 2 weeks. I apprenticed and stayed at the shop for 3 years. I was there 6 months before they let me do free tattoos on less then desirable street people. After a year and a half they let me do walk ins rarely much bigger than a hand sized tattoo. After 2 years they let me work on larger pieces like half sleeves. I worked side by side with the man I learned from for 4 years straight. I had what I feel was a very progressive and fast track apprenticeship. A tattoo school will not be able to compete with that kind of one on one learning environment. It's a scam and it's bullshit. I still had a lot more learning to do even after 5 years and being surrounded by accomplished tattooers. Learning at some school will only cost you a lot of money and more than likely get you shunned and looked down upon by reputable tattooers, because anybody worth anything in this business learned with an apprenticeship. The reason most people can't find apprenticeships is because their art sucks. If for some reason you find yourself in that boat of looking for a few years and still not finding one the answer is pretty clear. You don't have the skill. Not everyone gets to make it to the final run on American Idol. Tattooing is the same, and just because you know some crappy tattooers doesn't make it okay for every crappy person to want to be a tattooer. To many idiots are already in and now it's becoming a really over saturated industry. Only the very best in this business stay busy and make good livings, the rest are just a bunch of broke assholes. Their are better more profitable professions to be bad at and make good livings than being a tattoo artist. I work 60 hours a week and I am considered by many people in the industry to be successful. It's very time consuming and tiring, there is not a huge financial reward, it is mostly a labor of love.

After seeing what most tattoo artist hopeful portfolios look like it's clear to me why most can not get in. If you don't love to draw, paint etc than why should you do it permanently on people. I have been asked a billion times through my 11 years of tattooing about apprenticeships and the answer is always the same. The person asking looks like they just sarted drawing. I have drawn every day of my life since I was 4. I am 34 years old now, I started tattooing when I was 23. That means by the time I started tattooing I had already drawn for 19 years straight, yet most of the people interested in tattooing look like they might have drawn as well as I did when I was 7 years old. This idea that you can learn to be a better artist while learning to tattoo is ass backwards. You already need to be an accomplished artist before starting. If I've been tattooing for 11 years and drawing at this point of my life for 30 what kind of artist do you think I would want to see ask me for an apprenticeship? Certainly not some druggy dipshit that started doodling at 15. It's too late for them. Art is a life long obsession, not a passing interest to take up because of some television shows about tattooing.

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karatemomx4
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Post by karatemomx4 » Sun Jul 31, 2011 3:54 pm

Where's the "like" button when you need one!?

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Stubarber
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Post by Stubarber » Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:36 pm


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fang
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Post by fang » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:32 am

Tattoo school only could offer you the knowledge and basic theory,but practise more important!

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fang
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Post by fang » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:52 am

but how could choose a right tattoo school ,is more important!
When we search on google,will find so many tattoo schools,which one is the better one?
Anyone could give me some suggestion: how to chooose tattoo school?

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Stubarber
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Post by Stubarber » Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:14 am

fang wrote:but how could choose a right tattoo school ,is more important!
When we search on google,will find so many tattoo schools,which one is the better one?
Anyone could give me some suggestion: how to chooose tattoo school?
one on one schooling.

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