Having a tattoo is fashionable and a style statement often giving the person a unique look. Many celebrities have a tattoo on their body which is widely discussed in the mainstream media. Hence many people are interested in getting a tattoo for themselves. This has increased the demand for tattoo artists in the country. Many young people who like drawing are interested in becoming a tattoo artist since it will be easier to find paid work compared to other artistic work. Hence they would like to find out how they can become a tattoo artist, educational requirement and qualifications.

Educational requirement for a tattoo artist
Since the tattoo artist should have knowledge of the human body, paints and other materials, language skills to work competently, usually the tattoo artist should at least have a high school diploma. In school the person should take drawing and related classes to improve his drawing skills. Many tattoo artists also have an additional qualification, a degree in fine arts from a recognized arts college. This helps them improve their drawing skills, network with other artists and also become familiar with the latest techniques in drawing.

After completing the formal educational qualification, a person who wishes to become a tattoo artist will usually work as an apprentice with an established tattoo artist who is licensed. Most established artists require some amount of assistance in their activities since they have a lot of work. To become an apprentice, the person will have to provide a portfolio of his drawings to the established artist to showcase his drawing skills. The apprentice will be also interviewed to check his work ethic, qualifications, skills, knowledge and motivation for becoming a tattoo artist.

Working as an apprentice helps a person gain professional skills, learn about safety technique, hygiene requirements and tattooing designs. Usually the apprenticeship will last for at least one year. In most cases, the apprentice is not paid anything during this period, though some well established tattoo artists may offer a stipend. Initially the apprentice will be asked to create drawings of the tattoo based on the requirement of the customers. Gradually after he has been taught the tattoo techniques and how to use the tools, he will be allowed to create tattoos on himself. If they are satisfactory, he will then be permitted to create tattoos on the customers.

To work as a tattoo artist, the artist should be licensed in the state. For this the artist should have completed his apprenticeship with a licensed tattoo artist for a specified period, usually at least one year. Additionally the artist should be aware of the safety and hygiene requirements, precautions to be taken before getting licensed. Hence the artist will have to take a test to ensure that he is proficient in hygienic tattoo practices. Additionally a fee will have to be paid to the licensing body for tattoo artists, to cover their expenses while issuing a license.

Fees and charges
After getting a license, the tattoo artist can either start his own tattoo studio or work for another tattoo artist. Most of the newly licensed artists will prefer to work with more established artists initially. There are many factors which determine the amount charged for a tattoo. While the size of the tattoo is a major factor which determines the rate, the complexity of the design should also be considered. Some parts of the body are easily accessible and can be tattooed easily, while it is more difficult to tattoo other parts of the body, hence the charges will also depend on the tattoo location.

The hourly rate depends to a large extent on how famous or reputed the artist is. Establish tattoo artists in Melbourne, Australia like Vic Market tattoo are charging $180 per hour for large tattoos and this is a discounted rate. Many of the smaller tattoos can be completed in less than one hour and the charges for the tattoo are $100. Most of the reputed tattoo artists do not reduce their price for a tattoo, since it is difficult to maintain their quality, covering the price of setting up the tattoo. At this price they will also conform to the safety and hygiene requirements ensuring that the tattoo is applied in a clean, sterile way.

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