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Hello I'm rob, a 16 year old Floridian thts trying to learn as much as he can before he can actually start to tattoo. I'm currently doing mostly traditional pencil paper drawings but it would be very helpful if someone could tell me how do I start, I know that I'm only 16 but I would like to know a few things to kinda be ahead of the pack xD lol. So yeah if anyone could give me suggestions on what to do, tht would be awesome.

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Well my bad man, I thought I was introducing myself, I'm not asking you to tell me where to go or what number to call, I'm just asking what should I draw

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Draw and paint every spare hour of every day, for the next two years. Make a portfolio. Do not even think of trying to tattoo before you are 18. When you turn 18, find an excellent studio and try to get an apprenticeship with your portfolio.

Thank you man, thts what I thought but what kinds of things should I draw?

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Draw anything and everything. From normal to ridiculous. Whatever you want to draw, draw it.

Alright, thanks

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Genitalia. For hours. Get so good at it that even when you are drawing something else, it will subconsciously creep in there like cover art for the little mermaid.

Wtf xD ill try tht

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Stop drawing. Start getting tattooed.

Then get tattooed some more. then get more tattoos.

Then maybe someone will let you hang around long enough to think about letting you learn.

But in all honesty, you'd be better off getting a real job.

From what I can tell, nobody gets an apprenticeship at a great shop by walking in with a folio of watercolours and drawings. Getting tattooed is a better place to start.

Expect it to take years, not months. like multiple years, not a couple.

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Go door to door to everyone in your neighborhood and ask if you can clean their bathroom for free. Every skill you will need to be successful at doing that will benefit you and its not something that most people can figure out. How to talk to people, how to sell and close the deal. how to make someone feel comfortable allowing you to enter their personal space. Cleaning, lots of cleaning and knowing how to clean and which order to do things in...also its real helpful if you develop ocd. I've seen plenty of people who can draw but can't tattoo and also struggle with the interaction with strangers and making them feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation.

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To build upon what Stewart JAllen said, getting tattooed and being willing to do the crappy jobs are more important than the drawing aspect for sure. Belief in the craft/respect for others' work and willingness to do any task can't be taught, and if you don't have those, someone else will. I'm currently an apprentice, but I'd known my mentor for about five years before I was even allowed the chance to come clean toilets and answer phones for a year before we actually started my apprenticeship. Once you turn 18, start getting tattooed and hope you can earn someone's trust.

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OK, but what if you're 16 and you want those years to go real fast? THEN what do you do???

Flux Capacitor? Deception? Cojones?

Also, to everyone who said OCD is a benefit: That's one of the stupidest things I hear about getting work in tattooing and tattoo shops.

Since when did being obsessively compelled to do something, (without logical reason) benefit any profession, employment or craft?

OCD doesn't mean being dedicated or diligent. It doesn't mean that you care about getting something right or keeping things clean.

It stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

"Can I have a job in your tattoo shop? I have a mental disorder that makes me ignore reason and prevents me making sensible decisions based on facts. I won't seek help for this because popular misconception paints me as a hygiene savant or Rain Man with disinfectant."

"No, I'll give it to this rational, dedicated, hard working, person who I tattooed a body suit on."

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Flux Capacitor? Deception? Cojones?

Also, to everyone who said OCD is a benefit: That's one of the stupidest things I hear about getting work in tattooing and tattoo shops.

Since when did being obsessively compelled to do something, (without logical reason) benefit any profession, employment or craft?

OCD doesn't mean being dedicated or diligent. It doesn't mean that you care about getting something right or keeping things clean.

It stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

"Can I have a job in your tattoo shop? I have a mental disorder that makes me ignore reason and prevents me making sensible decisions based on facts. I won't seek help for this because popular misconception paints me as a hygiene savant or Rain Man with disinfectant."

"No, I'll give it to this rational, dedicated, hard working, person who I tattooed a body suit on."

I think this is one of my favourite posts I have read on LST so far.

OCD does seem to get banded around a lot when talking about people who are keen on hygene and cleanliness without considering the irrational side of the disorder.

I don't think I would want to search out a Tattooer who was going to make irrational/illogical decisions at any given time...

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Haha, I'm pretty ocd but I suppose its just one of my many "mental disorders". I find that the ritual of setting up for a tattoo, cleaning up after, how I draw, most things I have used my "mental disorder" to be a benefit rather than a burden. The patterns and methodical nature of things involved in tattooing, at least to me, are things I find enjoyable. I wasn't speaking to obsessively cleaning because you can't control it but I don't expect people to understand how my brain works.

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I would like to say this. I hope you enjoy your stay here at LST. You can read up on some awesome threads that we have here, and you get to learn a lot. In 2 years (assuming 18 for legal tattooing in your local) you will be more than ready to get your first tattoo from a first-rate tattooer! Hell you got some time to save up! After you get your first tattoo report back here all about your experiences.

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