ApprenticeLife Posted March 16, 2015 Share Posted March 16, 2015 Hi everyone. I'm 8 months into my 2 year apprenticeship and it's the most amazing and challenging thing I've ever done. I see a lot of people complaining about how hard it is to "get" an apprenticeship, but I have news for you, kids... getting it is the easy part. You are going to be exhausted and broke. I out in about 70-80 hours per week. I get to the shop before the owner and I am the last one to leave. I answer all of the phone calls. I schedule all of the clients. I clean everything, constantly. I scrub all of the barrels. I run the autoclave. I keep track of sending out spore tests. I take inventory and place orders when supplies are low. I paid for my own license and BBP certifications. I do preliminary consultations. I confirm appointments. I draw lettering and other design components. I watch tattoos, all day, every day. I give aftercare instructions. I set up work stations; I break down workstations. I set up all the machines; I break down all the machines. I sanitize all surfaces. I mop floors. I make stencils. I only have Sunday off and I go in anyway to clean even more and get some drawing/melon tattooing done. I get paid nothing. I'm burning through my entire life savings (the apprenticeship did not cost me money though). With all that said, I love it. My teacher is giving me a career. We have become great friends and, he admits, I have made him a better tattooer and increased his bookings. I'm saying all of this, because we are in a strange time in tattooing. I have been getting tattooed for almost 15 years now and this has been a dream if mine since that first tattoo. Everybody wants to take a shortcut and do color portraits in the first month of their apprenticeship. My teacher hasn't even let me tattoo a person yet and when I do start it, it will be a bunch of small, black silhouette tattoos. There are a million ways to learn this trade, but everyone that has done it this way is a working tattooer that supports a family. I just wanted to introduce myself and give any would-be apprentices a realistic view into an actual apprenticeship. It's hard. It's time consuming. It's inspiring. It's 2 years for the rest of my life as an artist. Anyway, I'm hopefully doing my first tattoo on a person this Thursday and I'm stoked. A small, black Ohm symbol on a girl's inner arm. You have to crawl before you walk and being ok with that will help you more than anything. Thanks for reading this novel. -Nate Shaun1105, bongsau, xcom and 6 others 9 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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