ApprenticeLife

This apprentice life...

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I laid most of this out in my introduction thread, but wanted to reiterate some things for all the people who want to become a tattooer.

It's hard. It's exhausting. You will be broke. You will be overwhelmed. You will try to find shortcuts that don't exist. You will learn so much about yourself.

I live in a ski town. Last season, I skiied 140 days and over 1.5 million vertical feet. I was lost and skiing gave me purpose. I have been drawing since I can remember. In kindergarten, I drew the Easter bunny with a bloody knife through its head. The school made my parents come in for a meeting, where the discussion was on whether everyone should be worried or if I should go to an art school. Neither happened, because kids do weird stuff and my family was broke. My entire life, people told me that I would do something with art. Unfortunately, I never believed in them or myself enough to try. So, fast forward to now. I'm 32 and have been an apprentice for 7 months. I put everything into this. As I write this, I'm checking the clock, because it's my only "day off" and I need to go in and sterilize a ton of barrels, do paperwork and return calls. See, I had to fly back home to NH last week when a tree fell on my house and it left me homeless. I knew my teacher needed barrels before I left, so I slept on the shop floor for two nights to get the place in order before I left. My point behind all of this is that you need to dedicate your life to becoming a great tattooer. At every opportunity to quit, you need to face your fears and show your true determination. Your teacher deserves it for giving you a career. You future clients deserve it. Youpost-53528-146168879348_thumb.jpg deserve it.

Long story, not that short, yesterday my teacher offered me a day off. He was tattooing two women who are long time clients of his. I always feel like I need to take every opportunity to learn, so I went in. I had met these two women a few times at their previous sessions, but didn't think we were "friends" yet. They were so excited that I had done my first 2 tattoos since the last time I saw them that they demanded to get my 3rd and 4th tattoos. It was an honor. These women have around $20,000 of combined tattoo work between them, by amazing artists, but they wanted something from me. I could have stayed home and slept in, gone for a bike ride, done nothing. Instead, I went to work, did 2 tattoos in one day and left with $120 in tips. I'll be honest when I say I teared up when they gave me money for their tattoos. I'm not the best artist in the world. I'm definitely not the best tattooer they could have gone to. I don't get mad when I can't do a full Japanese back piece in my first month of tattooing. I'm working my hardest just to do a little butterfly silhouette on your ankle. I try hard, I'm humble and I'm real with people. Those three things will take you wherever you're trying to go. Thanks for reading this.

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