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Apprentice Needs Advice

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Sixteen months ago I started my apprenticship at a small tattoo and piercing shop in the Houston area.  At the time the owner was a lady and her husband ran the shop.  She is a tattoo artist and he is not.  She was my teacher. They have since separated and she moved out of state.  She signed the shop over to him.  Another artist in the shop agreed to continue as my teacher.  He is a great artist and I have grown a great deal under his tutoring. He says that I am ready to start doing small tattoos on walk-ins.  The problem is.....the owner refuses to let me grow as an artist.  I feel, as do others in the shop, that he is holding me back and I am feeling frustrated and recentful.  Tattooing is my dream and my passion.  It took a lot of work and money to get where I am.  My parents are footing the bill and I need and want to move forward. There was no contract other than a verbal agreement to pay several thousand $ for a 3 year apprenticeship.  At the end of which I would have a job at the shop as an artist and own the equipment that the shop bought for me to learn.  This is seriously getting me down. I am beginning to doubt that he will ever let me move forward.  I plan to have a serious talk with him in a few days about my future at the shop.

I need advice!  I'm not even sure how to approach him.  I'm afraid he will fire me if I make him  angry. Do I have any options like finishing my apprenticeship at another shop? Sorry for the long post.


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so keep it to yourself,

finish the apprenticeship at your current shop,(learn as much and get as much experience as you can)

and then start looking around at other shops,

don't quit until you have another job(if at that time you still want to leave). 

just my .02

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What does "refuses to let me grow as an artist" mean? He won't let you tattoo customers? Unfortunately it's his shop and his rules. If your teacher really feels you are ready, they should talk to the shop owner. Can you bring in friends to work on? It would seem that if you bring in business and show that you can do quality tattoos, he'd have no reason not to let you work on walk-ins.

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