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Tattoo collector with a partial apprenticeship

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Hello Last Sparrow Forums!

New to the forums, definitely not new to tattoo's. So, I start with a little back story. I've been getting tattoo's since I was 17 (with parents consent) and now after 19 years have amassed a half way decent collection. About 5 years ago my then wife and I met and befriended an experienced tattoo artist. We helped him get back on his feet and once he opened a new shop he apprenticed both of us. The apprenticeship lasted a little over a year, at which point the shop closed down. Not too long after my wife and I separated and as these things go he sided with her leaving me with partial skills. I've had training with proper setup and hygiene, line work and color packing. Things fell apart before I really learned shading. Now, four years out, I'm debating restarting with another person. What I'm looking for with the forums is some advice. How exactly should I approach another artist? Do I down play my past experience or should I emphasize it? I know I should draw like crazy and be prepared to show a portfolio. Any other ideas? Thanks everyone! 

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Most or all of the perspectives you're going to get at this forum will only be from other collectors (me, too). My opinion is that strategy for approaching potential tutors and how you present your history is going to be as varied as the general public is itself. It all boils down to personalities, so if you want to be happy with your situation then be honest and look for honesty. If the chemistry isn't right you could easily end up getting screwed and/or wasting time. 

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