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    Apprenticeship Questions

    this was on about.com How To Build an Impressive Art Portfolio to Find a Tattoo Apprenticeship From Karen L. Hudson, for About.com Filed In: 1. Tattoos - General Info If you're searching for an apprenticeship so you can be trained to become a tattoo artist, you'll need to impress your prospective mentor. To do that, you'll need to create an impressive portfolio. This is how. Difficulty: Average Time Required: 1-2 Hours Here's How: 1. Purchase an actual art presentation portfolio, not just a photo album or binder. Get one that is large enough to accommodate your largest drawings and/or paintings. It doesn't have to be an expensive leather-bound portfolio; just get one that adequately organizes your artwork. This shows that you take your art seriously. 2. Gather all of your best and favorite pieces of art that you want to display in your portfolio. Choose a variety of pieces that show your range of skills and your ability to work in as many mediums as possible. Make sure you have at least a few pieces that are done in a tattoo style if possible. 3. Be sure every piece is signed by you so you can prove that it is all your own unique artwork. 4. If you have larger artistic pieces that can't fit into the portfolio (such as paintings on canvas or sculptures) then take photos of them to include in your portfolio. Take clean photos and multiple angles if needed. The larger the photos, the better you'll be able to show your work. 5. Begin organizing your portfolio by carefully placing each piece in its prospective sleeve or pocket. Add a photo section if needed. 6. Include copies of a photo resume that you can leave behind at the studio after your interview. The resume should highlight any art education, personal experience and your reason for wanting to be a tattoo artist. Behind your resume, include a page of smaller photos of the artwork they would have seen in your portfolio during your interview. This will help refresh their mind as to who you are and your abilities. Tips: 1. Hobby and craft stores are the best places to find a wide variety of art portfolios in a range of affordable prices. 2. DO NOT include any photos of tattoos you may have already done at home. Tattoo artists are usually not impressed with scratcher work and it will only make them feel that they are probably going to have to re-train you to eliminate any bad habits. If you want an apprenticeship, you agree to start from scratch. What You Need: • An art presentation portfolio • Sleeves and protective pages to display your art in the portfolio • Pieces of art that will fit in the portfolio • Pictures of art that is too large for the portfolio • A photo resume While much of your education in animation will revolve around producing a final demo reel of your work, the demo reel is by no means the only important presentation piece in your repetoire. A printed portfolio of artwork and stills is also important, and can display talents that may not be so apparent in the digital medium. Here are a few guidelines to producing a professional portfolio that will reflect positively on you as an artist, animator, and potential employee. Never, Ever Use Originals. When compiling your portfolio, each piece should be a copy of the original artwork, not the artwork itself. Copies can be resized to fit your portfolio; copies are also replacable, while the originals are not. If you lose your portfolio, that can be recreated. If you lose your original artwork, you've lost something much more valuable that you've put a lot of time, effort, and thought into. Always Use High-Quality Prints. Original artwork should be scanned at at least 300 DPI, though 600 DPI is preferable for color. After being resized to fit the portfolio size that you've chosen (I usually prefer an 11" x 14"; it's large enough to display pieces well, but easily carried), you should take them to a professional printing service (most would recommend Kinko's, though I've had various bad experiences at the local installments of that particular chain) and print them out on clean, smooth, high-quality paper. You can go with paper as thick as cardstock, if you'd like, to keep the pieces from bending and creasing and to attain better paper quality; however, I wouldn't recommend glossy paper, because they'll already be behind a gloss of clear, protective sheeting and that will just double the glare. Running your portfolio off on your home printer from shabby, low-resolution scans is never a good idea; you end up with grainy pictures on low-quality paper, and most home printers can't handle larger-size paper to fit in standard portfolios. Don't Settle for Shoddy Binding to Save Money. The portfolio itself is as much a part of the presentation as the pieces inside it; if you want to look professional, spend a few extra dollars to buy a nicer case in leather, vinyl, or even pleather, as long as it looks well-made and neat. Skimping and buying the plastic, velcro-tabbed portfolios will add an amateurish feel to your portfolio, and will detract from the quality of your work; what that says to potential employers is that you're not willing to invest in presenting yourself nicely, and people viewing your portfolio will probably spend more time eyeing the scratched and bent edges of the plastic box than your artwork. Plastic was fine for quick high-school presentations. It's not acceptable when you're preparing the results of your educational labor in order to enter the work force. Unless you absolutely can't spare another penny, spend the extra money. It'll be worth it. Don't Ever Leave Your Portfolio With Anyone. By the time that you finish, you may have poured hundreds of dollars into the creation of this presentation piece. While it is replaceable, do you really want to? Your portfolio should enter with you, and leave with you; however, there's no harm in having smaller samples ready to leave for further perusal. Pick Your Presentation Pieces. The presentation of the portfolio itself aside, let's focus on the actual content. Your presentation portfolio isn't intended to be a 200-page visual novel of your artistic prowess; instead, it's a sample of the best work that you want to display to potential employers or others who might have reason to view your work. I'd recommend keeping the number of pieces in your portfolio between 18 and 24; 20 is the ideal number. You'll want to pick your pieces based on two things: quality, and the skills that you want to highlight. If you're only interested in showing off your painting skills, then pick your 20 best paintings and scan them (or high-quality photos of them, if they're too large for any available scanners) for your portfolio prints; if, however, you want to show off your paintings, your 3D texture map composites, your Adobe Illustrator digital art, your motion studies, and your CGI lighting projects, then pick your four best of each and include those in your portfolio as demonstration of the wide range of your talents. Remember, however, that not everything is marketable. If you absolutely can't stand to leave a piece out but you know that potential employers will frown on it, save it for your bound sketchbook. Arrange Your Pieces to Complement Each Other. There should always be some kind of order to the arrangement of your portfolio pieces, even if it's just simply ordering them by type. But you'd be better off organizing them by quality, so that they cushion each other, the stronger pieces providing support for the weaker ones. Space them much as you'd space clips in your demo reel, with one of your better pieces first and your best piece last, with more of your better displays interspersed with some of the "just good enough" ones to keep from creating long stretches of impressive artwork followed by long stretches of less-than-interesting pieces that might leave a lasting dull impression. Include a Bound Sketchbook. The sketchbook is the catch-all for all of the artwork that got left out of your portfolio, and a way to display the diversity of your talents more fully. Almost anything can go in your sketchbook; mine is a massive collage of nearly 300 pages of pencil sketches, landscapes, musculature studies, cartoon breakdowns, figure drawings, motion studies, object studies, lighting experiments, CG art, a few photo manipulations, and even various renders of 3D projects from toying with lighting, morph targets, and biped animation to create idle poses that pleased me. Sketchbook work doesn't even have to be completed work; it's more a gathering of your ideas, and sometimes employers prefer looking at sketchbooks over portfolios, as it gives them a glimpse into the raw developmental process of your work. The sketchbook, like the portfolio, should never be composed of originals; instead the originals should be scanned and printed onto standard letter-size paper (you can get away with printing these on your home color printer) before being bound into a standard notebook. You can usually get them ring-bound or spiral-bound with vinyl covers for under $5 at your local printers, depending on the thickness. You can tote it with your portfolio anywhere; just slip it in the inside pocket and then if, during an interview, someone expresses a desire to see more, you can offer the sketchbook. Your portfolio is just as valuable as your demo reel; you should put just as much time and effort into its composition as into your multimedia presentation. The two together are a formidable pair, and should be used to present yourself in the best way possible. --------------------------------- my advice Draw Draw Draw.... get what ever you need to be licensed BBP, first aid, cpr certifications done etc... before you go looking