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5 Reasons to Get an Apprentice Tattoo

Apprentice tattoos can be a touchy subject for some. Some people are adamant about never letting a tattoo apprentice touch them, and others see the beauty in the learning experience. Regardless of where you stand, here's five reasons to get an apprentice tattoo.

1. It's More Affordable.

Let's start with money matters. Many apprentices will give out free tattoos when they first start. There is no better way for a tattoo apprentice to gain experience (and build a portfolio) than to give out tattoos. Usually, this beautiful learning experience (or burden) lands on those closest to the apprentice - like willing family.

This was my very first tattoo on my sister. It was free, and not too shabby for the first go! My mentor and I both had a hand in it, but this one was mostly me.

Many apprentices will have a discounted price while they're learning. The apprentice may create fine work, but still have a price that is lower than others at the shop. Their hourly rate may increase as they complete the apprenticeship, so get in for those low prices while you can!

2. You're Helping Someone Gain Experience.

It can be daunting to be a guinea pig for someone else's learning; however, most apprentices have to do a lot of preparation before doing their first tattoo on someone.

For me, it was drawing flash, synthetic skin, then pig skin, THEN a person. Some might even tattoo themselves before tattooing someone else. By the time I tattooed someone, I generally knew what I was doing, and my mentor was watching my every move.

The people that were there from the beginning are people I will give priority to for tattoos for the rest of my career because I owe it to them. I am so grateful to my friends and family for that support.

3. They're Not As Bad As You Might Think.

Consider looking at the apprentice portfolio before jumping to conclusions on their ability to tattoo. The apprentice title is definitely something to be aware of, but it doesn't mean that someone can't give out good work.

There are tattooers out there that have been tattooing for decades that can't do what some apprentices out there can do. Look carefully at portfolios, reviews, and if you know someone who got work done from an apprentice, ask them about the experience.

4. Their Mentor Will Help.

Do you know an apprentice that is learning under a tattoo artist that you love? Well, that artist will be there for your apprentice tattoo, making sure everything runs smoothly. Any good mentor will be there to make sure the apprentice isn't causing unnecessary harm to a client, or applying a bad tattoo with bad technique.

My mentor has made it very clear that if I am feeling that a tattoo is going south, that I can tag him in at any time. Luckily, that has only happened to me when I was learning about color. The things I was learning were things that he could just knock out with ease. That's the beauty of it all!

5. You May Learn More About Tattooing As Well.

Many times while my mentor was teaching me how to tattoo, the clients we were with felt as though they also had a lesson for tattooing. When one witnesses a tatter tot with their training wheels on, one can learn all the gears in motion to give a clean tattoo.

There is so much for a new tattooer to juggle: needle groupings, needle depth, machine speed, color, saturation, shading techniques, and so much more. If you have wanted to learn a little bit about tattooing as a process and skill, booking with an apprentice during their lesson is an intimate way to go about that.

Need more Convincing?

Apprentice tattoos aren't for everyone, and I definitely respect when people want someone with more experience to tattoo them. Leave a comment and let me know what your experience with apprentice tattoos was like! Or tell me how you'll simply wait until the baby tattooer becomes the DaVinci of tattoos.

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