Tattoo artist as a career option? Are you crazy?
This is probably what a lot of tattoo artists and designers face on a day-to-day basis. Becoming a tattoo artist is often frowned upon by society at large, but this is only because people do not have intimate knowledge about this profession.
To educate students about a possible career as a tattoo artist, the team at CareersIndia reached out to Lokesh Verma, who runs a tattoo studio called Devil’z Tattooz. He is among the top 10 tattoo artists in the world. No seriously, Google it and you will see his name. You can check out the entire interview here, but talking to him gave us an idea about how to become a tattoo artist in India:
Step-by-step guide to become a Tattoo Artist
- Take the stream of your choice in 11th standard. Students from all streams can become a tattoo artist.
- There is no specific degree or diploma which just focuses on tattooing, but if someone wants to excel in this art form, then one should know how to draw or sketch. So start there.
- Try to put up your art online. Start following the work of tattoo artists you admire. Tag them in your posts, and try to build a relationship with them.
- Focus a lot on networking. It is your network that is going to help you get a job in this field.
- Try to approach well-rated and respected tattoo parlors in your area and tell them about your aspiration to become a tattoo artist. Show them your designs. Try to secure an internship or a job offer.
Salary of a Tattoo Artist in India
Starting salary of tattoo artists is in the 10,000-30,000 rupees range. You will be able to earn lots of money only by pursuing either (or both) of these two options –
- Opening your own tattoo design studio.
- Becoming a tattoo artist for celebrities.
After doing this, you can easily expect your salary to be in multiple lakhs per month.
Job Profile (A Day in the life of a Tattoo Artist in India)
Well, my working days are usually spent doing color portraits on clients, or designing and sketching for a particular tattoo design that I would like to create.
This process is not simple, and complex tattoos sometimes take more than eight hours of work per day. That’s 8 hours spent standing. This is what takes up the the majority of the day for tattoo artists – actual tattooing.
Apart from that a lot of stuff depends on what kind of establishment you work for and what kind of position you are in, that is, your experience level. If you are running your own studio, be prepared to spend a lot of time on stuff like marketing and social media management.
Sometimes clients also submit exact ideas and images, so a lot of work is also done on those. They have to be changed and modified because it might not look the same on skin as it looks on paper.
Basically, it’s what you would expect from a fulfilling career – working hard every day on something that you love to do.
No, a degree is not required to become a tattoo artist. However, if you are keen on pursuing graduation, a BFA course might help your art skills. But if you don’t want to pursue graduation, that’s also completely fine.
One thing to love about being a Tattoo Artist
“Taking my art to the next level. Increasing the ceiling of standard every time and trying to reach it, and then making my work standards even higher is what I enjoy.”
One thing to hate about being a Tattoo Artist
“There is a stigma among the middle class that tattoo artists are all delinquents and that tattooing is not a career path. I have even heard people say things like tattooing is not real work. We work very hard to provide good a good customer experience.”
No particular reputed college provides a course for tattoo design specifically. So the recommendation from our side would be to just look for worthy tattoo studios in your area and seek an internship with them.
Resources and Tips
- Check out the Instagram account of Devil’z Tattooz for tattoo inspiration.
- For some tattoo design tips and tricks, check out this YouTube Channel.
- Follow various tattoo related hashtags on Instagram and Pinterest in order to be up-to-date about everything that’s happening in the tattoo world.
- You would need to be comfortable drawing on paper, because that is much similar to drawing on skin. Here’s a good resource to get you started.
Product Designer, Artist, Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Colorist
So these were some golden nuggets of information that one can read and ponder about even if they have the slightest interest in tattoo art and design. Did you like the article and found it informative? Then please share it with fellow tattoo design students so that they can make well-informed decisions about their professional life. Subscribe to our newsletter to get a weekly update about the different career options added on the website.