Did you know the oldest known tattoo was found on the body of a man nicknamed Ötzi? This dates back all the way to 3250 BCE. They found him preserved beneath the glaciers in the alps, and archaeologists found over 60 different tattoos on his body.
It just goes to show that the art of tattooing has been around for millennia. People have always wanted ways to express themselves or to show their identity, and tattoos are a great way to do that. If you’re a creative person, you very well may be interested in getting into this ancient art.
But what benefits are there to becoming a tattoo artist? There used to be a lot of stigma around it, so is that still true?
Let’s dive into it and see why a tattoo artist career may be the right choice for you.
1. Creative Expression
Not only does working as a tattoo artist help you strengthen your creative skills, but you also get to express yourself creatively through new designs, colors, and styles. You may help some clients with a unique design, which you have a hand in creating. You may even help them transform their own designs into something incredible.
As an artist, there is truly nothing more rewarding than leaving your mark on the world, and what better way to do that than upon the human canvas? You’re not only immortalizing your artistic vision, but giving someone something they will have forever.
2. Be Your Own Boss
Learning a craft means you open the door to new possibilities of self-employment. While many people get started in a tattoo parlor, where you will learn how to tattoo for beginners, once you have mastered the art, you can expand into opening your own business and studio.
Regardless of where you are, when you start your tattooing art career, you’re building a portfolio that will set you up for your future. Yes, running your own business can be challenging, but you will have the freedom to work your own hours, make your own decisions, and build lasting and meaningful relationships with clients.
3. Step Into a Growing Market
One of the best things about getting into tattooing is the sheer scale of tattoo artist opportunities out there. Tattoos have become more popular than ever, and are becoming more mainstream every day. There isn’t as much stigma as there used to be, and what was once situated squarely on the fringe of American society has become wildly popular across the country.
Celebrities showing off their ink and increasing growth in a body-positive culture fueled the popularity of tattoos. But first and foremost, people want ways to express who they are.
4. Make Good Money From the Start
Plenty of people underestimate the amount of money you can make as a tattooist. Good tattoo artist jobs can earn far more than the average salary, and if you’re great at what you do, you could even bring in a six-figure income. The same is true when you open your own studio.
The average salary for a tattoo artist in America is around $82,000 per year, with some of the highest paying cities like New York and Boston averaging around $95,000 per year.
Yes, not all tattooists become millionaires, but if you’re willing to work hard and bring your natural talent to the table, the chances are that you’ll make a comfortable living. You can also start tattooing as a side hustle, especially if you’re happy with your day job but want something a little extra.
5. Meet Lots of Different People as a Tattoo Artist
As a tattoo artist, you’ll have the opportunity to work with all sorts of people. While it can be demanding, especially if you’re meeting new people every day and trying to convince them you’re the best choice, your clients will slowly become more than just paying customers. Some of them will stay with you and become your friends.
This not only allows you to expand your social circle and group of friends but keeps you engaged in the social scene. Besides, recurring clients are great. They’re a steady stream of income, and you get to make art while chatting to a friend. What’s better than that?
6. Provide People With Meaningful Art
While not all tattoos have to be personal or meaningful (they can just be art for art’s sake), you’ll be able to give them something that will be with them for the rest of their lives. And, if you’re good at what you do, you may even cover up tattoos that people have gotten in the past.
This erases the bad memory associated with it and helps them feel more like themselves. You’re helping people feel better about being in the skin they’re in and giving them the confidence to walk freely through life, but helping them express themselves in artistic and creative ways.
7. Work in a Positive Environment
Work culture and environment should be significant factors when considering any career, and typically, tattoo studies are exceptionally positive and meaningful. Not only are you working with like-minded people, but you’re also collaborating with clients and other artists and you get to take part in friendly conversations while you’re working.
Many tattoo parlors these days are embracing the value in an aesthetic workplace, with a decor that matches the vibe of the shop, so you’ll get to work in one of the nicest, coolest shops on the block.
It’s also important to note that while you will have difficult clients and negative experiences, this comes with the territory of any client-facing job. Working in the right parlor (or owning your own business) means you should have the support of your peers and colleagues.
Unleash Your Creativity
What other career options let you express yourself creatively, help people feel better about their bodies, and are stable enough to give you a consistent and comfortable lifestyle? If you have a creative streak and don’t mind a bit of hard work (especially when it pays off) then you should consider becoming a tattoo artist.
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