How To Become a Tattoo Artist In 13 Easy Steps

Learning how to become a tattoo artist can be intimidating, but the true challenge is in learning it properly...

Tattooing For Beginners: 9 Simple Steps

All of us that are passionate about tattooing and wanted to learn the “fast and easy way.” But the...

The 4 Secrets to a Successful Tattoo Business

For many tattoo artists, owning a shop is a dream come true.  But, owning a business is about more...
Inspiration, Tattoo Instruction
How To Become a Tattoo Artist In 13 Easy Steps
Tattoo Instruction
Tattooing For Beginners: 9 Simple Steps
Tattoo Business
The 4 Secrets to a Successful Tattoo Business

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About… is simply about the art and process of tattooing…

This includes not only the process of tattooing, but also about what it takes to become a tattoo artist the right and safe way. Before anyone can become a tattoo artist, a good understanding and background knowledge of the process, the equipment and safety procedure is vital. On this website, we will cover various aspects on the subject of tattooing from techniques, to equipment, to tattoo flash, even aspects such as getting your license and paying taxes as an artist, it's all here.

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At Bulldog Tattoo Supply we strive to bring you the best products, while staying within your budget.

Tattoo Artist Tips

The Five Foundations of Becoming a Tattoo Artist the Right WayFeatured

Tattoo GirlThere are so many paths that lead to a career as a professional tattoo artist, and one of the only things they have in common is the belief that the path one person took is the BEST path for everyone.  This really isn’t true, or else there wouldn’t be so many ways to end up in the industry.

So, this article isn’t saying that this is the “only” way to fulfill the dream of becoming a tattoo artist. Instead, it’s offering advice on what is a tried-and-true method for how to get to where you want to be.

Following a path along these lines provides a good progression toward becoming a tattoo artist…

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Tattoo Instruction

Canelo Alvarez: Secrets of a Portrait Tattoo

canelo alvarez top image.jpg

Image from CNN

In early November, fans saw the boxer Canelo Alvarez step into the ring and take on Sergey Kovalev. Alvarez triumphed and took home the World Boxing Organization title for the 175-pound weight class. But it wasn’t his victory that kept fans talking.

This major match gave the world a glimpse of his tattoos. Canelo’s back tattoo is text which offers inspiration to us all: “Destiny is not a matter of chance. It’s a matter of choice. Life is hard but never give up. Keep on trying and always believe in yourself to achieve your dreams.”

The real interest, though, comes from his arm tattoo. His arm features an awesome portrait tattoo of his daughter. And his incredbile ink lets us learn a lot about how to get a good portrait tattoo.

Serious Subject

canelo portrait tattoo.JPG

Image from The Sun

This should go without saying, but we’re going to spell it out: if you’re getting a portrait tattoo of someone, you need to make damn sure that you love them.

Some people rush into relationships and get inked way too early. For example, Johnny Depp got “Winona Forever” when dating Winona Ryder. After they broke up, Depp had to change it to “Wino Forever.”

Canelo got a portrait tattoo of his flesh and blood. This means he’s not likely to regret the ink at any point during his life.

Check (And Doublecheck) Their Portfolio

bad portrait tattoo.jpg

Image from Pinterest

We’re going to level with you: not all tattoo artists have the same skill level. And many artists struggle with tattooing portrait tattoos.

That’s why you need to seriously research the artist’s portfolio, either in-person or online. Don’t pay much attention to their other work. Instead, focus on how detailed and realistic the portrait tattoos are.

Keep in mind that there is almost nothing worse than a bad portrait tattoo. It can turn you into a laughingstock and even insult the person you are trying to honor. Before you get a portrait tattoo, do as much homework as you can on the artist.

Big, Bold, and Bright

bad portrait tattoo part 2.jpg

Image from Inked Mag

Here’s the other side of the equation: a tattoo artist can only work with what you bring them. In order to bring a portrait tattoo to life, the artist will need a reference picture.

If you simply bring them a crumpled-up photo from many years ago, the artist won’t have much to go on. The less detailed the reference picture, the less detailed (and accurate) your portrait tattoo will be.

Long story short? Take the time to find a really large (say, at least 8×10) photo for reference. Ideally, this photo will be well-lit and showcase the person’s personality as well as their appearance.

With the right reference image and the right artist, you can enjoy the quality of a Canelo Alvarez tattoo.

Canelo Alvarez and the Portrait Tattoo: What Comes Next?

Now you know more about how you can bring your dream portrait tattoo to life. But do you know where to get regular guides and features in the world of tattoos?

Here at Tattooing 101, we’re here to bring out your best possible ink. Bookmark the site today and enjoy our inky inspiration every single week!

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Michelle Williams and the Art of the Butterfly Tattoo


Image from Monsters and Critics

Would you believe a reality TV show is giving a classic tattoo a real comeback?

The Masked Singer is a reality show with a simple premise. Audiences must try to figure out who the competing celebrities are beneath the elaborate masks.

Recently, the revelation of a butterfly tattoo made fans think the singer “Butterfly” is Destiny’s Child singer Michelle Williams. And just like that, the butterfly tattoo is back.

Why Michelle Williams?

Image from Chron

Michelle Williams was a part of Destiny’s Child back in the day. She was a major cultural force, but she dropped off the radar for a long time and hasn’t really popped back up since.

On The Masked Singer, there is a character named Butterfly. She discussed how her name had been on everyone’s lips at the apex of her fame but that things went south when she tried to go off on her own.

Finally, Butterfly mentioned that she has a butterfly tattoo. Given Michelle Williams and her recent revelation of a butterfly tattoo, fans think she must be the celeb under the mask.

Rumors about Williams have also sparked discussion of something that was really popular in the heyday of Destiny’s Child: the butterfly tattoo.

Butterflies and Tramp Stamp

butterfly tattoo lower back.jpg

Image from Pinterest

Most people think of something else when they think of butterfly tattoos: the “tramp stamp.”

In the 90’s, more women felt emboldened to get tattoos. The lower back was a popular area because this ink could easily be covered up and hidden from judgmental peers.

Alternatively, emerging fashion trends like crop tops could help show these tattoos off. Unfortunately, many in the 90’s were afraid of women showing skin and dubbed these tats “tramp stamps” to try to degrade these ladies.

Butterflies were a popular choice because these tats could be small, colorful, and expressive all at once.

 The Butterfly Evolves


Image from Traces of My Body

Fortunately, the butterfly tattoo continued to grow and evolve. And while there’s nothing wrong with the old school “tramp stamp,” modern ink fans have a lot of tattoo options if they want to embrace their inner Michelle Williams.

One simple option is to move from the lower back to the upper back. This gives your tattoo artist a larger canvas for bigger and bolder designs. And you can still hide the tat with a shirt or show it off with a low-back dress.

Butterfly tattoos also make for great arm or shoulder tattoos. They are a natural and timeless design that will delight your friends, and you’re unlikely to regret the tattoo down the road.

We also like butterfly tattoos because you can start small and work your way up. Today’s modest butterfly tat may become tomorrow’s sleeve quite easily.

Letting Your Ink Fly

Only time will tell if Michelle Williams is Butterfly or not. But you can find more about tattoos each and every week!

Here at Tattooing 101, we bring you the biggest tattoo news each and every week. Be sure to bookmark our site to get the latest about all things ink.

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Halloween Tattoos: When Spooky Meets Ink

scary tattoo top image

Image from ShishirBindu

Forget Thanksgiving and Christmas. For spooky season fans across the country, October is the coolest month of all. It’s a month of chilling movies and fun horror rides that culminates in Halloween.

Horror, Halloween, and tattoos have blended together for a long time. It’s why so many horror conventions such as Spooky Empire bring in tattoo artists who specialize in scary ink.

But which Halloween tattoos are the best to show off your scary side? Keep reading to get some haunting inspiration!

Scary Scars

bloody realistic tattoo.jpg

Image from Gericsek Tattoos

Many people opt for conservative tattoos that can easily be hidden with clothes, gloves, or shoes. If you’re willing to openly sport a big tattoo, it’s tough to go wrong with scary scars.

Such a tattoo can make it look like your head or back was cut open (or perhaps just patched together like Frankenstein’s monster). These tattoos are loud and sure to command attention in a crowded room, so make sure you’re fully committed to the Halloween tattoo spirit before you get your ink done.

You can also blend the “bold and bloody” tats with our next idea: 3D ink.

Power of Perspective

hand 3d tattoo.jpg

Image from Best Tattoos

While external monsters are scary, most of us are frightened by the idea of darkness inside ourselves. That’s what makes 3D perspective tattoos so effective if you want to get something shocking.

For example, these tattoos can make it look like the bones on your harm, hand, legs, or feet are practically popping out of your body. For extra scary points, you can have something scary peering from behind your bones as if they were prison bars.

Robot parts, alien exoskeleton…the sky is the limit on ways to make the inside of your body look downright creepy.

The Creepy Side of Normal

zombie disney tattoos

Image from Liverpool Echo

Speaking of creepy, there is a fine line between cheap scares and creeping horror, and you can use this fine line to your advantage!

For example, plenty of people have scary flash tattoos or realistic movie monster tattoos. If we’re being honest, that kind of ink is truly a dime a dozen.

To maximize scares, try to find a creepy version of something that is otherwise normal. Disney characters with haunting eyes or zombie versions of comic characters are just a couple of the ways that you can subvert expectations and get something seriously spooky on your skin.

In the right scenario, even children can be frightening. If you don’t believe us, go rewatch The Shining!

What That Mouth Do?


Image from Tattoo Ideas

Body horror makes for some of the most genuinely terrifying movies. When we see the body move or act in unnatural ways, it tickles the uncanny valley in our brains and makes us afraid.

You can use this to your advantage by getting tattoos of body parts in unexpected areas. A mouth (vampire or otherwise) on your arms or eyes on your hands may not seem scary by itself. However, these natural body parts in unnatural locations are sure to prompt some major gasps wherever you go.

Halloween Tattoos: When Ink Gets Scary

Now you know how to plan your Halloween tattoos before the big day rolls around. But do you know who will keep you in the tattoo loop long after you run out of candy from trick-or-treating?

Be sure to return to Tattooing 101 each week for the coolest (and spookiest) tattoo news. And we can’t wait to see what scary tats you boys and “ghouls” come up with this year!

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Traditional Portrait Illustration Tattoo: The Full Guide


Image from ParlorTattooPrints

Every tattoo fan is always on the lookout for cool new designs. Of course, sometimes “new” isn’t really new at all.

For example, the traditional portrait illustration tattoo is making a major comeback. Why is that? Because it’s a blend of something old and something new.

Wondering what’s up with this mixture of vintage and new? Keep reading to discover our comprehensive guide!

What Is a Portrait Tattoo?


Image from The Tattoo Movement

To better understand the traditional portrait illustration tattoo, you need to first understand the portrait tattoo.

It’s relatively simple. In fact, it’s all in the name: a portrait tattoo is a portrait of someone rendered in ink. And these traditional portrait tattoos are usually characterized by an attempt at photorealism.

Such tattoos are typically inked in darker colors such as black or gray. This gives them a vintage look, though these tattoos are very easy to mess up.

Think about all of those “worst tattoo” lists you’ve read over the years. Chances are they were filled with bad portrait tattoos that didn’t look anything like the actual person.

What Is a Traditional Illustration Portrait Tattoo?


Image from Envatotuts+

As we mentioned, the danger in a traditional portrait tattoo is the photorealism aspect. If anything about the design, color, or textures is a little bit off, you end up with something creepy or silly instead of something deep and moving.

A traditional illustration portrait tattoo manages to sidestep this potential pitfall by ditching photorealism altogether. Instead, these tattoos blend the portrait likeness of someone with the kind of colorful and stylistic elements you’d find on old pin-up posters.

A well-done illustration portrait tattoo will definitely stand out in the crowd. In fact, there are several good reasons why you should steal this ink idea for your very own.

What Makes These Tattoos So Hot?

traditional illustration portrait tattoo 2.jpg

Image from Tattoo Journal

One reason these tattoos are so popular is the “return of retro.” In recent years, everything from Mad Men to Stranger Things has glorified the groovier parts of years gone by. These tattoos, in evoking World War II-era pin-ups, taps into a whole new vein of nostalgia.

These tattoos also offer both you and the tattoo artist a lot more creative freedom than a traditional portrait tattoo. With those tattoos, there is little room for color or creativity: the tattoo either looks like the person or it doesn’t.

With an illustration portrait tattoo, you don’t have to capture someone’s exact physical features. Instead, you are capturing their “essence”–their personality, charm, wit, and so on.

Finally, these colorful tattoos are more suited to different skin tones and fashion senses. The gray of a portrait tattoo doesn’t look awesome with every person, but these illustration tattoos come in every color that you can imagine.

The Traditional Illustration Portrait Tattoo: The End of The Line

Now you know a bit more about this “new” tattoo trend that channels a very big “back in the day” energy. But do you know where you can learn about even more emerging tattoo trends?

Be sure to return to Tattooing 101 each week as we bring you even more awesome ideas and inspiration from the world of ink!

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Stories, Uncategorized

The Aaron Carter Face Tattoo: All You Need to Know

aaron carter top image.jpg

Image from The Blast

We don’t keep track of celebrity news that often; we prefer to focus on all things ink. But sometimes, the celebrity world and tattoo world collide. Just ask Aaron Carter!

For a hot minute, it seemed like all anyone could talk about was the Aaron Carter face tattoo. And that left the rest of us wondering what all of this was about.

That’s why we put together this handy guide. If you’re wondering who Carter is, why this is important, and what’s happening next, we’ve got you covered!

Who Is This Guy?


Image from Wikipedia

In his early life, Aaron Carter lived in the shadow of his brother. That’s because his brother is Nick Carter, one of the members of The Backstreet Boys who later branched into solo albums and occasional acting gigs.

Aaron Carter tried to follow in his footsteps with mixed results. Aaron has had his own music and acting career, and his early albums (dating back to the late 1990s) were quite popular.

Subsequent years have been less kind. He has filed for bankruptcy, clashed with law enforcement, and entered into drug rehabilitation. It looked like things might be improving…until the face tattoo.

What Is This Tattoo?

rihanna british gq cover medusa.jpg

Image from Pinterest

Let’s not mince words: this is an ugly tattoo. After you get done gawking at it, your first question is likely “what the hell am I looking at?”

As near as we can tell, the tattoo is of musical icon Rihanna. And not just any Rihanna image: the Aaron Carter face tattoo seems to be based on her British GQ cover photo that was shot by art legend Damian Hirst.

Carter later claimed it was inspired by Rihanna but not necessarily a likeness of her. Which is good because, as tattoo likenesses go, this isn’t great.

What’s the Big Deal?

aaron carter what is big deal.jpg

Image from The Gatton Star

You might be thinking “a celebrity got an ugly tattoo. What’s the big deal?” The answer lies with some of Aaron’s other drama.

At the time of the tattoo, he was actually in the middle of a serious legal drama with his brother, Nick Carter, and his sister, Angel Carter. This goes beyond the standard “rap beef” because he has allegedly threatened to kill both his siblings and their families.

They now have a restraining order against him and he will be appearing in court as a result. In the middle of all of this, he suddenly gets an insane face tattoo of another musician.

There are other wrinkles to this drama. According to his tattoo artist, Aaron originally wanted the tattoo in the middle of his face. And the celebrity actually got multiple face tattoos before the artist called it quits because he couldn’t live with covering Aaron’s entire face in ink.

Taken altogether, this is a really bad look for Aaron Carter. And we’re not just talking about the tat.

The Aaron Carter Face Tattoo: What’s Next?

What will happen next with this drama involving siblings, court, and a whole lot of ink? The honest answer is that we’re not quite sure.

Carter has pledged to show up for court to contest the restraining orders against him. Whether this somehow leads to a family reconciliation or more fighting is anyone’s guess.

For further developments in the world of ink (and more of the world’s craziest tattoos), stay tuned to Tattooing 101!

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Tattoo Facts

4 Questions to Ask Your Tattoo Artist

tattoo artist at work

Image from Eighth and Grand

So, you’ve decided to get your first tattoo. And that means you’ve started asking Google the important questions, like “where is a tattoo artist near me?”

However, it’s important to ask the artist certain questions in order to make sure they are a good fit.

Keep reading to discover what those questions are!

“What’s Your Experience Like?”

tico times artist

Image from Tico Times

One of the best questions you can ask is what their experience is like. This is because this one question will actually get you several answers you need.

For instance, it’s natural to wonder if the tattoo artist is licensed and if they have many years of experience. However, some people think asking these questions outright may seem rude.

By asking about their experience, you’ll get many of the answers you need. And other questions about their licensing and safety procedures will come up organically while you have your conversation.

“Can I See Your Portfolio?”

tat artist portfolio

Image from Harper’s Bazaar

For a tattoo artist, their artistic skill is the main “draw” for new customers. This is why you should ask if you can flip through the artist’s portfolio.

There are actually several good reasons to do this. First, it lets you quietly verify the quality of the tattoo artist. On top of that, this gives you a chance to make sure the artist’s style matches what you are looking for.

Finally, flipping through the portfolio may be how you find inspiration for your next tattoo!

“What Are Your Policies?”

artist police

Image from Havana Times

When you searched for “tattoo artist near me,” you wanted more than just the closest tattoo artist. You wanted someone who could really bring your artistic vision to life.

This is why you need to ask about any specific policies the artist has. Do they offer any kind of guarantee on the quality of their work? Are they willing to do touch-ups on a tattoo if anything looks faded or unfinished?

You’re basically doing the tattoo version of checking the fine print. Best to do it now before you’re waiting for the ink to dry!

“Any Privacy Screens?”

breast tattoo

Image from Pinterest

First tattoos are usually in modest places on your body. Arms, shoulders—that sort of thing.

However, you may eventually be tempted to get a tattoo on a more intimate part of your body. This is why it’s important to ask if the tattoo artist offers any kind of privacy screen.

Even if you fully trust the artist, you may not want your body on full display to all of the other customers. By checking on the availability of a privacy screen, you’ll be able to decide on whether to get more intimate tattoos.

Final Thoughts

Once you find that “tattoo artist near me,” you now know what questions to ask. But do you know where you can continue to get the latest news and trends about tattoos?

Stay tuned to Tattooing 101, where we bring you everything you’ve ever wanted to know (and more) about the art of tattooing!

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Tattoo Facts

Hurts So Good? The Strange World of Laser Tattoos

guy getting laser tattoo

Image from Imgur

When you think of lasers and tattoos, you probably think about tattoo removal. For most people, the lasers are a way to remove an old tattoo (which is a more expensive alternative to simply having the original tattoo altered).

However, a few brave souls have tried using a laser to give themselves a tattoo. So, is this a new trend that will be sweeping the world? Or just a terrible idea that no one should try?

Keep reading to discover the answer!

How Does It Work?

laser engraver machine

Image from Instructables

Before we dive further into the guide, it’s important to understand how a laser tattoo actually works. It turns out that this process is really straightforward.

To start, a person would need access to a laser engraver. These are the same kinds of machines used to engrave logos on corporate products.

This means you can load tattoos of various sizes and complexity into the computer and then have the machine laser everything onto your flesh. There is no ink involved in this process: it’s all lasers, all the time.

Sound crazy? There are actually some interesting benefits to this approach.

What Are the Benefits?

laser robot tattoo

Image from Instructables

One of the big benefits to some people is this is a complete DIY project. Assuming that you have access to a laser cutter, then you don’t need to hire a tattoo artist: a computer upload and some lasers can help to etch almost any image on your body.

The process is also very quick. If you dread the idea of sitting for a long time and getting a tattoo, it’s easy to see why this would be so attractive.

Finally, there’s a certain novelty factor to the whole process. The best tattoos have great stories behind them, and this makes for a hell of a story!

What Are the Drawbacks?

laser tattoo scar

Image from Instructables

As you might imagine, there are some drawbacks to a laser tattoo. The first is the pain factor: while not everyone can handle tattoo needles, a laser is literally burning your flesh into patterns. This is more painful than the traditional approach, especially if you want solid images.

The smell is also pretty bad. Before the tattoo is complete, you will know what burning human flesh smells like. That alone can be a real deal breaker!

Depending on your skin and engraver settings, your flesh might end up peeling right off. This kind of defeats the purpose of getting a tattoo in the first place.

Finally—and maybe this goes without saying—this is very dangerous. Small mistakes in the settings of the laser cutter can lead to terrible pain and scars.

Laser Tattoo: Our Verdict

laser skull tattoo

Image from Instructables

So, what’s our verdict on the idea of a laser tattoo? It’s complicated.

On one hand, we love the intersection of technology and tattoos. Things like Soundwave tattoos and motion tattoos show how we are still learning to push boundaries when it comes to getting inked.

On the other hand, this is more like mutilation than a tattoo. You go through a lot of pain and danger to end up with a simple tattoo that has no real art or inspiration behind it.

Think of it this way: corporations use these engravers to mark their products. And the last thing you want to do is feel like another corporate cog!

Final Thoughts

Now you’ve learned a bit more about the weird world of laser tattoos. If you want to stay on top of the latest (and sometimes weirdest) tattoo news, be sure to bookmark Tattooing 101 today!

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