Escaping a Bad Apprenticeship to Becoming an Award-Winning, Booked-Out Tattoo Artist | Justin Underwood’s Success Story

When Justin landed a tattoo apprenticeship and found out that his mentor wasn’t interested in actually teaching him anything, he left and decided to take control of his own tattoo education with online training.

Getting Stuck in an Abusive Tattoo Apprenticeship

When Justin first started his tattooing journey, he thought that an in-shop apprenticeship was the only way. He went to different shops and had multiple professional tattoo artists tell him that his drawing style wasn’t right for tattooing. 

When someone decided to take a chance on him, Justing felt like he finally caught his big break. But his apprenticeship wasn't what he hoped for. Instead of learning how to tattoo, he was stuck doing chores, like taking out the trash and grabbing coffee. He wanted real training, not just random tasks. But when Justin asked about it, his mentor threatened his life. Justin left the shop having wasted months of his time with little tattooing experience to show for it.

Building a New Foundation

Justin knew he needed to take his tattoo education into his own hands, but he didn't want to jump straight into tattooing without understanding the ins and outs of the process first. That’s when he found Tattooing 101. The knowledge of the tattoo industry and tattoo design principles gave him the confidence to truly start his journey as a tattoo artist.

Getting Hired on the Spot

After Justin finished the Artist Accelerator Program, he went job hunting. 

He expected to have to go to several shops just to get his foot in the door, but the very first studio he interviewed at hired him on the spot. 

After four months of working professionally, he went on to win an award at a local tattoo convention, which gave him another boost to his confidence in his ability to make it as a professional tattooer.

Opening His Own Studio

With a firm foundation in the industry, Justin partnered with another like-minded artist to lay the foundation for their very own tattoo studio.

Today, he's in such high demand that he had to stop taking new bookings, and he can now be more picky with which tattoos he takes on so that every tattoo he does is something he’s passionate about.

Hear Justin’s Story

Check out Justin Underwood’s art here:

Begin Your Journey as a Tattoo Artist With the Artist Accelerator Program

Having a career in tattooing is not only fulfilling, but it’s also the most stable way to make a living as an artist. However, for decades, the process to become a tattoo artist has been notoriously difficult. 

The apprenticeship process requires aspiring tattoo artists to work 50-60 hours a week without pay for 2-4 years. That, combined with the toxic culture of abusing apprentices, makes getting into the industry almost impossible for newcomers. 

That’s why we created the Artist Accelerator Program. Our online course provides a simple, structured way of learning to tattoo that has been proven to work by over 2500 successful students, with many of them having gone on to open their own shops all around the world. 

Inside the program, we’ll take you through every step of the tattooing process in 9 clear, easy-to-follow modules and support you along the way within the Tattooing 101 Mastermind online community.

In the Mastermind group, you’ll collaborate with other students, get answers to your questions, and receive personalized video feedback on your artwork and tattoos from professional tattoo artists. With this friendly community of both new and experienced tattoo artists, you’ll never be stuck again. 

When you join the Artist Accelerator Program, you’ll have instant access to the full course and the Mastermind community, as well as our 30-Day Flash Challenge and recorded interviews with tattoo artists from all over the world. 

Click here to learn more about the Artist Accelerator Program.

Looking for a tattoo apprenticeship?

Tattooing 101's Artist Accelerator 90 day program is the closest thing to a real apprenticeship

  • 500 video modules
  • Professional tattoo artist coaches
  • Private mastermind community
Nathan Molenaar

Nathan is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 8 years’ experience working at studios across the globe, including Celebrity Ink, the world's largest tattoo studio chain.

When he's not tattooing, he spends his free time sharing his experience and knowledge with aspiring artists who dream of pursuing a career in the tattooing industry.

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