Tattoo Artist Tips & Advice

Looking for tattoo artist advice from working professionals? Our tattoo artist tips and advice are great for newbies hoping to accelerate their growth as well as seasoned professionals looking to learn from their fellow artists.

Tips that Work

The tattoo tips and tricks you’ll find here are from working professionals with years of experience. These industry insiders tell you what actually WORKS so you can start improving your tattoos now.

Save Time and Learn Faster

Real talk: there aren’t that many “shortcuts” in tattooing. But there is lots of trial and error. Learning from more experienced artists lets you know which tattoo tips and techniques work best, and when to use them - so you can stop experimenting and start confidently creating.

Are You an Aspiring Tattoo Artist?

We’ve collected some of our best tattoo artist tips for beginners. Or, you can view our Complete Guide to Becoming a Tattoo Artist.

Looking for More Tattoo Artist Tips and Tricks?

Can A Tattooed Person Donate Blood?

June 9, 2023

It’s a common myth that you can’t give blood after a tattoo, ...

Can A Tattooed Person Donate Blood?

Diabetes and Tattooing: Everything You Need to Know

June 2, 2023

Getting a tattoo isn’t always straightforward, especially for people with conditions that ...

Diabetes and Tattooing: Everything You Need to Know

How Long Does It Take To Get A Tattoo?

May 12, 2023

A common question in the tattoo world, especially with people getting their ...

How Long Does It Take To Get A Tattoo?

Palm Tattoos: Tips, Common Concerns, and Design Ideas

April 12, 2023

Palm tattoos are an always-visible tattoo placement, making it a popular choice ...

Palm Tattoos: Tips, Common Concerns, and Design Ideas

Best Tattoo Design Apps for Artists

March 21, 2023

Design apps give tattoo artists the ability to create designs digitally, saving ...

Best Tattoo Design Apps for Artists

Everything You Need to Know About Blue Tattoo Ink

March 9, 2023

Blue ink is extremely common in tattooing - but is it safe? ...

Everything You Need to Know About Blue Tattoo Ink

Everything You Need to Know About Ear Tattoos

March 9, 2023

The ear has become a popular place to get a tattoo, often ...

Everything You Need to Know About Ear Tattoos

The Hardest Areas to Tattoo on the Body

February 2, 2023

Understanding human anatomy is important to your success as a tattoo artist. ...

The Hardest Areas to Tattoo on the Body

Read This BEFORE Tattooing Your Face and Hands

January 27, 2023

Hand and face tattoos are becoming more common, and you might be ...

Read This BEFORE Tattooing Your Face and Hands

How To Get Over Artist Block Effectively

January 25, 2023

Artist block is a common problem that artists face both when starting ...

How To Get Over Artist Block Effectively

All the Brushes You Need to be Using in Procreate

January 25, 2023

The Procreate app is a great tool when it comes to drawing ...

All the Brushes You Need to be Using in Procreate

Procreate Tutorial: Difference Between Stamps and Drawing

January 20, 2023

Procreate stamps are pre-made design elements that can be a useful tool ...

Procreate Tutorial: Difference Between Stamps and Drawing

Tattoo Blowout or Healing? How to Tell if Your Tattoo is Messed Up

January 10, 2023

Tattoos can look pretty weird while they’re healing. If you have a ...

Tattoo Blowout or Healing? How to Tell if Your Tattoo is Messed Up

Easy Tattoos for Beginners

January 10, 2023

The best way to get comfortable with the feel of working on ...

Easy Tattoos for Beginners

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Our Most Popular Tattoo Artist Tips

how to use tattoo equipment tutorial

This article will break down the basics you need to know before you start tattooing people, how to get safe tattoo equipment, and how to start tattooing for the first time. 


We’ll also give you some beginning advice you can apply right away in every aspect of tattooing - from creating designs to shading techniques to finding clients.

tattoo machine ranking

There are a ton of tattoo machines on the market, and it can be hard to figure out which one will work best for you, especially if it’s your first time buying one.
 
We’ve tried some of the most popular “beginner machines” ourselves and have made a list of our favorite beginner-friendly machines that keep cost, quality, and ease of use in mind.

tattoo session for an alpaca tattoo

Traditional apprenticeships take 1-4 years. Knowing why they’re so different in length can help you choose the right one for you. 


So in this article, we’ll be answering all the tattoo apprenticeship FAQs, including: how long tattoo apprenticeships should last (and what hours apprentices work),what factors affect the length of an apprenticeship, and how to have more control over the length of an apprenticeship.

professional tattoo artist working in a tattoo studio

Social media and TV shows tend to amp up certain parts of what it’s like to work in the tattoo business - and downplay others. That incorrect picture can make it difficult for aspiring tattoo artists to get a good sense of what it’s like before entering into the tattoo industry themselves. 


So, to help you out, I’m going to share my own experience working in several shops over the past decade and tell you what it’s actually like working at a tattoo shop for most tattoo artists - the good, the bad, and the downright disgusting.

tattoo machine broken down into its parts

Tattoo schools are meant to use structured lessons in a classroom setting to teach people to tattoo in just a few months, making tattooing accessible to more aspiring artists who don’t want to go through a traditional tattoo apprenticeship.


But what are tattoo schools really like? What skills can you expect to have when you leave? Can you really become a tattoo artist after going to tattoo school?

tattoo pain chart

Tattoos hurt. But how much they hurt depends on tattoo placement, as well as the individual client and how they prepare for their appointment.

Even if you’re an experienced tattoo artist, you can’t make the tattoo pain-free for your client…but you can monitor your client’s pain and help them out. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to give your client a good estimate of what to expect during their session, and how to communicate with them about their pain.

professional tattoo artist holding a tattoo power supply

A lot of new tattoo artists feel like picking their voltage is a guessing game. However, if you’re running your machine too fast or too slow, you could overwork the skin or leave a faded-looking tattoo.

To help, our tattooing instructor, Brandon, explains how to set the voltage correctly for your style of tattooing.

tattoo ink for professional tattoo artist

The tattoo process is very detailed. However, if you’ve read any step-by-step tattooing techniques articles, you’ve probably found that there’s still a lot missing. That’s because, most of the time, new artists are looking for the broad strokes of tattooing.

But what about those little details that only professionals can fill in for you? This article will help you fill in the gaps that other online resources leave out.

new tattoo heals with blown out lines

Tattoo aftercare is super important. But even if you’re doing it right, things can look wrong, and it can be hard to figure out if your tattoo is just healing, or if there’s a problem with your tattoo, like a blowout.

In this article, we’ll explain what to look for so you can identify whether you have a tattoo blowout, an infection, or if the skin is just healing.

good tattoo artist Procreate brushes

Procreate is an iPad app tattoo artists use to create tattoo designs way faster than they could on paper.

Designing digitally makes it easy to create perfect lines for stencils, present work to clients, and quickly resize designs during an appointment.

To help, we’ll be breaking down the basic settings you need to know as a tattoo artist, including how to: use layers to organize your work, add texture using brushes and create perfect shapes, and adjust photos to make better realism references.

Our Most Popular Tattoo Artist Tips

how to use tattoo equipment tutorial

This article will break down the basics you need to know before you start tattooing people, how to get safe tattoo equipment, and how to start tattooing for the first time. 


We’ll also give you some beginning advice you can apply right away in every aspect of tattooing - from creating designs to shading techniques to finding clients.

tattoo machine ranking

There are a ton of tattoo machines on the market, and it can be hard to figure out which one will work best for you, especially if it’s your first time buying one.

We’ve tried some of the most popular “beginner machines” ourselves and have made a list of our favorite beginner-friendly machines that keep cost, quality, and ease of use in mind.

tattoo session for an alpaca tattoo

Traditional apprenticeships take 1-4 years. Knowing why they’re so different in length can help you choose the right one for you. 


So in this article, we’ll be answering all the tattoo apprenticeship FAQs, including: how long tattoo apprenticeships should last (and what hours apprentices work),what factors affect the length of an apprenticeship, and how to have more control over the length of an apprenticeship.

professional tattoo artist working in a tattoo studio

Social media and TV shows tend to amp up certain parts of what it’s like to work in the tattoo business - and downplay others. That incorrect picture can make it difficult for aspiring tattoo artists to get a good sense of what it’s like before entering into the tattoo industry themselves. 


So, to help you out, I’m going to share my own experience working in several shops over the past decade and tell you what it’s actually like working at a tattoo shop for most tattoo artists - the good, the bad, and the downright disgusting.

tattoo machine broken down into its parts

Tattoo schools are meant to use structured lessons in a classroom setting to teach people to tattoo in just a few months, making tattooing accessible to more aspiring artists who don’t want to go through a traditional tattoo apprenticeship.


But what are tattoo schools really like? What skills can you expect to have when you leave? Can you really become a tattoo artist after going to tattoo school?

tattoo pain chart

Tattoos hurt. But how much they hurt depends on tattoo placement, as well as the individual client and how they prepare for their appointment.

Even if you’re an experienced tattoo artist, you can’t make the tattoo pain-free for your client…but you can monitor your client’s pain and help them out. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to give your client a good estimate of what to expect during their session, and how to communicate with them about their pain.

professional tattoo artist holding a tattoo power supply

A lot of new tattoo artists feel like picking their voltage is a guessing game. However, if you’re running your machine too fast or too slow, you could overwork the skin or leave a faded-looking tattoo.

To help, our tattooing instructor, Brandon, explains how to set the voltage correctly for your style of tattooing.

tattoo ink for professional tattoo artist

The tattoo process is very detailed. However, if you’ve read any step-by-step tattooing techniques articles, you’ve probably found that there’s still a lot missing. That’s because, most of the time, new artists are looking for the broad strokes of tattooing.

But what about those little details that only professionals can fill in for you? This article will help you fill in the gaps that other online resources leave out.

new tattoo heals with blown out lines

Tattoo aftercare is super important. But even if you’re doing it right, things can look wrong, and it can be hard to figure out if your tattoo is just healing, or if there’s a problem with your tattoo, like a blowout.

In this article, we’ll explain what to look for so you can identify whether you have a tattoo blowout, an infection, or if the skin is just healing.

good tattoo artist Procreate brushes

Procreate is an iPad app tattoo artists use to create tattoo designs way faster than they could on paper.

Designing digitally makes it easy to create perfect lines for stencils, present work to clients, and quickly resize designs during an appointment.

To help, we’ll be breaking down the basic settings you need to know as a tattoo artist, including how to: use layers to organize your work, add texture using brushes and create perfect shapes, and adjust photos to make better realism references.

Our Most Popular Tattoo Artist Tips

how to use tattoo equipment tutorial

This article will break down the basics you need to know before you start tattooing people, how to get safe tattoo equipment, and how to start tattooing for the first time. 


We’ll also give you some beginning advice you can apply right away in every aspect of tattooing - from creating designs to shading techniques to finding clients.

tattoo machine ranking

There are a ton of tattoo machines on the market, and it can be hard to figure out which one will work best for you, especially if it’s your first time buying one.

We’ve tried some of the most popular “beginner machines” ourselves and have made a list of our favorite beginner-friendly machines that keep cost, quality, and ease of use in mind.

tattoo session for an alpaca tattoo

Traditional apprenticeships take 1-4 years. Knowing why they’re so different in length can help you choose the right one for you. 


So in this article, we’ll be answering all the tattoo apprenticeship FAQs, including: how long tattoo apprenticeships should last (and what hours apprentices work),what factors affect the length of an apprenticeship, and how to have more control over the length of an apprenticeship.

professional tattoo artist working in a tattoo studio

Social media and TV shows tend to amp up certain parts of what it’s like to work in the tattoo business - and downplay others. That incorrect picture can make it difficult for aspiring tattoo artists to get a good sense of what it’s like before entering into the tattoo industry themselves. 


So, to help you out, I’m going to share my own experience working in several shops over the past decade and tell you what it’s actually like working at a tattoo shop for most tattoo artists - the good, the bad, and the downright disgusting.

tattoo machine broken down into its parts

Tattoo schools are meant to use structured lessons in a classroom setting to teach people to tattoo in just a few months, making tattooing accessible to more aspiring artists who don’t want to go through a traditional tattoo apprenticeship.


But what are tattoo schools really like? What skills can you expect to have when you leave? Can you really become a tattoo artist after going to tattoo school?

tattoo pain chart

Tattoos hurt. But how much they hurt depends on tattoo placement, as well as the individual client and how they prepare for their appointment.

Even if you’re an experienced tattoo artist, you can’t make the tattoo pain-free for your client…but you can monitor your client’s pain and help them out. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to give your client a good estimate of what to expect during their session, and how to communicate with them about their pain.

professional tattoo artist holding a tattoo power supply

A lot of new tattoo artists feel like picking their voltage is a guessing game. However, if you’re running your machine too fast or too slow, you could overwork the skin or leave a faded-looking tattoo.

To help, our tattooing instructor, Brandon, explains how to set the voltage correctly for your style of tattooing.

tattoo ink for professional tattoo artist

The tattoo process is very detailed. However, if you’ve read any step-by-step tattooing techniques articles, you’ve probably found that there’s still a lot missing. That’s because, most of the time, new artists are looking for the broad strokes of tattooing.

But what about those little details that only professionals can fill in for you? This article will help you fill in the gaps that other online resources leave out.

new tattoo heals with blown out lines

Tattoo aftercare is super important. But even if you’re doing it right, things can look wrong, and it can be hard to figure out if your tattoo is just healing, or if there’s a problem with your tattoo, like a blowout.

In this article, we’ll explain what to look for so you can identify whether you have a tattoo blowout, an infection, or if the skin is just healing.

good tattoo artist Procreate brushes

Procreate is an iPad app tattoo artists use to create tattoo designs way faster than they could on paper.

Designing digitally makes it easy to create perfect lines for stencils, present work to clients, and quickly resize designs during an appointment.

To help, we’ll be breaking down the basic settings you need to know as a tattoo artist, including how to: use layers to organize your work, add texture using brushes and create perfect shapes, and adjust photos to make better realism references.

Join the Tattooing 101 Community

The Tattooing 101 Community is about bringing artists together, no matter where they are in their tattooing journey. Our encouraging online community supports emerging artists with advice, inspiration, and personalized feedback.

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AUTHOR
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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