Tattooing Course Overview | Sneak Peek Inside the Artist Accelerator Program

Tattoo courses are still considered a “new” way to learn in the tattoo industry. 

Taking an online course through a tattoo school makes more sense for many aspiring artists who can’t take the time off to do a full-time tattoo apprenticeship or want to learn at their own pace.

However, it can be difficult to figure out what exactly you’ll be getting from a beginners course - and whether it’ll be enough to help you become a professional tattoo artist

To help, this article will give you a sneak peek inside our flagship program, the Artist Accelerator, and everything it teaches so you can see if online learning is right for you.

In this article, we’re breaking down:

  • What lessons you get in the Artist Accelerator Program
  • How students practice tattooing from home
  • How students get feedback on their work from professional tattoo artists

The Artist Accelerator Program’s Tattooing Course

tattoo artist working
tattoo artist painting

Tattooing 101 Students

The reason our students are able to work full-time in tattoo shops is because the Artist Accelerator not only teaches them how to tattoo, but also how to thrive in the tattoo world. 

Inside, you’ll find lessons on how a tattoo shop works, tattoo design, how to work with clients, and even how to start your own tattoo business.

Since the Artist Accelerator is modeled after a 3-year traditional tattoo apprenticeship, the course is broken down into three “Years.” However, you can complete each “year” in a matter of weeks, depending on your time and availability.

Mindset, Sanitation, and Shop Knowledge

beginners tattoo history
instructor explaining sanitation basics
person holding tattoo ink
instructor explaining how to open a tattoo business

Screenshots from “Year One” of Tattooing 101’s Artist Accelerator Program

In traditional apprenticeships, most of your first year is learning how to clean the shop and help it run properly. That is why “Year One” is dedicated to lessons on:

  • Tattoo history
  • Mindset and how to schedule your tattoo practice
  • Sanitation and how to get your bloodborne pathogens certification
  • The different types of shops and studios and how to travel as a tattoo artist
  • How to close and open a tattoo shop
  • How to organize equipment and materials
  • How to make and apply a stencil to skin
  • Different ways you can set up your tattoo equipment and station
  • How to position clients to make the tattoo process easier

Drawing, Painting, and Equipment

tattoo school drawing lesson
tattoo school painting lesson
realistic tattoo techniques
instructor showing tattooing tools

Screenshots from “Year Two” of Tattooing 101’s Artist Accelerator Program  

When an apprentice is in the second year of their apprenticeship, you’ll find them constantly drawing, painting flash, and having basic techniques explained to them by their mentor. 

Year two is also when most mentors allow their apprentices to pick up a tattoo machine for the first time.

Because of this, “Year Two” of the Artist Accelerator Program is dedicated to learning how to:

  • Improve your drawing skills
  • Draw tattoo designs
  • Design your own script
  • Draw and paint flash
  • Understand color theory and ink
  • Use Procreate and Photoshop to digitally create tattoo designs
  • How to choose and order needles from a manufacturer to skin 
  • How to work with cartridges and different set ups (disposable, stainless steel, etc.)
  • How to set up your machine (both coil and rotary)

Lining, Shading, and Getting Into a Shop

Screenshots from “Year Three” of Tattooing 101’s Artist Accelerator Program

As an apprentice gets to the end of their apprenticeship, they’ve learned how to line, shade, and pack color so that they can perform solid tattoos for every client. Some mentors will allow their apprentices to practice their new tattoo techniques on fruit or fake skin first before doing their first tattoo on human skin on themselves.

The apprentice will then be allowed to tattoo friends in the shop, and they will start tattooing clients (usually small tattoos at a discounted “apprentice” price). At this point, they’ll be ready to start putting together a professional portfolio of their work.

In the same way, “Year Three” of the Artist Accelerator covers:

  • Lining
  • Multiple shading techniques and using gray washDesign your own script
  • How to pack color
  • How to work with fake skin
  • Tattooing yourself
  • Tattooing a friend
  • Aftercare and how to identify common problems with healing
  • How to get into a shop by building a portfolio and targeting local shops

Additional Training

Masterclasses and Advanced Technique Training

online tattooing videos library

Screenshots from Tattooing 101’s Advanced Lining and Japanese Catfish Masterclass

Most of the time, a tattoo apprentice will be able to walk around the shop and check out the work of other artists. This is a great way to learn new techniques and figure out what tattoo styles they are interested in learning more about.

This is why the Artist Accelerator has bonus masterclasses from a variety of artists so you can get a look at advanced skills.

Walk-In Challenges

In most street shops, more experienced artists will hand off walk-ins or tattoos they don’t want to do to the apprentice. Being able to handle whatever is thrown at you is how apprentices build their skills.

To get the same experience, the Artist Accelerator has a module dedicated to “walk-ins,” where you will create a tattoo according to what your “customer” wants.

30-Day Flash Challenge

In a traditional apprenticeship, an aspiring artist will learn what they can about tattoo design before approaching a tattoo shop. They’ll put together a portfolio of their best tattoo art and show it to a potential mentor.

If you’re learning online, you’re skipping that step. However, it’s still important to get that background in the art of tattooing and to take a look at different styles of tattoos. 

This is why the Artist Accelerator comes with the 30-Day Flash Challenge for free. Each day, you’ll create a piece that will teach you about a different style of tattooing or a different medium to help expand your skills and build a portfolio of designs. 

Interviews with Professional Tattoo Artists

While apprentices do get to learn from the artists in their shop, it’s rare that they are able to travel to learn from masters all over the world. This is why the Artist Accelerator has a section devoted to talking to established artists worldwide about tattooing and building their skills. 

There are also interviews with artists from other mediums, as well as business professionals so you can get advice on how to set up your own tattoo business in the future.

How Students Practice from Home

rose tattoo practice
rose drawing

You should not practice tattooing real people in your home. Instead, Artist Accelerator students practice on fake skin until they have the opportunity to find or create a sterile environment. Additionally, within the program, students take quizzes and have homework and challenges to help keep them on track and improve their skills.

How Students Get Feedback and Ask Questions

In the past, the main drawback of trying to learn at home or become a “self-taught” artist is that there was no way to request feedback from professional tattoo artists. However, without the knowledge of what you’re doing wrong, it takes much longer to fix mistakes and start tattooing professionally faster.

This is why the Artist Accelerator comes with access to the Tattooing 101 Mastermind community. This is where our professional tattoo artists give students feedback and answer questions, as well as where students encourage one another, share knowledge, and document their learning experience.

Ready to Start Tattooing With the Artist Accelerator Program?

student work from the Artist Accelerator tattoo artist training programs

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 lifetime 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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