The art of tattooing is one of the most rewarding and difficult of artistic fields. The numbers have it- There are 21,000 tattoo studios in the U.S. alone and 14% of Americans have some form of tattoo overall. Tattoos are becoming more common, both as form of art and a means to set oneself apart from others. First it takes months of training at an apprentice tattoo artist school where the basics are taught- needle safety, respecting the customer’s ideas, keeping an open and creative mind. Of course, the most important part of any tattoo art school is learning the physical skill of working on the living skin as a canvas. Embedded within the education, past the pure motor skill, is a dedication to teaching the ideals of the apprentice tattoo artist, soon to be solo master. These ideals are numerous but they can be split into three main categories, each with its own distinct importance, the first being-
No matter what type of apprentice artist tattoo school it is, the students will be taught how to endorse and appreciate expression. While creativity is fundamental and fundamentally picky, the artist must take care never to express personal dissatisfaction with what the client has chosen. Their skin, their rules. While there are some cogent ethical concerns that can cancel this rule out, see hate symbols or crude/rude language or images, the vast majority of time the artist should remain respectful and mute on the mode of expression the client has chosen. This can require a mind rent open like a canyon, a skill quite difficult to acquire but the effort is often worth it. After all, it is all a part of –
This is a bit of a more complicated issue as artistry can mean a lot of different things to different people. When a client requests a tattoo, most of them will be willing to compromise in terms of design and artist skill. Many of them will be willing to see small to moderate embellishments in what they’ve requested. That’s part of the artistry, the notion of taking an idea and adding to while still remaining respectful of the original intention. Any apprentice tattoo artist school worth its value as an educational institution will take some time to teach the artist about how to respect their own artistry and the creative demands of the client. That balance is what separates good artists from great artists. It is, in some senses, the skill that defines what a master tattoo artist truly is. The easy part of the problem is that many clients will be perfectly happy with sticking to exactly what they want. There’s nothing wrong with that and, in most cases, that’s the safe route. But making every piece exactly what the client wants and a small statement on behalf of the artist, that’s difficult. That’s the mark of a professional. That idea is a direct subset of the final ideal which is
This ideal is a bit harder to understand because it branches out into subsections. Commemoration can mean a couple different things. It can mean to honor an idea, a practice that dovetails well with expression. An apprentice tattoo artist school should do its best to commemorate a clients idea by bringing the idea to life on the skin. Commemoration can also mean working on a commission that is literally meant to memorialize an event or a person. These can be some of the trickiest pieces to pull of correctly because they are typically so meaningful to the client. These types of tattoos are special and need to be done with utmost dignity and respect to the clients wishes. All commissioned works should be held to that standard (and an apprentice tattoo artist school ought to teach their artists to hold themselves to that standard) but these type of tattoos are perfect opportunity to really push the skill of the artist. A commemorative tattoo can be the perfect way to combine all three of these tattooing ideals into one amazing work.