Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Learn to Tattoo!

If you have gotten beyond thinking the sole purpose of a pencil is to poke your eye out when running, you have probably wondered what you can do with your artistic talents. The term "starving artist" wasn't just plucked out of the air! What can one do as they hone their skills and express them self artistically to make a living and keep the dream alive? For many artists the answer is to learn to tattoo. Whatever medium you prefer or are accustomed to, tattooing can take you to new levels artistically, financially, and personally!

As tattoos become more and more mainstream, the demand for talented, competent, professional tattoo artists continues to increase. We no longer live in a society that thinks the only people with tattoos are bikers, gang bangers, convicts, drug addicts, prostitutes, and sailors. Customers will now look at portfolios, ask for references, and tour your shop's autoclave room! There is very little room for mediocrity, but a decent (not great) tattoo artist can easily make fifty thousand dollars a year by showing up on time, doing things right the first time, and being consistent. Many of the better tattoo artists make over a hundred thousand dollars a year doing what they love!

Traditionally, tattooing was a vicious, cutthroat business, that was filled with secrecy and hyper-competitive. Everyone wanted to hang on to their own little monopolies and expand their empires. An apprentice might work a year or longer doing janitorial work, laying carpet, working the counter (often for no pay), before ever doing their first tattoo. It wasn't slave labor, it was free labor! Many tattoo artists were afraid to offer an apprenticeship to anyone with any artistic skill because they were afraid of competition. Unfortunately, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Much of the industry hasn't grown up.

The largest employer of tattoo artists in America is a man named Jeff Mauney. Jeff has been tattooing since 1982 and owns or co-owns nine tattoo and piercing shops and still tattoos until the wheels fall off most days. It is what he does and what he loves. Another thing Jeff does very well is teach and teach other to teach. There are many successful tattoo artists today who learned under Jeff's tutelage. Jeff's shops include Ink Link Tattoos, Tattoo Wearhouse, and Piercing Wearhouse.

Offering concise, professional apprenticeships at very reasonable rates has allowed Jeff to share the wealth and expand his business as well as allow many of his apprentices to develop and start their own businesses.

People come into their apprenticeships bringing different skills and abilities to the table. You do not need to be Van Gough to be a good tattoo artist.

If you would like to know more about the tattooing apprenticeships offered in both North Carolina and South Carolina, please visit us at:

We also have piercing apprenticeships available. Check them out at:

Your comments and interest is appreciated! Tell us you saw the web site!