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A tattoo artist must possess a unique combination of talents. Of course he or she must be artistically talented with the ability and an interest in drawing. A good sense of color and style sets great tattoo artists apart. Since tattoo artists work with skin, they must have a good manner and enjoy working with people. Precision and attention to detail is vital for success in the tattoo industry. The best way to find a good tattoo artist, is to find a good tattoo and ask who created it. If a tattoo is several years old and it still looks great, then you know it’s been applied by a professional tattoo artist. If you are thinking of becoming a tattoo artist, you should probably start by getting a tattoo or two. Watch carefully as the tattoo artist works. Ask questions. Most tattoo artists are more than happy to tell you about their experiences, show you their portfolios and offer some advice. Just be sure you don’t take them away from paying customers.
Tattooing is an ancient art that began thousands of years ago. The Polynesian word “ta” means to strike something. The Tahitian word “tatau” means to mark something. Those words led to the modern “tattoo.” Tattoos are found in ancient Egypt, Japan, China, New Zealand, Indonesia, Africa, India, Greece and Rome.
Tattoos have historically been symbols of gender, class and culture. They have served as amulets, status symbols, declarations of love, signs of religious beliefs, adornments and even forms of punishment. A “tufuga” or tattoo artist in Samoa was a position of honor that was passed from father to son. Martin Hildebrandt is considered to have been the first professional tattoo artist in the United States. His tattoo shop was opened in New York City in the 1840s. An artist named Samuel O’Reilly invented an electric tattoo machine in 1891, changing the way tattoos were applied.
Tattoo artists work with flash, which is pre-drawn stock imaged that are traced right onto the skin. They also create original designs. A tattoo artist’s portfolio is his or her entry into the best jobs and wages. The most popular tattoo designs include Cartoon characters, butterflies, skulls, tribal signs, serpents, crosses and birds. Tattoos can be simple or elaborate, one or many colors.
Tattooartists.org is a an online community for tattoo artists. There you will find a forum to post questions, links about tattoo art, and sample designs as well as a marketplace.