Getting to Know the Tools of a Tattoo Artist


How to become a tattoo apprentice

Anyone aspiring to become a tattoo apprentice needs a certain set of skills in order to secure a spot in tattoo apprenticeship programs. They must be artistic, hard working, dedicated and willing to put in many long, hard hours of training and extra work. Once a person does earn a place as an apprentice, they will need their very own tattoo kit. Tattoo apprentice kits contain all the essential tools that are required to learn how to tattoo. Tools are an essential part of the tattooing process, and learning how they work is an important step in the apprenticeship process. Basic tattoo apprentice kits contain:

  1. Tattoo Machine – A tattoo machine is a device that allows a tattoo artist to create a tattoo on a person. While modern tattoo machines are quite a bit different today, these tools have been around for a long time. Archeologists have even found tools that were likely used for tattooing in France, Portugal and Scandinavia over 12,000 years ago. Modern tattoo machines contain electromagnetic coils that control the movement of the needles over the skin. It also gives the tattoo artist control over how much ink is expelled.
  2. Power Supply – Since tattoo machines are electromagnetic, they need a power supply in order to work. Specially made power supplies are typically included in tattoo apprentice kits. They can be designed to increase or decrease voltage, and they can also be designed for hands-free control.
  3. Tattoo Needles – Tattoo needles are what actually expel the ink into the skin. A group of needles is typically used together for a certain purpose, whether it be lining or shading. Rounds and flats are the two basic categories of tattoo needles. Rounds are usually used for lining, while flats are usually used for shading.

  4. Tattoo Inks – Ink is what makes the tattoo. Tattoo ink is made up of pigment powders and a carrier, which is a solvent for the ink. Pigments are made from chemicals and metal oxides, although mixes can vary among different manufacturers. Tattoo ink comes either pre-mixed or unmixed. If a tattoo artist prefers to mix their own ink, they can by it unmixed.

These are some basic tools that one might find in tattoo apprentice kits. Tattoo tools are an essential part of tattooing, and every apprentice needs to become familiar with them throughout the course of their apprenticeship.

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