The industry is booming these days, and becoming a competent tattooer is easier than ever - don't listen to those selfish and miserable people who already tattoo - you can draw! Drawing on skin is just like paper, but a little softer. So filled with self-belief, here we go:
1 - Get a tattoo gun. I mean, sure, later you'll insist it's a machine, maybe, but right now tat guns are the things what you need right? Right. If you can't get one at the Chinese flea market, just order online. Don't waste your money on proper equipment, besides, those asshole suppliers will give you the third degree. Best to save that money, you'll need it to spray paint a sweet sweet logo on your studio wall some day.
Don't forget to get some ink (this time I don't mean ink as in get tattooed, weird how that word is also a noun), yeah yeah, the fake stuff is lead based but it goes in bright as fuck. Except on those clients whose skin just doesn't take ink, dunno what's up with that, goes all patchy and shit, but hey, sucks to be them!
2 - Ink up some sick tats on your buddies. Post that shit on your facebook! The world can't wait to see how great you are. You'll probably have to wash your bedding twice this month, this ink shit splatters yo. But all good, at least you're wearing gloves lol.
3 - Your free-tat buddies and your mom all say you're doing great, so guess what time it is? Studio time! And it's not a L'oreal advert. Yeah you need to start rocking a sweet space - once you have your own studio those asshole tattoo suppliers will defs start supplying you. Rad. Grab some cheap rattle cans from the hardware and blast the fuck out of your Sick Tats by Billy-Bob logo. You don't need to ever work with other artists - you'll nail this hygiene / art thing just fine on your own. Fuck growth.
4 - Next up is some social networking. It's time to write a bio about how you custom trace other tattooists' designs, and rock some sick custom google flash in your shop. Also a good idea to say something cool about how badass you can draw. I know you don't really have any tattoos to post, but it's considered fair etiquette to bang up some killer ink from talented international guys on your page. Just be sure to say thanks when people comment. When you do post your own work it's nice to let people know how much radder it will be when it's healed. Not everyone knows that tattoos heal up sweet even when they look jacked. Educate your fans.
5 - The next one's tough. Don't get depressed! Look, I'm not insinuating you have a vagina bro, but it's gonna get annoying when reputable shops' appies are throwing down sicker ink than you, right? Even if your greywash looks like it was gently brushed in by a cheese grater, and your lines are doing the methhead midlands meander, you'll get better son. Love yourself. Love your tats. Tell everyone how sick your tats are, cos trust me, there's another blind idiot born every second.
6 - Well fuck everyone else, your clients seem happy, although none of them seem to sit for more than one session. Now that you've been open a couple of months and really refined your talent, it's time to take on some cheap labour, and pass on that skillset to someone deserving. Fuck, maybe if you're a good teacher, you could even open a tattoo school.
I could go on all day, but you're already just fucking awesome buddy - stay tuned for part 2, the serious take..