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How to become a Body Artist/Tattooist

body artist/tattooist careers

What does a Body Artist/Tattooist do?

Body artists/tattooists work in studios or parlours and produce designs of words and pictures onto the bodies of customers.

The chosen design is first drawn or placed onto the customer’s skin, using either a freehand design or a transfer. The body artist/tattooist then follows the lines with an electrically operated needle, which injects ink under the skin. They use different shapes and numbers of needles for different jobs.

Tattooists/body artists have to keep up to date with the latest fashions. They provide advice to clients as to what may, or may not be suitable. Tattooing is permanent and designs must be exactly what the customer wants.

Great care must be exercised to ensure that no infection or injury occurs as contaminated tattooing equipment can spread disease. The premises used, and the tattooists themselves, must be registered by the local environmental health department.

What's the working environment like working as a Body Artist/Tattooist?

Studios are usually commercial premises, sometimes forming part of a beauty salon offering other similar services such as body piercing. Body artists/tattooists work a five or six-day week, always including Saturdays.

Studio hours are usually 9am to 5pm, but as concentration and attention to detail is required, work may be scheduled in short spells throughout the day.

What does it take to become a Body Artist/Tattooist?

To be a body artist/tattooist you need to:

  • have a flair for design and a good appreciation of detail
  • have good hand-eye co-ordination and a steady hand
  • have high standards of cleanliness and be constantly aware of the need for hygiene
  • have a knowledge of health and safety
  • be a good communicator.

Body Artist/Tattooist Career Opportunities

The demand for tattooing has increased over the past fifteen years. Opportunities exist in tattoo studios in towns and cities in the UK.

Self-employment is also possible.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Body Artist/Tattooist that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT)
3rd Floor
Upper Market St
SO53 4DR
Tel: 023 8068 4500

The Tattoo Club of Great Britain
389 Cowley Road
Tel: 01865 716877