Posted by T from IP: 188.8.131.52 on 12/06/12
My only thought is that you may be getting the both of you in way over your heads. There will by thousands of questions along the way that neither of you will be able to answer. The only way to really learn is to work along side skilled tattooists. Otherwise you are looking to at least several years full of failures. Learning by trial and error will be a very long process, most secrets of the trade he will never learn until he leaves your shop in search of someone who can help him. Not to mention all the people who will end up with horrible tattoos that may scar them for life. Is it a moral venture you are embarking on in an attempt to help this boy? It will likely lend up being anything but.
It may as well be impossible to get an apprenticship in your area, or there may not even be a suitable mentor around if you are in a rural area this may well be the case. The only real way in is through hard work and overcoming many hurdles. He should be training in art, drawing every day, and setting out with a portfolio of his artistic feats to show every shop that will look, even if they are 100 miles or more away. I'm not trying to discourage him from trying, but it is not easy, I am a successful tattooist that learned the hard way, I've been tattooing over 13 years and have only been able to pull in a consistent decent living for the past 3. Just something to help put it into perspective.