TattooNOW - Tattoos, Tattoo Designs, Tattoo Flash, and more
Offices @ Off the Map
Email (413) 585-9134 Why are you here?

TattooNOWtv Youtube Channel
subscribe, like, and comment!

Join our mailing list
Get the news hot off the press!
Enter Email:
For Email Newsletters you can trust

TattooNOW News

8/19/14

Have you heard about the World Wide Tattoo Conference?
The World Wide Tattoo Conference was developed by read more

TattooNOW Network News

8/19/14

more tattoo news


TattooNOW Discussion Board


Starting a tattoo business

Posted by tori on 08/18/05
Ontario

My boyfriend and I are wanting to start a piercing and tattoo shop. We will also be selling airbrush artwork. My boyfriend is an amazing artist but lacks the tattoo skills. We are looking for a tattoo artist to work in the shop who also can help train my b/f. We are located in the Kingston area. Please e-mail if interested nick_vick@hotmail.com



Reply to This Topic  
Create New Topic Message Board Main Page
Replies:

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by kuleighpaulsmith on 08/18/05
Texas

Not to be rude, but you have no business opening a tattoo shop if you don't have any experience. What could you possibly know about running a shop? Who are you going to hire? You won't make any money, because no talented artist would give you a pecentage of what they take in, especially if theyr'e teaching you a trade. Apprenticeship length differs from person to person, but you won't be ready to put needle to flesh for some time. I would recommend building a STRONG art portfolio and then try to find someone who is willing to teach you. It would probably help to get some work from an artist you admire. Get to know him/her. Then express your interrest. You will probably find them more open to your inquiries.Then when/if you develop some skill and get some shop time under your belt, then you could look into opening a shop. All we need now is another "tattooer" trying to get in and profit while its hot without paying any dues.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Caribou on 08/18/05
Quebec

People who focus on why things can't work are bound to accomplish nothing great...Here's the helpful response to your question:

The idea could be a sound approach if it was executed properly.
A tattoo studio is, among other things, a business. Just like you may have the skills to run a business but not (yet ) have the skills to tattoo, there may be a talented tattoo artist or two out there that does not have the skills, interest, or even the cash to start or own his/her own shop. I guess the hardest part will be to make the offer sweet enough to attract the "partner" that would fit well with you in the venture.

If you are hoping to get something as valuable as an apprenticeship, you'll have to realize that you are going to have to offer something substantial in return. Instead of looking for a tattoo artist to "work in the shop" you'd be much more likely to find a pro if you look instead for a "partner". It's good that you'll be selling airbrush artwork, because that's probably where most of your money will be coming from to pay the bills... and piercing...if you are properly trained for that...you didn't mention.

Maybe this is what you had in mind anyway, but I would suggest that you set up the business so that the tattoo artist is fully in charge of the tattoo side of the venture. Treat him/her like the gift from the tattoo gods that he/she is. In exchange for providing a space for him to ply his/her trade, You could negotiate an apprenticeship for your boyfriend as well as perhaps a small percentage to cover overhead, but keep in mind that the apprenticeship has enormous value and will skew the percentages. There is no way in this scenerio that the tattoo artist should pay anywhere near as much as you for the overhead.

Apprenticeship is the proper way no doubt. If you are creative enough to put together a package that will convince a talented artist to barter you an apprenticeship then you are on the right track. Props to you for respecting the profession enough to try to find a way in without scratching!

If you are truly offering an opportunity to an existing talented tattoo artist, and willing to apprentice, then you are making a contribution to the industry. Proudly tell the narrow minded to kiss your a**!

Good Luck.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by kuleighpaulsmith on 08/18/05
Texas

Why would you tell someone who doesn't know how to tattoo to open a shop? What's wrong with putting in a few years at a reputable shop? Why jump straight to owner? I find it a bit scary to see so many beginners who are so cavalier about putting needle to skin...have some respect for your clients. They are not guinea pigs.
Also, there are many facets to owning a tattoo shop that are unique to tattooing. Simply having the "skills to run a business" may not be enough. And an artist who relies on his girlfriend to do all of his footwork for him is sure to accomplish nothing great himself. Besides, I see nothing in the original post that suggests that he is not scratching out tattoos from his kitchen allready.
I'm not saying that It can't be done, I'm saying it probably shouldn't be done. There are enough half-assed shops out there...why not just put in your time at an established shop first? THEN you can contribute to the industry in a conscientious way.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by caribou on 08/18/05
Quebec

kuleighpaulsmith,

Your response leads me to think that you didn't understand/read what I posted...I agree with your fundamental beliefs, but not with your criticisms.
the answers to your critiques are all in my posting if you look closely.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by kuleighpaulsmith on 08/18/05
Texas

One more thing, you should check out ( I hate to mention another site here, but what can I do?) tattoo.com. Go to the artist wanted listings...I'm not sure where your'e at in Ontario, but there are about 4-5 listing for shops looking for artists in Ontario. This might help.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by gabe on 08/18/05

Feel free to send people to other useful tattoo websites. I certianly love folks being loyal to TattooNOW, but would never want anyone to feel guilty about sending people to other good places with useful info. Im all about communicating in an open way (though I dont like to tolerate drama and bs). Hell, if I let people recommend tribal and kanji on here certianly I would let you post high profile classified links... heh).

As a non-tattoo artist working day and night and on vacation for the tattoo industry, I do get a little sick of all the non-tattoo artist industry worker/studio owner bashing. I certianly understand the forces at work with the scratchers and knuclke head non-tattoo artist studio owners, and the horribleness that happens when people who dont care for the industry and art own businesses, but in my travels I have met plenty of tattoo artist studio owners who also dont "deserve" to own business either. In almost every other art industry there is a large need for the businessy folks, because often with artistic talent comes a *lack* of business acumen. that, and the business end is a lot of work, and most artists would rather concentrate on art than business if given the oppertunity. Tattooing is unique because the close "loop" between client and artist is so small its much easier for artists to run their own business. You tattoo, client happy, they bring back a friend and get another. Its not rocket science, and even many folks with bad business skills(but great art ones) can still make it despite themselves. That said, there *are* things non-tattoo artist people can bring of quality to the tattoo industry. It may be harder because tattooing is so unique, but its not impossible.

That said, I believe that tattooing is completely different than any other art/industry, and I dont believe everyone *should* tattoo or open a studio, due to the fact that tattooing is perment art on peoples bodies, and we all need to respect the art and not take it too lightly. Before opening a tattoo business, one really need to understand tattooing as both and art and a business. That takes a lot of time and learning. But hell, If I can put myself into the shoes of a tattoo artist and I had the option of working for a junkie tattoo artist who didnt give a shit about anyone or a non-tattoo artist who loved the art and business and knew how to take care of artists and clients in a professional manner, then the choice is pretty clear.

In any event, I agree, if you are not a tattoo artist and are looking to own a studio and become an apprentice at the same time, then you better have some good shit to back you up in your quest. But, as Mr. Capobianco said on this very board, everytime someone closes a door on you, you better work that much harder to open another. Its our job to bat you down so only the best can break through. If you whine and complain instead of getting better and more valuable, its your own fault. If you dont get better, you dont deserve it. And everytime you quit, someone else makes it.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by kuleighpaulsmith on 08/18/05
Texas

I like your viewpoint Gabe. I think it's a no brainer to choose almost anyone over a junkie. Just seems like opening a shop before you ever do a tattoo is really making it hard on yourself...and it's hard enough as it is!
Thanks for the great tattoo forum gabe. I enjoy it.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by gabe on 08/18/05

Right, the junkie senerio is a no-brainer and maybe too easy. It just amazes me how many people bash the scumbag non-tattoo artist owners but not the scumbag tattoo artist owners. bottom line, if anyone is into an *art business* just for the *business8 part, they are barking up the wrong tree.

Opening a studio before ever doing tattoos DOES seem like a bad idea. The best way to open a studio is to build your clientel as respected tattoo artist first(takes years!), THEN open your studio (so you already have your client base in place and enough good artist friends to come work with you, finding good personable quality artists is the hard part!). If you are going to do it backwards, you better have a lot of other things in place to overcome the lack of industry experiance (and you CAN argue that no amount of business savy/luck/other factors can overcome the lack of any industry experiace easily).

Your welcome for the forum, I wish I had more time to answer every question, thanks a ton for helping out!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by you dont need to know from IP: 142.22.16.55 on 01/31/06
kelowna,b.c.,canada

As an apprentice, i highly reccomend that you not start a buisness without any type of tattoo experience. You have to have respect for your clients and not just put needle to skin without knowing how.
Put a portfolio together with a lot of your art and go to different shops and have artists take a look at them. Hang out in the shop you choose, get to know the artist, and eventually you might start doing shop clean and such. A lot of artists are going to turn you down, you can't get an apprenticeship the first time you ask. So be dedicted, keep trying, and get up on the tattoo skills. It is going to take some time.

Good Luck.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by key from IP: 12.223.194.34 on 04/04/06
Sullivan,IN

Hey I say more power to you. Iam in the planning stage of a simular kind of idea.Iam tired of hearing,you gotta pay your dues,etc etc. and the real artist wont hardly teach anyone.So, Iam scratching on me and my wifey, some friends.I hope to be doing fair to good work by next year.Then its hitting the fan.I want to like you get a good tattoo artist and he can keep every dime he makes.Because my real money maker is opening a tattoo school. Thats right, 3 courses that last 8 weeks.The only catch is my students sign contracts not to open a shop or work in a shop within 100 miles.and I get first pick of hiring them.I have the prices,the place,and all.All I need is time.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Caribou from IP: 207.183.52.119 on 04/04/06
Schefferville Quebec

Wow, sounds exactly like my idea except for the scratching and total disrespect and disregard of the profession, congratulations! (good grief!)


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by matchstick1300@insightbb.com from IP: 12.223.194.34 on 04/04/06
Sullivan,IN

You know I tried the "Respect "route...spent alot of cash getting ink done, getting to know the artist,and no one around my area wants a 46 yr old apprentist.So do I give up because I cant go the "Respect" route,hell no.I find another route and try to learn it myself using what I have learn getting my ink done,books and the internet. I still admire the artist that gave me my ink.Its just that they dont want any apprentist.I also believe there are many others like me that want to learn "the right way" but for some reason or another they cant. Thats where the school idea came from. It will be a school by day and shop by night.It may give a kid that is a good artist a way to learn a trade and make a good living instead of hanging out watching the world go by.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by gabe from IP: 71.161.142.38 on 04/04/06

holy moses, that sounds horrible.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Krystof from IP: 71.192.231.137 on 04/04/06
Off the Map, Easthampton MA

Thats a coincidence because I've had a few run-ins with the law in my younger more wreckless days, and I got pretty well acquainted with a few lawyers for various things, not to mention that I watch Law & Order on TV alot, and I think by next year I can open up a law school at night, but keep it a law firm by day. That should work, right? The lawyers at my firm will keep 100% cuz the students will pay all the bills, I can churn out degrees in 6 months time. I figure a month for personal injury, a month for divorce, a month for real estate law, a month for wills and estates, a month for defense, and a month covering insurance representation. Then a big 10 question quiz at the end, and of course, graduation ceremonies to cap it off. That's gonna be fun!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Caribou from IP: 207.183.52.39 on 04/04/06
Schefferville Quebec

So you spent alot of cash getting ink done...Know what? You got tattoos for your cash, so that part of the transaction was complete...What extra did you bring to the table to obtain the apprenticeship? As for no one wanting a 46 yr old "apprentist", I find it more believable that a shop would base their decision on how full of drama and attitude VS level headed and respectful any given candidate is regardless of age or the kind of music they might like. Not saying you are one or the other, just couldn't imagine wanting to apprentice for someone basing the decision on such an arbitrary variable as age alone. The choice is not between the "Respect" route and all others as you seem to be saying, there is more than one way to break into the industry and maintain respect and concern for the industry as a whole . In the words of a Canadian Hero, "just watch me."


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by johncianfarani@cox.net from IP: 70.188.191.228 on 04/04/06
Granby,CT

The hell with tattooing. I wanna be a lawyer now. Whens the first Class Krystoff? Looking on ebay for brief cases as we speak. How many pairs of briefs do you think Ill need to start?


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by johncianfarani@cox.net from IP: 70.188.191.228 on 04/04/06
Granby,CT

Gabe......With your involvement in tattooing,,,,TattooNow site with the biggest assembly of the most talented artists ever gathered under one roof. Why group yourself with leeser non tattooing shop owners? I think your right is a given at this point.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by gabe from IP: 141.154.190.200 on 04/04/06

Cause well, I am not a tattoo artist and I have that in common with other non-tattoo artist owners(though there are many obvious differences I have with that set of peers). The thing that sets us apart from other non-tattoo artist owned shops, as well as other artist owned shops, is the the true love we have for the art of tattooing AND the art of running an ethical business.

It is funny re-reading older posts (though those arent *that* old). It will be fun having a few drinks and re-reading all these old forums posts in 10 years. heh.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Ducky from IP: 151.196.44.191 on 04/04/06
Maryland

I just want to know how this guy is gonna run a tattoo school if he doesn't even know how to tattoo yet. I mean, if he's not even learning everything...how will he teach anyone else?


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by johncianfarani@cox.net from IP: 70.188.191.228 on 04/04/06
Granby,CT

HIS post was just something to laugh at.lol It was no different than Krytoffs lawyer school post. Sad thing is, is that he probably hasnt a clue of it.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by WHO CARES WHO I AM from IP: 70.248.208.78 on 04/05/06
oklahoma

I had that same brilliant idea about 1 1/2 year ago. I bought my super dooper kit and I was goin to learn one way or another.
I did start scratching/hacking away at friends and family.
Somehow by the grace of the tattoo gods I've gotten pretty decent.
Before you start saying this guys a scratcher, realize this.
Tonight a shop owner walked into my gas station job and I started a conversation about a piece I'm doing on myself (not really my best work, but it's decent) and within 5 minutes I may have gotten an apprenticeship.Goin to meet with him tomorrow.
Most will never get good via trial and error, nor will they be able to break into the tattoo business trying to go it alone.
If you are a good artist I wish you the best of luck in your business venture and I hope to see your shop do very well. Keep trying and don't forget that respect for tattooing and those who came before you will help far more than any amount of self motivation.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by TAz from IP: 207.192.207.158 on 04/05/06
midwest

Hey Crack baby!! Wassup?

Man I am sooo excited for you!! I will say a prayer that all works out for you and hope that you will soon be in a shop doin what you were meant to do.....SKIN ART!!!

And if it doesnt work out you just keep on keepin on...you'll get there my friend. I'VE PUMPED GAS! flipped burgers, mowed lawns and even cleaned septic tanks as a young un and I'd do it all again...it was worth it in SPADES!!!

Drop me an e-mail and tell me how it goes...I got my fingers crossed for ya!!!........RESPECT!!!......TAz


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by kmesiano@yahoo.com from IP: 24.233.142.131 on 04/05/06

I just recently moved to daytona beach and got a job at a new shop here owned by a non-tattooist.

I have always been of the opinon that only tattoo artists should own shops ,but this guy seems to be running the shop very well , always asking the experienced artists like myself for advice and listening to suggestions to better the shop.

It can be done well ....it is a business, not a secret club.......just try to do it with respect to the industry ...


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by kmesiano@yahoo.com from IP: 24.233.142.131 on 04/05/06

P.S.
there is a secret club ...but you can't join


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by kmesiano@yahoo.com from IP: 24.233.142.131 on 04/05/06

P.S.
there is a secret club ...but you can't join


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by TAz from IP: 207.192.207.158 on 04/05/06
midwest

Join Hell! I founded it!!! TEE HEE!..T


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by spinner91180 from IP: 70.100.23.159 on 04/16/06
minnesota

you know what if your bf is a very good artist tell him to go and buy all off the best suplies he can get and i dont mean some machine off ebay that cost 74 dollars a good machine for like 200 hundred or even more a good place to start is hulk and spaulding plenty more places to go but thats a good start if he is as good as you say he is at drawing then he will pick it up quickly and doesnt need a tattoo aprentice ship hell what do you think artist did bf there were apprenticeships ( i didnt have an apprentice ship and it didnt hurt me there are alot of very professional artist out there even fetured in tattoo magizines hell if you watch miami ink on tlc they all started as they were kids mostly and then got better and now look ther are the shit )(an apprentice ship is just for some one to make money off of you un less you have no artistic or business knowledge then yes the apprentice ship will help but get for real having an apprentice ship doesnt make a good artist the individualmakes them self a great artist)follow all your state and local laws first rule is buy the auto clave first if you cannot afford that then dont buy anything that should be the first purchase you make then you should get a contract with a bio hazard company and also get a contact with a company that does spore testing and test your autoclave weekly)he should practice tattooing himself then a friend who wont mind if he screws up because even an apprentice makes mistakes but the key is knowing how to fix them i would recommend hulk spaldings tattooing a to z that is a great ice breaker and then there are also how to tattoo videos these are about 1 to 2 hundred dollars if your bf knows someone else who wants to learn then thaey can work on each other if they mess up then later on they can go back and fix the problem but he should do severl on himself first and buy all of the information he can theres alot to learn but practice first then once he is decent he can charge another friend like 40 dollars for a tattoo then things will start happing from there if you dont have people comming to you from the underground then chances are you wont have anyone come to your shop word of month is the best thing in this world if your good people will want to get a hold of you if they see your work and its crap then they will never call there is alot of information out there but its at a cost


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Caribou from IP: 206.123.36.54 on 04/16/06
Schefferville Quebec

>>"having an apprentice ship doesnt make a good artist the individualmakes them self a great artist"<<

Med school doesn't make someone a good doctor either...but you still have to go to get the skills...true, whether you become great is up to the individual...that was about the only useful nugget in that turd of a post...!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by gabe from IP: 71.161.142.38 on 04/16/06

Yeah, tattooing by trial and error is a great idea... ack.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by TAz from IP: 207.192.207.158 on 04/16/06
mental institution

And its HUCK spaulding dude!!...Hell you can't even get the name right...and that book is so old it is almost totally obsolete! The equipment sold by that firm is very low quality as well...your ignorance of this field is glaringly obvious!

Your post shows a distinct lack of any knowledge about the art of tattooing....Where is your art? We would like to see some!

I f you don't know what you are talking about ( recommending a 40 year odl how to book and low quality equipment) sometimes its better not to say anything at all

God where do thes people come from?


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Ducky from IP: 71.241.246.142 on 04/17/06
The Pond

That was, without a doubt, the longest run on sentence i have EVER seen!

(had to say it, i'm an english freak)


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by TAz from IP: 207.192.197.135 on 04/17/06
Tazs' Home for Wayward Girls

Hey Duck ...Whattup?...Nice Easter


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Callous from IP: 209.165.189.18 on 04/22/06
Tenino Washington USA

Just a question?
What is everyones take on the Fake Skin as far as texture and taking ink?


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Ducky from IP: 151.196.5.179 on 04/22/06
The Pond

Hey Taz, very nice easter...busy, hectic, but nice. And yours? (sorry it took so long to respond, lol. internet is out at home so i just kinda skim through while i'm ignoring my teachers at school)

-Ducky


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by TAz from IP: 207.192.207.158 on 04/22/06
mental institution

Hey duck...no prob ...see ya!!...TAz


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by TAz from IP: 207.192.207.158 on 04/23/06
mental institution

HEY CALLOUS!...Go to inkit.com and check out my friend Paleo Johns work on the fake skin...you will be amazed....TAz


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by TAz from IP: 207.192.207.158 on 04/23/06
mental institution

Sorry Callous...thats...www.inkitt.com...TAz


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by hornsfan719 from IP: 69.8.21.191 on 05/17/06
Oklahoma

I am so tired of hearing people discourage entrepeneurs from starting a tattoo business because they don't tattoo or "haven't paid their dues!" Most tattoo establishments fail because of a lack of business savvy, not a lack of talented artists. I know several reputable tattoo artists who would kill to work in an establishment owned by someone who knows the ins and ots of owning a business. If someone claims to love the art and has any desire to increase the popularity and longevity of this art form, they should embrace the idea of talented business men and talented artist combining their talents. By the way, the artist doesn't always pay a percentage, it isn't uncommon for artist to rent booth space in a well established tattoo shop. So if you are one of the ones discouraging these people from following their dreams: SHUT UP!!!!!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by gabe from IP: 68.114.84.42 on 05/17/06

The strongest entrepreneurs are those who have a love and passion for both business AND the industry they choose to work in. The fact is, and we've said it before, the business of selling quality tattoos is pretty short, so non-tattoo artists have to work extra hard to actually bring something to the table to attract talented artists. I dont know about you, but I have found that good studios are always looking for truly talented tattoo artists and often have to search for a loooong time to find the right guy. The fact is of all the tattoo artists out there and i wish the ratio of good artists to bad was much better.

Good luck to all the entrepreneurs out there who think getting into the tattoo business without knowing every nook and cranny is easy. Fact is tattooing probably doesnt need you unless you are really smart work really hard to learn about the hows and whys and most importantly the benefits of tattooing.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by J.ekobouski M.D. from IP: 64.12.116.66 on 05/18/06
PA

I'm looking to open up a hospital.I'm not a Doctor but looking for doctors and some nurses to start the biz with.I figure this is easier than going to Med school for so long.That would be such a drag.
I already know some first aid and CPR.So,I'm already off to a good start.If interested hit me up.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Koi from IP: 155.150.165.7 on 06/16/06
Corpus Christi, TX, USA

Let me start by saying Im one of those non-artists that will be trying to open a shop as soon as all my ducks are in order. Yes, I know I cant draw for $%#+. But that does not discourage me from doing my part in an art that I have come to LOVE. I have been getting tattooed and pierced for years. Conventions, and shows have always made it's way in my life. I understand how you artist can be touchy about me putting my time and dues. But I have put my dues, time, money and education in. And soon, all will come in to play to have a nice, safe, and clean studio that my friends and piers can sale an art that we have came to love. Its is priority to understand my customers and artists needs. I assure you artist that your art will not be undermined. I will make every aspect of the art AND buisness a priority. Keep bashing (fuel for me) I'll show you.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Sir J-Werk, Knight of Search Engines from IP: 168.166.22.15 on 06/16/06
CIA Headquarters

Koi, I think that you have us misunderstood. The people that we have a major problem with are those that post on this forum admitting that they know nothing of the industry, wanting to know the best way to make a profit, claiming that they know what the industry needs to be successful, and start showing off their shilver spoon like it's show and tell time. And when they don't get the responses that they want to hear they get butt hurt and then start throwing down deuces. If you have done your homework, your research, etc, and honestly give your two shits then by all means go for it and best of luck to you! Back up what you said and don't let us down, that's all I'm sayin'.....J


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by taz@paintedangel.com from IP: 207.192.199.146 on 06/16/06
painted angel

I don't remember BASHING anyone...if anything it was a cautionary education for someone who asked a question...I gave what I thought was an honest answer....

Good luck with that shop man!!...Let us know how things go!!...TAz


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Koi from IP: 155.150.165.7 on 06/16/06
Corpus Christi, TX, USA

Thanks guys. To be honest that means a hella. I really want my shop to have other owners and artists respect when the time comes. So, those words are gold. Thanks again.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Kandyman Joe from IP: 69.66.197.50 on 06/17/06

Attention Mr. Spun. Please return to the mother ship. Your transitional apprentice ship awaits. Free Nike's and and jonestown brand coolaid available for your refreshment upon departure to the comet. In your seatback, you will find travel disaster information and a complimentary copy of the best selling "Tattooing A to P" as written by Bruce Banner.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by dumbass business owner from IP: 69.91.26.73 on 06/19/06
San Antonio,Tx USA

My brother is a very talented artist and I have been considering sponsering him by establishing a business partnership with him as one of the artist. I would be the finanical backing and I was wondering if there are any good videos (previously mentioned) or fake skin suppliers to help us get started. We have been doing extensive research and we are very interested in ensuring we take all nessecarry steps and using the utmost procautions with or clientel. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by dumbass business owner from IP: 69.91.26.73 on 06/19/06
San Antonio,Tx USA

My brother is a very talented artist and I have been considering sponsering him by establishing a business partnership with him as one of the artist. I would be the finanical backing and I was wondering if there are any good videos (previously mentioned) or fake skin suppliers to help us get started. We have been doing extensive research and we are very interested in ensuring we take all nessecarry steps and using the utmost procautions with or clientel. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by taz@paintedangel.com from IP: 207.192.207.158 on 06/19/06
Painted Angel Studios

NO!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by taz@paintedangel.com from IP: 207.192.207.158 on 06/19/06
Painted Angel Studios

Just Kiddin!....The best thing for ya to do is go to the main forum page...click on "read before posting"...click on "apprenticeship 101" by my pal J Rod....read that then scroll down to other threads that deal with opening a shop...I cannot recommend any "how to videos" or online "classes"...they exist but I cannot recommend them...TAz


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by jolly rogered from IP: 211.28.8.74 on 07/10/06

jeeeeeez... one thing i realised readin all this... there are 2 sides to this whole debate and the 2 may never meet.
side 1 is the people for whatever reason cant /dont want to crack into the tattooing "industry" (for want of a better word) the "hard way, by getting their hands dirty and working nights to pay rent and being a yes man for years...this side doesnt see the point of view of the second side...
side 2 are the tattoo artists who've worked hard to get where they are.. by paying these dues, putting up with shit, doing apprenticeships... cleaning toilets. this side cant remember what it was like before all this started.
i think anyone faced with this choice is gunna prefer the easier route of opening a shop and then learning. if i had the money i probably woulda... but im glad i didnt... and this cant be understood by side 1 untill theyve been through this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

i like the analigies though so heres a few more:
i like fake boobs but i aint going to open a plastic surgery clinic and give it a red hot shot... i'll get better as i go.
i like pizza but ive never made it and i wanna open a pizza shop and make millions.... whats flour?... where to the metal fillings go?


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Tori from IP: 67.71.8.52 on 08/22/06

Wow I hadn't checked this forum since I posted my original message, guess it started a debate. Well, we've both me and partner done things the hard way in the past...but that is because we had no $$. Now that we've had small busn's and made more money..there is no way I'm going back to being poor just so my b/f can figure out how to tatoo. Someone who is about to buy a McDonalds franchise does NOT go back to working as a part time employee to learn how to run a McDonalds...more than likely they've never worked in fast food. I was hoping to open a shop and have others working in it, b/f doing airbrush while hiring a full time tatoo artist. Anyways, we have made other plans and are going a completely different route for a business now.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Princess jer from IP: 71.158.209.66 on 08/23/06
Wichita KS.

I think that the chick had a good idea for the most part , she didnt' say her boyfriend would be tattooing on anyone coming to their business expecting a licensed professional to do their work. Seems he would be doing his own daily grind with the airbrushing and whatnot then fitting in an apprenticeship under whomever it was they were get to work for them or with them or whatever. It's not as if we've actually read her business plan or proposal to the artists.

And I have to agree a good tattooist is most definately not a good business owner by any means.

As far as a school ? shit idk seems shifty to me. I don't think it would necessarily be a horrible idea in every aspect. After all there are schools for every other industry I can think of. But even an electrician straight out of what 4 years of schooling isn't allowed to touch hot wires? I'm not sure on that sorry lol. But I know as an apprenticing electrician in the union, you don't even hook up a wire for like two years. So I agree that time earning your stripes actually IN any industry is the best way , but some additional schooling could never hurt. Nothing wrong with expanding your education at any age.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Ariel from IP: 216.97.181.51 on 08/25/06

Ok, here's the solution to everyone's problem. My husband is a well respected artist in our area. That's his thing, not mine. He is very good at what he does. However, I am also very good at what I do. I have a Bachelors of Science degree with an undergrad in Accounting. So here's the thing, you artists need to marry someone with a degree in Business and you degree holders, marry an artist. That way the tattoo business is run by a reputable artist (no scratchers) and someone with business sense. Our business works great and is extremely profitable. (LMAO. Now ya'll have fun with that one).


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by taz@paintedangel.com from IP: 207.192.207.158 on 08/25/06
Painted Angel Studios

What a novel approach!!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by an-ar-chy from IP: 68.1.136.99 on 10/12/06
G.A

well i got to the part about the tattooing equiement then my ADHD kicked in so heres what ill put my to cents in , I like national swingate , mickey sharps,and pulse tattooing machines its what i prefer. so yea n shit


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by an-ar-chy@hotmail.com from IP: 68.1.136.99 on 10/12/06
G.A

i went and looked for the answer for opening a tattoo shop


OPENING A TATTOO SHOP

Everyday we get a request for information on how to open a tattoo shop. Many artists just finished their apprenticeship and are having trouble finding work so they wish to open their own tattoo shop. Most information you will need will come from your local health department. Each state, county, and city has different rules and regulations. It is your job to find out what the law is in your local area.

First you will have to find a place for a tattooing business that meets zoning regulations (if there are any in your area). Checking with your chamber of commerce may be helpful. The next step is making the shop compliant with health regulations (shop license, artist license). This might include special sinks that can be operated by foot. It also might include limits on space for tattooing stations. The law might require that the health department make an inspection before opening up for business.

After locating a business space and making it health department compliant you will then need to set up for the business (making money) end. I suggest that a shop accept credit cards. A cash only business has a difficult time competing with other area shops. You will need a cash register, shop furniture, flash (and maybe flash racks), thermo fax machine, copier, and several other items that will make your shop look and feel more professional. Shop furniture includes chairs for the waiting area, counters, cabinets, and all the furniture associated with the tattooing station.

This sounds fairly basic but more than one person rented a space only to find out they had nothing for customers to sit on while waiting. Some things that make a shop seam more inviting are plants and music (like the doctors’ office).

Starting a tattoo shop costs money. A good estimate for staring off from ground up would be between 10,000 and 20,000 dollars. This would be what I call and “over night” estimate. This would of course be buying new equipment at the most available retail outlets to start business as soon as possible. A different approach can save some start up cash. If you give yourself 6 months to a year to purchase shop items you will be able to shop around. For example: Check your local news paper for sales and auctions. There is always a sale on office furniture and most regions have a used or obsolete freight store where counters, sinks, and cabinets (along with paint) can be purchased at a considerable discount.

THERE Ya go


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by InkedInDallas from IP: 70.129.150.133 on 12/05/06
Dallas, TX

I love this blog - you've got a mix of intelligent artists dedicated to preserving the industry, a sharp blog facilitator, and a buttload of morons who shouldn't be allowed access to the internet let alone information on starting a tattoo studio. To all the posters who "can't draw", "can't operate a business", and definately CAN'T F'ING SPELL I say to you - I can drive a car with my feet, doesn't make it a good idea. I'm thinking the broad calling herself "princess" needs to perhaps get her "schooling" from the dirtleg who wants to open up a tattoo school. Match made in soon-to-have-legal-problems heaven!

By the way - I'm a non-artist opening a studio in the near future - totally different model than the standard studio. It's gonna work boys, it's gonna work. Why? Because I love the art, the industry, and won't taint the art-side with the business-side. I can honestly say I'm not in it to make a buck (though I won't turn one down if it comes) - I'm in it to preserve the industry as all of you artists are and to progess the science and art. Can I get a 'good luck"?!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by tim@paintedangel.com from IP: 24.121.203.95 on 12/05/06

Best of luck to ya bud!!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Jessie from IP: 69.201.202.98 on 12/22/06
New York

i like how everyone can share their viewpoints. I've been working in a shop for 2 years now and the owner originally started out not knowing the first thing about tattooing other then he liked to get them, i've been apprectining for about a year and a half, and half my knowledge has come from him. He now knows how to tattoo amazingly one of the better artists i have seen. it was defiently a struggle for him at first hard to have a successful business when artist dont have enough respect for you, but he pulled through and kept on his wishes to have a successful business and thats what he has. So you can do it, just dont give up!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by mattrosebud@yahoo.com from IP: 70.162.90.190 on 01/21/07
Tempe, Az

Im not sure everyone ison the same page here. If you are starting as a tattoo artist, the obviously you shouldnot start your own shop and learn as you go. But what is wrong with being the owner, supplying a clean shop in a good location with a good atmosphere? Even if you have never held a tattoo gun, but you hire amazing artists that pay 40 percent of what they charge per tattoo in exchange for advertising and a good clean shop to work in? You would then have a good shop with good artists, they would have little overhead, just the percent they pay the shop and their supplies, and the owner would have no tattooing responsibility, they would just be involved with keeping the shop running smoothly, paying bills, advertising and so on? Sure they may be making a profit, but also they would be helping the industry.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by gabe from IP: 71.123.110.159 on 01/21/07
OffTheMapTattoo.com / TattooNOW

I am a non-tattoo artist that owns a custom tattoo studio, so I can address these issues from my first hand experience.

Obviously I would say there is nothing wrong with owning a clean positive tattoo studio with very talented artists. Said owner need to have a through love and talent for business and have considerable time working inside the tattoo industry learning about this complex art. Your making some assumptions that are easy to say, but reality is a much harsher judge.

"Even if you have never held a tattoo gun, but you hire amazing artists that pay 40 percent of what they charge per tattoo in exchange for advertising and a good clean shop to work in?"

Why would they give you anything? there are positive studios that advertise now... While you may not have to be a tattoo artist, you certainly have to REALLY know the industry. Any business owner will obviously benefit from being very knowledgeable about both business AND the market they are in. Tattooing, more so, because it is a unique art where the canvas is a living human being who will wear said art to their grave. Many many many traditional business "rules" very much dont cross well into the tattoo world. the waters are very unforgiving in the world of tattoo, it rewards educated purposeful patient suffering. Making mistakes is very easy, and fixing them very difficult. If you boil it all down, tattooing is all about doing it amazing and perfect the first time. Learn learn learn and dont do it until your sure you can do it perfect (or damn close). Simply put, if you go around asking american artists to pack up their guns and come work for you for 40% any professional will laugh because they already know you cant help them get something someone else cant already get them (if their not doing it now). It takes a lot of hustle to attract good artists. Then you have to keep em!

"You would then have a good shop with good artists, they would have little overhead, just the percent they pay the shop and their supplies, and the owner would have no tattooing responsibility, they would just be involved with keeping the shop running smoothly, paying bills, advertising and so on? Sure they may be making a profit, but also they would be helping the industry."

Welp, I dont want be too public with private information, but I can tell you right now while the markup may be high, it does take years for a tattoo studio to turn a real profit. My studio has been open for a year and I dont get paid for my time there, though, in 2 more years Ill have paid off half what I rounded up to open the studio(Thanks for buying websites and membership folks!!!!). There are few people who can attract talented artists and afford to keep up the attention to detail and endurance long enough to start making money. They usually turn to other things, piercing, merchandise, retail, etc. I feel this distracts from the serious nature of tattooing, and dont think we will ever stray too far from that no matter how tempting the dough. I didn't open a studio until pretty much it was insanely stupid not to. One of the hardest things to find is a excellent smart level headed tattoo artist who is truly talented, and after working on TattooNOW for so long and learning from some of the best I had many artists who wanted to work at a studio II created. In any event, talented artists have plenty of opportunities to choose from and you really need to bring something to the table to get em. And if you get em you have to keep em, its a very transient business. Talented tattoo artists can travel and build a cliental pretty much anywhere, and many travel state to state.

Blah, I guess my short answer is nothings wrong with it if the motivation is to truly cater to talented artists and serious cliental and you have the smarts and endurance to do it the right way(because marking peoples skin is a serious responsibility, not all fun and games). But if your doing it to make a buck then you probably wont be able to gather what it really takes, nature has its way of balancing itself.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by saten from IP: 71.90.233.56 on 01/22/07
hell

It's all about the numbers.
fuck any one else, may saten be with you in your endevers


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by saten from IP: 71.90.233.56 on 01/22/07
hell

and fuck all you pricks. [no pun intended.] that can not think out side the box, meaning bring a god damn original tattoo shop into this corperat; yes CORpeRAT world that you ALL have created.
fuck you
fuck you
fuck you
tickle me little brain with something new
smack my face with something fresh
FOR GOD SAKES
all i ask for is a bigger dong to fuck me with.
or at least let me watch as my creative life wash'es down the drain,
I and I think the world is with me on this,I beg you all, yes you, you fuck, open that little skull of yours and FOLLOW YOUR DREAM!! even if its not tattoos or what have you, just get off your ass, quit talking about it and do what you need to do.
Yes you
YOU
GO
BE GONE, and may the force be with you.
hail staen.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by tim@paintedangel.com from IP: 24.121.203.95 on 01/22/07

Can YOU spell "psychosis"?

I thought ya could!

Hail Woody Allen!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by satan from IP: 71.90.233.56 on 01/23/07
hell

Man o man
What a drunk fuck i am
If i remember last night the PBR truck parked in my livingroom that night, I dont appologize for all the miss spellings or my rant, but i am sorry that my point got lost in a buzz of liqur and fun.
Hail satan.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by tim@paintedangel.com from IP: 24.121.203.95 on 01/23/07

AWWW...its cool man...we've all been there...wanna try again?

Hail Elvis Costello!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by ~Josey~ from IP: 70.156.29.215 on 01/24/07
Fishing on a dock

Gabe, You should be nicer to the guest.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by gabe@tattoonow.com from IP: 71.123.110.159 on 01/24/07
OffTheMapTattoo.com / TattooNOW

josey, I wasnt nice? I was expecting some words from ya... this is our bone of contention, isnt it?


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by ~Josey~ from IP: 72.154.205.89 on 01/24/07
My Happy Place

LOL Pardon my sarcasm about not being nice.
Gabe, I think our discussion ended with both opinions politely posted, As the discussion I had with another poster about whether you have to be a artist to tattoo. Both topics are here for all to read, To keep reposting the same comments over & over would be as if we were arguing, Which would be childish & immature.

I do observe the rights for anyone to pursue what makes them happy, That goes for newbie’s trying to cheat their into this industry. See the right to do what makes one happy applies to everyone not just for a few who make friends in high places.

If there was a way to make people respect this industry believe me I would, Truth is I can’t. So the only other option is to allow anyone willing to work at getting good no matter how they achieve it under the law, without anyone else looking down the nose at the road they took to get here.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by taz@paintedangel.com from IP: 24.121.203.95 on 01/24/07

Josey...the key phrase in your last post, last paragraph I think was "under the law"....What about all the assholes who operate from their homes that pay no attention to the laws?...The same laws that we as professionals must abide by or we get put out of business...what makes these arrogant bastards exempt from the laws? The people doing "tattoo parties" without merit of license or inspection...the people who pass out disease like they were passing out candy....taxes?...surely they pay taxes don't they?...yeah right!!

I am all for anyone with dedication learning however they choose to learn as long as THEY DO LEARN and don't just buy equipment and start poking holes!

Now I agree with the "purchased stardom" you talk about...we have one of those shops here....one of their last ads made a big deal about them tattooing at a convention that was "by invitation only" alluding that they were special in some way because they were "invited" to this convention...well hell that particular convention accepts anyone with the booth fee!!....but hey its a free country and they are licensed and pay taxes so I either compete with their Cable TV and print ads or I go under....simple as that!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by ~Josey~ from IP: 70.146.155.169 on 01/24/07
Somewhere over the rainbow......

In my state it is unlawful to tattoo without a license or to tattoo from un-inspected work areas.
Any one operating within the laws of our land is in acceptable standards……If a state of the union does not have the laws to protect the public, Our occasional morals will not help the situation.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by gabe@tattoonow.com from IP: 71.123.110.159 on 01/25/07
OffTheMapTattoo.com / TattooNOW

Josey, sounds good, just wondering if your thought evolved any...

While newbies have the right to enter any industry they want, I do think that we have a responsibility to do our best to make sure people do it the right way. Its true, you dont need to be friends with amazing artists to own a studio and not tattoo, but you must agree that said non-artist has to bring something pretty valuable to the table... chances are if you are uneducated and own a studio you are going to make mistakes that will hinder your business while making mistakes on the publics skin... that is, I guess I dont think people necessarily have a right to cheat their way in. In the end they do and its their own karma they have to pay off, but cheating is cheating and nature takes care of cheaters...

You cant make people respect the industry, but you can and probably do influence people to do so everyday. As you know, people who respect tattooing and learn the right way have a lot less coverups walking around the world telling people who did that crappy tattoo.

Im assuming were talking about studios that are safe and sterile, theres obviously no room for cheat there whatsoever.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by taz@paintedangel.com from IP: 24.121.203.95 on 01/25/07

This has all been said before but....Hell no you don't need to be an artist to own and operate a successful tattoo studio...for example look at Gabe Ripley...he owns Off The Map Tattoo...he is NOT an artist and doesn't claim to be...but look at the work that comes out of his shop....who could complain?...And I have never heard anyone who has worked for him complain either...

On the flip side of that coin their are non artists out there who open studios just to make money...they are everywhere...I am talking about the people who don't give a shit what the art looks like that comes out of their shops as long as the money is rolling in!

Then we have the artists owned shops that also have the same money grubbing attitude...just because you are a good tattoo artist does NOT mean that you are capable of running a successful tattoo studio...there is a little (lot) more to it than buying some equipment getting licensed and putting the open sign out.

Its 6 of one and a half dozen of the other.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by ~Josey~ from IP: 72.154.214.63 on 01/25/07
Land of the unforgiven

>LOL< evolved or changed ?
If we have the responsibility of making sure people follow the right way, Then it is our responsibility to give away any information to improve the quality of the weakest wannabe tattooist.
Yes the non-tattoo studio owner should bring good, fair, safe business practices to the table. As I don’t comprehend any more value than that. Unless they are paying for college art classes for the artist in the studio. ( Which I have done myself )

Oh without a doubt you get out what you put in, I personally think you can only cheat your way so far then that’s it. But no matter your skill level or if you had money and opened a studio hired an artist and apprenticed under your own studio this is legal under our laws.
Does that make it the right way ?
Depends on who you ask, People can make mistakes in business & skin yet be within the laws. I have no problem with law abiding citizens although I do have an opinion on such things.

I’m assuming all studios licensed & inspected are safe…….


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by taz@paintedangel.com from IP: 24.121.203.95 on 01/25/07

I find this phrase "the right way" somewhat misleading unless used only within the bounds of practicing clean and safe tattooing ...I don't believe there is a right or wrong way to learn how to tattoo aside from the safety proceedures...just too many variables

I think the only thing we "owe" anyone as far as sharing knowledge is sharing knowledge that pertains to safety no content.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by blackcat12 from IP: 12.206.250.99 on 01/30/07
chicago-ish, il, usa

I say GO FOR IT! My husband and Iare actually looking into doing the same thing and neither of us tattoo. He is a fire fighter and a truck driver, I have an art background but have only picked up a tattoo gun once and let me tell you-my x boyfrend will testify...it wasnt pretty. Now I dont know your background, personally I have the business background to start almost any business so I have faith that given the right artist to work with us, we can make this go.

Think about these things:

Location is a big thing
Insurance is going to kick your a**
Find out license and laws-alot of places require that the owner be a licensed tattoo artist
Be serious about things when you look at the money aspect-you have to be able to make it work or you are only screwing yourselves and the artists that come to work for you.

Be honest with yourself about whether you really love the industry and want to be a part of it and leave a healthy positive mark on it, or you just think it would be "SUPER COOL" to own a tattoo studio.

Here is a thought that seems to be working for us (we jsut started the process) Offer that whatever established artist comes to work for you has a say in how the shop is set up-what kind of equipment you have, what type of tables, decorating, what type of autoclave, what kind of inks you order, what type of flash you have on the walls, etc. Give the person who has the experience the ability to set up the shop the way THEY would like their own shop to be set up. I know it kind of sucks to think of opening your own place and not having the say in this stuff, but the benefit of having a happy and talented artist standing beside you ready to roll when you open your doors is far more important than how many fairies you have on the walls or what color you paint the shop.

Good luck to you!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by ~Josey~ from IP: 68.19.217.210 on 01/30/07
In Yer Head

Not to Insult, But the above post is a perfect example of the decay of this industry.
You have these people who are willing to give an artist a say about every aspect of the business they are to create. Why ? Because without the artist they have no business, So its safe to say they would pay wages unfair to the local studio’s. No artist owner would pay 90 % to the crew, its unfair to the studio and unfair to the local studio’s who more than likely worked for the business they built rather than bought like it was a commodity.
I truly also believe if these business people find themselves pressured by the over head and was without an quality artist, Anyone with an interest in tattooing would be allowed to practice the business from bankruptcy.

[quote]
Be honest with yourself about whether you really love the industry and want to be a part of it and leave a healthy positive mark on it


I have to ask what healthy positive mark could a non tattoo owner make, That they couldn’t have made without owning a Tattoo Studio ?

Respectfully Josey


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by donniedarko from IP: 84.11.98.129 on 02/02/07
Fayetteville NC

ok heres my story....

I half way agree with the assesment that tattooers should not open studios. however, I am in the midst of opening one and I am not yet a tattooer.

Explination: Rather than go aprintice in a shop I decided to hire my teacher, or partner with them. I would front the funds needed for a new shop, and in turn we would split the buiness 50/50 and I would begin my appriniceship.

All was good, I have an excelent location, 1500 sq feet. Renovations are underway, i.e sinks, ceramic tiles and hardwood flooring, paint etc.

Problem: Partner / teacher pulled out, last minute, like yesterday! I have money sunk in this thing and Experienced Tattooer or not this studio will open.

I am currently seeking to fill that spot. I need a partner who will share in the business and be my teacher and together we will be partners.

I offer the following.

Relocation assisntance.
3 months rent up to 950 USD per month max!
30% of the business for the fist year
40 for 2nd
and 50% after 3 years.

Must have:

10 years+ experience
extensive tattoo studio and business knowledge.
Tattooing equipment
Be drug free, by that I mean hard core addictions!

Background on myself:
in 2004 after leaving the Army I came "back" to Iraq to work as a Private Contractor.

Started Tattooing when I was 14, and built my first machine at 16......off jaill house plans of course, quit when I was 18 to join the army, vowing to return to the art when able and learn it right.

Motivated and finaced to get this done.

Must relocate to Fayetteville NC.

www.jrparatrooper@yahoo.com


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by ~Josey~ from IP: 68.19.247.143 on 02/02/07
High-horse and I'm saddle sore

[qoute]
vowing to return to the art when able and learn it right.



AHAHAHAHAHA !!!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by taz@paintedangel.com from IP: 69.148.167.193 on 02/02/07

Just be VERY careful who you pick as your "partner"...get everything in writing and notarized!!!

Good luck...you will need a LOT of it


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by paul2000@email.com from IP: 72.252.15.245 on 02/03/07

Just a quick question?

If you are not a tattoo artist, or don't know much (anything) about this art, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO KNOW WHAT IS A GOOD TATTOO-ARTIST THAT KNOWS HIS STUFF, FROM SOMEONE WHO CLAIMS HE KNOWS HIS STUFF. ????

Even experience don't mean jack, guy in holland has been tattooing for 35 years, and still can't make a straight line.
The customer don't know this, they expect anyone calling themselves a tattoo-artist to be able to tattoo!!
Have respect for this ancient art!!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by donnydarko from IP: 84.11.98.129 on 02/03/07
Fayetteville NC

Note: my post may have been missleading, making it seem that I am walking into this Blind.............that being said........


So your saying, that only a tattooer can possibly know what good tattoo art is? you are soooooooooo wrong!

I have been into/around, involoved with tattooing for a long time, can I pick up a machine and bang out the mona lisa? no.............but I do know a thing or two, about a thing or two. Do I know it all? no, and Im betting you dont either.

Buisness is buisness, and yes I do know about the tattoo business............NEWS FLASH.....its not that dificult a buiseness, if you find it so dificult, maybee you should have paid attnetion more in school!

You can wax poetic all day about ART, but at the end of the day its about a combination of the two.....good art meshed with solid buisness................if your only into the art aspect........good for you, keep handing 40-50% of you work to someone else.

I have the money to apprinice in my own shop that I own, finding someone is not just taking the first guy to say....".I can do it!" I didnt get my money for being an moron......and I definatelty didnt get it for my spelling either, before you crack jokes at my poor grammer!...lol

Dont "hate" because you did it another way

someone said it here already, this thread is really showing the ignorance of this industry, which is leading to, and will continue to lead to the Mass Marketing of it, by people that dont even have a tattoo! And the way trends work in America, alot of people will make a lot of money raping it till the trend dies!

Respect this art? HOW AM I NOT, jerk off!..........i concider myself an artist.....I just havent fine tuned the "art" of tattooing.."YET"...were you "born" with you tattooing skill, or did you learn it????

Peace


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by taz@paintedangel.com from IP: 67.65.59.106 on 02/03/07

Hey DonnyD...with youir positive attitude I have no doubt that you will make it!! Just be picky who you let in your shop...now I don't consider ya stupid just because you want to take an unconventional route...GO FOR IT!!! nDon't let anyone say you can't!!

For the poster above your last...I guess by your thinking ol Gabe shouldn't own a tattoo studio huh? He doesn't tattoo....

Lets try Helping instead of hindering.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by paul2000@email.com from IP: 72.252.15.245 on 02/03/07

i'm not saying he shouldn't open a shop and i'm not saying that he don't know nothing about tattoos..
i'm just saying IF you (by you i don't mean you, i mean generally anyone) don't know about the art, how can you recognize a good clean artist? and trust on him (or her) and do what he asks or needs..

i've worked in a shop were the owner didn't know anything about tattoo, just how to get them.. had been getting them for years, and he really loved tattoos too, just didn't know anything about it..
he hired two guys that looked like real artists, and had been tattooing for over ten years, and had all the right equipment, and they could talk about tattoos.. but couldn't make a straight line, or a solid piece of coloring, if their life depended on it.. and even thought they were doing a good job themselves..
he just figured, they're covered in tattoos, ten years experience, nice expensive equipment, must be good..
the shop went down the drain, after messing up more than a few customers..

after this, i moved to st maarten and opened my own shop..
it's not really rocket science, opening and running a shop..
as long as you make enough money to pay the bills, and order supplies on time..
they don't have many rules on this island, so i guess that makes it easier, since i don't need no licenses and shit.. but you don't need no degree in business or something..

just my opinion..


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by taz@paintedangel.com from IP: 24.121.203.95 on 02/03/07

There are LOTS of people who don't tattoo who know more ABOUT tattoos than some tattoo artists...Gabe for instance....you do NOT have to be an artist to know the ins and outs of tattoo!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by ~Josey~ from IP: 72.154.203.208 on 02/04/07
TattooNow Army

Oh Gawd Taz That was Pathetic.......


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by taz@paintedangel.com from IP: 24.121.203.95 on 02/04/07

I think not King Baby!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by gabe from IP: 71.123.110.159 on 02/04/07
OffTheMapTattoo.com / TattooNOW

Im not sure there are lots of people who know enough about tattoos without being a tattoo artist, but I do know a few... the vast majority of people who dont tattoo really dont know enough or can attract enough good artists over time. I worked closely with 100+ artists and was hired specifically for my network of artists before opening a studio. There are posts on here now from studio owners desperately trying to find an artist to work at their studio cause their first choice(s) fell through... thats a horrible place to be in, luckily when I was in that position (a few times already!) I had many many artists around to help. Indeed, last year we ran 3 months with no full time artists, new guests every week(and awesome ones at that). I dont know how other people can do it Im real fortunate to have this site and my network of artists...

So, I guess I would say that while the vast majority of non-tattoo artist owned studios dont really know enough about the art of tattooing and have enough to attract the right artists to be responsible with the art. of tattooing. A few do, but not lots.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by iceman from IP: 62.192.138.164 on 02/27/07
anaheim california USofA

Hey guys what's up?!!! Just chilling here in Afghannistan collecting my paychecks watching it all add up, but anyway I plan on opening up my own shop once I get out of this hell hole and get back to the states, i'm going to invest 25k into this place. I'm not a tattoo artist, but when I see a good business opportunity I go for it running. This is my idea, start up the shop, find me an expert who knows what the hell he's doing, give that guy full control in regards of hiring and running the place, make up some sort of contract stating if everything goes smooth when in a set period of time I'll make him part owner, not saying 50/50, more like 25% or 35% owner. I see no flaws with my plan, but what do the experts on this page have to say?


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by gabe from IP: 71.161.156.36 on 02/27/07
OffTheMapTattoo.com / TattooNOW

Well, before sinking 25k into a place, I would love to know who you think you can get to work for you? And why would they? and then they walk, who are you going to get to take their place?

finding good artist is very difficult, most studios would hire one up in an instant. im not trying to be a jerk, but what do you have that someone else isnt already offering?


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by tim@paintedangel.com from IP: 70.254.214.108 on 02/27/07

Iceman you are probably destined to fail. And I am not trying to be an asshole. Opening a tattoo studio is hard enough when you are IN the biz let alone not being an artist at all. Tattoo artists are a dime a dozen, hell its like they grow on trees for the pickin, but finding a GOOD, COMPETENT AND RESPONSIBLE tattoo artist is almost impossible. WHY? Because if they have those qualities they are alredy working in a good shop and/or own their own studios. You can get a half assed druggie alcoholic moron of an artist that will not show up every morning quite easily but ya don't want that do ya?

Like Gabe said what do you have to offer them better than they already have?

But good luck I wish ya the best!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by iceman from IP: 62.192.138.164 on 02/28/07
anaheim california USofA

well I plan on offering full control of the place and my main bargaining chip would be the part ownership part. And I would make sure the contract has plenty of details covering his staying around part that way he cant fuck me over later. Does that answer all your guys questions?


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by ~Josey~ from IP: 68.19.227.9 on 02/28/07
100% Honor Intact

Yes I have a question:

Have you maybe considered breaking into the business with honor & integrity ?


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by at1 from IP: 195.93.21.99 on 03/01/07
uk

It seems tattoo artists hold a monopoly on opening a tattoo business. A business is a business, whether you are selling electrical goods or food, and thus tattoos. Not having a knowledge on the art of tattooing will have no relevence in you being able to run a business (as long as you employ people to tattoo).


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by gabe from IP: 71.161.156.36 on 03/01/07
OffTheMapTattoo.com / TattooNOW

Basically, if an artist deserves ownership they have usually worked hard enough to get it without you. You are going to have a very hard time finding good artists who will stick around. Everyone who owns a successful studio "is looking" for another talented tattoo artist, and has a hard time finding one. I own TattooNOW, powered like 30 sites at the time, had some amazing guests lined up and appointments booked before we opened the doors, and even still in the first 6 months I had hired and lost 3 different artists. I am very thankful to the many good friends come to bat for me last summer while finding the right full timer. For 3 months, while I had no full timer, the artists on this site all came through for a week or two. What are you going to do after sinking 25k into a place and your artist walks?

If you dont have really strong connections into the world of tattooing then you will have a very hard time attracting the right kind of artists. Good artists who have a cliental can find partners and/or just open their own place pretty easily, you will need a better bargaining chip and a more thorough knowledge of what makes tattoo artists tick.

Tread lightly, karma comes quick and strong in tattooing. The public's skin isn't something to be taken lightly. Nature will hold you responsible...


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by gabe from IP: 71.161.156.36 on 03/01/07
OffTheMapTattoo.com / TattooNOW

Ati, thats a very shallow way of thinking. Of course business is business, but the "product" of tattoos is unique in that it is permanent on someone's body. To many, thats a sacred art. You'r not selling cell phones or jewelry, your permanently marking someones body for the rest of their lives. People who dont truly respect the publics skin but choose to mark it for business will ultimately find out that nature doesnt like them very much.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by ~Josey~ from IP: 72.154.204.29 on 03/01/07
Controlling my Sector of the Monopoly

LOL

Quote:
It seems tattoo artists hold a monopoly on opening a tattoo business

Well’Duh !!! Ya think ?

Quote:
A business is a business, whether you are selling electrical goods or food, and thus tattoos

That comment alone shows you have no respect for the trade willing to operate a personal artwork business as a retail store and its nothing at all like that, It is a service.

Quote:
Not having a knowledge on the art of tattooing will have no relevence in you being able to run a business

Maybe not in some sort of retail business but a tattoo business is void without the tattooist who you view as a monopoly of tyrants, Hence having No knowledge will cause you to fail.

People with this sort of view & artist who work for them hurt this industry way more than some guy tattooing out of his car.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by at1 from IP: 195.93.21.99 on 03/14/07
uk

Most business's are services in some way. I was not implying that someone who knows nothing of tattooing should start tattooing people. For instance if i wanted to open a tattoo studio, i would open it as a money making business, thus i would have to employ the staff etc etc to make that business a success, yet only a success because of the people i have employed. Hence, if you employ sub-standard employees my business would not last long. It would be the duty of the artist employed to up-hold the so called art of tattooing, and not me as the business owner. Many forms of art are a business, but the artist himslef is only one part of the whole equation. Think of it as a manager.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by ~Josey~ from IP: 74.249.237.14 on 03/14/07
Another Charity Case.....

Let me know how that works out for ya >snicker<


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by gabe from IP: 67.142.130.18 on 03/15/07
OffTheMapTattoo.com / TattooNOW

"It would be the duty of the artist employed to up-hold the so called art of tattooing, and not me as the business owner."

and that is one reason why you will probably fail.

It IS the owners duty to up-hold the "so called art" of tattooing. Every tattoo that comes from your studio has your name and rep associated with it for the rest of the clients life.

"So called art"... not a tattoo studio owner's duty to uphold the art... wow... be careful. and stay out of the business of marking someones body for the rest of their life till you learn more about it please.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by dmxwutngrl@aol.com from IP: 144.223.163.158 on 04/18/07

My boss owns a tattoo shop. He wants to expand and make the business into a chain in different locations. In doing this, he will not be able to oversee all the transactions that take place. How does he ensure that the employees will not steal. Does anyone have any input on a system that could be put in place to ensure the security of the finances?


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by mer from IP: 74.103.39.141 on 04/19/07
toronto on

I don't have experience with tattoo shops in particular, but business-wise:

I think the most important two things are that you need to have ONE person accountable for each location for all the money, and you need to have a paper trail for everything.

Yes, its a risk to find one person who is trustworthy and trained to keep records.. But there needs to be one person (a "managing artist" or whatever you want to call them) whom all the money passes through, who does all the deposits at the end of the night, and who makes sure a paper trail is there to record all the money - and has a monetary incentive to do that extra work and do it well. You may need to hire someone separate for that, but if you have good people hopefully you don't.

A combination appointment-book/payment ledger or some other form of record-keeping needs to be in place.

Individual receipts (a copy for the customer, a copy for the shop) are a good secondary record. This could take the form of a section on the waiver that customers sign (filling in the work done, the price, and the date(s) and keeping that on record as well.

Regularly (monthly? biweekly? weekly?) he should look over the sub-shops' paper trail - review the books and make sure it all adds up - if not, the onus is on that "one person" to explain what's happened


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by paris from IP: 67.72.98.102 on 04/26/07
jackson TN USA

Hi, my name is paris. well i'm gonna get right to the point. I'm only fourteen years old, but my dream is to become a Tattoo Artist. If your boyfreind is looking for some help there is a collage in michigan( the worlds first tattoo collage!) he could try there. What I heard is that to graguate this collage you have to do your own tattoo on yourself!!! well I hope you are very seccesful in your Tattoo and body peircing shop. And tell your B/F I said good luck!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by tim@paintedangel.com from IP: 24.121.169.74 on 04/26/07

Mer your post was right on the money! Full of good info. If I might add when hiring someone to be responsible for everything as you said in your post, hiring employees is kinda like getting a tattoo, that is you can get a hundred people to do the job at minimum wage or you can pay a good wage and generally you get a much better employee. Ya get what ya pay for.If people just kept that in mind when buying damn near anything there would be a lot more satisfied people in this world.

To the 14 year old who suggested a tattoo school, dear do a search for the posts here on tattoo schools. They are rip offs. Tattooing takes years to learn properly and these so called schools attempt to teach what should take years in mere weeks. They exist only to make the schools owners money and glut the business of tattooing with ill trained people who know just enough to be dangerous.

Bad idea youngster!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Kim from IP: 74.115.209.145 on 05/03/07
Orillia

Hi all
I am a franchise and marketing consultant that has been approached by a very reputable tattoo shop to franchise their concept.
Reading through this forum has certainly assisted with the direction to take. To be honest at first I thought no way can you franchise a tattoo business as it is all about the artist.
Having said that m so many artists do not have the time or knowldege to research the business side and it would make it so much easier if there was a model in place , complete with all the support, marketing, and brand reputation. Then all they would have to do is what they do best and that is be an artist..
So I think that franchising is now a good idea, only difference is I will highly recommend that they only choose franchisees that are actual tatoo artists. it does limit the pool of potential growth.
I have been a long term client of this shop, my husband is on his 12th tattoo, so we sure do understand that the ART must come first.
Cheers all
If any of you want to keep posted on how all this works out email me llevidks@hotmail.com


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by gabe from IP: 141.154.190.200 on 05/03/07
OffTheMapTattoo.com / TattooNOW

It is extremely difficult to franchise a tattoo studio.

I hope the concept is more than "we will take away the business headaches from the artist". Its been tried a coupla times before and never really catches. Fact is, pretty much every quality professional studio is always looking to hire truly talented artists and there aren't enough to go around. And despite everyones bitching about not getting an apprenticeship, its hard finding an artist talented and hard working and patient enough to teach the craft to. Sure, successful studio owners can expand and often own multiple studios, but the fact is they dont need outside consultants to open more if they were successful enough in their first business.

I was approached by a company who plans on franchising a professional studio chain across the country and have thought about it alot. I believe there are ways to do it responsibly, but the people who think about big business never seem to be in the tattoo world for the right reasons, and as nature has it people who get into tattooing for the wrong reasons have professional ceiling which is low. Business acumen without a real understanding for the complexities of tattooing will only get you so far. And it generally gets a lot of bad karma built up as inferior art goes on the public. The responsibility of the publics skin which you will mark is great, and when you franchise a tattooing business you become responsible for a lot of tattoo artists putting permanent marks on peoples skins. That weight feels pretty heavy with one studio, I'd be careful before you take on the weight of 10-25 franchises...

I guess I'd ask myself if there is really something special and unique about the studios concept?


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by abel_j@bellsouth.net from IP: 139.76.128.72 on 05/03/07

Tattoos by Lou in Florida...several different locations (franchise, if you will). Been in business for many many years.

http://www.tattoosbylou.com/index.html


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by tim@paintedangel.com from IP: 24.121.169.74 on 05/03/07

Louie would roll over if he knew his shops were called franchise shops!!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Kim from IP: 74.115.209.145 on 05/10/07
Canada

Gabe you have solid advice!
I am still investigating and have decided the franchise direction is not fitting for this industry.
I have come up with another approach that I am working through now.
This site has been super in providing me with tons of info. If my new idea works it may be the answer.
I was the Director of the Canadian Franchise Association and franchised my own concept back in the 80's across canada.
So I have seen so many different concepts, and different approaches to duplicating proven systems.
The absolute , fall off my chair franchise was MOBILE AUTOPSY LOL
So seen it all , and love a challenege
Cheers
Kim


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by gabe from IP: 141.154.190.200 on 05/10/07
OffTheMapTattoo.com / TattooNOW

able_j, a few studios a franchise does not make... In my mind "real" franchisement means take it across the country to every city region by region, then hit the foreign markets if your franchise is really bad ass. think dunkin dounuts or starbucks/subway/etc etc etc. The problem with franchising tattooing is the "product" is completely unique to an artist (or at least they should be) and the good artists have enough options.

Kim, Im all for amplifying good business ideas to reach their full potential. We should chat about franchising the TattooNOW system to other markets. Ha, nah, nevermind, I barely have enough time for the tattoo folks... Good luck and keep us up to date.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by dezzy2010@iwvisp.com from IP: 64.30.193.98 on 05/15/07
Ridgecrest, CA, US

okay. I would LOVE to do this too.
I have looked into this completely.
You need a business degree. That would be helpful.
you will need all the sterilization stuff, and your shop to be examined to determine whether it is sterile enough or not.
there is a lot more, just email me....
but your looking at
AT LEAST;
50-80 thousand $$!!!!!!
and thats if you rent the building and not buy it!!!
XxDesireexX


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by 3278678 from IP: 64.12.116.5 on 05/15/07
54477

-LICK MY BALLS-


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by GenericAnthraX_@hotmail.com from IP: 76.87.135.241 on 07/18/07
California

You know...you artists are wonderfull and your trade is amazing. That being said instead of preaching about "doing it the right way" why dont you help all us newbies learn it instead of being so damn secretive. You cant expect people to do it right if they dont know how or no one will teach them. Sometimes you artists act like territorial fending off another animal intrested in their mate. Its sad. You need to be open with your trade so that tattooing can past the test of time and culture as it has time and time again. Tattoos wont be around if you dont teach the trade...it will fade and it will die. It will also be no ones fault but the artists who refuse to pass on a wonderfull trade. Thats my shpeal. Thanks


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by GenericAnthraX_@hotmail.com from IP: 76.87.135.241 on 07/18/07

OMFG you have to excuse the horrible spelling in that reply that was awfull. I should smack myself in the face lol my apologies to everyone.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by KKobmann from IP: 68.30.246.91 on 08/21/07
Detroit, MI

I read this post from top to bottom and am amazed at the direction it took off in. I felt that Gabe had a valid first post. You can completely respect the work, ethic, and drive of an artist without being one and still own a shop. Business is Business and if we waited for only Artisted owned shops to open the line would be around the corner to get work done. The work I get I want to be quality. So I agree that an owner should only have quality slingers at his/her shop, But I know quality guys who need to be told what to do because they are unreliable. I think the gentleman who started the thread should stay away from people's flesh with no skill but hire a quality guy? Sure. The stance that you have to know, live love, pay you dues, is one from a person who has no money or sack to open there own shop. I know this because I did this in my field and hurt no one in the process.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Nikoz78 from IP: 76.210.224.26 on 08/23/07
Texas

Damn.

Some of you here seem very elitist.

Which says all kinds of bad things about some of you (you know who you are). Fascist tendencies anyone?

I'm an artist and don't understand how you self-proclaimed 'artists' can create any thing meaningful with such negative (and nasty) personalities.

I agree some of those here seeking answers are short-sighted. It's even hilarious. Calling tattoo machines 'guns' while proclaiming that they have the culture 'figured out' and so forth.

And there are plenty of good studios owned by people who do not tattoo. In fact, some very good ones. Tattoo artists don't always manage studios very well.

It definitely takes a good business mind. Not everyone is good at quality management.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by skinartist from IP: 24.231.229.119 on 09/11/07
Rothbury, MI, USA

Well lets start with a big F*** U to all those who say you have to earn your right to sling ink! I never had an apprenticeship, never wanted one. I have owned and operated as the ONLY Artist here and I pull about $1000 a week. Sure I had my hard times like everyone else but who better to teach you then yourself. I know there are those out there that would call me a scratcher but guess what I have NEVER fucked up on a tat. Hell I have gotten good enough that my wife(with no artistic background, at all!) is now my apprentice and does very good work, on me and me alone. I am not one of these piece of shit artists that is going to make her do the tracing, stenciling, and sterilizing and call that an apprenticeship. BS!!!! That is nigger work and no one deserves to pay to have to do that. And for the person that started this blog fucking go for it if your hearts, minds, and pocket books are in the right place. By the way any onew who says Huck-Spaulding is a good supplier is living in the stone age and should be castrated with a rusty spoon.
www.tat-supply.com is the only supplier you should even think of ordering from. OK now with this said I agree with everyone who stated "if you have never tattooed before, don't pick up a machine." I agree with that statement 110% don't be a scratcher it fucks up the reputation everyone else has had to work so hard to achieve. Fake skin and Grapefruit 2 good mediums to practice on. fake skin is good for practicing technique and grapefruit is good for working with contours. Thats It. Thats All. If you don't like it to bad so sad


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by skinartist from IP: 24.231.229.119 on 09/11/07
Rothbury, MI, USA

Well lets start with a big F*** U to all those who say you have to earn your right to sling ink! I never had an apprenticeship, never wanted one. I have owned and operated as the ONLY Artist here and I pull about $1000 a week. Sure I had my hard times like everyone else but who better to teach you then yourself. I know there are those out there that would call me a scratcher but guess what I have NEVER fucked up on a tat. Hell I have gotten good enough that my wife(with no artistic background, at all!) is now my apprentice and does very good work, on me and me alone. I am not one of these piece of shit artists that is going to make her do the tracing, stenciling, and sterilizing and call that an apprenticeship. BS!!!! That is nigger work and no one deserves to pay to have to do that. And for the person that started this blog fucking go for it if your hearts, minds, and pocket books are in the right place. By the way any onew who says Huck-Spaulding is a good supplier is living in the stone age and should be castrated with a rusty spoon.
www.tat-supply.com is the only supplier you should even think of ordering from. OK now with this said I agree with everyone who stated "if you have never tattooed before, don't pick up a machine." I agree with that statement 110% don't be a scratcher it fucks up the reputation everyone else has had to work so hard to achieve. Fake skin and Grapefruit 2 good mediums to practice on. fake skin is good for practicing technique and grapefruit is good for working with contours. Thats It. Thats All. If you don't like it to bad so sad


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by skinartist from IP: 24.231.229.119 on 09/11/07
Rothbury, MI, USA

sorry about the double post got trigger happy


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by skinartist from IP: 24.231.229.119 on 09/11/07
Rothbury, MI, USA

sorry about the double post got trigger happy


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by true artist from IP: 199.216.240.11 on 09/17/07
Alberta, Canada

Just thought I'd share my story. I'm a very skilled and talented artist. (Not just by my standards. I'm my own worst critic, but everyone I've shown my work to says it's amazing!) I've attended art college. And I've also worked in a veterinary clinic, so I have experience working with an autoclave, and prepping patients for surgery. I completely understand the importance of cleanliness, sterilization, and the prevention of cross-contamination. I've also spent a lot of time hanging out in tattoo shops, watching and getting tattooed. So when I was given the opportunity to apprentice in that shop, I jumped at the opportunity!!! They put me to work cleaning, running the autoclave, and making needles. Unfortunately, there was some drama with the shop owner, and the shop was closed down before I could actually start tattooing. The owner graciously offered to teach me everything he knew. (He was a talented artist with many, many years experience.) But.... and here's the catch... I had to have sex with him!!! I said NO WAY!!!

So now, I have a "normal" full-time job. The desire and artistic skill to be a tattoo artist, but no shop to work in. There are not a lot of options available to me since I do live in a small town. I need to keep my job, since I have a mortgage and a daughter to look after. But I still want to be a tattoo artist. In my situation, would it be reasonable for me to expect to become a tattoo artist on my own? I've got the equipment, DVDs, and enough volunteers to potentially fill a portfolio. Would I be considered a "scratcher" if I have no other option?


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by true artist from IP: 199.216.240.11 on 09/17/07
Alberta, Canada

Just thought I'd share my story. I'm a very skilled and talented artist. (Not just by my standards. I'm my own worst critic, but everyone I've shown my work to says it's amazing!) I've attended art college. And I've also worked in a veterinary clinic, so I have experience working with an autoclave, and prepping patients for surgery. I completely understand the importance of cleanliness, sterilization, and the prevention of cross-contamination. I've also spent a lot of time hanging out in tattoo shops, watching and getting tattooed. So when I was given the opportunity to apprentice in that shop, I jumped at the opportunity!!! They put me to work cleaning, running the autoclave, and making needles. Unfortunately, there was some drama with the shop owner, and the shop was closed down before I could actually start tattooing. The owner graciously offered to teach me everything he knew. (He was a talented artist with many, many years experience.) But.... and here's the catch... I had to have sex with him!!! I said NO WAY!!!

So now, I have a "normal" full-time job. The desire and artistic skill to be a tattoo artist, but no shop to work in. There are not a lot of options available to me since I do live in a small town. I need to keep my job, since I have a mortgage and a daughter to look after. But I still want to be a tattoo artist. In my situation, would it be reasonable for me to expect to become a tattoo artist on my own? I've got the equipment, DVDs, and enough volunteers to potentially fill a portfolio. Would I be considered a "scratcher" if I have no other option?


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by true artist from IP: 199.216.240.11 on 09/17/07
Alberta Canada

Just wanted to add that I have great respect for the tattoo industry.

I'd also like to know if there are any other female tattoo artists who have been treated like shit because they don't have a penis?


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by shawn from IP: 66.15.65.226 on 09/24/07
e wenatchee

Who even said these guys have a business sence just because they want to start a business? I seen it typed they want to start a business but that doesn't mean they even have any business skills whatsoever. I mean shoot, they want to own a tattoo shop with no skills, so whats to say they even have any business skills as well just because they want to own a shop? Did anyone ask them that?


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by shawn from IP: 66.15.65.226 on 09/24/07
e wenatchee

contact me at shawn2798801@yahoo.com if anyone knows the difference between a liner and a shader. Its a stupid question but no question is stupid unless its unasked. I mean i been doing tattoos for over 10 years now and i use my same guns for both lining and shading my whole time i been tattooing and i have had several different guns and have bought both liners and shaders and they both work the same and they both look the same? I guess im just confused on why some tattoo guns are sold as liners and some are sold as shaders if they both look act and feel the same in my hand..ok and to the couple who want to start a business just do it. if you fail you fail-if you succeed you succeed but the only thing you will regret is if you don't try at all. I tought myself how to tattoo by doing it on myself first with a homemade gun and i found i did great so i invested in a real gun and i have done even better. You will get more practice and get better all the time if you have any artistic skills.Just don't go tattooing anyone until you are good and have the skills. Screw all these apprenticeships. I make 40-50 an hour when i tattoo depending on the skill level of the tattoo. I usually charge 40 an hour and try to guess how long it would take me to get a tattoo done. Than i over estimate by a little bit so if i do get done sooner the customer is even more happy because it is cheaper than they thought it was going to be. If you can afford an autoclave you can always get the disposable plastic tips and premade steralized needles from anywhere. Also put a plastic sandwhich bag on your guns so no cross contamination there untill you can afford an autoclave. Use hybeclense im not sure of the spelling for im at work but use that to prep your customer and get green soap or you can use hybeclense mixed with alcohol in a spray bottle works the same way. Use blue shop towels to do your cleaning for you wont use as many paper towels...i know its more expensive but i can do an entire tattoo using less than 5 sheets rather than a half of a roll of cheap paper towels and that way theres less cross contamination for there are less towels to keep track of. Invest in a massage table at costco for under 150 bucks. buy at least 2-3 guns so if one breaks down on you you can quickly change over to another tattoo gun for everything breaks down sooner or later i mean come on it's electrical.Don't waste time on making your own needles it is way more easier to order them 100 or more at a time pre steralized it its own package. dont order more than 100 a time because even the packages have expiration dates on the gas they use to keep it steralized. i know its a cheaper deal to get more but make sure you use most needles before ordering more so you don't waste your money by having the exp..date come up and then you have an extra 100 needles that if you want to keep your going to have to autoclave them..so to stay away from an autoclave completly just follow those steps...........buy high quality tattoo ink like starbright, or those single shot inks that way you stay clean even the inks because its single use ink shots....the only thing that will get cross contaminated is maybe the ink holder so you can even get a bunch of disposable ink holders until you get the money for an autoclave.......just remember everything you get until you get an autoclave should be disposable one time use. even get yourself a few sharpie containers so you can throw away your used needles the safe way, because nobody not even the garbage man wants to be infected. I wish you luck in your adventures.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Fallen King Irons - http://fkirons.com from IP: 65.10.178.105 on 09/24/07
Miami

Quoted: RE:Starting a tattoo business
Posted by abel_j@bellsouth.net from IP: 139.76.128.72 on 05/03/07
Tattoos by Lou in Florida...several different locations (franchise, if you will). Been in business for many many years.

http://www.tattoosbylou.com/index.html


Tattoo by Lou is not a franchise, It's just a family business. (his daughter and husband own them) They also own South Beach tattoos.
Franchised business involve licensing to use any right associated with the brand and product and business not necessarily relates to the original owner. A McDonald is a franchise, you can own one and the CEO will never know your face.

The true about tattoo by Lou is that TBL was the first licensed shop in the state of FL (The one in SoBe) and he took advantage by expanding throughout Miami.
I don't think Tattoos by Lou will ever sell their brand to any scum bag with money trying to open a shop. That guy hustle to make tattooing what it is today in FL.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by skinartist from IP: 24.231.229.119 on 09/25/07
Rothbury, MI, USA

Just wanted to let the guy that said Starbrite is a good quality ink.....if you think that is good try screamin ink it is 200% better and I think it is a little bit cheaper too.The only issue I had with Starbrite Ink is it doesn't hold worth a poo! It looks awesome when you first do the tat but after it heals it fades horribly(especially red based pigments)

Any ?'s email me at nick@inkaddictiontattoosandpiercings.com
or check out my site @ www.inkaddictiontattoosandpiercings.com


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Doctor John from IP: 69.209.142.52 on 09/25/07
Fraser,Mi

Skinartist, not only do I find your comments to be typical of those coming from a scratcher who hasn't got the respect (or talent?) to do things the right way but I find your claim to be making a thousand dollars a week in a town of less than 600 people rather difficult to believe. So, I would sincerely hope anyone reading your comments will 'consider the source', especially after your recommendation of Scream tattoo, as i think that would indicate how knowledgeable you really are. As to what you refered to as your 'website', give me a break and why don't you have any pictures of your masterful work/shop? By the looks of it, I'd say you are working out of your home (MapQuest's a bitch, bud) which might explain why your 'business name' doesn't come up on the local business search. So, in the future, keep it real, wannabe. Doc


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by KristalzDiamondz from IP: 68.202.105.3 on 10/20/07
Florida USA

Good Luck Tori!

I am really disturbed by all the negative replys to you posting! You and your boyfriend obviously have a dream, and have what it takes to follow it through! If you have the courage and backbone to go for it, then I have no doubt that you will do just fine! Everyone who is successful started somewhere! EVERY Tattoo Artist was not born with the knowledge and skill, they were taught it, and MANY OF THEM LEARNED a majority of the skill in their own KITCHEN, whether they want to admit it or not! Of coarse, you need to make sure that you follow sanitation guidelines, and anyone who doesn't, will be putting their clients ( and themselves..) at risk. I am in the process of opening up a shop myself, and do not need anyones opinion on if I will make it or not, I KNOW I WILL! I do have the skill ( part of which that I learned on my own... ) and the money and the knowledge and that is all it takes, besides the skill. I know that many artists will not give Non-tattoo artist the chance and do not want to train others simply because of the competition aspect of it, so keep that in mind when some of them turn you away and try to tell you that you lack the skills. Please do not let others kill out your drive and dreams! You will do fine! GOOD LUCK!!!!!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by thinktattoo from IP: 71.252.222.193 on 10/25/07
dallas, texas, U.S.A.

Dear Gabe,
I really love your forum and I feel I am in almost the same boat as you. I am opening a tattoo shop with trustworthy and great tattoo artists and friends. I love tattoos and I been researching things for about 5 months. I started an LLC (think tattoo studio LLC). Applied for a seller's permit, tax ID, Credit Cards, started a website (thinktattoo.net) and payroll. I have a Bachlor's in Political Science, I know how a business is run from my job in the toy industry, and I am currently in school for a Master's in Business Administration. Do you think I have what it takes to be successful? Also do you add sales tax to tattoos and piercings as well and jewelry? Do I need any other kind of license after I get a health license and inspection? Thanks for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Tattoo owners wife from IP: 71.108.73.77 on 11/09/07
lancaster, ca 93535

Hello,
I have been following all the postings regarding opening a shop. Well 1 yr ago my husband and I had a chance to buy a Tattoo Studio from a friend, mind you my husband and I are not artists. We did take over the business and since then we have moved to a better location and we built a great reputation for the shop and our Artists that work for us. Again we are not artists but my husband is a Body Piercer and has been in the field for aprox 14 yrs and also has 10yrs in the medical field, in fact he still works at our local E.R. So it is possible, just make sure you have the right resources and support!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Electrecmagic from IP: 75.66.201.37 on 12/04/07
memphis, TN

HEY EVERYONE!! THIS IS A COOL SITE! ANYWAY, I AM SELLING A TATTOO SHOP IN MEMPHIS, TN. IT'S ONE MILE FROM GRACELAND. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED PLEASE LET ME KNOW!! ITS IN A GREAT LOCATION AND WITHIN THE NEXT 10 YEARS GRACELAND IS EXPANDING ABOUT A MILE SOUTH! SO IT WILL BE VERY POPULATED AND STILL REIGN AS A GREAT PLACE FOR A SHOP!! I AM PUTTING THE SHOP ON EBAY! CHECK IT OUT OR E-MAIL ME! THANKS SO MUCH GUYS! THIS IS A ONCE IN A LIFETIME OFFER!! PEACE OUT!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by kittytat from IP: 74.210.39.22 on 02/04/08
Georgetown, Ontario, canada

I am a proffessionally trained Tattoo artist in the industry for over 18 years and am female I have been all over North America and featured in many different tattoo magazines, I know most of the Top proffessionals in the industry and my take on the whole matter is that I have not much respect for shop owners who know nothing about the tattoo and piercing industry. You want to know the basic steps
(knowing how to draw is a must)not grade 5 level either
1. learn about sterilization(blood borne pathegons)
2. Get your certificates
3.Get an apprenticeship with a very well known tattoo artist
(You should know who they are if you want to be a tattoo artist)
4. PAY YOUR DUES
5. Understand what your getting into its not a hobby its a lifestyle
which you will live 24 hours a day being a shop owner myself
Everyone wants the lifestyle but has no idea how hard it is to get there!
There is enough scratchers out there already spreading disease and butchering people
Do it properly or don't do it at all!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by kittytat from IP: 74.210.39.22 on 02/04/08
Georgetown, Ontario, canada

And by the way people apprenticeships are not free everybody thinks that we are suppose to take anyone off the street who wants to be a tattoo artist and give them an opportunity sorry its about 5,000 if you want to learn properly and that also depends on your talent and dedication, I didn't have it easy and if you really want to be anything either will you. Not meaning to sound negative but its alot of hard work and dedication so if you can't be critisized now, you might as well give it up!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by kittytat from IP: 74.210.39.22 on 02/04/08
Georgetown, Ontario, canada

PS:
IT'S A TATTOO MACHINE
a gun is something you could shoot yourself with
Thats what all you inexperienced bullshiters should be using
this comment not for everyone on this site just one and you know who you are!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by kittytat from IP: 74.210.39.22 on 02/05/08
Georgetown, Ontario, canada

PS:
IT'S A TATTOO MACHINE
a gun is something you could shoot yourself with
Thats what all you inexperienced bullshiters should be using
this comment not for everyone on this site just one and you know who you are!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by s0n0fab0mb from IP: 144.80.139.161 on 02/05/08
Pittsburgh PA

I am a non-artist,looking for as much information as possible on opening a shop.
First i want to make it clear that i am VERY interested in the art of tattooing, i have plenty myself. but i am not an artist at heart. i am a businessman.

that being said if there is any other shop owners that are willing to share information with a prospective owner. (perhaps over AIM).
i would greatly appreciate that.

so far ive found some onfo on zoning regulations, health regs. and i've found a building in a very profitable location.

I also have a pretty good idea of the equipment i will need, and a general idea of how much i will need to open up,(and how long it will take)

but before i jump too far into this i have TONS of other questions.

for example. i understand that most tattoo shops feature one well-known artist that kind of, i dunno, makes the shop known.

but ive also been to shops where there are about 4 or 5 artists, but none of them have a very well known name.

the second type is probably the one im most interested in opening because the building i have in mind is suitable for about 4 chairs, plus a waiting area.

i guess my main question is. are there decent artists out there that are willing to pay monthly for a place to operate? if so where is a (some) good resources to connect with these artists.

also, how much would an artist be willing to pay every month for a chair. i understand that different artists rates differ, and are willing to pay different amounts, but for fairness sake, i'd like to keep it all relatively close.

but yeah, among these i have MANY other questions and if anyone would email me at s0n0fab0mb i would appreciate it.

THANK YOU


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by ink king from IP: 168.13.127.66 on 04/30/08
blackshear Ga

hey Im a tattooest and I would love to help you open up and get started as for the other ppl who say you have no right they realy need to keep quite you can learn to tatoo at any time in life and as for me not giveing you any money its your shop lol a real tattooest wouldnt keep any money form any one if they have hafe a heart so those ppl just need to shout up and lave you alone they realy dont know any thign abouth the tattoo world any way you can email me at lil_john_0000@yahoo.co anytime


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Carlitos from IP: 64.7.0.30 on 06/10/08
Chicago, IL

Dear "pro" tattoo artists and "scratchers"

First of all, don't forget it's the clients that give you your bread and butter, jealousy should be eliminated. Pros should realize that having a good strong network of tattoo enthusiasts enables everyone to win. So going back to the original postings, I agree that you set up a shop, develop a business plan to guide your planning on how to establish a shop, and make some kind of deal with a tattooist where your boyfriend learns how to tattoo, and in return the tattooist obtains space. The internet have various online tattoo teachings from PROs who really are pros and have no problems teaching a grasshopper. And in turn when you guys make it to the top, don't forget where you come from or you will turn into a cold heartless tattooist. Business is business, but the business will take care of itself if you first take care of the customer. Usually the "Pros" are into the tattooing for the money, and that's why they complain about "scratchers."


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by King Richard from IP: 72.188.132.86 on 07/12/08
AL

I read a few posts relative to a non-tatooer starting a studio. However, I love the art and respect the craft, unfortunately I do not posses the skill. I live in college town with a high tourist population, that do not allow tatoo shops or body piercing. This brings me to my question... I am a well respected younger guy within my community who has the politics of the prohibited uses to a science. Basically, I have a few connections that will allow me to change the zoning ord. that do not allow the tatoo shops or body piercing. I also have been approached by several artist looking to locate to the town, which gives me a pool of artist to pull from. What advice would you guys give me on this
business venture. Since I will be able to tailor the zoning ordinance I feel that
this will be a great opportunity for my business and the hungry artist. Please feel free to give me your input.
King Richard
itnupe297@hotmail.com


top of page

Tattoo Artist

Posted by newharttat@yahoo.com from IP: 208.111.238.252 on 07/24/08
pa,half hour from wilkesbarre

Hey,
My name is keith i own an will be operating "keith Newhart's tatooing" very soon.Im more then half way finished,just lacking a little finacial criteria.I have about seven years under my belt im an outstanding tattoo artist,along with a pretty damn good other mediums artist.The medium that i wanted to get into was airbrushing.so maybe we can help each other,ill show your b/f how to be an awsome tattooist "professional".If we can work out some kinda pay orangement, or let me do a couple tattoos and keep the proceedings, with a lil air brushing tips? hit me back with an e-mail if your looking to become a good tattooist.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Sleeve Weasels Tattoo from IP: 12.217.4.235 on 07/26/08
illinois u.s.

You would only be doing yourself and your community a favor by getting an apprenticeship first. There are a lot of cross contamination factors that most people wouldn' t even think of until your around a clean reputable tattoo shop for awhile.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by inked4life70 from IP: 69.121.74.238 on 09/05/08
bx,ny 10461

Remember..If you do your homework..you dont need to know how to tattoo to open a tattoo shop. You don't have to be a genius to learn how to use a autoclave and sterilize equipment..Hart and hunington is a perfect example of how you don't need to know how to tattoo to open up a shop..Also, just because you don't know how to tattoo doesn't mean you know nothing about the biz.. Most of us with lots of artwork on our bodies are part of a culture..We associate ourselves with people who share their a love for tattoos..we buy or subscribe to tattoo magazines..You get the picture..Don't let anyone discourage you..I'm a medic..I'm also learning how to pierce and thats what I intend to do when I open up shop..not all talented artist open up their own shop..Many just don't want to be bothered with the extra work and longer hours of owning a shop..Do it! screw what they say!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by InkedLass from IP: 122.108.31.209 on 09/15/08
victoria, Australia

Hi everyone!
Well im no artist, but id love to own a shop. I never realised there was this much animosity towards non-artist owners before, considering it is a good point ebing made that, an artist would rather enjoy the art and not worry bout the business side of it. It seems most are being put down for not being tattooists..yet. When they are then tehy will have respect to open a shop. Okay, i can see that point, i mean, no experience in the industry true- but, why do you have to be a tattooist to have a shop? Surely expereince in the community and industry itself comes in other forms? I dont mean just getting inked either, lots of people are..i am, but fo rme, its historical, its personal, tradition, family, culture...there are reasons people want a shop and not to be an artist but to promote the art out there, promote the industry in a positive and safe light. Guide people, dont just let anyone walk in and get tatted-up..think about it first. I care about all these factors, so when i do opena shop, there will be other items to cover the bills, but the artists will have control, why not? They might not be able to open a shop financially/time wise/family.if i can provide a space..i will. But i agree, trying to open a shopa nd apprentice seems a tall feat unless its in the background/afterhours or something!
Much inked luv to all...
ILxx


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by InkedLass from IP: 122.108.31.209 on 09/15/08
victoria, Australia

Hi everyone!
Well im no artist, but id love to own a shop. I never realised there was this much animosity towards non-artist owners before, considering it is a good point ebing made that, an artist would rather enjoy the art and not worry bout the business side of it. It seems most are being put down for not being tattooists..yet. When they are then tehy will have respect to open a shop. Okay, i can see that point, i mean, no experience in the industry true- but, why do you have to be a tattooist to have a shop? Surely expereince in the community and industry itself comes in other forms? I dont mean just getting inked either, lots of people are..i am, but fo rme, its historical, its personal, tradition, family, culture...there are reasons people want a shop and not to be an artist but to promote the art out there, promote the industry in a positive and safe light. Guide people, dont just let anyone walk in and get tatted-up..think about it first. I care about all these factors, so when i do opena shop, there will be other items to cover the bills, but the artists will have control, why not? They might not be able to open a shop financially/time wise/family.if i can provide a space..i will. But i agree, trying to open a shopa nd apprentice seems a tall feat unless its in the background/afterhours or something!
Much inked luv to all...
ILxx


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by hello from IP: 198.179.147.18 on 12/04/08
Chicago

I think some folks need to "get over themselves". There is lots of high horse posts in this thread about this and that. I hate to break it to some folks but while the act of tattoing may be an Art, a Tattoo Shop is a Business.

A similar statement can be made that just being a tattoo artist does not qualify you to be a small business owner. If starting and running a successful business only required an in-depth understanding of a particular product line, there would be a lot more successful self employed people in this world.

So as I said before I think a lot of folks who posted here need to get over themselves. Owning and running a successful business is a skill just like tattooing is a skill. Believing that anyone that doesn’t know how to tattoo brings nothing to the table when it comes to opening a tattoo shop is just silly. I don’t know of many tattoo apprenticeships that cover, finance, accounting, marketing, shop management, and small business law.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Keppin it old school from IP: 24.236.48.157 on 01/17/09

I am so sick to death of non-tattooing, money hungry people with no respect for our industry opening all these crap ass shops up everywhere so they can line their pockets by capitalizing on our business. You have no concept of this industry, it's roots, and the very selective process of our handed down trade or the knowledge to even be able to tell a good tattoo from some scratcher shit! For years, decades, you and people like you have looked down on us, our industry and have hated everything that goes along with it until all these shows popped up and now suddenly tattoo's are the new acceptable trend. Now everywhere in the US these fly by night shops are popping up everywhere, owned by people who don't know anything about tattooing or this industry whatsoever. They are taking money and food out of the mouths of tattooers and shop owners that have earned their right and paid their dues in order to be in this business. The worst part is that your average customer doesn't know how to tell the difference between a legitimate shop and tattoo or a wanna be k-mart version. They usually go into the whole procedure trusting the shop and "tattooers" that work there to be able to give them a clean solid tattoo. When they go to these shit holes they end up getting crappy shit that looks like you got it at a trailer park from some shitty ass scratcher that thinks he is some awesome tattooer because that is the kind of people that these non tattooing shop owners hire. These scratchers are desperate to work at a shop because no respected, legitimate tattoo shop would hire shit head scratchers and pass down their trade secrets to people that don't deserve and earn it. It's kinda like old fashioned blacksmiths in the way that it is a lucrative trade that you learn from someone that's been doing it a long time and feels you have what it takes for him to show you what he knows and bring you into the business. So yeah, keep opening your generic ass shops, putting crap on people, tearing up their skin, and dipping into our wallets cause the time is coming when we start doing things old school again, crackin skulls and fire bombing your shops cause you are stepping on toes that will get shoved up your ass instead of moved out of your way!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by gabe from IP: 68.112.240.209 on 01/17/09
TattooNOW/Off the Map/Tattoo Gathering

umm, instead of cracking skulls, you could get better and educate the public.... duh. If a tattooer is scared of a non-tattooer owner or a scratcher taking business, they need to get better... not bitter.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by keppin it old school from IP: 24.236.48.157 on 01/18/09

Gabe,

Let me guess you own a tattoo shop and you do not tattoo. How can you not respect that tattooers do not want people that do not tattoo running tattoo shops. If someone does not know the proper and sterile way to apply a tattoo how can they set up and operate a tattoo studio. I would not open a plastic surgery center with out going to years of college to become a Doctor first. If I did not have the proper education or years of training I would not consider opening a business I know nothing about. If I did I would not go on a plastic surgeon forum and disagree with a plastic surgeon on the fundamentals of his training and experience.

As far as getting better....how can you say what quality of my tattooing is? Have you seen my work? Getting better at your trade is something any good tattooer continues to do. Being bitter is a different issue all together. If I opened a shop across the street from you and I had a lower minimum wouldn't you be bitter? As a tattooer and shop owner I have every right to be pissed at hacks opening down the street. Even if they only bring in $1,000 per month...that has to come from somewhere. If 3 new shops open in a small city and they all only making $1,000 per a month, that totals $36,000 per year from my pockets. Again if you don't tattoo and you want to open a shop...don't be shocked if you get a good old fashioned ass beating. I have seen people get beat down for less.

Again.. Gabe.. Please do not question the quality of my tattooing again. And I have to ask how do you suppose we teach people what a good tattoo is? Do we offer a college course....I think not. Customers will go to shops just because it is new or it has a coupon. I can not stop customers from going to other shop just because they didn't know better...but I can break a stupid fuckers hands for disrespecting me or my business. Bad tattoo artist reflect on my industry and peoples opinions of it. I will protect the security of my income because it is all i have and I have devoted my life to it. If your shop closes I'm sure you can go program computers I will still be tattooing.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by keppin it old school from IP: 24.236.48.157 on 01/18/09

Gabe,

Let me guess you own a tattoo shop and you do not tattoo. How can you not respect that tattooers do not want people that do not tattoo running tattoo shops. If someone does not know the proper and sterile way to apply a tattoo how can they set up and operate a tattoo studio. I would not open a plastic surgery center with out going to years of college to become a Doctor first. If I did not have the proper education or years of training I would not consider opening a business I know nothing about. If I did I would not go on a plastic surgeon forum and disagree with a plastic surgeon on the fundamentals of his training and experience.

As far as getting better....how can you say what quality of my tattooing is? Have you seen my work? Getting better at your trade is something any good tattooer continues to do. Being bitter is a different issue all together. If I opened a shop across the street from you and I had a lower minimum wouldn't you be bitter? As a tattooer and shop owner I have every right to be pissed at hacks opening down the street. Even if they only bring in $1,000 per month...that has to come from somewhere. If 3 new shops open in a small city and they all only making $1,000 per a month, that totals $36,000 per year from my pockets. Again if you don't tattoo and you want to open a shop...don't be shocked if you get a good old fashioned ass beating. I have seen people get beat down for less.

Again.. Gabe.. Please do not question the quality of my tattooing again. And I have to ask how do you suppose we teach people what a good tattoo is? Do we offer a college course....I think not. Customers will go to shops just because it is new or it has a coupon. I can not stop customers from going to other shop just because they didn't know better...but I can break a stupid fuckers hands for disrespecting me or my business. Bad tattoo artist reflect on my industry and peoples opinions of it. I will protect the security of my income because it is all i have and I have devoted my life to it. If your shop closes I'm sure you can go program computers I will still be tattooing.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Inksane Gina from IP: 69.37.52.199 on 01/19/09
CT

That was an extremely ignorant post.

Just as you don't want to be questioned on the quality of your work, maybe you should take your own advice and not judge Gabe for being a non-tattooing shop owner.

I'm pretty sure Gabe has done more for the industry than most tattoo artists and certainly more than you. He has earned his respect in the tattoo community and has worked with the top artists in the business. He hasn't just been a non-tattooing shop owner but a true enthusiast who cares very much about contributing to the industry.

Having said that, I think he is the exception and not the rule. And I think because he has been around and worked with the elite team of artists that he has, it's no wonder that he is not threatened by any aspect of this industry. There's no need for him to be.

So, while his perspective may come from a unique place, being that he is in a rare position, I think he has earned the right to say what he said. And it's true.

Look, you can't really do anything (legal anyway haha) to stop what other people/shops are doing. You can, however, focus on what you are doing. Talking smack about other shops won't bring clientele into your shop, hard work and quality art will. And I understand your point about clients just going to any shop because it's new or there's a special - maybe these aren't the customers you want anyway. The people who know your work and seek you out for good quality pieces are what will become your bread and butter if you put the effort in.

Just my thoughts. And no, I am not actively in the industry...just common sense. :)


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by JerseyShoreRebel from IP: 67.83.9.228 on 01/19/09
New Jersey

I completely agree with that post being ignorant. I myself, am in the process of doing the same as Gabe, opening up a new shop. I am not an artist, I have no experience and I don't plan on learning how to tattoo. I will, however, be one of the piercers in my studio. Not only that, my studio is going to have a clothing line and art gallery be run out of it.

You know, it seems like there is a "new school" of tattoo business that is emerging, and it should not be looked down upon. I am a very successful business man and this is something I have always wanted to do. My beliefs and values are where they should be and we should not be looked down on for that. I have no intention of hiring artists with sub-par skills. Why would I want to jeopardize the success and reputation of my shop by doing that???

Just because a shop owner does not know how to put needle to skin - it doesnt make him or her a fake, or a sell-out or a bad person. Im smart enough to hire professional artists to do their thing in my shop (and yes contrary to your belief, they are most definitely out there and looking for a shop just like mine and Gabes).

My shop will be the first one in a busy town. Not only will it draw more people to the town, it will also offer new aspects of business in the art and clothing field, which is fairly new in tattoo studios. It will be the first of its kind for at least a 100 mile radius. I feel like Im doing something really great here and Im making a dream come true. So Im sorry if I offend you with my new business strategy and plans to take an industry to the next level. There' s plenty of room for all of us in this industry...and after all ... when the smoke clears, only the strong are still standing. So if you ARE that good - you should have nothing to worry about...


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by gabe from IP: 68.112.240.209 on 01/25/09
TattooNOW/Off the Map/Tattoo Gathering

Keeping it old school:
Yes, I do own a studio and I do not tattoo, though, I have been working alongside some of the very best tattooers for over a decade to bring value to the table they cant bring themselves (a shit ton of tattoo related traffic). And they have taught me well, cant thank them enough, cause even though I dont tattoo, our studio hosts over 50 well respected and talented guest artists tattoo here each year. I have taken bloodbourne pathogens courses (one a year), and I can tell you that even though I dont know how to set up a machine, I can still own and manage a tattoo studio. Tattooing is not something I know nothing about, indeed, I have learned a lot about it, indeed I have immersed my self in it for over 10 years, and to tell you the truth after getting tattooed and watching it every day I could set up a machine, and start tattooing with proper cleanliness. Well, maybe one day of someone looking over my shoulder. I didnt open a studio without more than one respected artist giving their blessing.

I have not seen your work, but you know that nearly all non-tattooing owners hire hacks, and if your not a hack then you should be able to work hard and beat the crappy competition without physical violence. Unless your arent that much better. If you opened a studio right across the street with a lower minimum, I would see how long you lasted. Our studio is in a really small town and there are already other studios close-by in more populated areas with lower minimums. We love to tattoo everyone, but dont focus on the clients looking for cheap tattoos and dont get bitter if other studios take those clients... As far as losing money, you only lose it if you cant beat the competition, and if you cant beat the competition then you dont deserve that money. I dont see why you feel so entitled to that money, most people have to work hard for their fair share of the market. If you need to beat me down to get my clients, then obviously your work isnt better...

How to teach people what good tattoos are? I do it by working with sick artists, and promoting the heck out of them. The public is pretty stupid, but when there is some kick ass tattoo right next to a piece of crap, they smarten up. We use the internet, posters, parties, conventions, art shows, seminars, workshops, and good old word of mouth to hep educate people, though, by far the best thing that does the trick are the tattoos that come from our studio and go out into the community. Hell, we even host a convention once a year... Anyways, if the public sees your work and the work of your competition and goes there, well, that can really only mean one thing, your work didn't floor them compared to the competition. If you have to resort to violence to protect your income, then obviously your product and business arent sharp enough.

Lastly, if Off the Map, TattooNOW, and the Tattoo Gathering went out of business, then I would do something else, I have no idea what. Luckily all three businesses are growing, so I hope to not have to worry for a while. Im sure if your studio goes out of business you will still be doing something else too. I hope you can figure out how to beat the competition without doing it literally, but I guess I dont really care.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by gabe from IP: 68.112.240.209 on 01/25/09
TattooNOW/Off the Map/Tattoo Gathering

Jerseyshore rebel:

You are doing nothing like me. We dont offer piercing, clothing, or any of the other distractions. There is no new breed of studios owned by non-tattooers, shops owned by people who are not very knowledgeable about tattooing have been popping up, and out, for a long time. Its easy to say you wont hire sub-par artists, then you should be able to tell us who you will hire! Its *extremely* difficult to hire great artists, because they dont need you (or me). those are bold words, that you will push the industry to the next level, offering art and clothes is nothing new. You will be lucky to get some artists... and again, please dont relate what you are doing to what we are, its very different.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by tattoobobby from IP: 24.253.129.1 on 01/25/09
Va. Beach, Virginia

Baltimore,Maryland, Virginia Beach, near DC, Northern Virginia or North Carolina. Sound close to you or if your in an area like that Contact me I am a tattoo artist looking to open a custom shop and need a partner (s), artists, piercers you know the whole gambit.
As far this thread Good Luck but I can say is :"Tattooists are unlike anything you've ever dealt with". First of all try ha ha This is a good one are they Employees or sub contracters? answer that Pat Fish celtic master has a great message on that sit but there is much that goes along with it I know cause i live and work in Virginia beach/NORFOLK area and we have a city, state and occupational licences, pay taxes, buy supplys and have a family of artists with alot of knowledge. Next question Are you gonna have a cash register? ask some artits about that. Do you have flash if so how do you have enough room to sell clothes and toys. shop shirts i can dig but sounds like you dont know and just want the money so you will set yourself up to deal with that same energy or people who will be doing the same stuff we call them SCRATCHERS or HACKS and you'll build a great rep for your shop the only way i see this working is find a Great and let them run it Stay away pop up after six monthes and start buying equipment then.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Ashley_Chaos from IP: 71.100.140.161 on 03/15/09
Venice, Fl

This girlfriend never said her boyfriend would put ink to someone's skin. They wanted to open a shop and hire someone to do the inking and to be a mentor to the boyfriend.

My advice to them is to listen to people around them and see where the majority of them get their tattoos. If they do get a parlor then they should see if any of the artists are freelancers and will work for them on certain days. Another idea is to sell other novelities there; clothing, body jewlery, headshop... A major clothing line linked to Tattoos is Affliction/Sinful, they are expensive yet popular. Yet, you must also think of the demographics of thier location and can people be able to buy their goods. Are there many parlors in their area or mome?

To help with the business aspects, go to college and major in Business. If in high school, take business classes or intern at a tattoo shop.

If you want to know more just email local shops and ask for their advice.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by coolmom from IP: 24.18.204.61 on 03/20/09
United States

Gabe- thank you for your wonderful posts about the non-tattooing shop owner. My business partner and I are in the process of opening a shop. We have a great love and admoration for the tattoo/piercing industry but notice that many in the field don't have good business skills and we do. Our hope is to open a studio to showcase their art and handle all the "crap" that goes along with owning your own business. All the "haters" need to chill-this is a big world and there should be room for all-if you don't like-don't go there!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Tazie from IP: 206.123.206.178 on 04/17/09
Ignacio, Colorado

F****n A's Dudes just do what you all been doing all along! F*** the small s*** and if they all want to cry then let them ha ha lol, Tazie from Ignacio, Colorado


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by xXQUIZITx from IP: 12.152.10.64 on 04/17/09
Charlotte

check out this shop OFF THE MAP....
non-artist owned and probably one of the best!! It is very possible to make it work of course you will get alot of critics do to ppl just being dicks or not understanding the concept but there are alot of good shops where the owners are not tattoo artists but buisness minded ppl that help the industry grow....also most of these forums that you post on are not ran by tattoo artist so do you not respect there opinion either???.....There is a very important part in both buisness aspect and the art aspect of every running tattoo shop....FACT


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Tat2Eddie from IP: 72.17.242.135 on 05/19/09
Tampa,Florida

If you make it down to my message before you get burnedout. There are alternative ways to get training in the tatooo feild,you can go to conventions & take some tattoo ceminars from top artists who provide them. Also you can pick up buisness cards from top artists then check their web. to see if they have any training video that you can purchase. You could make this work for your b/f but it will be hard to gain respect from your competition & clientel. I was a airbrush artist for 7 years then became an apprentice wich lasted 3 then became an artist it is'nt that hard to learn they are verry simular. I have been tattooing for 9 years now & have become very reputable in my area, you can do it also. Work hard &good luck!!!!


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by punkindrublic from IP: 82.132.139.162 on 08/01/09
uk

Hey people,
i started an apprentiship 2 years ago paid £5000 for the pleasure, worked every day for free and put my heart and soul into it, i love tattooing to me its a way of life, my whole life revolves around it, i sleep breath and eat it, got loads of detemination to succeed and im my own worst critic and always wanting to better myself and my abilities in art, tattooing and as me as a person, everytime i pick up a tattoo mag and look at so much amazing work and re evaluate my abilities and try my damned hardest to get to that level,but i know it takes time and patience and it doesnt come easy, i dont want it to come easy, i want to get to ten years time and look back and be proud of every step i took and be gratefull that im in such an amazing industry with such gifted people i want to be up there with the best, all the best tattoo artist have there story, and i want mine, so them people that are cheating there way through it and doing it improperly need to realise there only cheating themselves and not the industry,even though my mentor was a royal s##t head and only tought me the basics,i think she didnt want me to be better than her, used my artistic ability and got better on my own, which i think normally happens anyway, she started getting jealous cause clients wanted to get inked by me instead of her, and thats when it all went wrong in that studio,but i wouldnt change it for the world cause i learnt from it in my own way and that was my path and the begining of my story,and now im setting up my own studio and forever improving myself ill never stop, even when i get to where i want to be ill still strive to go past that point, cause im hungry and want it so bad, and in my eyes if you dont feel that way then this aint the buisness for you, this is my forst ever post, love the site keep up the good work :)


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by TJ from IP: 68.174.72.174 on 09/05/09
NY, NY

ok so here goes with this. i've been reading this post and have some questions. i am not a tattoo artist, never have been, have never put a gun to a piece of fruit even. hell, i dont even sketch that well, lol. i have been into tattoos since i was 16 years old and now am extensively tattood so i have a very deep respect for the industry and the art. what i have been researching is opening a shop with my artist as a partner. he has a great client base plus 3-4 other very solid artists that would come there as well. i know all of them as i have been working with my artist for a number of years and we have grown as friends. i am very business oriented and have ran business's before. do you think this is a good opportunity to go into. basically there is me for the business side of it and my artist for the tattoo side. we already know of a tattoo shop that is not renewing their lease so we have a spot all setup for a studio, 4-5 well established artists and one of them is a piercer as well. i know people always hate on the non-artist owner but i am real about it, i am not trying to tattoo people i just love the art and think that this could be a great opportunity to get involved with starting a really great shop. anyway, let me know wha you think. thanks


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by skindeepink from IP: 68.191.51.213 on 09/06/09
New Milford CT

My girlfriend and I are thinking about opening a hospital. Neither of us have a medical background or any oficial training. We are thinking about hiring a couple good physicians to help teach us. Who wants in?


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by soa from IP: 120.16.20.212 on 09/30/09
sydney

hi i sent you an email about your looking for a tattooist. My brother is a tattooist but he just needs to get himselof licensed in australia..then he be able to start hi own tattoo parlour from scratch. :D hope you respond back asap guys :) all the best ! take care...laterss


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by crow from IP: 76.24.40.61 on 11/07/09
mass

well, all of you have certainly turned me off to opening a shop. congratulations. you're keeping your club exclusive. i guess there is only one way of doing things in your clique, and no room for a new approach. As a 40 year old, looking to take a new direction in life, i thought of learning a new art form. i love my ink, and always thought of going in the direction of becoming a tattoo artist. i've two art degrees. i've talent, but that's not enough for most of you here. it's not like i can pay my mortgage doing an apprenticeship for two years, but opening a shop and hiring a couple people is off limits here. trying to make a living and learning something is now "cheating"?
just like any other clique in high school, the different, the outside mainstream is too cool to let just anybody in. corporate is already taking over your world... good luck to your stagnant ideals.

write back whatever you want.

it's easy to be critical and insulting when there is no face behind the words.
i feel sorry for all those people reaching out for help and advice from "experts" in their fields, only to get bashed by faceless snobs that harp on misspelling or cannot understand the context of a sentence.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by me from IP: 67.140.129.174 on 11/07/09
here

Yea, you will never get any real help from this forum, its only to bash ppl, and look down upon others. I am trying to improve my art, by drawing alittle everyday, some are origianl ideas, sometimes i opena tattoo book, and draw a picture of someones tattoo. i do tattoos on myself, so i can get used to using the machines. i plan to attempt going to local shops, and asking about an apprenticeship, but in my area, most likely wont happen.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by cleanskool from IP: 70.52.197.102 on 01/25/10
on.ca

message to this old school guy usually from what ive seen the better the artist the worse the safety ps do you even wear a mask or do you spit all over your client when you talk shit to them , too lol


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Azfais from IP: 68.251.239.13 on 03/07/10
st paul, mn. usa

Good thread.

Lots of valid "opinions".

I enjoy tattooing, I am a artist, and tattooing is an art.
Money is a necessary evil.....for the most part it ruins the art.
But you gotta have it, and for some reason the customer tends to believe
that money is the main motivation for tattooing.....I wonder why?

Doing tattoos over other artists mistakes and screw-ups is my main work.

I enjoy having a customer smile and thank me when I do something
to fix a mutilation that he or she has worn for years.
Sometimes I can't do enough.....some tattoos are very bad.

Safety is number one, but art is what its all about.
Creating a work of art is a partnership between the artist and the
client, and a artist that has the privilege to tattoo a work of origional
art on a human being should feel gratitude.

Skin can be tricky, and you have to know what to do when things go
poorly.
See enough bad tattoos and unhappy people and you realize the real
reward is not money, its the art and your clients satisfaction.

I've done work I have been unhappy with too.

Clients have Hep C, Herpes, HIV, and they don't say a thing to you.
If you're not following safe practices you'll have them too.

Ask every artist here....there's just a glove between you and the client,
and just one wrong move and you've jammed a needle into your own hand.........not good.

Still want to open a business Tattooing?

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Good Luck.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by Smarter than the average bear from IP: 76.20.110.8 on 08/20/10
US

experience in a given field always helps but it's quite possible to run a business with zero experience. Tatooing is art, running a shop is business.


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by devil2092 from IP: 174.106.3.43 on 09/27/10
Wilmington, NC

I was reading these posts and had a few comments and questions of my own. I love tattoos, I love getting ink, I love and respect the art and artists. I myself do not really possess the creative and artist skills to be a tattoo artist unfortunately, but if I did I'd be trying to get and apprenticeship right now :) This being said I have come across the opportunity to purchase I local successful tattoo studio and am very interested in doing so. I am very small business oriented and a very good work ethic and desire and strive to succeed. This also being said I don't see why I being a non-tattoo artist to own a studio. I have great respect for the art and artist and would not hire anyone who did not share my views. I understand the implications of having something permanently put on your body and do not take it lightly. Anyways I just wanted to throw this out there and get some feedback

Thanks,
Sam


top of page

RE:Starting a tattoo business

Posted by fresh from IP: 74.82.64.35 on 08/02/11
el paso tx

Iam a non-tattoo artist with a great plan to start up a shop with two family members who are bad ass tattoo artist. I also plan on adding one more tattoo artist and a piercer if possible.I have the cash and experience of running a business.I plan on being 100% owner and manager. My question is can my shop be succesful? Thank you for your reply.


top of page

Reply to This Topic  
Create New Topic Message Board Main Page



Watch past TattooNOW TV:


TattooNOW
112 Cottage Street
Easthampton, MA 01027
(413) 585-9134
email

© 2014 TattooNOW - your source for custom tattoo galleries.
ALL IMAGES ON THIS SITE ARE COPYRIGHTED BY THE ARTISTS
None can be used for any purpose whatsoever without
written permission from TattooNOW and the Tattoo Artist. Thank you for your cooperation and support
website design by TattooNOW