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Make a mark

education Updated: Nov 03, 2011 16:40 IST
Hindustan Times

The lowdown

Tattoos are fascinating and attention seeking. The awe factor with tattoos makes tattooing an interesting career option with many youngsters. Also, with celebrities from Miley Cyrus to sportstars like David Beckham sporting them, tattoos have become a big thing in the fashion world. A tattoo artist makes decorative patterns, which can be inspired by nature, religion or abstract patterns, (tattoos) with needles and (chemical) ink on customers’ bodies, at a shop, studio or a tattoo parlour. This art is normally learnt during apprenticeship of two-three years with a senior artist


11am: Meet a client

11.15am: Discuss the details and design of the tattoo with client

12.30pm: Apply chemicals and sterilisers on the body

1pm: Lunch

1.15pm: Start tattooing

4pm: Give finishing touches to the tattoo

5pm: Meet new clients

6pm: Go home

The payoff

As this is a private practice, income level is not fixed and depends on your popularity and expertise. Beginners make Rs500 to Rs700 an hour while popular one’s charge between Rs6000 to Rs10000 an hour

Skills / TRAITS

* You need to be artistic, with a steady hand

* Be very meticulous and detailed in your work

* Have loads of patience as it takes long hours to make a basic tattoo. Some might take a couple of sittings

* Good communication skills required to deal with clients

* Eagerness to learn and continuously keep pace with changing trends

Getting there

The best way to learn tattoo art is to work as an apprentice in a known tattoo studio for two to three years. A lot of tattoo salons now offer courses in that train you in tattoo art.

You are supposed to learn by observing senior artists in the studio, and are then made to work on dummies before starting work on clients. Books and the Internet can act as supplementary sources but do not bank solely upon them.

Open your studio only when you have perfected the art of tattooing. Besides rent, you will have to invest a small amount (about Rs20,000 to Rs25,000) in buying a tattoo kit and another Rs15,000 in buying a good machine

Institutes and URLs

You can contact the existing tattoo studios for details

* Michael Cowasji, Delhi (


* KDZ Tattoos, Delhi (


* Devilz Tattoos, Delhi (


* Ron Tattoos, Delhi (


Pros and Cons

* It has a lot of artistic value. Those who love art, enjoy the work a great deal

* You earn well if you are good at your work. For every square inch of tattoo, clients pay in thousands

* It takes time to establish your business.

* There are no jobs in this line and the only way you can earn good money is by opening your own studio or by partnering with a studio owner

* Some find it tough to handle a vibrating machine for long hours at a stretch

* There are a couple of health hazards attached. Your eyesight might become weak

* It is not considered a very respectable profession to be in

* Every single line and stroke counts and one minor deviation can ruin the entire tattoo