So, I show up to show my work and…

he hates it. 

“I’m not trying to be an asshole, I’m just being straight with ya.” 

At this point I really appreciate his honesty, as I KNOW my work needs improvement! That’s why I’m at his door step begging for a foot in the door. 

He explains how apprenticeships are bit easy, and how they’re created to make you quit. He explains that it’s not easy to make money, and to support a family because it isn’t consistent. 

And he explains with all seriousness that it is male dominated and that NO ONE is going to take me seriously. And that I need to have tough skin, and not be a delicate flower, and be ready to hear the truth always. 

I do know these things in theory… And I THINK I can handle it. 

He explains that he would be willing to give me a two week trial. “Everyone deserves a chance”

He then goes on to his “rules” 

1. Don’t lie to me

2. Don’t steal from me

3. Do what I say

4. Be here when I am

5. Don’t be late

Followed by, “why don’t you come in while I finish this tattoo, and we can talk more?”


(Now put that octopus on its leash and don’t mess this up!)

In the very very very beginning…

well, maybe not THAT long ago. 

I came about the idea to approach tattoo studios about an apprenticeship program. 

Now, I’ve been licensed, and tried to learn what I could by practicing on myself, and brave brave friends. I was able to gain my license without proving any sort of hours of instruction or anything of the sort. Which may be to many of us at-home tattoo artists. But I’ve always known that I was missing out on really learning. I wanted, no, I NEEDED more than what I was able to find on the Internet. My lining was shit, and I knew it, but I had no one to teach me how to do any of it.

Hence the brilliant idea to approach some shops. 

Being the chicken shit that I am about getting on the telephone, or actually having to face, face-to-face rejection, I went to Facebook. I selected a couple of close by shops, and I sent out some feelers. I asked them if they were interested in maybe looking at my work, and warned them that I am new and looking for someone to teach me. 

One shop responded, “bring in your work and we’ll talk”

Eeek! I’ve got a bite! Now what?!? 

Well I’ll tell you. If you’re me, you scramble to pull together all your best artwork. As well as the few tattoos you’ve completed, even though they are shitty picture quality, stolen from your friend’s Facebook or Instagram cause you forgot to take a good quality shot before gooing it and sending your buddy out the door. 

It takes me a week to get my shit together, and I finally find my way to Facebook again to set a time to come in to the shop. I send this really long drawn out explanation as to why it took me so long to get back to him. And he sends back, “I should be available after 5pm.” 

Me: ok, see you then!! (SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!)

And now is when I shit my pants. . .