Can You Teach Yourself to Tattoo?

You dream of becoming a tattoo artist but you don’t have the money to go to school or find an apprenticeship. How will you achieve your dream?

When people ask whether they can teach themselves to tattoo, The answer depends on your ability, willingness to learn, and how much time you're willing to devote to practicing.

One of the most important components to being a good tattoo artist is practice, and there's no better way to get that practice than by studying with someone who is already well-established in the field.

If you want to learn how to tattoo, we'll let you know how to go about it.

What Does it Take to be a Tattoo Artist?

It takes time, effort, and practice to become a tattoo artist. The best way to do this is to learn from a reputable tattoo artist who’s been doing it for years.

Apprenticeships are great for learning the in-and-outs of the tattoo business. You’ll shadow a well-known artist, and they will teach you everything they know. This takes lots of commitment and dedication, but it’s a great way to learn the ropes without breaking the bank.

It is certainly possible to learn how to tattoo through courses, but these courses are usually very expensive and do not teach the in-depth techniques that a tattoo artist must be able to master. It is also worth mentioning that these courses are often viewed unfavorably by established studios.

Can I Learn to Tattoo On My Own?

To teach yourself to tattoo, start by learning to draw. It isn’t necessary for you to be a great artist; just improve your skills enough that you can eventually create good tattoos. Practice drawing every chance you get, and build a portfolio of your drawings.

You should also take a blood-borne pathogens course and learn about cross-contamination. These courses are available online.

If you can't get an apprenticeship with a reputable tattoo artist, talk to other tattoo artists and ask if they will mentor you. They may not be able to offer you an apprenticeship, but being your mentor is still a great opportunity.

Learn How to Draw.

Drawing is essential to becoming a tattoo artist. You don't have to be great at drawing at first, but you need to keep practicing if you want to improve. Sign up for an art class if one is available; this will help you learn about different art styles. Keep a sketchpad with you so you can draw whenever you get the chance.

Don't Rush Things.

You need to take your time learning how to tattoo and not rush into it. You should take a class in the health and safety aspects of tattooing along with learning about the equipment that you’ll be using before even thinking about doing actual tattoos.

Once you’re comfortable drawing on paper, you can practice tattooing on fruit, synthetic skins or even pig skin to learn how to tattoo on different surfaces and textures.

Get the Right Equipment

If you’re teaching yourself how to tattoo, make sure you have your own equipment. Tattooing equipment can be very expensive, but you get what you pay for. We recommend getting Stigma-X Tattoo Kit to get started and it has everything you need.

Talk to tattoo artists to find out what kind of equipment you need and which brands are best. Most of the time, professional tattoo artists recommends Stigma-X Kit as the brand of choice for beginners. It might be worth saving up for a few months if you can, because when you’re tattooing for real, the right equipment really will make a difference.


Learning to tattoo takes time and practice, but it is possible to teach yourself.

As you plan your career as a tattoo artist, consult with reputable tattoo artists and understand exactly what is required of you. If you are committed and passionate about this career path, you will succeed.