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How do tattoo artists practice?

The methods of "practice" vary greatly. If an artist receives proper training in the store from an ethics mentor, he usually starts with melons or grapefruits. Pigskin is also a good exercise tool, although it can be harder to meet and harder to handle. The main thing you are trying to learn at this stage is how to consistently apply tattoos to a certain depth in order to avoid "blowing out" lines. This happens when ink is injected too deep into the skin and the line "bleeds" into the surrounding area and looks cloudy. As soon as the mentor feels that the student has completed this task, he will be able to proceed to drawing a simple drawing on a person. This is where the real learning takes place, because you need to learn proper stretching techniques, how to handle a canvas that can twitch involuntarily, and in general learn to cope with the fact that you are trying to create a work on a real living being... which may experience discomfort from the process, or be nervous, or worry, or even experience pleasure from a painful sensation. This part of the learning curve never ends, because every person is different!

You have to sacrifice your health to become a true tattoo artist. It's an amazingly stressful job and titanic work that causes you arthritis and back problems. I respect everyone from Ink-Match and understand how difficult it is. I've been working in this field for 3 years and I know what I'm talking about.