If you’ve always wanted to become a tattoo artist, there a few things you need to know before you dive right in to the trade. First, not just everyone can become a successful tattoo artist without heading to a tattoo college.
You will need to apply for these colleges and be willing to submit a resume and/or portfolio of your artwork to make sure that you are competent in drawing. If the option to get a tattoo education at college is not readily available to you, you can join tattoo apprenticeship programs, during which you will shadow a professional tattoo artist.
So what is one of the main things you learn at tattoo school, anyways? Old school tattoos, of course.
Americans spend an estimated $1.65 billion dollars a year on tattoos, and a large portion are designed in an old school fashion. Old school tattoo ideas refer to a Western, or traditional American, tattoo style. This traditional style boasts bold black outlines and a limited color palette (yet they are not all black).
Around 45 million Americans have at least one tattoo, and 36% of that estimate accounts for those aged 18-25 years old. Old school tattoo ideas remind their wearers of better days, or have a retro appeal. Here are some common themes:
- Native American tattoos: Feathers, faces, and bow and arrows usually dominate this particular tattoo motif.
- Pin-Up Girls: The cliche is walking into a smoky bar and seeing a bunch of bikers with pin-up girls on their arms. Cliches exist because they are partially true — this is a very popular choice for men in particular, although plenty of women get pin-ups, too.
- Mermaids: Old school tattoos often depict mythical creatures, such as mermaids and griffins. Mermaid tattoos give the appearance of movement when on the body and are very aesthetically pleasing.
- Swallows and/or Sparrows: Birds of a feather flock together, and there are plenty of people out there who boast bird tattoos. Many people ink birds on their bodies to symbolize a carefree demeanor or lifestyle.
- Anchors: Now becoming more popular among the female population, anchors symbolize loyalty or rigidity, either in a relationship or towards a certain life passion. This is a great old school tattoo for putting in a small place on your body.
- Hearts: Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves; others wear them directly on their arms. This symbolic shape can be placed virtually anywhere on the body, which is why it’s such a popular tattoo choice. There are also many variations, designs, and colors to pick from.
- Daggers: Old school tattoo ideas wouldn’t be complete without the daggers. For those looking to add a bit of something extra, hearts and/or roses are a great addition to this design. Daggers can either be inked very simply or made into a complex work of art.
An estimated 29% of Americans with tattoos said that their tattoos made them feel rebellious, and there is nothing more rebellious than an old school tattoo to show off.