Can I Be A Tattoo Artist If I Can’t Draw

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No, not really. A tattoo artist needs a steady hand and a good eye. Just as any other artist they need a great understanding of colour and for many tattoos a good idea of how to use perspective.

If you aren’t a good artist you can learn though. To be a good tattooist you need to learn about how to draw first. Once you have a good understanding of how to draw then you may be able to learn how to tattoo.

It is possible for someone who can follow a sort of painting by numbers picture to do basic flat colour flash tattoos. However, they are never likely to make great tattoos and I would always trust someone who has real artistic talent.

Choosing The Right Picture For A Tattoo Is An Art In Itself

Do You Need To Be Good At Drawing To Be A Tattoo Artist?

Yes, but the great news is if you aren’t, you can learn. Some people may have more established artistic talent, but anyone can learn to draw. Take a look at our Drawing Tutorials and you will see how easy it can be.

Drawing doesnt have to be complicated and a lot of the flash tattoo designs most tattooists make a living from are fairly basic line drawings.

Flash designs in general will be made up of a basic line drawing that you can then add colour to. You will need a steady hand though and there is no better way to learn than from a good tattooist. Most tattooists dont want the extra work of teaching an apprentice. To impress them enough to give you a chance is more likely if they can see evidence of your artistic talent.

Do You Have To Be Able To Freehand Draw To Be A Tattoo Artist?

It helps if you can draw freehand to be a tattoo artist, but it isnt vital. Howeverr, if you can’t it will limit the sort of tattooing you can do. Even when you can see the lines to follow from a stencil you need to be able to follow the lines cleanly and confidently. Stopping mid line is likely to cause less precise lines.

A good tattoo artist in general is likely to be a good freehand artist. As with everything there are exceptions, but it is unusual.

Tattoo Artist At Work

Can Anyone Be A Tattoo Artist?

Yes. It may take a lot of time and effort to learn but I am a firm believer in the idea that if you put your mind to it, anything is possible.

If you decide you want to become a tattoo artist be aware it is a long learning curve. Learning how to draw well is the first step on that journey. Finding a talented artist to learn from may be more difficcult than you imagine though.

Is Tattooing Hard To Do?

Yes, it is hard to create good tattoos. It is also a lot of responsibility as you are marking someoness skin forever.

People can spend a lifetime learning how to simply draw. After you have mastered that skill you need to learn about the art of tattooing.

Some talented people may find the task easier than others, but learning how to tattoo well will take time. Practice is vital and you will need the time of the person teaching you, so it can be demanding for everyone.

The Patience And Skill To Work Confidently Comes In Time

How Long Does It Take To Get Good At Tattooing?

That is an impossible question to answer. Most credible artists would say it takes a lifetime, as they have seen how their work improves over the years.

Some artists can learn how to tattoo pretty well in a year or so, but some will take much longer to develop the skills needed.

A tattoo you may have thought was great when you first did it can embarass you years later when you have had the time to learn more. One vital lesson is never to stop learning.

Where Tattoo And Art Meet

What Does A Beginner Tattoo Artist Need?

To start as a tattooist the most important skill you need is patience. This something you will need at many times on the journey to becoming a great tattooist.

Learning how to draw in a way that you can create great tattoo art will be the first step. Try to draw with your hand not resting on the paper. You will need to learn how to draw on surfaces that aren’t flat too. Both of these skills can take time to master, but you cant rest your hand on newly tattooed skin.

Remember The Time Of The Artist Is Valuable

Learning to be patient with the artist you are learning from is vital. It may be that the job he is working on takes all of his concentration. There are always jobs to do around a tattoo studio and any apprentice will be expected to do these as well as simply learning how to tattoo.

Health And Hygeine Is So Important!

Health and hygeine practices are vital in an industry where blood contamination can be dangerous. Learning how to prepare all the tools and inks and keeping everything sterilised is one of the most important areas anyone working in a tattoo studio needs to learn.

Dealing With Customers

Dealing with customers can also be a challenge at times. From how to deal with drunk customers to calming techniques for people who are nervous are all a part of the job.

Helping customers who aren’t sure to find the right design for them is also a wonderful skill. So listening to them and understanding exactly what they want is something else you need to get good at.


As you can see, the job of a tattoo artist can be a complex one. There will be many jobs you had never even thought of. They are all part of the journey, so be prepared.

Dont just expect to be sat there drawing and watching a tattoo artist at work. You need to provide value and that means helping out. The time it takes to teach anyone is time the tattooist could be working. That time needs to be paid for somehow or it stops being a viable business investment for the teacher.

It Takes Hard Work To Become A Good Tattoo Artist

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