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Tattoo art has slowly but surely entered into the mainstream of society with a lot of people getting tattoos on their body. Tattoo artists have come a long way from smoke-filled basements to having upscale parlors on main streets. There is so much hype about this art form which uses the body as a canvas to display great designs. Shows like 'LA Ink' give the general population a glimpse into the world of a tattoo artist. Most people think that the job of a tattoo artist only involves engraving designs on the client's body, but they also perform several important peripheral tasks that keep a tattoo parlor functioning smoothly.

Painters use brushes, sculptors use chisels, and a tattoo artist uses a gun, to be specific, a tattoo gun, for his artwork. However, the job is not as simple as it sounds. They have to perform several other tasks before they start to prick the client with a needle to draw a permanent design. Tattoo artists need to have good communication skills, as they have to interact with the clients who walk into the parlor. They will also have to understand the design or idea that clients have in mind for their tattoo.

First thing that the artist has to do is draw the client's design on a paper and show it to him, to verify if it meets the client's requirements. If a client doesn't have a design in mind, they will have to show the clients some designs, from which they could choose. For this purpose, they will use existing picture albums or will access the Internet to find a suitable design.

They will also check with the client, confirm the tattoo size, and if need be, the colors required. Choosing the body part on which the design will be tattooed is one of the things that will be discussed with the client.

The artist will then draw the design on a piece of paper and show it to the client for approval. Once approved, he will start preparations for the work to be done with the indelible ink. Many people don't know this but a tattoo artist's job also involves shaving the area where the tattoo needs to be inked on the client's body. Once this is done, the artist will stencil the chosen design on the client and then use the tattoo gun to do the final art. They will insert the ink into the stenciled work with the help of small pricks from the needle attached to the tattoo gun. The artist will also have to convey tattoo aftercare instructions to the client when the work is done.

Administrative Duties

In a fast-changing world where everything is commercialized to maximize profits, tattoo parlors are not behind. The salaries reflect this growth with wages of around USD 19,000 to USD 65,000 per year. Nowadays, there are parlors which will have many tattoo artists working under one roof and performing some support functions, in addition to their artistic job. They will have to fix appointments with clients and discuss the monetary aspect of the art.

They will also have to ensure that state and federal health codes are being maintained. Artists will also have to look into the sterilization of equipment and maintaining high hygiene standards. They will also have to interact with clients and address their doubts. They will also have to answer any questions that they might have pertaining to the artwork. Maintaining financial records, taking stock, and ordering for supplies are some of the other tasks that they might have to perform during the course of their employment.

If you are looking to make a career in this profession, many experts believe that now is the right time, with people from all walks of life trying to get a tattoo. Artists working in large metropolitan areas are known to earn more wages than their small town counterparts. So keep that in mind when looking for a job.