A Day in the Life of a Tattoo Artist

A Day in the Life of a Tattoo Artist 150 150 admin

The Reality of Tattooing: Beyond the Myths and Into the Daily Grind

Tattooing is an industry steeped in intrigue and surrounded by many myths. It’s not uncommon for people to fantasize about becoming a tattoo artist, often influenced by the misconception that it’s an easy, rock-and-roll lifestyle filled with heavy metal, skateboarding, and fame.

Thanks to reality TV shows that focus on the tattoo world, there’s a widespread assumption that tattoo artists wake up at 4 pm, do one tattoo while sipping a beer, and then head off to a punk concert for the rest of the night. While this may be true for a select few, such stereotypes are actually harmful and overlook the intense demands of the profession.

Tattooing: More Than Just a Job

Tattooing isn’t a standard 9-5 job. It consumes your life and demands complete dedication. There are many aspects beyond the actual act of tattooing that artists must manage, and many people are unaware of these responsibilities. To be a successful tattoo artist, you need to be a businessperson, marketer, customer service representative, and artist all at once.

Today, let’s explore what a typical day for a tattoo artist might look like. These activities may vary depending on the artist, their experience, and the studio they work in, but they apply to most professionals in the field.


An obvious starting point is drawing. Tattoo artists typically spend a significant part of their day sketching. This could be in a sketchbook or on a drawing tablet, and it might be for a custom piece or an entire flash sheet. Drawing is crucial as it keeps artistic skills sharp and ensures client satisfaction.

Additionally, some artists may also work as illustrators or sell their designs on platforms like Etsy or Redbubble. This is common among newer artists or apprentices looking for an additional source of income.

Meeting with Clients for Consultations

Consultations are vital when it comes to custom tattoo work. At Maori Tattoo Studio Tallinn, we conduct numerous consultations. These sessions allow artists to meet their clients before the tattooing process, helping them understand the client’s vision better.

A consultation also helps to alleviate any anxieties the client might have. Getting a tattoo can be intimidating for some, so having a pre-tattoo discussion can be incredibly beneficial for both the artist and the client.

Managing the Studio and Other Artists

Depending on their seniority, an artist might spend part of their day managing the business side of the studio. Although it’s not the most exciting aspect of tattooing, it’s important to remember that tattoo studios are regular businesses at the end of the day. This management could involve looking at sales reports, handling online sales, and performing administrative tasks.

Managing other artists can also be a crucial part of a senior artist’s day. Younger artists may need guidance, encouragement, or assistance with more complex tattoos from a senior artist.

Promoting the Shop

Marketing is essential, regardless of the industry. For tattoo artists, especially with the rise of social media and digital marketing, promoting the shop is crucial. A good tattoo artist needs to attract business both online and in person, so spending time on shop promotion is a vital part of the day.

Physical marketing can also be relevant, depending on the studio’s style. Techniques like sticker bombing and other guerrilla marketing strategies have become increasingly popular among tattoo artists.

Learning About Art

Continuous learning is important in any artistic field. Tattoo artists need to stay updated on industry trends, social media, and new techniques to keep themselves inspired and avoid burnout. Inspiration can come from movies, TV shows, books, video games, music, and other pop culture sources.

Training Up Apprentices

Experienced artists may have apprentices in the studio, which can take up a significant portion of their day. Training an apprentice involves teaching them about hygiene, setting up stations, improving their drawing skills, and eventually how to use a tattoo machine.

Apprentices also handle other tasks like cleaning, administrative work, and customer service. They require daily assistance and mentorship, especially in the beginning stages of their career.

Answering Messages

Lastly, an artist might spend part of their day answering client messages. Emails, social media messages, and comments can quickly pile up if left unchecked. Tattoo artists typically dedicate time to responding to client inquiries and booking appointments.


As you can see, tattoo artists have a lot on their plates. Unfortunately, they can’t spend their entire day just tattooing and drawing, as much as they might wish they could. There are many elements that make up a successful tattoo artist, from business management to social media marketing skills.

If you’re an aspiring artist, consider developing additional skills like social media marketing or digital design. The tattoo industry is highly competitive, so any extra skills can help set you apart from the competition.

Looking for a beautiful, custom tattoo? Maori Tattoo Studio Tallinn has you covered. No matter the style or design you want, we have fantastic artists ready to make your tattoo dreams a reality. Feel free to drop by the studio if you’re nearby, or contact us through our website to learn more about what we can do for you.

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