Q) What is Tattooeducation.com?
A) Tattooeducation.com is a website put together by veteran tattooist Guy Aitchison and hosted by TattooNow, a network site for tattoo artists. Its purpose is to present the very best in educational and related materials for the tattoo industry in a straightforward, easy-to-navigate format, bringing together material from a variety of top-name artists. In addition, the site features a page for artists and convention promoters to post information about upcoming seminars and other educational events within the tattoo industry.
Q) Where are you located?
A) We do not have a physical store location, but our warehouse and offices are situated near Guy Aitchison and Michele Wortman's Illinois studios.
Q) How long have you been in business?
A) 12 years as www.hyperspacestudios.com, which is our home site. We are a BBB accredited business. Tattooeducation.com went live in September of 2009.
Q) What does your product line consist of?
A) This website is intended for professional tattoo artists only, or for apprentices who are learning in a supervised shop environment. None of the material here is meant to teach tattooing from scratch, but instead to teach how to draw or tattoo better and improve or broaden existing skills. If you are not a tattoo artist, there are some items here strictly about painting and other subjects that may be of interest to you; however, if you are wanting to learn the tattoo art form, you need to consult with your local professional tattoo studios before you start investing in books or equipment.
Q) Do you sell any of your products wholesale?
A) We have wholesale rates on the Proton Press items, including Organica, Moments Of Epiphany and Scratch Art. Reinventing The Tattoo will be available wholesale beginning March 1, 2010. Wholesale rates are for quantities of 10 items or more only. You can send wholesale inquiries to email@example.com.
Q) What are your hours of operation?
A) We can take orders 24/7 through our call center or online at www.tattooeducation.com.
Q) What is your fax number?
A) We do not have a fax number. You can email your documents in PDF or JPEG format to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q) Will the DVDs you sell play on any player?
A) The DVDs we sell are NTSC standard and my not play on all DVD players. However, they should play on any computer. Please follow the link below for more information about NTSC. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PAL-NTSC-SECAM.svg
Q) Do you charge any sales tax?
A) A standard sales tax of 6.75% applies to Illinois residents only, and is added automatically.
Q) How long does it take to receive an order?
A) Normal shipping time is 2-4 business day in the US, 10-14 business days anywhere else in the world.
Q) Do you ship internationally?
A) Yes, we ship anywhere in the world.
Q) What are the shipping rates?
A) Shipping costs vary per item and by where the items are going. Some examples: >Reinventing The Tattoo, Educational Combo, Guy Combo, Organica & Moments Of Epiphany Combo: $15 US, $30 Canada, $45 Other Countries, Half-price for shipping each additional book > Nick Baxter "Fundamentals Of Realist Oil Painting", Scratch Art, Mike Devries "Let's Be Realistic": $10 US, $15, Canada, $20 Other Countries, Half price for shipping each additional book > DVDs: $5 US, $8 Canada, $12 Other Countries, Half-price for shipping each additional DVD.
Q) Can you ship to a PO Box?
A) Yes we can.
Q) Which carrier do you use?
A) United States Postal Service
Q) Which credit cards are accepted?
A) Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. We also accept Paypal transactions.
Q) Can I pay by cash?
A) We've gotten cash payments sent from Russia glued between magazine pages... but this is not our recommended method of payment-- we are not responsible for lost payments sent in the mail. Instead, we recommend that you send a check or money order. To do this, first you will need to proceed through checkout at our online store until your order has been added up and shipping has been calculated by the website. You can then print that page, include it with your check or money order and mail it to: Tattoo Education PO Box 866 Marion, IL 62959.
Q) I thought that this information was a trade secret. Can just anyone learn tattooing from this website?
A) TattooEducation.com is not giving away trade secrets! Like any trade, tattooing is a complex profession that requires many types of knowledge, ranging from artistic vision to technical know-how to the basics of running a shop and dealing with people. Much of this information is public domain, but the nuts-and-bolts technical stuff is not something you'll find posted for free on public message boards, here or anywhere else. We don't carry any kind of definitive A-Z book on how to tattoo, but we do have many books and DVDs that can be helpful to professional tattooists and their apprentices in learning how to tattoo better. And let's face it; most artists who are willing to spend hard-earned money on educational material aren't your neighborhood scratchers but are serious artists who deserve a chance to improve their game. Just to make sure, though, we have some safeguards in place. Any items that contain technical information on tattooing are marked with a red "P" flag, which means that during checkout, the buyer is required to provide contact information for a legitimate tattoo shop with their order, which our staff may then need to verify before shipping the order. For more information on how this policy works, take a look at our Terms And Conditions.
Q) I'm not a tattooist but I want to learn. What's the best way to get started?
A) This is a complex question with no simple answer. The most important thing to remember is that you can damage someone with tattoo equipment- it simply isn't a trade to teach yourself in your kitchen. If you are in fact artistic and have a collection of your art to show to tattoo shop owners, you have a good chance of finding someone to take you on and teach you the right way. But it's likely you'll have to relocate or make other life changes in order to pursue tattooing. If you aren't ready to make these small sacrifices for the sake of a promising career, you should look elsewhere. Keep in mind how many people move to another state (or country) for the college education of their choice, so if finding a good apprenticeship in an established shop requires making life changes, you have to be ready to accept that. Here's what you need to do. First, you need a portfolio. It shouldn't be too long- attention spans are short and if you can't impress a potential employer in the first dozen pages, it won't happen in the next hundred either. Choose your drawings carefully and arrange them in order, with the most impressive recent work as the first page. Create some new art for the purpose, and give it your all- this portfolio is the passport to your future, so be willing to push yourself to your limits. Try to make your pages clean, well-composed and organized. Put them in a view binder with a front cover, and start the whole thing with a letter of introduction. This should be short but include an introduction of who you are, what your artistic experience consists of, and where you plan on going with your future. Give them a good reason to hire you, and express desire to find a shop where you can settle down and put in a few good years. Shop owners want to hear this. Next, put together an online portfolio. There are ways to do this for free- MySpace and Flickr are two good examples of free photo gallery sites. Keep your online portfolio up-to-date, and any time you create any new art, post it there with your most recent material first in the gallery. Make sure any personal information you have along with the images reflects the kind of impression you are trying to convey to potential employers. Consider printing a few cheap business cards, listing yourself as an artist and containing your online gallery address. This not only helps you to network, but the presence of a printed portfolio, an online gallery and a business card make a statement about how together you are. Shop owners are impressed by this stuff. Last but not least, start networking. Getting onto some tattoo forums and chat rooms provides an opportunity for you to get your drawings seen and get the word out that you're looking for a shop to take you on. As a regular presence on the web, your name will start becoming familiar to people. In addition, try hitting a few conventions here and there, where you can meet artists in person, take seminars and get to know the profession a little better. Even if you don't get a job offer, you'll have the chance to get feedback on your portfolio. Remain open minded to criticism- you can't learn by defending your mistakes. You'll need to print a few copies of your portfolio, and every once in a while you'll meet a shop owner who you'll want to leave a copy with. Be sure it contains your contact information! And you probably want to avoid leaving your portfolio with anyone at a shop that isn't the owner- chances are they'll never see it otherwise. Be ready to work hard, take some lumps and meet resistance. That's the way it is in any worthwhile pursuit- just having the desire isn't enough. You need the work ethic to make it all happen. Building your portfolio and presenting yourself to the profession is a good place to start.
Q) I'm a tattoo artist and have recently put together an instructional book and DVD. I'd like to see my stuff listed on Tattooeducation.com; how do I go about doing that?
A) Start by contacting Guy Aitchison at email@example.com and describe your product. He'll want you to send him a copy for review. You can send it to: Hyperspace Studios PO Box 371 Marion IL 62959 There is no guarantee that we'll be able to carry your material, but it's worth asking. We're aiming for quality over quantity, so whether or not we'll carry a book or DVD depends first and foremost on the originality and usefulness of your educational material but also will depend on quality of production, artistic vision and your reputation in the industry. If you're not a well-known artist but your material is topnotch, we'd love to have you. It's up to you to cover the cost of your own production; we then will purchase them from you at a wholesale rate and handle all the distribution ourselves.
Q) I'm going to be giving a seminar at a convention this year and I'd like to see it listed on tattooeducation.com. How do I do this?
A) You can submit your information to our manager Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll have it posted within 3 days. Seminar listings are free. You'll want to include: > Your name > Title of the seminar > Date and location (this includes the name of the convention it's associated with and a link to the convention's homepage) > Price of seminar per person > Description of seminar: in 50-250 words, describe what artists have to learn by attending. > An image of artwork that helps fill out the description. JPEGs in the 60-120kb range are best.
Q) In exploring my avenues regarding a possible career change, I have seriously considered becoming a tattoo artist. Maybe this might seem a bit forward of me to even ask, but I was wondering, is it possible to make a living that I can support a family on doing this, and how stable will it be?
A) The income of a tattooist can vary from pitiful to extremely comfortable, depending on location, artistic skill, people skills, salesmanship, etc... there are some very mediocre tattooists who own multiple shops and roll in the dough, and very fine artists who barely pay their bills. So there are a lot of factors. If you are a dedicated artist to begin with, and you get good training and end up in a clean, well- established shop, you can expect to bring home at least $100 a day, and sometimes much more, even after giving the shop their cut. There is also a slow season, which varies in length and intensity from year to year, that you need to be prepared for. Bottom line is, it is what you make of it, provided you are willing to work harder than at least half the other artists around you.
Q) I'm curious about pricing, which always seems like a tricky subject. For example, if someone calls you on the phone for a particular piece, do you have them send out a deposit before you start any rough sketches and from there do you use a flat rate? I know reputation plays an important role with pricing but I'd be interested in your formula for setting the final price.
A) Most custom artists base their price on an hourly rate. This can vary from $100 to $250, or even higher. $100 is about as low as you should go- this is a good price for the first few years of an artist's career. An hourly rate is a good place to start and easy for the client to understand and accept. However, it doesn't hurt to be flexible. For instance, in the case of a large multiple-session piece, a flat rate per session of 4 or 5 hour's worth can be enough to make it worthwhile to work 6 or 7 hours, while still being affordable enough that they can come in regularly. It's good to begin by asking what budget they are hoping to stay within. This sometimes gets a hesitant response, but it's so important to establish this in the beginning that you shouldn't proceed any further until It's been discussed and both parties feel comfortable with the amount. Usually the client will relax visibly after this stage. Once a price has been quoted, it's best not to charge more than that quote unless the quote was a 'rough estimate' on a large piece and the client understands perfectly well that it may end up being more. But especially in the case of a single session piece, it's a good idea to stick to your quote, even if it means giving away some time. If you underquote the piece, that shouldn't justify rushing to finish the tattoo and compromising the results. Although a fair amount of time may go into drawing and preparation for each piece, it's best to make sure that your hourly rate for applying the tattoo accounts for the preparation time. A deposit is a very good idea unless you are very familiar with the client; most artists have had personal experiences with time wasted on elaborate drawings for people who never showed up. Most clients have no trouble with leaving a deposit-- just be sure to keep good records of deposits, and write up a receipt of some sort for the client in case your records are unavailable; it's best not to be left with any doubts about either party's integrity.