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Ultimate Guide: Learn How to Tattoo 2016

This is the first post on how to tattoo out of many to come.

eventually we plan on doing editions like:

  • How to Tattoo for beginners
  • How to become a Tattoo artist
  • How to shade tattoos
  • How to hold a tattoo gun
  • Best tattoo guns for both advanced and beginners
  • Tattoo Techiniques

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Disclaimer: If you are new, strongly advice getting a mentor and learning from a proffesional before attempting any of the advice in this guide.

Section 1: How to Tattoo – Know Your Machine

Your Tattoo gun should be your most prized posession. When I first started doing tattoos in miami and tattoos in hollywood fl, I was always known as the shooter.

Reason being, I always had my gun on me. My Cheap Tattoo gun.

At first, your machine might feel like a foreign object. This is why its so important to always keep it with you and become comfortable with it. You should honestly have what I like to call a “mind body” connection with your machine. This is the most important step if you want to know how to become a tattoo artist.

Different types of Tattoo Guns

Rotary Tattoo Machines:

Here is what you need to know about using the Rotary machines:

  • Vibrations are not as intense
  • It is Lighter
  • Great for longer Sessions
  • Expensive
  • Parts Expensive
  • Only select places provide them

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Coil Tattoo Machines:

Here is what you need to know about the Coil Machines:

Some would say the noise (Man up !).
Vibrations are strong
The overall look is cleaner

Rotary Machines vs. Coil Machines

I have always hated this question. But after being asked so many times I think I have the right answer now.

I recommend the Coil Machines for those who are trying to learn how to tattoo, simply because it is more affordable and it looks better. This way the begginer can feel like a real tattoo artist while he learns the art of tattooing.

For advanced to intermediete, I recommened using both the rotary and the coil becuase they both have their time and place and as a proffesional, you should always be prepared.

Different Parts of a Tattoo Gun


List of all the parts in a Tattoo Machine:

  • Contact Screw
  • Front Spring
  • Top Hate Grommet
  • Tube Clamp
  • Rear Spring
  • Amature Bar
  • O-Ring
  • Front Binding Post
  • Rear Spring
  • Amature Bar
  • Clip Cord Entrance
  • Rear Binding Post
  • Yoke
  • Coils Capasitor

You may realise most tattoo guns look different in 2016 than the one above containing a list of all the parts in a tattoo gun. Even though most machines in 2016 may appear to be different, they are build the exact same way.

At the end of the day, the whole point is to get the needle in and out of the skin in order to deliver the ink into the first two layers of the skin and create a tattoo art peice.

How to handle a Tattoo Machine Tips

It is all about having a proper angle. A very good tattooing technique is to use a 45 degree angle when inserting ink in order to deliver the tattoo ink as best as possible.

Should you keep your Tattoo needle Vertical ?

No, becuase it chances are the ink will seek out of the hole being peirced by the maching you are tattooing with.

Should you keep your Tattoo needle Horizontal ?

No, because it is reall hard to hit your outlines and it lead to an unsatified customer. I would know. When I first started at my tattoo shop in miami, this exact incident happened to me.

Mounting your Machines with Speed

After you have learn how to correctly put your tools and equipement together without making too many mistakes, you should spend every chance you get trying to increase you speed.

How Deep Should I go When Tattooing ?

When tattooing, depth is a very impotant skill you will have to master. This can make or break your career as a tattoo artist.

Too deep and you can hurt you client and ruin the tattoo peice.

Too shallow and the ink could fade after the heal process.

When it comes to going deep when tattooing a client, I will honeslty say that this will come with experience. Finding the sweet spot becomes really easy once you are self-aware.

Machine Strokes

We beleive one must learn how to do his machine strokes. This is really important as it plays a big part in line work and freestyling.

You should ask for some tips on machine strokes when tattoing because it can turn a 3 hours session into a 2 hour session when perfected.

Cleaning Tattoo Equipment

It is a must ! You should know how to clean your tattoo gun, tools equipment, needs and so on. Actually Discard of your used tattoo needles. Steralize all your tattoo equipment and wear gloves.

Tattoo Artist Hygeine Tips

  • Dont have long un groomed hair.
  • Keep your nails cut
  • Clean clothes
  • Make your hands clean with preferably pro biotic soap
  • Always be sure to do your work areas are well maintained and clean.

How to Prepare for a Tattoo Client [Infographic]



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Step 1:

Creating a tattoo design. Either drawn on a sheet of paper, or create and printed from your computer. Online has many different ideas that you can use for art or inspiration.

Step 2:

Place the design of the stencil paper.

Step 3:

Cut out the stencil.

Step 4:

Thoroughly clean the area in which you plan to do the tattoo

Step 5:

Shave the skin with a disposable razor and then dry it

Step 6:

Moisten area with correct soap.

Step 7:

Select any kind of Stencil solvent, put on a pair of gloves. Place the stencil on the skin (the purple side down). Remove any bubbles by smoothing out the  stencil properly and steadily.

Step 8:

Give it 20 seconds and let it dry and then begin.

How to Tattoo: Contours

Keep in mind that the outlines of your tattoos can make or break the entire project. So basically. If you start bad, you will probably finish where you start.

I have seen this time and time again at tattoo shops near me and even in my tattoo shop in florida. Tattooing is always from the sides or in a forward posistion in order to maintain ink flowing to the needle and a never ending pushback from the tattoo gun.

Tip: The hand that does not hold the machine should keep pulling the skin to stretch it and make it easy to work and see what you are doing. If you choose loose soft skin it will be very difficult to see what you are doing, thus leading to disaster.

How to Outline Tattoos

Begin by dipping the needle in the ink that was agreed upon to use for the contour. Machine should be off at this point.

Ensure Color cup is tapped up and ready to go.

Begin the tattoo outline process and guide your way from the bottum to the top. Make sure there are no unclear lines.

After a proper beginning, you may need lots of refill inks for making the rest of the tattoo.

Long smooth movements with your machine are highly recommended.

Dip the tip of the needle in the ink in a few seconds in between.

After this take a break and let your hands rest then proceed to shading.

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Article written by Jovon

There is not enough Information and resources online for tattoos. I am here to change that.

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  1. Pingback: TSI Top 10 Tattoos 2016 | Week 1 | Tattoo Shop

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