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Cyia
01-08-2009, 01:51 AM
How old does someone have to be to work in a tattoo parlor? Could an artistically talented older teen work there? Maybe not as an artist, but as someone who designs tattoos for the sample books - that way they never touch the needles.

katiemac
01-08-2009, 02:08 AM
I haven't actually seen the show, but TLC has a series of reality shows based on people who work in tattoo parlors. I looked one up on Wikipedia, and the entry had this to say about Chris Garver, currently a parlor owner:


Garver's mother was an artist and encouraged his interest in painting (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Painting) and drawing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drawing). He first experimented with tattooing at age 17, after selling his bass guitar in order to purchase tattoo equipment. Garver took one year of art school and apprenticed for six months, repairing old tattoos that needed touch-ups, before he started tattooing clients on his own[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Garver#cite_note-1). In his early twenties, Garver moved to New York City (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City) where he became a full-time professional tattoo artist.

Kitty Pryde
01-08-2009, 02:15 AM
I'd say that a slightly dodgy tattoo shop is a place that might not necessarily follow all laws to the exact letter. In other words, even if it's illegal, it's probably not a big deal for them to do it anyway.

Clarec
01-08-2009, 02:19 AM
Based on watching Miami Ink and London Ink, they do take on teens sometimes, mostly as dogsbodies though! Sorry, trainees. They've got to be talented in drawing though and interesting in tattooing and interested the lifestyle. In general though they've got to earn their stripes in doing the crap work ie. tidying and cleaning the studio, changing the ink, getting coffee etc. Then I think they're allowed to do some training.

HTH

Clare

Cyia
01-08-2009, 02:37 AM
Great! Thanks!

kuwisdelu
01-08-2009, 04:01 AM
I'd say that a slightly dodgy tattoo shop is a place that might not necessarily follow all laws to the exact letter. In other words, even if it's illegal, it's probably not a big deal for them to do it anyway.

Shady as some tattoo shops might look, if they follow any of the rules, they'll likely be following all of them. (Well, okay, they may be lax on one or two unimportant ones, like smoking inside when no other customers are around.) But I've had long conversations with some tattoo artists that, if I saw them on the street, I might ordinarily dismiss them as the dregs of society, but when it comes to their art and cleanliness around it, they are pretty damn serious.

You can apprentice before you're eighteen, I think, more or less like Clarec described.

bethany
01-08-2009, 04:10 AM
I have a friend who taught a students to work type class where he set kids up to intern in various places. He set up a student to intern in a tattoo parlor, and I believe got reprimanded for it, but she now makes more money than him. I believe the student was 17 or 18.

Clarec
01-08-2009, 08:27 AM
Just to second what Kuwisdelu said, that most tattoo shops take health and safety rules very seriously. They might look a bit dodgy but they're not really - they're not going to have much business if they infect people with unclean needles and do bad work. Word of mouth is very important in this business. Which is not to say dodgy places don't exist, of course they do. But they're not the norm.

Sorry about missing words in my previous post, was typing while holding a (different) conversation with a work colleague.

Clare

thethinker42
01-08-2009, 08:30 AM
Just to second what Kuwisdelu said, that most tattoo shops take health and safety rules very seriously. They might look a bit dodgy but they're not really - they're not going to have much business if they infect people with unclean needles and do bad work. Word of mouth is very important in this business. Which is not to say dodgy places don't exist, of course they do. But they're not the norm.

Sorry about missing words in my previous post, was typing while holding a (different) conversation with a work colleague.

Quote for truth. All four of the artists who did my tattoos LOOKED like the kind of people my folks warned me about, but were extremely professional, very emphatic about cleanliness, etc. The shops were absolutely immaculate.

My dream is to find a retired tattoo artist to clean my house...

FinbarReilly
01-08-2009, 09:07 AM
If it helps, in California, you do need to be 18 (the same is apparently true of Japan). Also, there are a number of fees and other costs that apply as well.

FR

Kitty Pryde
01-08-2009, 09:31 AM
devotion to extreme cleanliness and artistic precision don't necessarily imply devotion to legal regulations, is all i'm saying.

kuwisdelu
01-08-2009, 12:15 PM
devotion to extreme cleanliness and artistic precision don't necessarily imply devotion to legal regulations, is all i'm saying.

Not doing so is asking to be shut down.

It's not for nothing that there hasn't been a single case of any kind of blood-born disease stemming from a legally licensed tattoo parlor in the US.

In my experience, it's very all-or-nothing. They may be exceptions, but I doubt any place claiming to be legal and licensed that isn't following through with the regulations is going to get away with it for very long.

thethinker42
01-08-2009, 12:41 PM
Not doing so is asking to be shut down.

It's not for nothing that there hasn't been a single case of any kind of blood-born disease stemming from a legally licensed tattoo parlor in the US.

In my experience, it's very all-or-nothing. They may be exceptions, but I doubt any place claiming to be legal and licensed that isn't following through with the regulations is going to get away with it for very long.

Good point.

I know of two people who got tattoos when they were under 18, and both shops were shut down within a few months. Whether it was a result of underage tattooing or not, I don't know, but it doesn't strike me as much of a coincidence.

scarletpeaches
01-08-2009, 01:06 PM
I love men covered in tattoos.

That is all.

Red-Green
01-08-2009, 06:39 PM
This may come as a surprise, but unlike with alcohol, many states have age requirements to receive tattoos, but no age requirement for giving tattoos. My little sisters both started working in our father's tattoo shop in Tyler, Texas, when they were 14. Of course, they also both got their first tattoos at 14, because they had parental permission. (Here's me on my soapbox: my father is a moron. Let's just say, at 14 a purple cartoon pegasus probably seemed cool to my sisters, but at 27, not so much.)

IceCreamEmpress
01-08-2009, 10:27 PM
How old does someone have to be to work in a tattoo parlor?

As others have said, this is going to vary from country to country, from state to state (and probably from province to province), and even from municipality to municipality.

Homewrecker
01-08-2009, 10:40 PM
I recall a 16 year old designing art at the tat shop a friend of mine started. As already stated, the rules vary from state to state. In the wilds of Idaho there is almost no regulation, (dated info here) so they were taking it upon themselves to maintain health standards.

One thing I find interesting is the subculture attached to it. Not everyone follows it but my brother apprenticed to be a tattoo artist and had to pay the journeyman who trained him. It is interesting to see some of these craft tradition are still carried on.

Cheers!

kuwisdelu
01-09-2009, 03:33 AM
This may come as a surprise, but unlike with alcohol

Actually, some states do allow you to tend bar if you're over 18 but still under 21. I believe you have to be supervised in some way, though.

scarletpeaches
01-09-2009, 03:44 AM
I have just received a PM linking me to a photo of another AW member's tattoo.

I have no reason to share this, except sheer boastage.

:D

FinbarReilly
01-09-2009, 07:13 AM
I recall a 16 year old designing art at the tat shop a friend of mine started.
Was he designing it, or actually putting it on someone? Worlds of difference...

FR

Rabe
01-09-2009, 09:27 PM
Quote for truth. All four of the artists who did my tattoos LOOKED like the kind of people my folks warned me about, but were extremely professional, very emphatic about cleanliness, etc. The shops were absolutely immaculate.

My dream is to find a retired tattoo artist to clean my house...

In my former assignment (working in the jail) I had the opportunity to deal with numerous of the tattoo people in town.

Three of them, I wouldn't mind going and getting tattoos from. One guy I actually made an appointment with but other things caused him to shut down his shop and he stopped doing it for some time.

Why do I say I would get it from these people?

Well, the level of talent in their artwork that I've seen. Plus, I'd seen the way they kept their cells and areas. Very clean, very well organized. And the guy I made the appointment with? He had some problems with a few other inmates who learned he was a tattoo artist. They wanted him to do some 'jailhouse' tattoos but he refused. None of the equipment or environment would be sanitary enough for him.

So do I believe that most tattoo parlors are following health and safety standards to the letter? Yes, yes I do. Do I believe these are people I have to deal with at work in some capacity? Yes, yes I do.

Does that mean that I think they would flagrantly violate the laws and ruin something that is not only just a livelihood but a passion for them? No, no I don't. Even if they do violate other laws.

And DARN! I was going to try to find the photo of my last tattoo but I apparently took it down from Flickr. I go in about a month to get another tattoo done. Then I have to get my first one finished up and two others - then maybe I'll be done with them.

Except...I got this idea for another one and...

Rabe...

...who waited thirty three years before getting his first tattoo...

Homewrecker
01-09-2009, 11:02 PM
Was he designing it, or actually putting it on someone? Worlds of difference...

FR


designing. and i agree there is a difference.

Cheers!

DonnaDuck
01-10-2009, 03:10 AM
I would never get inked from a 16 year old. I don't care how nice his work was. Those are needles and ink and my body. I wouldn't trust him behind the wheel of a car let alone scarring me for life. My friend had a tattoo done as someone's first. It looks like a purple and black blob and she's scarred to high hell because he pressed too hard. He was 18. No, I don't think so. I want some season on that steak, thanks.

I was 16 when I first started getting tattooed (youngest you can be in the state with parental permission, legally) and all of mine have been done by people recommended to me. There has to be some level of trust there and I need backing that I'm walking into a clean, professional environment that isn't going to ink a heart onto my ass when I want a skull on my arm.

Cyia
01-10-2009, 03:18 AM
Thanks for all the input guys. So it sounds like I'm in bounds with a 17 year old art student designing tats. for an artist.