Chronic Ink has been helping great artists turn into great tattoo artists for a number of years now. What we’ve learned is that there is a general lack of information on what it takes to be a tattoo artist. We’ve been working over the years to tailor and improve upon our apprenticeship program so that it delivers a valuable and worthwhile experience to the apprentice and that means working with the apprentices to set clear expectations of what you want from us and what we want from you. Before visiting our studio, make sure you get these 4 things done so that the meeting can be as productive as possible. Keep in mind we’ve kept these points general so that you can use this checklist for any tattoo shop in the Toronto & Vancouver area. 1. Should I call first? YES! Always make an appointment before coming into a tattoo shop to discuss an apprenticeship. With the rising popularity of tattoos, tattoo shops have become busier and busier places. Stopping by unannounced means rolling the dice on whether we’ll be able to have a meaningful discussion with you. It can also set things off on the wrong foot. That being said, you may want to think about making your appointment in person. Emails can get lost or buried and showing up in person tells us that you’re serious and sincere, just don’t expect to have the full apprenticeship talk right then and there. 2. Should I bring a portfolio? It’s a good idea. Depending on how the talk goes, a tattoo shop may ask to see samples of your work on the spot. Better to be prepared than to have to come back later. We also recommend that you bring along a few drawing tools; you may be asked to show your drawing technique during the talk. Coming prepared is a lot better than having to ask for a pencil and some paper. 3. Do I need a resume? Similar to the drawing tools question, bringing your resume is a good idea. While not all tattoo shops will want to see it, there is no harm in bringing it and most tattoo shops will want to see it to get a better idea. We’re going to be the first ones to say that your life should not be defined by a single piece of paper, but it will give us a starting point for our discussion. 4. Do I need ID? There is no legal minimum age for a tattoo apprenticeship in Toronto & Vancouver, but a lot of studios will not take anyone under the age of 18. Again, bringing your ID will not hurt you, so we do recommend bringing it. You may have noticed a few common trends in this checklist: be prepared, being passionate and be respectful. While we can’t speak for other tattoo shops, at Chronic Ink, we’re looking for apprentices who will fit in well and have the passion to succeed. That means you’ll always need to be prepared to take on new responsibilities and projects as you work through the apprenticeship. By showcasing your passion and determination in our very first meeting, you’ll be setting the right tone for the rest of the program. We’re looking forward to meeting you in person! The Chronic Ink team.