How to become a Body Artist

Body Artist

Body artists decorate or modify the bodies of their customers using techniques such as tattooing and piercing. While some body artists perform a combination of these techniques, it is not uncommon for a body artist to specialise in one area, such as tattooing or piercing.

Personal requirements for a Body Artist

  • Maturity
  • Good interpersonal skills and an ability to put the customer at ease
  • Steady hand
  • Good personal hygiene
  • Responsible attitude to work (to eliminate risk of transmitting blood-borne diseases)
  • Comfortable with needles
  • Self-promotion skills
  • Artistic ability (for a tattooist)

Education & Training for a Body Artist

To become a body artist, extensive on-the-job training is usually required. Before a reputable studio will consider you for training, you will need to display a high level of motivation and dedication, as competition for such positions can be extremely strong. In order to be considered for training as a tattooist, you will also be required to possess a high level of drawing skill and be able to produce a portfolio of your designs. The length of training can vary considerably and may range from eight to 12 months for a body piercer and up to five years for a tattooist. You will be required to observe all procedures before attempting them and will then be closely supervised the first time you attempt a new procedure. Typically, you will not be paid during this period of observation and training. During this training period, you will learn about sterilisation, cross-contamination and other health and safety issues. You may also learn about different piercing and tattooing techniques, equipment maintenance and repair, jewellery quality and selection, customer service and anatomy.


Additional information

Many studios prefer to train individuals in their mid-twenties or older. Body artists are usually required to possess a Provide First Aid Certificate.

Duties & Tasks of a Body Artist

Body artists:

  • Consult with customers to discuss the services they require
  • Maintain, clean and sterilise equipment and rooms to meet the skin penetration regulations of the state or territory
  • Design tattoos, make line drawings from photocopies and make stencils for tattoos
  • Make piercings using needles and tattoos using a tattoo machine, ensuring high standards of hygiene and contamination control
  • Advise customers on after-care procedures
  • Promote themselves to increase client numbers.

Tasks

  • Shaves the area being tattooed and applies disinfectant to the skin..
  • Explains tattooing procedure to client..
  • Helps the client chose an image, interprets the client's ideas to form a suitable image, copy or design image for the client, resizes image to fit the body part it is going on and makes a stencil of the image..
  • Applies cream and antiseptic covers to the finished tattoo..
  • Ensures all sterilisation equipment is kept in good working order..
  • Ensures the studio and equipment meets with sterilisation, waste management and health and safety standards..
  • Tells clients how to properly care for the tattoo..
  • Ensures client is certain about wanting a tattoo..
  • Puts the stencil on the skin to ensure it fits with the body part..
  • Draws the outline, colouring and shadowing of the tattoo with inked needles..
  • Solders the group of needles onto the needle bar..
  • Trains people..

Working conditions for a Body Artist

Body artists work indoors and may be required to work evenings and weekends.


Employment Opportunities for a Body Artist

Despite the growing popularity of body modification, body artistry is a highly competitive field. The majority of body artists work on a subcontractor basis and are paid for the work they do rather than a fixed salary. Job prospects may depend largely on an individual's reputation and self-promotion skills. As it is difficult to predict customer demand for body art, a body artist's income can be unpredictable.


Specializations

Body Artist

Body artists decorate or modify the bodies of their customers using techniques such as tattooing and piercing. While some body artists perform a combination of these techniques, it is not uncommon for a body artist to specialise in one area, such as tattooing or piercing.

  • Average age
    Average age
    31 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Very strong
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    42% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    44 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,163
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Lower skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Higher Unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    57% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    2,500 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.2%
    NSW: 23.8%
    NT: 0.4%
    QLD: 28.7%
    SA: 7.2%
    TAS: 2.7%
    VIC: 26.3%
    WA: 9.6%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 3.4%
    20-24: 16.2%
    25-34: 42.4%
    35-44: 22%
    45-54: 11.3%
    55-59: 2.7%
    60-64: 1.1%
    65 and Over: 1%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 14%
    Bachelor degree: 8.7%
    Certificate III/IV: 23.2%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0.8%
    Year 10 and below: 16.4%
    Year 11: 8.5%
    Year 12: 28.5%
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