If you are planning on becoming an apprentice tattoo artist, you'll need to buy your own tattoo equipment
. While tattoo guns use needles that need to be disposed or sterilized after every use, you will need your own equipment to practice on. Aside from finding the right equipment, you'll also need to know what you need and what you can do without. The gun uses needles and ink to apply the tattoo, but it also gets its power from an amp. A tattoo amp is plugged into an electrical outlet and adjusted to control the speed and depth that needles go into the skin. Tattoo ink is specifically made to be used on human skin, comes in an endless array of colors and can be mixed for custom colors.
When you first start shopping for tattoo equipment, look at the weight of the tattoo gun and power of the amplifier. If you are a beginner, a lighter gun will be best because it will put less of a strain on your arm. The amplifier doesn't need to be particularly powerful as you will not be tattooing in long sessions. Getting a few packs of needles and pig's skin to practice with will also be needed.
Believe it or not, but most tattoo parlors don't sell tattoo equipment. You will need to find a tattoo supply store before being able to purchase equipment. If you cannot find a tattoo store locally, look for one online. Look up the specifications for weight and power as well as look up the manufacturer before making a purchase. See if it comes with a warranty as you might change your mind after you use it a few times. Eventually you will become more comfortable using a heavier tattoo gun, but apprentices often spend years training before needing heavier professional equipment.
While using tattoo equipment, you will have to take careful safety precautions. All equipment, including the needles, tattoo gun and attachments should be cleaned thoroughly. You will need to wash you hands, put on disposable gloves and take care not to stab yourself with the needles. After it is turned off, you should unplug the amp and properly dispose of the needles. It is very dangerous to keep used needles in a gun when not in use. Even if the tattoo needles are clean, they can still pose a threat if the gun is not carefully stored.
Shopping for tattoo equipment should be a fast venture as there are only a few specifications you should consider before buying. Make sure that the weight of the tattoo gun is light enough to use for several hours at a time. Get an amp that has a steady power supply and adequate voltage, and check to see if the power cords are included. Buy a small bottle of ink and some pig skin for practicing, as well as some disposable gloves and antibacterial soap for sanitizing your hands. Keep the warranties and return policies of equipment purchased in mind in case you end up not liking the products. After a view years practicing on your newly acquired equipment you will be able to get licensed as a professional tattoo artist.
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