Beginning to Tattoo
Tattoo Lesson One
In this lesson we will discuss what type of equipment you should have, and try to explain some of the photograph's I have provided. This is the first tattoo lesson, so if this your first time learning about tattooing, pay attention because it is important to know how your equipment operates.
Let's Check Your Gear
- You need a tattoo machine; a liner will be preferable for the first several lessons I will be giving. I am assuming that you all know the difference between a liner and shader type tattoo machine. If you don’t, I will be providing the types of tattoo machines I use and some basic mechanics that will help you tattoo a hundred percent better.
- Power supply, if you have one from a kit, or you spent a little more change for one, settings on these things are an absolute must to have figured out. Tuning your machine correctly will help you manage the normal current you run through your tattoo machines, making it easier to adjust your power supply if tattooing at different locations and your equipment gets knocked around.
- A foot pedal to activate a current or terminate a current by simply pressing or lifting your foot on the device.
- A clip cord that connects your machine to the power supply while the foot pedal activates or terminates the current that goes to your tattoo machine.
- With a tattoo machine, you need a tattoo lining tube; diamond shape dimension is great for the beginner, and a person with plenty of experience seem to prefer these shaped tube tips as well.
- Proper lining needle, I just use the standard bug pin tight needle grouping. Gives me a solid line every time, if you received a kit and are not sure what type of needles you have, just make sure that the liner grouping you are attempting to use is round in nature like the head of a pen. Not to be insulting if anyone else is annoyed, but some people need it spelled out.
- Next thing make sure you got at least two to three rubber bands that will fit snugly around the tattoo machine (holds your needle bar firmly in place allowing for an excellent line while tattooing.)
- Armature bar nipples, this is an essential part of the gear you need, unless you understand the mechanical components of the machine and how the needle bar loop fits and functions try to use these items they help establish great tattooed lines.
- Ink caps, for beginners I suggest using the larger sized caps if you have different sized ones.
- Ink, so again if you got a kit and are using non-brand named inks, do a little research, and give me some feedback on what types you are using. I can give you thumbs up or down, if I know the brand.
- A tub of Vaseline: You will use this on the skin during the tattoo process, prevents the ink from sticking to the skin allowing better attention to the line work, or shading that you are doing.
- At least one cup of water sometimes up to three depending on how extensive the lining or shading is.
- Plenty of paper towels, the best size towel is the 11x10 folds well into shapes you will value as we get really into the tattooing.
- Razors for shaving the area you will be tattooing, some dudes are hairy oh so scary, and at times you will need more than one. I use Schick’s double blade, like 12 for 2 or three bucks.
- Most but not all kits will come with a green soap solution that you can reduce with spring or filtered water, city water out of your sink is ok too. Spray bottle is fine, squirt bottle in my opinion is about equal, the only noticeable difference in my opinion is that with a squirt bottle you generally apply it to the paper towel you are going to wipe with, this does give you more control with where you are wiping, instead of getting overspray on an already fading stencil, or spraying it into your buddy’s wife face. I have done both I like the squirt bottle.
- Alcohol water 50/50 mix: Make sure your alcohol is 70% and above for it to be an effective cleaner.
- Deodorant (Speed Stick): This is applied to the skin after it has been shaved to adhere a proper stencil. The alcohol in the deodorant evaporates allowing the stencil to dry to the skin semi-permanently.
- Stencil: Do your best if starting out to use a stencil, this is a great technique that will build your confidence. Or if you are free handing I have found Sharpies to work great in comparison to spending three or four dollars on one skin scribe you can get from tattoo supply companies.
Ok, that is the more detailed bit on what equipment items are awesome to use for in-home tattooing. Again if you have questions please post, I would like to hear positive feedback. I have tattooed professionally for more than seven years, and I am a self-taught tattoo artist.
The reason I am sharing this information is for those serious artist out there, and he or she has had no luck getting into a tattoo parlor. Well here is a great start with what I am offering in this blog. I have a lot of the frustrating answers many new tattooists have questions to. So more in the next day or so. I want to talk about power settings and machine tuning. Not sure but I might do a video, if not some real good pics. Remember if this was useful or interesting, please vote up or follow.
Questions & Answers
Are the whole tattoo kits worth starting with? What do you, the author of this article, think of self-tattooing as a good way of feeling/testing settings and getting to know the set up of a tattoo machine?
I have not found any kits that are good starter kits... I pieced everything together over time. Yes, I think self-tattooing is a good way to understand what you will be doing to others.Helpful 4
© 2012 Jason Goodrow