Beginner Tattoo Artist: The Supplies You Need To Get Started

The American tattoo artist industry was worth $1.4 billion in 2022

The tattoo industry is an exciting one to be a part of, but it can be tricky to get into. There’s specific equipment you need to purchase and training you have to do. 

Keep reading to learn about the process of being a beginner tattoo artist!


For tattoos to be done properly, you’ve got to invest in the right tattoo equipment. There are some beginner tattoo artist kits you can buy online.

If you want to build your own kit, below is a rundown of the basic tattooing materials you’ll need. 

Tattoo Machine (Gun)

The tattoo machine is a handheld device into which you put the needles and ink. There are thousands of brands and models for you to choose from, so it’s important to do your research before committing to anything. 

For beginners, you won’t need anything too fancy since the tattoos you’ll be doing are less complicated. But know that as you progress, you’ll have to upgrade your machines. You’ll also need to service them regularly to keep them in good condition. 

Structural Equipment

When talking about tattoo equipment for beginners, tables and chairs are often forgotten. But when you and your client are sitting down for hours at a time, it’s important that everyone is comfortable. 

It’s also wise to get lamps, both wearable and free-standing.

A privacy screen is not always necessary, but if you’re in a space with other artists and clients then it can make clients more comfortable. 

Sterilization Equipment

Tattoos pose a serious infection risk if you don’t follow proper hygiene guidelines. You’ll need an array of equipment to keep everything clean and sterile:

  • disinfectant
  • disposable gloves
  • disposable needles
  • vaseline
  • biohazard waste bin
  • covers for tattoo machine
  • professional storage containers and trays

These are only the basics. Make sure you consult legal and hygiene guidelines to keep everyone safe and comfortable. 


After you’ve got your beginner tattoo artist supplies, you’ve got to get the right training. 

An online art course is always beneficial to make sure your art skills are up to scratch. Tattooing isn’t only about putting the ink onto people’s skin – you’ve got to have the artistic eye and hand for it too. 

While you can slowly train yourself, the most effective training is a tattoo apprenticeship. Typically, you’ll join a tattoo studio as an apprentice. The resident tattoo artists will train you and guide you through your first few clients. 

Once the resident tattoo artists are satisfied with your skills, they’ll sign off on your apprenticeship and you’ll be a fully-fledged tattoo artist. Click to learn more tattoo tips for beginners

Being a Beginner Tattoo Artist

It’s not easy being a beginner tattoo artist. You need a lot of patience, enough resources, and maybe even some good luck. 

But if you build the right starter tattoo kit, you’ve got a good chance of being taken seriously and moving yourself up in your skills and art. 

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