Tattooing for Success: Smashing Through Barriers on Your Tattoo Journey


Tattooing for Success: Smashing Through Barriers on Your Tattoo Journey


For tattoo artists, the road to prosperity and career fulfillment is filled with obstacles. But once you know the most common blocks, you can demolish them on your way to mastery. Let's break it down so you can avoid pitfalls and pave the way to greatness.


Roadblock #1: The Mental Game


The biggest barrier is often in your own mindset. Self-doubt, negative self-talk, and lack of confidence can seriously destroy your ability to succeed. Thoughts like "I'm not good enough yet" or "Who am I to do this?" will sabotage your vibe faster than shaky linework.


Stay focused on the positive and celebrate small wins and milestones. Avoid comparing yourself to Instagram celebrities or other artists in the spotlight. Know that with dedicated effort, you'll progressively level up your skills over time. And don't put off getting yourself out there until you think you're "good enough" - make moves now and believe in yourself.


Roadblock #2: Chasing Someone Else's Dream


It's understandable to have artistic heroes whose styles and career paths you admire. But replicating someone else's vision rather than developing your own is another common block. Figure out what YOU love to tattoo and let that authentic passion shine through in your work.


Trust your own inner creative muse rather than just what mentors and idols are into. Take time to reflect on your interests, values, preferred styles, and artistic vision. Define success on your own terms. Don't rely on others' approval. Stay true to your distinctive talents so you can stand out rather than blend in.


Roadblock #3: Fear of Technology


If you avoid mastering computers, software, social media, and other digital tools, you are severely limiting your business success and ability to effectively connect with today's clients. Being tech-averse in 2023 sinks your chances.


Instead, fully embrace technology and learn everything you can. Use computers for marketing, scheduling, finances, and building client relationships. Learn social media inside and out. Dive into design programs, online galleries, virtual consultations and anything else that makes your services smoother and more accessible. Technology can make your business way more efficient.


Roadblock #4: Not putting the work in.


Coasting on your current skills without continuing to actively expand your knowledge and portfolio is an easy trap. Successful tattoo careers require constant practice, education and improvement outside the shop.


Take classes, workshops, study new courses online, and immerse yourself in focused personal projects to level up weaker areas. Broaden your artistic horizons whenever possible. Show clients your dedication to steady growth through ongoing art practice. Consistency leads to mastery. Don't get complacent.


Roadblock #5: Suckin' at Business


Many artists focus solely on their technical skills while neglecting the equally crucial business side. But tattooing is first and foremost client service. To thrive, you need both creative talent AND solid business ability.


Be proactive about strengthening key areas like customer service, marketing, money management, goal-setting and organization. Apply some hustle and brains to your operation. Running an efficient, client-friendly shop is just as important as your whip shading. Find ways to combine your unique artistic gifts with professional business practices.


The road ahead has ruts and rocks, but now you can steer clear of these common pitfalls. Stay motivated, believe in your talents, embrace technology, keep growing, and your wildest tattoo career dreams can become reality. Your passion and drive are unstoppable. Now get out there and start inking!

Matt Hodel

Tattooing since 1995

Business Coach

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