Frequently Asked Questions
How do I become a tattoo artist?
Although tempting, becoming a tattoo artist is not an easy task. One must truly put his mind and heart into it in order to become successful. The first steps are also the most important ones, since it involves finding your “creative vain”.
Learning how to draw is the basis on which you will build on. Even though many successful tattoo artists didn’t get an art degree, nowadays, it is highly recommended to do so since the competition is fierce in the quality of artwork. Apart from drawing, a tattoo artist, must grasp basic design skills and be able to work with design software such as photoshop.
The next steps are to build a strong portfolio of your work which you can later use to gain an apprenticeship at a tattoo studio. This is a more complicated tasks as there are limited apprentice positions available. These days, you might even have to pay in order to apprentice for a renown studio or tattoo artist. There is no limit to how long an apprenticeship should last but usually your mentor will have finished your training within a year or two. This is also the phase in which you choose and purchase your first tattoo supplies. How exciting!
After finishing the apprenticeship, you will want to start your journey as a tattoo artist. To do that, you will need to get licensed and gain proper certification. Inform yourself about your local licensing requirements. Usually these include some training in health, safety and basic health care concepts.
Learning the trade and aiming to continuously progress in your artwork will be an ongoing part of your career. Our recommendation is to reach out to other artists, visit and participate at tattoo conventions, attend guest spots and establish your social media and online presence.
We also want to point out some no goes and don’t does. Buying cheap tattoo kits online and tattooing from home with no guidelines or knowledge of hygiene, is not a way to become a tattoo artist, you would rather be called a “scratcher”. Don’t be the reason people seek out tattoo removals later on. Something else to avoid is to copy another artists’ work. Nobody likes a copy-cat, so simply use references and turn them into unique pieces of art rather than copying the work of another artist.
What equipment is needed for tattooing?
In order to offer tattooing services, there are lots of products needed to create a professional and safe/sterile tattooing environment. We will not go into such detail, since regulations and laws differ by country/state. If we exclude the medical, sterilization and preparation equipment needed, the basic equipment to create a tattoo is quite simple. You will need: a tattoo machine, power supply, clip cord, foot pedal, needles and tattooing ink. At least that’s the basic set up that is used traditionally.
Due to the recent technological advancement, the basic set up has improved greatly. Nowadays it is possible to purchase a tattoo machine that has the shape of a pen that features a built-in power supply. Basically, you can now tattoo wirelessly. As a leading tattoo equipment manufacturer, we offer the Stigma® Force wireless pen machine.
Can anyone buy a tattoo machine?
Although it is legal for anyone to purchase a tattoo machine, we urge any buyer who is not a licensed tattooist to practice on fake skin and oranges before tattooing on living beings.
What is the best tattoo machine for beginners?
The Stigma product line is established in a way that every artist and apprentice can find the perfect machine that fits his needs and wants. If you are a beginner we recommend the following machines:
Stigma® Thorn pen machine: The Thorn is easy and comfortable to use. With a solid hit and a stroke length of 3.5mm it is an all-round master (it’s also available with 3.0mm and 4.0mm stroke length), smooth and powerful, great to perform every tattooing technique. Since it is only the shape and size of a grip you will be amazed by how enjoyable it is to use on a daily basis. The Thorn is chosen by professional and beginner artists due to its quality build and attractive price.
Stigma® Stylist pen machine: The Stylist is a convenient tool that offers versatility and optimum performance. Its adjustable stroke length allows you to modify the stroke length from 3mm to 3.7mm and anywhere in between. The adjustment can be done while working just by tuning the upper part of the machine. Artists choose the Stylist pen over others because it has an ergonomic design, it is lightweight, powerful and is in a good pricing range too.
Stigma® Hyper V3 machine (non-pen): The Hyper machine series are legendary tattoo machines in the industry. Every renown artist has worked with a Hyper machine during their career and that is for good reason. The Hyper V3 is still the most flexible tattoo machine on the market, with a stroke length that can be adjusted from 3.6mm all the way to 6mm, that can be tuned in seconds, which makes it the softest rotary out there. Beginner tattooists as well as professionals prefer to work with the Hyper V3 because of its flexibility and longevity.
What is the best rotary machine?
Although this question is asked very frequently it is also one of the most difficult questions to answer. Factors such as: the tattooing style, technique and personal preferences in a machine’s features play a big role when deciding which rotary machine to purchase. Since each artist is unique in these factors, we can say with certainty that the choice depends on what each artist desires in a machine.
What tattoo machines do professionals use?
Although there has been a shift from artists using coil machines to mainly working with rotary machines, there are still artists who prefer working with coil machines or perform more traditional tattooing techniques such as Tebori, Sak Yant, Hand-poke etc.
Most professional tattoo artists use tattoo machines that are manufactured by known brands in the industry such as Stigma-Rotary®. That’s not only because they are popular brands, but because they offer quality tattoo equipment created by educated and highly experienced engineers. Manufacturers such as these, help shape the industry and create a more enjoyable tattooing environment for the artist and his clients.
Where to buy tattoo equipment?
In case you cannot purchase products directly from the manufacturer, we urge artists to buy their tattoo supplies at authorized distributors. Official tattoo suppliers offer a larger range of products which are authentic and of top quality. If you purchase your equipment from eBay or Amazon, there is a high risk, that you will receive a counterfeit product which was built with cheap components and may cause damage when tattooing or simply malfunction and break down. Before buying any product, inform yourself about the manufacturer and always check their website to see their current product line. We receive way too many messages from frustrated artists who didn’t inform themselves prior to their purchase and invested in counterfeit equipment that broke down or lacks expected performance.
Where can I purchase a Stigma-Rotary® Machine?
Stigma-Rotary® machines are only available to purchase through our official distributors. We have distributors all over the world.
How do I become a Stigma® ProArtist?
We receive sponsorship requests on a daily basis by artists from all around the world. We recommend artists to produce the best work that they can and always try to progress in their artwork. If you want to become part of the ProTeam, you should tag @stigmarotary in your work and add the hashtag #stigmarotary for us to be able to follow your work and growth. If we see outstanding work done with Stigma® equipment, we might offer you a sponsorship. Another highly important factor is that artists who want to apply for a sponsorship must participate at tattoo conventions.
Can I still purchase a previous machine/product models?
Unfortunately no, the product line that is currently available is the one you see on our website.
A few of our distributors might still have previous models available, however, please make sure you purchase only from one of the official distributors listed on our website to avoid counterfeit products.
Stigma® does and will continue to provide repair service (including spare parts) for machine models that are not in our current product line. Get in touch with our technical support team to learn more.
You can have your Stigma® machine/product repaired at our workshop and replace any parts needed by using the contact form below to get in touch with us directly.
We do offer service (including spare parts and repairs) for all of our machine models including those that have long ceased to be part of our current product range.
The repair process will be as reasonable and inexpensive as possible and you’ll be informed of the total costs before the repair is carried out, if the repair is not covered by the warranty.
Please note that in order for us to offer you efficient service and to give you the best possible advice, it is necessary to describe the issue with your machine or the spare parts you want to order as precisely as possible. Always state the exact product model (eg 6W Motorplug V2, Hyper V3 etc) and the serial number which you can find permanently engraved or lasered on the machine.
We always try to answer all inquiries within 48 hours.
Should you not have received a reply after 48 hours then please check your JUNK/SPAM folder.
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Alternatively, you can also reach us at [email protected].