got a tattoo from a guy (a big one that would take several sessions), asked him if I could show him my portfolio and get some pointers. He liked my portfolio and showed the owner, and the owner liked my portfolio too but said they couldn’t do anything for me right now…key phrase being “right now”.
So I just kept hanging around the shop for a few months, continuing to draw new things and shoot the shit, observe and ask questions while not getting in the way too much, and getting to know all the artists, building up a rapport, and eventually the timing was right and they brought me on officially.
every shop will be different but basically, cast a line, show you’re interested, have a good portfolio, and then just keep….showing up and hanging around lol. They’ll want to know you can draw but most owners and artists just want people in the shop they can get along with. The culture of every shop is different so take your cue from the vibe and just be friendly and open to learning from anyone who’ll teach you.
the artists I’m working with said that’s basically how they all got an apprenticeship too, make yourself available and keep showing up. Most shops will turn you away just to see if you’re hungry enough to keep coming back. :p