March 2021


his craft. He must seek out other artists and shop owners from the local area and learn from them, as well as practice daily, drawing and studying tattoo related images. It is important to search for apprenticeships to further his education and become familiar with the various health risks associated with tattoos. He must become aware of illnesses and infectious diseases and know how to properly clean and care for his equipment. Knowing the health risks for artists, such as vision problems, carpal tunnel, tendonitis and back and hip issues is a necessity. There are also business matters to consider, such as health insurance and retirement. And most importantly, he must get tattooed! Tattoos can be a beautiful form of self-expression, a permanent memorial to a loved one or a personal collection of art by respected artists. However, for a business to be successful, it takes focused attention to details and marketing skills to promote your talent. Thanks to the internet, television, movies and sports, tattoos have become less stigmatized by society. Joaquin Hernandez is an obvious master of his artistic craft and creates tattoos sought by the rich and famous. Less often acclaimed, however, is his mastery of the business of tattoos. When you

Joaquin’s work on the arm of Dallas Cowboy Running Back Tony Pollard.

Joaquin tattooing Kenny Vaccaro, Safety for the Tennessee Titans.

consumers can pay up to $400 per hour for a good tattoo, while prices in Europe will be closer to $200-$300. “With the demand exceeding the supply, and with social media and the desire to express yourself in the form of tattoos also extremely high, it allows good artists and shops to elevate their price point.” According to Hernandez, a thriving shop depends on the owners, the artists and the clientele. Social media has aided tattoo businesses in their ability to share their work with a broader audience. “Whereas before, you could only hope your client, whom you did your best work on, would show and tell their friends or family, you can now post a good photo of the work done by you or one of the

artists in your studio and it can be seen by thousands.” Not all people get tattoos for the purpose of self-expression. Some get them to remember a loved one who has passed, and some are dedicated tattoo collectors, spending thousands of dollars on works from various talented artists across the world. Collectors, like Hernandez, do not express their own ideas in these tattoos, but instead allow the artist to represent themselves. According to Hernandez, becoming

a successful tattoo artist can be a long process. Mastering this business requires more than just art. A good tattoo business owner must love and respect

put the two together, you find the key to his success. Art is beautiful and necessary, but according to Andy Warhol, “good business is the best art.”



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