I had a fantastic day on Thursday, I drove to Sheffield to spend the day with AJ, who is a wonderful teacher. I learned so much about tattooing, and strangely I can still remember most of it :)
The day started with him going through all the health and safety and law aspects of tattooing. There was so much that I had never even thought about so it was really useful for me. The part of the course I was most interested in was everything about the machines (or guns as some people call them) as I have always had them set up for me by my brother before and just couldn't get my head around tuning them when Gaz tried to explain it to me. AJ basically explained what every bit of the machine was, what it was for and how it affected the machine when it was running, then pulled one apart and asked me to put it back together again so that I understood it, and amazingly I did it straight away, and even set it up as a shader. We then went through all the different needles, and tubes and which ones were for what. After the mechanical bits were covered we went on to making stencils, then used one of them to tattoo onto practice skin, which is NOTHING like real skin but was the best we had at the time. Once the outline was done he showed me how to use the different needles for different techniques of tattooing. When we finished he basically told me that he thinks I am going to be really good at tattooing and that he couldn't really teach me anything else as I already had the skills there, and it was just the practice that I need now.
I left his studio feeling really proud of myself and couldn't wait to tell Mel all about it, I think I did his head in after about 2 hours of going on about it lol. I even went to my brothers in the evening as I have been working on some graffiti style writing on his back, and I stripped his machines and set them up myself. I do intend to go back to AJ in a month or so just for the day as a refresher and to brush up on anything I may forget in the meantime, and I would definitely recommend to anyone wanting to get into tattooing, that they go and spend the day with him, he is really easy to get on with and explains things so you can understand them...nothing like when I was at school.
Well I could probably go on about the course for ages but I don't want to bore you like i do Mel so that's all for now, thanks for reading :) x
AJ's website is: http://www.utat2.co.uk