best tattoo books

Best Tattoo Books: Reviews and Buying Guide 2020

Is doing a tattoo easy?

There’s no precise answer to this question. Some people are born with natural drawing talent. This is a basic skill that every tattoo artist should have.

Once you know how to draw perfectly, it won’t be hard to do a tattoo because it’s basically just moving the art onto another piece of paper, which is the skin.

However, some artists don’t start as skillful painters. They get that ability through regular practice. No matter where you belong to, practice is still very important.

Doing a tattoo is fun, but it’s not a simple process. There are many things you have to prepare.

Besides an ability to draw, you should also prepare for the basic supplies, which include a tattoo machine, needles, etc.

Is it necessary to learn the basics of tattooing from a book?

If you can find one with an in-depth explanation on this topic, then yes. There are many the best tattoo books you can gather inspiration from. Here are some that we recommend:

Best Tattoo Books

1. The Art of Tattoo: A Tattoo Artist’s Inspirations, Designs, and Hard-Won Advice

This book is by Megan Massacre. It captures all her best work. It also includes tutorials as well as inspiration to be an expert in this field.

Actually, the book is not dedicated to just professionals. If you’re a tattoo enthusiast who wants to know about the industry without being part of it, then you can also read this book.

The book presents behind the scenes on how she came up with a concept until she finally executed that. Basically, all the knowledge Massacre has learned from years of her experience, it’s all included in this book.

2. Drawing & Designing Tattoo Art: Creating Masterful Tattoo Art from Start to Finish

If you want to learn about tattoos from someone who has been in the business for over 30 years, then this book is what you’re looking for.

The guy is Fip Buchanan. He’s the person you should look up to for amazing tattoo designs. Through this book, he will teach you how to choose a perfect location for a tattoo, decide the flow, and pigments that work for the specific design.

There are demos presented in detail about the author’s creative process. It also talks about a variety of designs that people commonly use for tattoos, like dragons, hearts, snakes, etc. You can find out the spiritual meanings of those objects.

The best part is it includes art pieces from other great tattoo artists. You don’t have to pursue this career to read this book. Having a keen interest in this skin art is a big enough reason to explore the content of the book.

3. The World of Tattoo: An Illustrated History

Tattoos are a fun subject to talk about, but the history is just as interesting. If you want to know the history behind the growing popularity of this art, we suggest you read this book.

The history of tattoos is a very complex one. This book gives you detailed insight into this sophisticated art. If other books just explain one facet of tattooing, then this will give you an idea of how the art has been developed in different parts of the world.

As we know, tattoos are a universal art that people in various continents have acknowledged for centuries. The book doesn’t try to present opinions as facts regarding the evolution of tattoos. It just presents things that have happened concerning this subject matter and as a reader, you can make your own opinions.

The book includes around 400 pictures that you can’t find anywhere but here.

4. How to Open a Tattoo Studio Business

The title of the book is pretty straightforward. Basically, this book is aimed at people who want get their feet wet in this business. Having the skill to do a tattoo is not easy, let alone opening a successful tattoo shop.

But with this book, at least you know what an owner is supposed to do. The book can help you pick a name for the business, write a plan, analyze expenses, and get startup funding.

See, opening a tattoo shop isn’t that easy. There is a lot of critical thinking that should be done beforehand or else, you will go out of business quickly.

5. Basic Fundamentals of Modern Tattoo

Many books explain how to be a tattoo professional or open a shop. This takes another approach, which is providing information about a formal tattoo apprenticeship. There are many interesting things discussed in this book from how to build a machine to how to pick the right needles.

There is also a website specifically built to connect with the book. Here you can ask anything about what you still find confusing and they will come up with an answer. Anyone can read this book, but for those in apprenticeship, this is must have.

There is a lot of basic information you can read, like how to build a machine and do a proper tune to make it work as expected. It will also teach you important stuff about ink as well as standard sterilization methods.

These were necessary basics to pursue a career as a tattoo artist. Without the basic knowledge, you may face a lot of difficulties down the road.

For those worried about graphics, the book is full of them. Tattoos are all about visuals, so a book needs to have a lot of illustrations to help us understand.

6. Essential Tattoo: The Complete Tattooing Handbook

This book encapsulates many elements of tattooing. It’s probably one of the most complete books you can find on this subject. There’s a lot of information to read, like tattoo techniques, essential supplies, designs, etc. It even teaches how you should take care of your machines.

And if that wasn’t enough, the book reveals how you can have your own tattoo shop. In other words, this book is suitable for anyone who wants to get into the business or just wants to know about tattoos in general.

How to Choose The Best Tattoo Books

1. Take advice from artists

Some tattoo artists hone their skills by reading books. You can do that to achieve the same goal. Ask every tattoo artist that you meet about books that provide extensive coverage on tattoos and tattooing. They’d be glad to give their own suggestions to you.

Since there are many books with similar topics, collecting information from others will help you focused on finding the right one. If one book doesn’t cover everything, then you can add more to your collection.

Tattooing is a broad term and many topics fall under it, so it’s understandable if a book doesn’t cover all aspects of it. There are a lot of things to discuss, such as how to choose a machine, how to harness drawing skills, how to create a design, etc.

2. Find one that explains tattoo designs

Drawing skills are something that every tattoo artist should have. Without the ability to create a quality design, you can end up getting a lot of complaints from clients. Therefore, don’t start a tattoo shop before you master these skills.

One of the sources to learn about making designs is books. Some books include free designs that you can practice with. Everybody has a different journey towards becoming a good artist. It’s not obligatory to have great skills from the beginning, but a lot of practice will surely take you there.

Practice should be done on fake skin or fruit. It’s not recommended to do it right on human skin because a tattoo is permanent.

Once the ink gets injected into the deeper layer of the skin, it will remain there for years unless you do something to remove it like getting laser treatment. It’s not hard to find synthetic skin to practice on, so go get it.

3. Know your goals

What do you expect from a tattoo book?

Do you just want to be good at tattooing or is there a much bigger motive like you want to open your own tattoo shop?

If it’s the later, then you should read a book that explains things a professional artist should prepare. The more information included, the thicker the book will be. It shouldn’t be a big deal, though.

If you’re still an amateur, it only makes sense to increase your knowledge of this particular subject. And it can take weeks before you get a bigger picture of how the tattoo art truly is.

Conclusion – Popular Tattoo Books

What are the best tattoo books?

It’s hard to decide since there are many quality books out there and they cover different topics of tattooing. Reading tattoo books is important if you want to be a professional tattoo artist. Not every book would provide all information you’re looking for.

For this reason, you should know what to expect from a book. For instance, if you want to know how to improve tattooing skills, then you should get a book that specifically covers this subject.

On the other hand, if you want to open a tattoo shop, then the book should help you draw a business plan.

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