Being a rookie is just no fun. Granted people will often root for you and wish you success while you overcome monumental hurdles, the truth is they do this because of obvious uncertainity, and you could very well fall flat on your face. (This makes people uncomfortable, so most will wish you well.) Woot woot! The remaining work and hurdle-jumping is of course up to you.
The saying "You can't help anyone who is unwilling to help themselves" is especially true in any self-employed career venture. Many people sit around with a wish for success, but they truly aren't willing to work for it. New tattooists may be doing the following, which clearly demonstrates this theory:
- Working out of garages using unsterilzed equipment.
- Failing to apprentice under a mentor in the beginning of their career
- Lacking self-promotion and marketing strategies
- Not showing up for shifts or leaving early
- Failure to document and record projects through pictures, the Internet and social media
- Not practicing art, in any medium
Besides being a ROOKIE based on mere lack of experience, any of the above listed blows will land you on the list.
What can you do to raise the bar and gain a little credibility for once? First you need to make a name for yourself and establish a consistent identity. This means brand yourself, develop a mission statement and define your appearance. You MUST not be BEAUTIFUL, so don't be intimiated by things that are on the surface. Instead focus on your assets. Make your portfolio packed with tattoos that exceed your expectations. And strive to deliver top-notch service to EVERY customer. Learn how to use the computer and market yourself as a featured artist on our site. Build demand! PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.
Shedding the Rookie status will take some time. The best thing you can do is hone your craft and work diligently while keeping a smile on your face, MOST of the time. Commit to evolution. Wear your Rookie Years with pride and pass the torch, as everyone shall have their turn.
Being a rookie isn't THAT bad. It means you could very well be on the BRINK of success, (or on a sinking ship).
Adjust your sails, and float on. Even if you're just floating, there IS hope.