Tattoo Business Historical Survey and Baseline
This survey is intended for responses by professional tattoo artists to help understand some of the trends and changes in the business from the 1960s through today and to provide a baseline for future research. Please do not answer this survey if you are not a professional tattoo artist. Your participation is confidential and much appreciated. For more information, please read the blog post about this survey at http://tattoohistorian.com/2014/12/21/tattoo-business-historical-survey-and-baseline/.
Basic History
What year did you start tattooing? *
How old were you when you started tattooing? *
Do you consider yourself to be a professional tattoo artist? *
How many years have you been tattooing professionally? *
What is your gender?
Business Setting
Where do you currently tattoo? *
Where is your tattoo business located (country)? *
(e.g. United States, Japan, France, UK, etc.)
Where have you tattooed in the past?
(check all that apply)
Tattoo Education
How did you learn to tattoo? *
(check all that apply)
Required
If you learned to tattoo via an apprenticeship, how many years did you spend as an apprentice before considering yourself a professional artist?
(leave blank if you did not have an apprenticeship)
If you learned to tattoo via an apprenticeship, was it paid?
(leave blank if you did not have an apprenticeship)
If your apprenticeship was paid, how much did you make?
(leave blank if you did not have an apprenticeship)
If you had an apprenticeship, did you go on to work in the shop that apprenticed you?
(leave blank if you did not have an apprenticeship)
If you worked professionally in the shop that apprenticed you, how many years did you/have you worked there?
(leave blank if you did not have an apprenticeship)
If you attended a tattoo school or took a course on how to tattoo, which school/course did you attend?
(leave blank if you have never attended a tattoo school, etc.)
Do you have formal blood-borne pathogen training?
If so, what was the first year you completed formal blood-borne pathogen training?
(leave blank if you have not had formal blood-borne pathogen training)
Tattoo Shop History
Have you ever owned a tattoo shop?
If you have owned a tattoo shop, what year did you open your shop?
(leave blank if you have not owned a shop)
If you have owned a tattoo shop, how many years had you been tattooing when you opened your shop?
(leave blank if you have not owned a shop)
Have you ever owned more than one tattoo shop at a time? If so, how many?
(leave blank if you have not owned a shop)
If you work in a shop, how many artists are employed there (including the owner if he/she tattoos)?
(leave blank if you do not work in a shop)
If you opened your own tattoo shop, how would you describe the process?
(leave blank if you have not opened a tattoo shop)
Clear selection
Tools, Equipment, and Practice
What kind of tattooing apparatus do you use? *
(check all that apply)
Required
Do you wear gloves when you tattoo? *
Have you always worn gloves when you tattoo?
If you wear gloves now but did not always wear them, what year did you start wearing gloves?
What is your current primary method for sterilizing tattoo equipment? *
If you have not always sterilized tattoo equipment, when did you start doing so?
Has a client ever told you their tattoo got infected?
Do you make your own needles currently?
Have you made your own needles in the past?
If you stopped making your own needles and switched to premade ones, what year did you make the switch?
Do you work freehand?
What is the average amount of time you spend drawing for each tattoo session?
What percentage of your clients come in with their own design for you to tattoo?
What percentage of your clients said they found their tattoo inspiration online?
What percentage of your current client base is female? *
(estimates are okay)
What percentage of your client base was female when you first started tattooing? *
(estimates are okay)
Income and Expenses
What is your annual, pre-tax revenue from tattoo sales (excluding tips)?
($USD, please, or indicate which currency)
Do you make income from other tattoo-related business aside from inscribing tattoos? If so, what?
(choose all that apply)
What is your annual pre-tax salary as a tattoo artist including tips, merch, etc.?
If you work in a shop, what is your payment arrangement?
(leave blank if you don't work in a shop)
If you pay a percentage of each tattoo fee to a shop owner, what is the split you get to keep?
(for example, if you give the shop owner 40% of each fee and get to keep 60%, then write 60 below)
If you work in a shop, who pays for tattoo supplies like ink, needles, ointment, bandages?
(leave blank if you don't work in a shop)
What is your hourly rate for tattooing?
My hourly rate includes (check all that apply):
Do you give discounts on your hourly rate for large pieces?
How much does it cost you in supplies for each tattoo session?
(note currency for non USD figures)
Tattoo Business Politics
Do you think only heavily tattooed people should be involved in the business of tattooing?
Have you ever worked for a tattoo shop owned by someone who is not themselves a tattoo artist?
How do you feel about tattoo franchises?
How do you feel about non-professional tattooers?
Do you belong to any professional tattoo associations or clubs?
(check all that apply)
Your Perceptions of Trends and Changes
Do you think the tattoo business is expanding, declining, staying about the same? *
Describe how you feel the tattoo business has changed in the past 10 years?
How many tattoo shops would you estimate are in the US?
How many tattoo shops would you estimate globally?
How many professional tattoo artists would you estimate are in the US?
How many professional tattoo artists would you estimate globally?
Lastly...
Please provide your email if you would like to be contacted for any possible followup questions:
(all emails will be held confidentially and will not be used for any other purpose)
What questions would you like to see in future surveys? Some surveys will be of tattoo clients, others of both artist and client. Suggest away!
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