What Makes a Good Class?
"Are you dedicated to the industry of Permanent Makeup? Do you come forward and offer to assist others troubleshoot a problem? Are you constantly looking for better and more efficient ways of doing things? Well, if the answer to these questions is yes, you may have the makings of an instructor"
By Jane Adler
. This is a quote from a past article.
As 2006 gets closer, we all need to take the future of this industry more serious and uphold the timeless art of tattooing. It is time to not tolerate two and three day classes. I also feel the 50 hours classes are soon to be a thing of the past. I see a lot of trainers taking advantage of this. They are still only doing four day classes and padding the hours with homework to look impressive. In Arizona I can only claim physical clock hours. We need to offer students more hands on classes with intense home study prior to class.
I hear all the time if the class is longer people will not be able to attend them or want to. That mind set needs to be stopped. If a student cannot take the time and money needed to tattoo safely with beautiful results, they have no place in this industry. Yes, this is my personal opinion.
I have trained over 125 students (small classes only) in the past five years. I have each student evaluate their training; all of them have said the same thing. Great class, but feel we need more hands on. I recently saw a claim on-line from a gal that said she has trained 16,0000 plus students, sounds like a puppy mill to me. Lets be honest here, there are not enough hours in a day to have done this safely and with a structured class.
As my renewal for my third year approaches as a licensed vocational private postsecondary school in AZ, as required by law it was time to make the change. Having gotten approval to increase my hours, I am now ready; to give a higher level of attention to what has been missing from this industry.
As of January 2006, my classes are 100 hours (80 clock hours) for basic training. Due to the fact I only teach the manual method I feel this is adequate basic training. If teaching with machines (coil), I feel adding an additional 25 hours may be warranted to just learn more about the mechanics of the actual machines. So many new technicians to this industry do not even know what they are tattooing with, how to properly load their needles, properly apply barrier protection or use effective sterilization, it's staggering to me.
I also thought it was imperative to start all students off with their official BBP training. I took the steps to become an authorized OSHA Outreach Instructor. Remember, no one is certified by OSHA. OSHA and trainers only offer certificates of completion. I am seeing an alarming amount of professionals claiming to be certified when they are not. I feel all trainers should do this. The certificate of completion for Blood Borne Pathogens is only good for a year. Hopefully, they will keep up with it as the public becomes more aware.
We all know we tell students to do this, but very few do. In fact, very few seasoned artists or trainers even keep up on the there annual BBP training unless forced to. Thankfully, organizations are starting to require this. If not annually as required by law but biannually. It is a good start!
Hopefully, artists will keep up with their continuing education, as the public becomes more aware of safe protocol.
I have structured my training to be four days on one day off and four days on. We all need a break in the middle. Learning a detailed art like tattooing is overwhelming, to say the least.
Then it is up to each student to take the next six months to a year to apply these newly acquired skills to their own private apprenticeship with themselves. I am seeing a trend in states for apprentice programs. In most cases, it's nothing more than a monopoly for people to be overcharged and under supervised with no standard of training. Seems to be a numbers game on who scams more money out of new people entering this field. Students need hands-on practice that is supervised and controlled; anything else in my opinion is negligence.
I will only be teaching seven classes next year. I may need to add a couple class dates, since I am booked through 2/06. Then again, I may not, because my main job and love is doing my own clientele. I do not want to burn out on training and quit, so I have decided to make my program more effective and teach less, so that in twenty years I am still a trainer that has something to offer the dedicated student.
Cosmetic tattooing is not a get rich quick job and trainers should not be allowed to give inadequate training. With time and dedication one can easily make a very strong income. What more can a person ask for? Freedom and being creative. Being a cosmetic tattooer is the best job on the planet. Let's respect our art form. This field is growing forward, not backwards.
I am calling all trainers to up their own ante. To set a higher standard of industry training. To produce better artists and stop the bad press.
We are art and science teachers and our canvas is the skin. It should be held with the highest of integrity! It is more about people and our futures than over-priced short "get them in and get them out" classes. I am looking forward to the year 2006.