There’s a growing population of art school graduates turning tattoo artists. Finally, someone I might entrust turning me into the Indie Rock Coloring Book… for… charity…

While not as lucrative of an art career tweak as one would imagine, what with the long apprenticeships and investment costs and all, going into ink is nifty enough that an estimated 50% of tattoo artists have had visual art training. A growing trend since the 90s, professional training trades street cred for the sort of “impeccable draftsmanship” that allows forearm tributes like this to go on.

With the “gentrification” of tattoos (in 2006, 40% of 26 to 40 year-olds were needled), it’s not uncommon that the suit across from you is donning a full body carnival show that stops right above the cuff of his Brooks Brothers. So there’s a job market alright, but competition is fierce and any edge helps. For example: Art grads take in account tattoo aging, incorporating your timely fattening and saggage into the overall design, which might come in handy in 20-30 years when there’re hordes of Suicide Girls walking around with flaccid sixshooters on their mammaries.

Photo via djibnet