Interview with Lior “Rose” of Nashville Ink – mentoring apprentices

Nashville Ink is looking for apprentices

So in light of Nashville Ink‘s announcement about taking in new apprentices, I jumped at the opportunity to speak to the shop owner and mentor Lior, aka “Rose”. Take notes!

Hi Lior!
Thank you for accepting this interview.

How long have you been tattooing?
Been tattooing for 9 years.

How did you become a tattoo artist and got your “stage name” – The Rose?
I was always an artist, 10 years ago I decided to use my artistic ability as a profession. Tattooing was amazing media to do art on daily basis.
Easier to say Rose than to explain Lior lol.

Do you remember your first ever tattoo? Tell us how it went, how you felt… My first tattoo was a calligraphy word on a hand, I think it was “family”. I don’t remember, I was super nervous…

Nashville Ink art by Rose

What made you open your own shop, and how is your career different as a shop owner than as an in-house artist?
Business is my degree and my life experience. I had been managing high end places and owning my own business over decade before opening my shop, so to have my own shop seemed just natural.  I would love to just be an in-house tattoo artist-  come to work and just focus on tattooing . It’s so much harder doing that as shop owner; it’s seems that the business takes up all your time.

How long ago did you start taking in apprentices?
6 years

What do YOU struggle with as a mentor and shop owner?
It takes a lot of patience and time.

What do you think most apprentices struggle with, and how do you deal with it as a mentor?
Most people think that tattooing is easy because we make it look easy but the fact is it takes a lot of practice.  I teach my apprentices to be patient.

Have you ever decided to let go of an apprentice in the middle of their training? Why?
You start as an artist, but it takes a certain personality to be a tattoo artist. You either have it or you don’t.

What do you think makes a good apprentice?
Good artist, good people skills, if you don’t like to deal with people then tattooing is not for you.  Good work ethic.

There is a taboo in the industry about learning to tattoo by yourself at home; the main reason (besides the sterilization issues, of course) seems to be because one might pick up bad habits which will be hard to break.
Do you agree with this statement? What are those bad habits?
Definitely . Tattooing knowledge has been passed between artists and mastered in the past 100+ years. It’s almost impossible and will take many years to figure out on your own if at all.

Which machine was your very first?
My first was a Micky Sharps dial. I highly recommend those machines – they’re very balanced and low maintenance (tuning).

What tips can you give someone looking for an apprenticeship on:
– how to build a portfolio
Draw draw draw
-how to approach a tattoo studio/shop/artist for an apprenticeship?
Call before. Make an appointment. Bring portfolio.  Be dressed up and clean.

In some countries  the tattoo industry is not regulated at all (i.e. no licensing or law enforcement). What is your advice to aspiring tattoo artists in such countries?
Always try to get an apprenticeship in a good shop.

Nashville Ink is looking for apprentices









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Love & Ink,


2 thoughts on “Interview with Lior “Rose” of Nashville Ink – mentoring apprentices

  1. Absolutely love this page! I am by no means trying to become a tattoo apprentice but I do have a big interest in tattoos and love learning about people who are in the industry and theirs views. I am looking to get a large job done on my arm and am constantly looking for information and trying to find the right artist for the job. I love the colours of the site and the banner is very clean and simple but very eye catching.

    1. Hey thanks Mitch! I’m really curious about your arm tattoo now… how’s it coming along? what style are you into? what’s the theme? are there any specific artists you like? 

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