Eri TanakaTattoo Artist

"Why not become a tattoo artist?", Eri Tanaka asked herself. After she graduated in English literature she first worked as an English teacher, "but if you have tattoos, it is difficult to keep the job, especially as a Japanese teacher", she says. What she likes most about her Job? "I can go anywhere in the world with my Job." And: "When I finish tattooing and see my customer is happy with the tattoo, I feel happy too."


Drei Ratschläge an Dein 14jähriges Ich!

Be healthy. Go see the world and go to art school.

Was steht auf Deiner Visitenkarte?

I am Eri Tanaka and I’m a tattoo artist.

Was ist das coolste an Deinem Job?

I can go anywhere in the world with my job. I think that’s cool. When I finish tattooing and I see my customer is happy with the tattoo, then I feel happy too. When I see them smile I feel that’s the best part of my job.

Welche Einschränkungen bringt Dein Job mit sich?

There are cultural differences in understanding tattoos if you compare Japan to foreign countries. So if you have tattoos you might get judged and misunderstood. In my case I felt that I can’t keep my job once I get tattoos on visible spots. So that can be a restriction in my job.

Worum geht es in Deinem Job?

I check the booking schedule and I check the mail because some of the customers send me their designs. I prepare the design for the customer. When the design is ready, I talk with the customers and if they are satisfied with the design I apply the tattoo.

Wie sieht Dein Werdegang aus?

I was born in Miyagi but raised in Yokohama. I belonged to an English youth group since I was 3 years old so I always liked speaking English. There I had a lot of opportunities where I could use English. When I was 12 I’ve been to America for homestay which was a turning point in my life. After that I studied abroad for a year and chose English Literature as my major in college. So I got to use English a lot. After I graduated from college I worked as an English teacher for kids. I’ve been working there for about 2 and ½ years. I always liked tattoos even before I got the job but if you have tattoos it’s difficult to keep the job especially if you are a Japanese teacher. But I wanted to have tattoos and I also liked to draw. So I thought, why not become a tattoo artist.

Ginge es auch ohne Deinem Werdegang?

I think it’s better when everyone has a different background so you don’t have to have the same background as me. I think you can start to learn how to tattoo anytime if you want to become a tattoo artist. Sometimes it’s hard to keep on practicing so you have to push yourself to brush up your skills. But if it’s something that you really like, it’s easier to do it. I think it’s important that you love tattoos so you can enjoy the work. It can feel like a hobby because it’s something that you really like. And if you really like it, it’s easier to keep the job. Tattooing is like becoming part of the customer’s life. You don’t always need to know everything about the background of the design but it’s better if you understand why they want it. I think it’s important to take the time to make the design and try to understand what they want.