The top 5 mistakes I made starting out as a new artist. Save time and money when investing in your next PMU training.
Key Messages when looking for the right PMU Training/PMU Trainer
1. See photos and reviews of their company.
A lot are getting into the permanent makeup tattoo industry, taking a course, and immediately jumping into educating other people on what they have learned. The problem with this is if they have not accumulated enough experience in working their craft.
It takes time to build up a clientele and own in on their craft. Look at their website, their portfolio, their social media, real before and after photos, or only a handful of them. Anyone who uses stock photography from Google is a red flag.
Especially with what I do which is scar camouflage, since this is compromised skin that reacts very differently compared to normal skin.
For instance, they may have 50,000 followers but low engagements on their social media. Look at reviews and get a sense of who they are as a person.
What are their actual reviews? 5-star reviews, 4-star reviews? A combination of 5 and 2-star reviews?
Look at their X amount of followers x amount of reviews, presence online, and worked on x amount of clients? Make sure these are congruent. What is their online presence? Get a sense of who the trainer is as a person and check if what you are looking for, personality-wise in a trainer.
My students agree, later on, it seems easy when you see it on Instagram but they will tell me the techniques look a lot more advanced as they thought. So check the background of the trainer. How long have they truly been in this industry, what is the feedback?
There is a lot of “stealing images” going on and you must be aware of and investigate further if they are legitimate or not as an artist.
2. Are they an expert in their field?
Anyone who does a ton of certifications to do everything under the sun and offers everything? You cannot specialize in a master craft and be the Jill of all trades. The longer you are in the industry, the more skills you acquire. There is no way you can get in-depth knowledge and skills if you offer everything and are spread too thin. 100% focus on a skill through repetition, consistency, and continual practice.
I would be mindful of a trainer who claims that they are specialized in everything because they most likely have not taken the time and patience to truly invest in their specialty.
My areola tattoo trainer requires at least 3 years of experience before taking you in because it requires a solid of working on compromised skin for a cancer survivor, you need to have a solid background.
Don’t go for the cheapest one, invest in a trainer who knows their stuff, specializes, and has a vast portfolio = a lot of experience. A higher-priced trainer will actually save you more money learning how to do things correctly, instead of going for the cheaper, inexperienced one then going for another trainer a few months after because you are still not confident.
3. Does your PMU trainer go over Color Theory?
This is one of the most complicated subjects in the permanent makeup industry and tattooing. Especially in scar camouflage, everything has to blend seamlessly on the healed skin. You must take into consideration someone’s undertones, overtones so that you will not get an off-color final healed result that does not blend with the client’s scars.
Color theory is an advanced subject. My first three trainers never spoke of this and I had to undergo continuing education because most training will only take this up for 2 – 3 days so you need to be able to continue educating and learning, even if on your own.
4. Does your PMU trainer offer in-person classes or online?
When you are learning especially working on compromised skin, it is highly recommended you learn it in-person first because the trainer should look at the depth at which you are tattooing or the first time you are holding a tattoo pen, the position, needs, and depth you are working on, how to mix inks, etc.
After that, you can learn online but when learning tattooing, do it in-person first then supplement with online courses to continually evolve your skills. Every time you need to learn a brand new skill in tattooing, I definitely would say do it in person first.
I constantly get messages and DMs from people whom other artists have messed up because they think it is easy online and a matter of finding an ink bottle and matching someone’s skin, there is so much more that goes beyond that.
This is the reason why I, for now, only offer in-person PMU training for my stretch mark and camouflage course. In the future, I might offer webinars for continuing education. But to learn the fundamentals of camouflage tattoo, I always, always be in-person.
5. What kind of support does the trainer offer after the PMU training?
Do they offer a mentorship program, are they accessible, do they give cellphone number and email address? A lot of trainers will say so but they aren’t very easy to get a hold of.
A way you can investigate this further is to reach out to past students and ask them. For my particular training, we have FB groups where we keep students up to date with tips and tricks. Each student of mine has my cellphone number and email address. I make a point to respond to a student or client within 24 hours or less.
You cannot be a master tattooist in 1, 2,3,4, or 5 days as there is a lot of information to consume. Hopefully, your trainer/educator has a detailed manual, allows you to take notes as you train, and is available for that time when you take on your first client.
Hopefully, your trainer is accessible/reachable, so that when you are nervous or scared (which is natural), they are available to give that kind of support and/or clarify anything you might have missed.
I also launched an online marketing series, the PMU crash course for my students to know the sales and marketing part of their business which we include for free to anyone who trains with us.
A trainer/educator has the responsibility to have continuing education to provide students with the most recent updates in any technique and it is your responsibility to evolve with the industry.
Listen to the full podcast for more information!