Kick-start your career in tattooing and/or piercing. Tattoo studios from all over New Zealand choose Living Art as their number one choice for training. We have trained more professionals, who are now working in the tattoo and piercing industry, than any other training course. We offer trainees the benefit of over 24 years of experience in an international award-winning studio.

Tattooing Training

To become a tattoo artist is not easy, and getting anyone to teach you is almost impossible. My journey to running my own tattoo studios was a difficult one as back in the Nineties, in South Africa, the tattoo trade was controlled by a gang. Dedication and passion is what kept me travelling forward towards where I wanted to be, and it is that same dedication and passion that I look for in the people I teach.

I will never say I’m the best tattoo artist, but I do my best every day to create beautiful, lasting art that my clients can be proud of. What I offer you when you train with me is what I have learned in over two decades in the trade. I cannot teach you how to be a great artist – the artistry itself must come from within you – but I can teach you how to run a successful business and how to do a great tattoo, and guide you along your own journey to personal success.

I will show you everything, from when and where to advertise, how to present your studio, how to conduct consultations with clients, and everything leading up to doing a tattoo for your client, and them then leaving your studio happy with what you did for them that they leave you a great review.

Learning all of this has cost me thousands of dollars since I began in 1997, and yes, you could teach yourself, but the journey will cost you more money and time. What I offer is one-on-one training in all aspects of the trade. When you leave, if you have followed my guidelines, you will have enough knowledge and understanding to open your own studio the very next day.

This is a professional training course that is run by an international award-winning tattoo artist, however there are many out there who promise the earth in scam five day training courses. I have retrained a few people that have enrolled on such courses, and all have gone on to have successful careers in tattooing.

The course does not include any equipment, but I will show you what to buy and what to look out for, and that lesson alone is worth $10,000, but you will get it all free as part of your training. I will teach you how to do a clean tattoo following the highest hygiene standards. One of Auckland Council Health Department’s Inspectors said that Living Art is the cleanest studio he had ever seen in his 28 years as an inspector in New Zealand’s North and South Islands, and that if he could, he would use Living Art as the benchmark of the standards for all other studios. I will teach you to this level.

When you train with me at Living Art, you will also receive support on an ongoing basis. I will always be just an email or phone call away. I still get calls from past students for advice on certain things as they develop professionally, and I’m always happy to assist.

The course is of 3 month’s duration, excluding weekends, however students may come for extra training during weekends at no extra cost where they will be able to observe the weekend workings of the studio.

Course Fees

Cost $15,000 (excluding GST)

When the course is completed, you will receive a certificate from Living Art Tattoos stating that you have trained with Rob Donovan, an internationally known tattoo and body piercing artist from the most respected tattoo studio in New Zealand.

My courses don’t run all the time, but if you would like to be trained by me, please feel free to email me,and I will let you know when the next course will be held.

Important Points to Note Before Enrolling on Your Tattooing Course

  • To book a tattooing course with Living Art, we require a deposit of 50 percent of your course fees payable within 24 hours of the booking, and until the deposit clears our account, the course is not guaranteed.The deposit is non-refundable if you cancel, for whatever reason.
  • We will permit one reschedule date if you cancel due to a family death, or hospitalisation of the person doing the course. In either case, we will need proof of the death or proof of your stay in hospital.
  • The balance of the course fees must be paid and cleared into our account no later than seven days before your course’s start date.

We provide GST receipt for all payments.

The above three clauses are non-negotiable.

Please note that by enrolling, you are confirming that you accept these clauses, and you will be required to sign a document to this effect at enrolment.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via email.

I started my apprenticeship in April 2016 and finished in December 2017. Over that period of time, I learnt not only the basic tattooing skills, but most importantly, how to become a good tattoo artist.

Rob provided a positive learning environment at his professional tattoo studio, Living Art Tattoo. In the first stage of the course, he taught me about the setting of tattoo machines, tattooing skills, hygiene knowledge, and the correct set up (before and after) for a proper tattoo appointment. Also, he trained me with drawing different objects in different styles, and how should I push myself to create my own style and become a successful tattoo artist.

Rob gave me a lot of opportunities, and I have met so many amazing customers and people during the apprenticeship. I have also been encouraged and trained to become the best tattooist I could be.

I am forever grateful with Rob’s teaching and all the awesome work experience I gained at Living Art.

Alvina Tang

Piercing Training

Be trained by the best to be the best.

Living Art Tattoos has trained over 150 professional body piercers that have now gone on to become Master Piercers. Master Piercers are those who have pierced over 3000 piercings. We have trained piercers from all over the world since 1997, and we train our students in both American and European techniques. Our course also offers an in-depth explanation of the pros and cons of each piercing technique.

At Living Art Tattoos, you will be taught by a professional piercer who was also taught by professional piercers, one being the top piercer of South Africa, and the other, a very well-respected piercer from Germany. The training we provide is of the highest standard available, and each individual that attends this course leaves with an in-depth knowledge and practical understanding of safe and hygienic piercing procedures.

What makes our training course stand out from other training establishments is that our training is one-on-one training rather than being trained in groups which means we can assist and supervise you with each and every piercing you do at Living Art.

Not all body piercing training courses are the same. Many piercing techniques that are still being applied are no longer considered safe or hygienic, and this is evidenced by the number of people that come to us on a daily basis with problems with piercings they have had from establishments that have piercers who have not undertaken professional training.

Living Art maintains the absolute highest standard of piercing procedures and will provide you with the dos and don’ts of piercing enabling you to retain a satisfied customer base and, if you wanted to, have the ability to open your own piercing studio after completion of the course.

Course Outline

We require at least one month’s notice in advance of you attending the course, as it is done on a booking system and we need to generate interest, and have enough people willing to get pierced, during a student’s training. On average, our students do a minimum of 100 piercings while attending this course, and in some cases over 240 piercings, and this is why students who complete the course leave confident and ready to pierce professionally.

Our piercing course covers everything you need to know about consent forms, customer interactions, and most importantly, how to stand above the industry standard of hygiene and sterilisation. It is done over a period of one week, Monday to Friday from 9:30am until 1pm. After 1pm each day, I return to run the studio as normal, doing tattoos and piercings, and students are encouraged to stay until closing at 5pm to experience the day-to-day running of a professional tattoo and piercing studio. This additional time is recommended but not compulsory.

When the course is completed, you will receive a certificate from Living Art Tattoos stating that you have trained with Rob Donovan, an internationally known tattoo and body piercing artist from the most respected piercing studio in New Zealand.

Covered

  • Ear
  • Nose
  • Tongue
  • Eyebrow
  • Lip
  • Nipple
  • Belly

Not Covered

  • Industrial ear piercings
  • Septum nose piercings
  • Genital piercings
  • Dermal implants

Course Options and Fees

Silver

$4,500 (excluding GST)
  • Piercing training only

Gold

$5,000 (excluding GST)
  • Piercing training, plus:
  • Basic piercing tools
  • Jewellery
  • List of our suppliers

Platinum

$5,180 (excluding GST)
  • Piercing training, plus:
  • Piercing tools
  • Jewellery (individually packed and sterilised)
  • List of our suppliers

I have taught many of these courses with students from all over New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, and South Africa. All were happy to have done it, and have gone on to making piercing their careers and are making good money with their new skill. Most have made their start as beauticians or pharmacy piercers. All have realised the potential earnings, with profits on each piercing around 800 percent and under five minutes needed to complete most piercings.

Important Points to Note Before Enrolling on Your Piercing Course

  • To book a piercing course with Living Art, we require a deposit of 50 percent of your course fees payable within 24 hours of the booking, and until the deposit clears our account, the course is not guaranteed. The deposit is non-refundable if you cancel, for whatever reason.
  • We will permit one reschedule date if you cancel due to a family death, or hospitalisation of the person doing the course. In either case, we will need proof of the death or proof of your stay in hospital. If you are doing the Gold or Platinum course, we would be willing to give the tools to you if you decide not to pay again.
  • The balance of the course fees must be paid and cleared into our account no later than seven days before your course’s start date.

We provide GST receipt for all payments.

The above three clauses are non-negotiable as it covers us for our advertising, rescheduling clients, and the financial losses we incur from a cancellation or having to reschedule.

Please note that by enrolling, you are confirming that you accept these clauses, and you will be required to sign a document to this effect at enrolment.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via email.

I highly recommend Living Art (Rob). I did the piercing training through Living Art and it was worth every cent. Rob made me feel comfortable which took a lot of the stress away. The training is perfect, well explained. He even offered me a job afterwards and stated that if I ever need help or guidance after the training, he will be there to help, even if I wasn't to work with him. If you ever want to get into the piercing or even tattoo industry, Living Art is definitely the place to go!

Jaime Rangiawha

My experience with Rob was awesome. He was chill and friendly while being to the point. So, so helpful and supportive. He knew I could do it before I did. He briefed me through everything, and I watched him do so many piercings before trying myself. He was there for me but didn't hover. When I had done enough, he stepped back, and I knew where he was when I needed help. After a day of piercing, I knew there was nothing to be scared of and I could do it. I wasn't worried at all. And even now he is still there for me if I have questions.

Molly van Dijk - Union Tattoo, Wellington