Apprenticeship Academy: The Global Leader in Tattoo Apprenticeship and Training

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Every tattoo artist has been in your position, asking the same questions

Even the most experienced artists were not born with their knowledge, they had to acquire it through hard work, passion, perseverance and dedication. Every tattoo artist at some time has been in your position, asking the same questions. There are many facets, tools and systems of a running tattoo business that have to be learned in addition to the noble task of tattooing itself. There is so much information about tattooing, and some of it that is even conflicting, which requires you to learn what there is to know from an artist who you know carries out work both safely and artistically.

“Tattooing should be more than just a passion, it is a vocation. If you have chosen to become a tattoo artist who is able to create tattoos both safely and artistically, then the idea of spending an extended period of time honing your skills should be welcomed as a way to really understand what you are choosing to do with your life—as well as ensure that you never harm or disfigure anyone.” Kyla C. Gutsche

The purpose of an apprenticeship is therefore to have one-on-one instruction that is invalable and will help clarify the decisions, process and care needed when creating tattoos safely and artistically. The end goal is not only knowing what makes a hygienic studio but also how to create tattoos that are true works of art.

Cosmetic Transformations has partnered with the leading global authority when it comes to training for services related to cancer warriors—The Oncology Training International (OTI)—which was founded by the formidable Morag Currin. Morag Currin is a highly sought-after esthetic educator with more than 23 years of spa industry experience and more than eight years of training and training management experience. She pioneered the only Oncology Esthetics® certification for spa professionals and has set the standard in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. She also is the author of Oncology Esthetics: A Practitioner’s Guide (Allured Books, 2009) and Health Challenged Skin: The Estheticians’ Desk Reference (Allured Books, 2012). She travels around the globe with her training and expertise, helping to raise the bar in the spa industry and to open the door to all people, regardless of skin type or health condition. Going beyond the world of esthetics, Morag continues to reach out to those suffering from a variety of health challenges through Equine Facilitated Wellness (EFW).  OTI has selected Kyla to be the global lead for medical and cosmetic tattooing training due to Kyla’s international reputation, diligence and commitment to her students.

Kyla has structured the only year-long course which has modules to be completed at home and on-line along with workshop components that take place at our office at the Medical Arts Clinic in Peterborough, Ontario.

Students learn to work in a medical setting, are taught about scarring by the Company’s Medical Director, Dr. Eliot Beaubien and our Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Reid Chambers.

Further, students learn to hone their skills on Kyla herself, as she can therefore assess their angle of entry and angle of execution as well as needle-depth by both watching them and feeling them in the skin.  Kyla has also devised unique ways to train her students with championships held for well-known exercises such as the Bologna/Balloon Challenge; the Coin/Mentor challenge and the Binding the Bridge Challenge!   Kyla has become beloved by her students both technicians and medical professionals alike.

Fill out the apprenticeship application form below to find out whether you would be a candidate to be one of the selected apprentices of our Cosmetic Transformations Apprenticeship Academy!

A word from Kyla

“Having lived through the excruciating pitfall of being tattooed by so woven with limited training, I know firsthand how important proper training and mentorship is.  Many courses are structured with a lot of other students to maximize the profit of the instructor.  

Instead, I want to pass on my skills in a responsible way—that is why most of the instruction I perform is one-on-one and the first human my apprentices tattoo, is me! 

The key to beautiful tattoos is learning how to create clean, crisp linework and smooth gradations when shading or colouring.  

To learn the best angles at which to hold the machines (what I call angle of entry and the angle of execution), my apprentices undergo the ‘coin challenge’ when tattooing me—if their angle of entry is off, there will be track lines in the skin; if the angle of execution is off, the coin on the forearm will fall off.

Jillian is a decorative tattoo artist from Halifax who has travelled to Peterborough to hone her skills—after a shaky start and some further instruction, she passed the coin challenge with flying colours and is one step closer to finishing her apprenticeship!”

“On behalf of the team I work with at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, I came to be trained by Kyla and her team at Cosmetic Transformations in Peterborough’s Medical Arts Clinic.

“I am excited to now be able to offer a higher level of artistry, and improved technical quality of tattoo work for our breast patients!

“Kyla and her team are amazing, and showed me step-by-step how to create safer and more realistic areola-nipple-complex simulations—they also took me through every aspect of caring for the patient so that I can offer improved quality of care at Sunnybrook.

“Kyla’s skill, artistry and attention to detail is only surpassed by her ability to connect and empathize with her clients.”

Liz Matheson, CCPA, BHSc. And PA
Physician Assistant for the Divisions of Medical Oncology and Plastic Surgery, servicing four surgeons including Dr Joan Lipa and Dr Laura Snell
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center

“Kyla was an incredible instructor. She was able to present the theory, science and skills of tattooing in a comprehensive and engaging way.  She showed us the many ways tattoos can be used—to create a nipple-areola-complex, camouflage scars or burns—which can truly be life-changing for the client. “

Stephanie Hoffbauer CCPA, BHSc
Physician Assistant/ Surgical Coordinator
Toronto Plastic Surgery (Dr. Mitch Brown)

“Kyla’s passion for artistry is infectious. The knowledge she has shared with us will undeniably influence the breast reconstructive practice at Toronto Plastic Surgery.  We look forward to offering  this unique service to help women restore their confidence and close the loop on their breast cancer journey.”

Jessica Schacter CCPA, BHSc
Physician Assistant/ Surgical Coordinator
Toronto Plastic Surgery (Dr. Ron Somogyi)

The Bologna/Balloon Challenge

Kyla is always devising unique ways to help her students further their skills when it comes to artistry and technique.  The goal of the bologna/balloon challenge is to tattoo a piece of bologna over a balloon as artistically as possible without tearing the meat or popping the balloon!  Honing one’s artistry and hand control this way directly transfers into more skillful tattoos that are both more naturalistic looking and implanted with less trauma into client’s skin.  Just look at the difference between the work done by one of the apprentices at the beginning of the course versus the touch-up on the same client at the end of the course:

Apprenticeship Enquiry Form

Cosmetic Transformations is operated by Kyla Gutsche, a former art professor whose Titian WashTM technique has revolutionized the tattoo industry.  Kyla’s technique can convincingly simulate the translucency of natural skin, camouflage burns, erase scars, recreate realistic areolas for breast cancer survivors, and enhance features more naturally than conventional permanent makeup.  Kyla is therefore a sought after mentor and instructor and, due to the proprietorial nature of her technique, she is extremely selective about who she trains.

Please provide the following information for Kyla to assess whether she would be interested in taking you on in an apprenticeship role. You can download this form and answer the questions in the spaces provided, or answer in letter format if that is easier for you to do.

It is recommended to include 5 to 10 examples of your micropigmentation work, or of your artistry if you are not yet a tattooist or a micropigmentation technician.

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