Our NEXT program starts: AUGUST

If you’d like to be considered for ANY program in 2024, please inquire by using the contact form at the bottom of this page AFTER reading everything. We have a waitlist for interested students.

We truly appreciate your interest in our school!

Mission Statement

Garden of Ink Tattoo School is committed to giving every student the tools they need to build the foundation of a successful career in the industry of artistic tattooing.

We provide a safe, tolerant and professional learning environment where students are treated as working apprentices solely concentrating on the fundamentals of tattooing.

Program Overview

Our program is designed to prepare students for an entry level position in the tattoo industry.

The State of Oregon requires 360 hours of instruction to prepare for state licensure. Enrollment priority is given to those with art training or extensive art experience AND a GREAT attitude.

Instruction is divided into two sections totaling 360 hours.

Phase 1 Preparation to Tattoo: (210 hours)

Curriculum, lecture, homework & hands-on learning.

Phase 2 Practical Application: (150 hours)

Performing tattoos on clients, with supervision.

Our course is tailored to the individual student, and is intended to be four months (16 weeks) in length. Maximum allowed time for completion of the program is five months (20 weeks). Our instructional program is designed to be thorough, professional and intensive. The attending student is expected to be dedicated, committed and involved. Students are also expected to be open to correction, self-responsible and hard -working while in the program. The ability to accept critique and stay focused are highly important.

A Word From Director & Owner Shelly Dax

“Thanks so much for your interest in Garden of Ink Tattoo School! I opened this school in 2011 because I wanted to provide a relaxed, comfortable environment in which to learn the basic craft of tattooing, especially focused on the artistic, unique nature of body art and creating top notch client service & professionalism in the studio. Gone are the ‘old school’ apprenticeships, where you were expected to put up with disrespect, rudeness and being treated poorly. Thanks to many wonderful Oregon tattoo artists who paved the way and Oregon state’s stricter regulations, you can learn to tattoo in a safe, enjoyable and inclusive environment. You have the right to expect a quality instructional experience and we intend to offer you just that!”

– Shelly Dax, Author: The Tattoo Textbook & How To Do Watercolor Tattoos

Admissions Requirements

To be considered for admission:

You must be at least 18, and possess a high school diploma or GED.

  • You must complete our admission application form.

  • You must provide picture ID in the form of Oregon Driver’s License or ID Card, Passport or Government issued ID, as well as a copy of your diploma or G.E.D.

  • You must provide 10 drawings or paintings you have completed–printed or copied on 8 1/2 by 11 paper (regardless of the original artwork size). [These will not be returned.] Please be sure your art represents solid linework, understanding of shading, value, composition and color and is not solely made up of digital artwork. We also like to see your online portfolio, but this is not absolutely necessary.

  • You must provide two letters of reference, one personal and one professional. Please choose somebody other than family.

  • You must include nonrefundable, admission application fee of $50, paid by Paypal or Venmo (& include printed receipt with application packet.) OR cashier’s check (NO money order or personal check).

  • Application, supporting documents and cashier’s check MUST be mailed in to the studio. (no submissions accepted by email).


Enrollment fee is due at the time of enrollment. Tuition and other fees are due before the first day of class, unless payment arrangements (with financing charge) have been approved in advance by the director. Please keep in mind, tattoo schools cannot accept federally funded financial aid.

Tuition & Fees

Enrollment Fee: $150
Tuition & Supplies: $10,750
Take-Home Equipment: $1600

TOTAL $12,500



  • Cheyenne Rotary Tattoo Machine
  • Critical Power Supply
  • Gem footswitch
  • Basic set of inks
  • Basic set of disposable needle cartridges
  • Roll of Saniderm
  • Tattoo anesthetic & balm

Other disposable supplies, such as gloves, razors, paper towels, disinfectants, ink balm etc. will be provided for completion of the procedures.

Apply to Our Tattoo School

If you are serious about applying to Garden Of Ink’s tattoo school, please fill out our TATTOO SCHOOL CONTACT FORM. Please be certain you have read ENTIRE tattoo school web page, including admissions, instructors and testimonials. This will answer the majority of questions. On the contact form you will give us a brief introduction as to who you are, your art training/experience and an explanation of how you will finance your schooling. If there is space available we will send you a catalog and application. If not, we may have a waitlist for a future program. Thanks for your interest! ~Shelly, Gil and the GOI Team