Fireside Tattoo Network


Helping Tattooers Become Tattoo Artists Since 2013

Podcasts, Tutorials, Workshops and Courses Designed for the Tattoo Community

Start Your Tattoo Education With The Fireside Method

"Nobody solves a problem by adding complexity".

Thats why we focus on design principles rather than "tattoo tricks".

Fireside Foundations is our flagship beginner course which introduces the Fireside Method of Tattoo Design. If you are new to tattooing or have been tattooing a while without a great understanding of fine art principles, this is the course for you.

Fireside Simplify was designed for intermediate to advanced tattooers who are looking to become more efficient and define their personal style. This course will help you to make better choices quickly by using "if/then" scenarios. You will follow Jake's design process from consulation to full color design, to stencil on skin.

Not sure which to choose? Join the Inside Fireside Tattoo Club to spend some time getting feedback from your peers, participating in drawing challenges, and get real prizes mailed to your door.

Finally, if you aren't ready to purchase, just join our Tattoo Tips Tuesday newsletter and cruise around the site watching and reading the huge amount of free tattoo content we offer

Videos & Livestreams

Cooper - Tattooing Terminology Is A Mess!

Tattooing Terminology Is A Mess!

[1:03:59] “It’s the Manufacturers, to no fault of their own because they’re in business. But they’re very often catering towards fun verbiage and terminology. Things can get ass backwards if somebody doesn’t have conversations about exactly what they need and bring it back to center.”

— Cooper

Over the years, naming conventions for tattoo equipment and general terminology have undergone significant changes. The lack of a true consensus on vocabulary has resulted in communication challenges between machine and equipment manufacturers and the tattooers who use them. Often, manufacturers would simply come up with something that sounds interesting or marketable, leading to confusion and a lack of shared understanding among industry professionals.

Consider the example of professional musicians, doctors, or scientists. When they engage in conversation, their dialogue may sound like a foreign language to outsiders, and technically, it is. They utilize specific terms and structures to convey complete ideas, enabling them to communicate succinctly with one another. With the advent of social media, many tattooers are now adopting this approach, identifying the most commonly used terms and silently agreeing on their definitions. While this is a positive development, having an industry-wide set of standardized terms would be immensely beneficial in bridging the gap between the needs and desires of practitioners and manufacturers.

Establishing a common language within the tattooing community would facilitate clearer communication, enhance collaboration, and streamline the exchange of ideas and requirements. It would foster a more efficient and productive relationship between practitioners and manufacturers, leading to advancements and innovations


Watch the full episode:

The Cartridge Dilemma | Cooper | EP 267

Cooper - The Ergonomic Tail Has Been Wagging The Tattoo Machine Dog For Too Long

The Ergonomic Tail Has Been Wagging The Tattoo Machine Dog For Too Long

[55:57] “I feel like so much of this evolution has been necessary, but oftentimes it’s done by people who don’t have fancy, million dollar machine shops. It’s people who are just doing the best with what they have, so there’s a lot of awkward steps.”

— Cooper

The current market trend seems to lean towards sleeker, lighter, and faster equipment. However, one must question whether that is truly what the art of tattooing needs. Throughout the article, a recurring theme emerges: limited communication between manufacturers and tattoo practitioners over the past 15-20 years. Instead of focusing on genuine innovation and addressing crucial aspects, manufacturers often prioritize producing what sells.

The article has already touched upon the fact that artists often become accustomed to what they're working with for various reasons. However, it's important to acknowledge that there may be unknown factors hindering artists from achieving more consistent results, such as the shape of their machine or the distribution of weight.

This issue appears to be subjective, considering different hand sizes and preferences among artists, among other things. Nonetheless, the concept of stabilization holds merit. What truly contributes to consistency in tattooing? Is it the skill level and technique of the artist, a well-optimized setup, a reliable machine, or the weight of the equipment? It could be a combination of these factors, but what is the definitive determining factor?

It is crucial for manufacturers and tattoo practitioners to engage in meaningful communication and collaboration. By fostering a stronger dialogue, they can explore innovative solutions that truly matter to the art and craft of tattooing. This proactive approach will lead to advancements that benefit both artists and the industry as a whole.

Narcissism Arm sleeve tattoo by Cooper

Watch the full episode:

The Cartridge Dilemma | Cooper | EP 267

All Fireside Tattoo News


This course has really changed me as an artist, it's changed the way I look for references, it's changed my approach to tattoos, it's changed my mindset to tattooing. My wife still brings up the course a lot, actually, every time I do a tattoo that she likes, she praises this course.  I couldn't thank you guys enough for allowing me a chance to take it.  I appreciate what y'all do for tattooing.  


The reason I joined  this course is because I found myself stuck in my mind after two years of a tattoo apprenticeship. I thought I could draw but actually I do lack of a solid foundation and logical understanding about the way I drew.  After joining the course, starting from a basic concept - shapes/ values/ shadows/ edges that really helped me to rebuild the core structure of a drawing. This is important for me to realise what kind of mistakes that I used to make. Furthermore, I think this course is very well-planned, from a foundation concept to the creative thinking process which is all we need to know as an apprentice or young tattooist, the sooner the better. I know it is a long way to keep going and become a good skilful artist, however really appreciate what Jake trying to combine his knowledge from different fields and share it with the new generation artists.  Last but not least, I learnt not only the skills but also the true attitude from the fireside team. I wish every success to the Fireside Tattoo Network  in the coming future. You guys rock! Respect!