Does getting a tattoo hurt?
How do I set up an appointment?
There are a few ways to do this. If you live in the city it’s best to set up a consultation with the shop I am currently working at to talk about the design and set up an appointment. If you cannot make it into the shop we can have a consultation via email and after which you would set up an appointment and deposit with your credit card with the shop. You will need a photo ID as well, since in the state of New York you must be 18 years of age or older to get a tattoo.
Does getting a tattoo hurt?
Yes, of coarse getting a tattoo is a painful process and you should prepare yourself for this before coming in. Depending on the placement of your tattoo the pain will vary. For example, places where the skin usually receives a lot of exposure to the elements will hurt less (arms/shoulders/legs) while places normally covered by clothing will be more sensitive (ribs/hips/chest/back). There are exceptions to this rule as well but this is usually the way of it.
How long does it take?
This is a difficult question to answer because there are countless factors that will determine the amount of time an artist will take to complete a tattoo. Some of these factors are the size and complexity of the tattoo, the placement and whether or not there is color in the piece. Another huge factor in the length of a tattoo session is, of coarse, you. If you, the client, is unable to remain still the tattoo will take much longer. Jumping, shaking, and even in some areas of the body, talking will all disrupt the work of the artist. This doesn’t mean you have to be a stone, but keep in mind that every move and twitch of your body is translated into the tattoo. If you feel the needle in your skin, you should be the closest to stone as humanly possible.
How much does it cost?
I work on an hourly rate depending on the shop I am at. (NYC $180/hour) for larger pieces, and I price by the piece on smaller ones. I will always try to give a price range for a customer but you should be aware that if the tattoo does end up taking longer for any reason, it will be reflected in the price. Certain areas of the body are much more difficult to tattoo and are prone to taking longer then others (ribs/stomach/neck etc)
Can I bring in my own design?
I will always prefer to do custom work over premade designs that my clients bring in, but you are more then welcome to bring in any pictures or design ideas you want to make into a tattoo. Just keep in mind that the majority of images will need to be redesigned to work in the skin. Tattoo ink that is embedded in the skin will leave skin cells stained with the corresponding colors used. As a result, when your skin ages and changes the tattoo will change along with it. Skin cells will eventually flake off or move around causing your tattoo to look aged/blurred/faded slightly (depending on how well you take care of your tattoo after the procedure this could be as long as a decade or more). This is true for every tattoo regardless of the skill levels of the artist and is to be expected. For this reason I like to keep my tattoo designs as bold and open as possible to make sure your tattoo looks solid for as long as possible. Some designs will need only slight modifications to work, others will need to be redesigned completely, and others still won’t be done at all and will be turned away. Just remember this simple creed; “The smaller your tattoo, the less detail you can have.”
Can you do any style of tattoo I want?
No. I work in my own style because that is what interests me and what I am confortable with. I do not work in traditional Japanese or tribal. I know artists that are fantastic at these styles and will give you a good reference.
Do you do text tattoos?
These tattoos are not my forte but I will do them. Text will need to be a certain size to keep the lettering from bleeding together and become illegible. Also it is the responsibility of the client to proof read any text to look for spelling mistakes or mistranslations. As the artist I see text as a design element and will overlook any mistakes after we put the stencil on. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to make sure everything is as it should be when you look in the mirror and view the design BEFORE we start the session.
Can I see the custom design before the appointment?
No. I do not send my work to clients before the appointment. I will also never Skype with a client while I am drawing their tattoo. I can’t believe I have to add that in there, but this is something that people are starting to ask for now. It’s never going to happen. On the day of your appointment you will see the design and we will take a moment to see if there are any changes you want to make to the design. If the changes are larger then I can draw that day we will reschedule the appointment.
Can you fix my old tattoo?
Cover ups and reworks are acceptable if the client is willing to be flexible with design work that might be required to see a fully finished product. Cover ups always need to be larger and darker than the original tattoo. Color cannot be put over black. If you have a black or very dark tattoo your only options in my opinion is to get a darker tattoo over it or have a few sessions of laser removal to lighten the darks up. Cover ups will have to have a consultation first and only smaller tattoos is ever allowed to be a walk in.
Can you tattoo over scars?
The possibility of tattooing over scars is dependent on the age and severity of the scar in question. Usually I will only work on surface scars that are pale in color and are over 4-5 years old at least. The deeper surgical scars are prone to carry ink and I always work around them rather than over them.
Do you work in other states or make house calls?
I do guest spots on occasion and travel around the country and abroad for short stays when the demand is high enough. I do NOT work in any space other then a tattoo shop.
Can I drink or get high before the tattoo?
No. If I become aware you are intoxicated in anyway. Even if you happen to slip it by me and we are in the middle of the session I will stop and ask you to leave. You will not get your deposit back and will be billed for the time spent tattooing.
Can I bring my friends to the tattoo session?
No. I usually do not allow anyone to hover around my station while I am working on a client. Not only is the space limited any given shop but it is distracting. If you get bored during the process and need to keep your mind off the pain be sure to bring an ipod/ipad/kindle/paperback to keep you occupied. Any entourage that you bring with you will be waiting in the seating area for the duration of the tattoo.
Can I talk during the tattoo?
Of coarse, though since certain areas might be over your lungs, and movement to be kept to a minimum, you might be told to be quiet if needed. But I enjoy a good conversation like anyone else and encourage the banter .
Is getting a tattoo safe?
There are always inherent risks in tattooing, but in terms of infection and cross contamination my clients are always completely safe. All of my supplied that touch and break skin are single use only. Tubes and needles are disposed of in correct, sanitary manners after each and every tattoo. These tubes and needles are blister packed and sanitized in the factory and stored in cool environments until used. All bottles and surfaces are cleaned and covered as well to keep the possibility of contamination in the .00 percentiles. The surface of the skin is also treated and cleaned before the skin is broken to kill off any micro organisms that might be hanging on from the outside world.
How do I take care of my new tattoo?
Your new tattoo will be covered by a bandage and wrapped up for protection when you leave the shop. The first few days after the initial session your tattoo is be very susceptible to infection, just like any other open cut or wound. You can leave the bandage on for 3-4 hours after you leave the shop, but I would suggest keeping it wrapped up overnight. The first day or so you will see some oozing, some ink and clear fluid. This is all normal but the ink will stain your sheets and clothing so keeping the bandage on will minimize this possibility.
After you take off the bandaging, wash your new tattoo with antibacterial soap or soap without scents or dyes. Let it air dry, then apply a very thin layer of either Aquaphor or A&D Ointment until the skin is tacky with no sheen. Do this regimen 2-3 times a day for the next 4 days or until your tattoo begins feel dry/ashy/flakey/tight around the area. At this point the top layer of skin we tattooed over is pealing off and new skin is growing underneath. Your tattoo will become very itchy but try to keep from scratching the area or pealing any of the scabs/flaking skin. Pieces that are not ready to flake off on their own will possibly pull some of the ink out if picked off prematurely, leaving a black spot of skin where there should be tattooed flesh. To keep the itching at a minimum and prevent your skin from becoming too dry, start applying some white lotion (Lubriderm, Aveeno, Curel.) Apply as needed until the tattoo feels like normal skin again.
Do Not: -Scratch or pick at your tattoo
-Submerge your tattoo in water in Chlorine, Saltwater, Baths
-Sunbathe or sunburn
-Towel dry your tattoo
-Use Bacitracin, Triple Antibiotic or Neosporin
-Wear tight clothing or other apparel/bags that cause friction
-Sleep with pets or where pets have slept without cleaning area
-Allow other adults or children to touch your new tattoo
-Go to the gym or hospital during the healing
Every tattoo shop has their own healing process and whatever works for you is fine, these are just the steps that I have gathered over my own experiences. Just remember to keep bacteria away from your tattoo at all times, especially for the first 3-4 days of healing. Use a high SPF after healing to keep sun damage from fading your tattoo too much. Complete healing varies from person to person but the average for a decent sized tattoo is about two weeks.