Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take for a tattoo to heal?
Generally, the average sized tattoo will take about 10-14 days to heal up. If the tattoo is large or the session was long, the tattoo may take up to a month to heal depending on the customer's skin and how well they take care of it.
How do I take care of my tattoo after I leave the shop?
When you leave the shop, your tattoo will typically be bandaged up. This bandage should be removed no longer than 2 hours after the tattoo is completed. After removing the bandage, gently rinse the tattoo off with the warmest water you can handle and antibacterial soap. After rinsing the soap off, run your tattoo under cold water to help close the pores. You will NOT put another bandage over the tattoo for the duration of the healing process unless directed otherwise. For the first two days, the only thing you want to do is keep it clean with an antibacterial soap and water as well as a thin coat of Aquaphor two times/day. It is best to pat the tattoo dry with paper towel after the tattoo gets wet. After the two days is up, begin applying a fragrance free lotion (Aveno) 3-5 times a day when the tattoo feels or appears to be dry. When applying the lotion, rub it gently into the skin until all is absorbed into the skin just as if you were using it on your hands. Your tattoo needs to breathe and stay moisturized at the same time, so Aveno or Curel are the BEST products to use. During the healing process, your tattoo will typically be red and irritated. This is completely normal and is NOT a sign of infection, so don't stress unless your tattoo begins to puss colors that are not in the tattoo. If it appears like ink is seaping from the skin, this is a sign that there is too much moisture being introduced to the tattoo. In this case, pat it dry with paper towel and don't apply more lotion until its dry again. When showering, make sure that all body wash, shampoos and conditioners are not used on the tattoo and are thoroughly rinsed away from the tattoo to prevent further irritation. Never submerge the tattoo in any water while the tattoo is healing (no baths or swimming of any kind). Tattoos are also known to itch when healing. This is nothing to be concerned about and is an indication that the tattoo is healing. Never scratch or pick the scabs at any point in the healing process. This will cause the ink to be pulled from the skin and potentially cause scar tissue making it difficult to tattoo the area again. A good rule of thumb....if you don't remember what to do, give me a call!
Can I take anything to dull the pain?
Drugs and alcohol, weather it be prescribed or recreational, should not be taken within 24 hours before getting tattooed. Many substances will thin the blood and cause the pores to bleed more than normal causing the ink to not hold up well. This will result in you needing to get your tattoo touched up and cause yourself more unwanted discomfort. If you are on a prescribed medication, consult your doctor before getting tattooed.
Do tattoos hurt?
This is the number one question I'm asked on a daily basis. Yes, tattoos have potential to be uncomfortable and do not feel good. Everyone has a different painful act to compare the pain to, but bottom line, everyone takes pain differently. Some spots are terrible for some and painless for others. We don't know your body and how you will react to it. Tattoos are also tolerable. If you want the tattoo bad enough then you will tolerate the pain that it takes to put a beautiful piece of art on your body to admire for years to come!
Do I need to leave a tip?
Tips are not required but a common way to tell your tattoo artist that you appreciate the effort they put into making your tattoo look as good as it does. Many people ask what they should tip and that is something that the customer should decide for themself. When I tip after getting a tattoo, I judge it upon the cost, the level of customer service and friendliness of the artist before during and after the tattoo, as well as how much I like the artist's finished product.
I'm pregnant, can I still get tattooed?
When you are pregnant or still breast feeding, your bloodstream is going to directly effect the baby. If you get a tattoo and it becomes infected, the baby doesn't have the same level of immunity in their systems as we do, so it can be harmful and potentially deadly to the child.
What happens if I havee a tattoo and become pregnant or gain/lose weight?
There is no definite answer to this question. People's skin stretch differently and there is no guarantee that the tattoo will look normal after gaining or losing a significant amount of weight. If you are a woman considering getting a tattoo on your stomach, I would recommend to wait until after pregnancy if you'd like children in the future.
How much is the tattoo going to cost?
All tattoos done by me are completely based on time. I typically charge $150/hour and have a minimum of $75. If you're getting tattooed by me at a convention, I have a $100 minimum and charge $150/hour. Some tattoos are small but have lots of detail making the tattoo very time consuming and some tattoos are large and are able to be applied quickly. Once a design is drawn up to size, I can give a better idea of the cost in most cases. All appointments require a $100 deposit that is applied to the cost of your tattoo.
Are there any tattoos you won't do?
I refuse to do anything race or gang related. My name is on every tattoo that I perform and my name and reputation mean more to me than the money you can put in my wallet. I reserve the right to deny a customer for any reason. If there is a tattoo idea that is presented to me that I'm not interested in doing or is out of my realm of abilities, I will refer you to another artist who I feel will better suit your needs.
Can I get a tattoo while I'm sick?
When you're sick, your immune system is lowered so your body has a harder time fighting infection and wounds take longer to heal. Plus, you and your artist are going to be in close proximity to eachother and your artist would prefer you not to get them sick, so schedule your appointment when you are feeling well.
How long before my tattoo fades?
The lifespan of your tattoo depends completely on how well you take care of it during and after the healing process. When exposing your tattoo to sunlight, always wear sunscreen (after it's healed). This also includes tanning beds. I have tattoos on me that are 14 years old and still look beautiful because I make sure they are well protected from UV rays at all times.
Is there anywhere you won't tattoo on the body?
I won't tattoo necks, the bottom of feet, the palm of the hand or the inside of the lip.
Can I go swimming or tanning after getting tattooed?
I recommend to wait at least 3 weeks after getting a tattoo to submurge in water or expose to light. If all the scabs fall off and the skin over the tattoo is shiny, then continue to wait until after the shinyness has subsided. This shiny skin is called a secondary scab and is a sign that your tattoo is not done healing.
How long do I have to wait before working out after getting a tattoo?
I recommend to wait a couple weeks before working out. The reason for this is that your body sweats out toxins that you don't want coming in contact with your tattoo. Also, sweat will potentially cause too much moisture entering the skin causing some ink to seep out of the pores causing inkless spots in your healed tattoo.
My friend knows a guy who will tattoo me at his house for cheap but I'm unsure what to do.
Speaking for most Tattoo Artists, we highly dislike these people. These "artists" are uneducated, untrained, and work in non sterile environments. They cause and spread infections, put out terrible and sometimes unfixable tattoos, and can cause serious bodily harm to you unless professionally trained. It will be cheaper in the long run to have a professional do your tattoo the way it should be done the first time rather than getting a hack job and paying a professional more to fix it!
How do I choose an artist?
When choosing an artist, pick someone who has a similar style to the art that you're looking to achieve (Joe may have a picture of a realistic frog in his portfolio, but since I want a cartoon style frog, I shouldn't go to him). Also, another good rule of thumb when getting a tattoo is that cheap tattoos aren't good and good tattoos aren't cheap. If you're searching for a bargain price on your tattoo, chances are you will be disappointed in the outcome of the final product. Look through artist's portfolios in order to get familiar with the work they do. If you can't afford the price that your desired artist has quoted you, ask if the tattoo can be done in multiple sessions to cut down on the immediate cost or just wait and save up the amount you were quoted.
My friend has a lot of tattoos and said that they'll tell me how to take care of my new tattoo. What should I do?
You can talk to 10 people and get 10 completely different opinions on how you should take care of your healing tattoo. If you get tattooed by me and you use products or methods that I haven't told you to use, I will not give a free touch up after the tattoo is healed. I know how the tattoos I do heal when my customers follow my instructions which is why I recommend the methods I do. Pay attention to ONLY your artist's instructions and tell your friends you've got it covered. We want our tattoos to heal properly and wouldn't give out information that could prevent our work from looking great!