So, you’ve decided to get a new tattoo. That’s great! Maybe this is your first, or your fifth, but usually when we go to get inked, we naturally have questions. Especially if this is your first time, I’m sure you have a lot of anxiety over the whole thing.
If you’re wondering how much do tattoos cost or how to select a tattoo, this first time tattoo FAQ will help prepare you in the body art process. Tattoos are permanent markings and with that comes great decision and thought. Give your body art selection some time and review these common questions so that you can hope to avoid any tattoo regrets
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR MY TATTOO SESSION?
Make sure you are well rested, well hydrated, and have eaten recently. Aside from that, take a shower, charge your phone or tablet up to full, and don’t bring in your 50 closest friends. 1 quiet friend or family is good enough. Your artist will appreciate that. Too many people can distract your artist.
SHOULD I WALK IN OR BOOK AN APPOINTMENT?
We always encourage people to book an appointment for tattoos of any size. First, this guarantees you will get in at a certain time without potentially waiting for hours. Second, it gives our artists the chance to draw your new tattoo so that it’s 100% unique to you. For smaller tattoos, if we have openings feel free to try to walk in.
WHY DO WE REQUIRE DEPOSITS?
Often we will have hours of work in drawing and preparing for a tattoo before you sit down in our chair. Deposits help to ensure you make it to your appointment and that we haven’t done hours of work for nothing. Tattoos these days are very time consuming and we book out alot of hours for your tattoo and your deposit secures our time, besides this is how we pay pay the bills.
WHAT IS THE SHOP MINIMUM & PRICING FOR TATTOOS
Our shop minimum is R700. You might not realize it, but we go through nearly the same amount of very expensive supplies to do a tattoo the size of a quarter as we do for a tattoo the size of a softball. Everything has to be sterilized, before and after.
The cost of a tattoo will depend on the size of the piece and the detail involved. Some pieces cannot be completed in one sitting. You will be given a quote once you meet with the artist and go over the details of what you want.
Why tattoos can be so expensive…
Before you get inked make sure you can afford the cost of a new tattoo. Permanent art should be the absolute best that your money can buy. Don’t settle for a mediocre tattoo, learn the cost of a tattoo before you end up paying for its removal by sacrificing quality. . Remember though, if another studio is willing do your tattoo super cheap BEWARE! Sometimes you get what you pay for and this is going to be on you forever.
Please don’t try to negotiate the price. The artist will immediately lose interest in your tattoo. We charge what we charge and you will walk out happy.
WHAT IS THE AGE REQUIREMENT FOR GETTING PIERCED OR TATTOOED?
For tattoos, we can tattoo minors from age 16+ with a parent present. Or 18+ without consent. For piercings, 14+ with a parent present and starting at age 18+ we can pierce anything without the consent of a parent, as long as proof of identification is present.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN ARTISTS PORTFOLIO.
When you do look at their portfolio, there are a few things to keep in mind. Do you see any that you recognize from flash walls or books? If so, how is it rendered in tattoo format? Before anything else, check to see that the lines are clean. Are they well-defined? Straight where they should be; not shaky or blurry? Are the borders all uniform in width? Do the colors seem true? Are they bright? Proportionately correct?
Look at the people in the book. This can be an indicator of the clientele in the shop (besides looking at the ambiance of the shop). Is there a fair mix of women and men in the book? Are they all sporting “biker” tats, or any one particular genre/style?
Skill in the artistry comes in the shading, use of colors and other subtle things that set an artist apart from a simple tattooist.
Do you see anything in the portfolio that is not in the flash? These are the custom pieces that the artists have done, and they should be their crowning glory. How do they look? If there is more than one artist working in the shop, and you see some photos you like, make sure to find out which artist did the work.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING THE RIGHT TATTOO STUDIO
Why this is important:
What is an autoclave?
An autoclave is an expensive sterilization tool used in hospitals. It is basically a powerful steamer that ensures all reusable items in the tattooing process are properly cleaned between clients. Tubes and grips are the two items most commonly sent through an autoclave. The use of an autoclave is the only method that guarantees hygiene when cleaning reusable equipment. You cannot boil the tools, place them in an ultrasonic cleaner or under UV lamps. If someone is working from home or a small studio the chances are they cannot afford to have an autoclave. This is why they can probably offer such a great deal on the work.
The artists should be wearing gloves and masks:
This is standard hygienic practice. To stop the transmission of any bacteria it is crucial that the artist use these protective barriers. You are undergoing a procedure where you skin is being pierced. The use of gloves and masks protects both you and the artist. If an artist is not wearing gloves or a mask during your appointment chances are they didn’t for the last customer either!
New sterile needles must be used
This is for the same reason as above only the risk that would arise should needles be shared is far more direct. As tattooing needles pierce the skin they can be exposed to bodily fluids. Needles must be in sealed containers, opened in front of you before the tattoo and disposed of in a proper receptacle afterwards.
What does “new needle every time” mean?
That means we NEVER EVER reuse or re-sterilize a needle. When you are tattooed, the needle we use will be brand new and sterile. After your tattoo, that needle will be discarded in an approved biomedical waste container. Everything (ie: pigments, ink caps, razors, etc.) are all discarded after each tattoo.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO HEAL AFTER A TATTOO/PIERCING?
The majority of your new tattoos healing process will be done within the first two weeks. However, the skin is still working to heal and rejuvenate and you need to plan on a 4-6 weeks for your skin to be back to its previous state.
WHAT IS THE PAIN LEVEL FOR A PIERCING?
If tattoos are a 3/10 on a pain scale, piercings are probably 7-9/10. Piercings are far more painful than tattoos – but only for a very short period of time. This is why people pass out WAY more often with piercings than with tattoos.
WHY DO TATTOOS START TO ITCH WHILE HEALING?
As the skin rejuvenates itself, usually about a week after the tattoo was done, the itch sets in. This is 100% normal. Good moisturizers will help immensely with this but DO NOT SCRATCH IT or it will ruin the tattoo and can cause scarring.
WHAT IS THE PAIN LEVEL FOR A TATTOO?
A tattoo is probably a 3/10. The best comparison would be to getting a scratch on a sunburn or to having someone draw on you with a ball-point pen on a sunburn. It doesn’t feel good, but it’s more of an intermittent irritation than a constant pain. Remember, a tattoo has more in common with an abrasion than it does with a hypodermic needle shot from the doctor.
CAN I BRING MY OWN PICTURE FOR A TATTOO?
Yes. This tattoo will be on you permanently so we want to be sure you are totally happy. Bring anything you think might help to capture exactly what you’re looking for your tattoo to reflect. We also have plenty of reference books available for ideas. No matter whether you know exactly what you want or don’t have a clue, we will always work with you to design a custom piece of art that you will love.
THE PROCESS OF A TATTOO..BEGINNING TO END
Once you have decided on your tattoo design and your artist, you will be given a consent form, After your paperwork is filled out, you will be seated in the tattoo chair. Sometimes this is in an open work area, and sometimes a private room depending on the location of your tattoo. If you are shy and don’t want others to watch, you can request a private room, but Your artist will do his or her best to make you comfortable for the tattoo you have chosen.
Now it is time for the preparation. The area of your body you have chosen for your tattoo will be cleaned, usually with rubbing alcohol. Then, any hair will be removed from the area by shaving it with a new disposable razor which will be discarded after being used. Even the finest of hairs can get in the way and cause problems, so this is a crucial step, even if you can’t see any hairs. Then, the area will be cleaned again to make sure it is smooth and ready for the transfer.
Once your stencil is ready, it’s time to create the transfer onto your skin. Some artists will use a stencil applicator or Savlon. These aid in making the design transfer better and darker onto your skin. When the paper is pulled away from your skin, it will leave you with a purple-ish blue likeness of your future tattoo!
It is at this time that your artist will start preparing their tattoo machine. The inks will be placed in little tiny cups called “ink caps”, and the needles and tubes will be removed from their sterile pouches and placed in the machine. Clean, distilled water will be poured into a cup for cleaning the needles during the tattoo process and to change from one colour to the next. Some A&D ointment or Vaseline will be placed on a clean surface for your use only.
Now it is time to get down to serious business! A little ointment will be placed over your transfer design for a few reasons. One is that it helps keep the transfer on longer without accidentally rubbing it off, and it also helps the needle to slide along the skin more smoothly, which is certainly going to be more comfortable to you! After the ointment is applied, it is time for the first line.
So once your tattoo is finished and clean, it needs to be treated just like a wound. A protective layer of ointment will be applied to the tattoo to prevent invasion of airborne bacteria that can cause infection. Then a bandage will be applied, and it will be taped up to make sure it is secure. It is important that you keep this bandage on for the amount of time your artist instructs, the right amount of time should be until the next morning.