Frequently Asked Questions

How do I book an appointment?

It is our studio policy to book a complimentary consultation. You deserve that 1 on 1 time with our artists. During this time they will answer all of your questions and turn your idea into an amazing one of a kind tattoo that you will spend your life admiring. Once you know which artist you’d like to work with, you can call our studio at 563-589-0169 to set up your consultation. If you need help in deciding the perfect artist for your tattoo, please let us know.  After your consultation,  we require a minimum of a $100.00, non-refundable deposit to book a date and time for your tattoo. If the project is a large scale one, we may require a higher deposit. Of course, this comes off of the final session price of your tattoo. We do accept payment over the phone if needed. A 48-hour notice is required for a single schedule change or your deposit will be forfeited.  
No call, no shows will also have their deposit forfeited.   All deposits are final.
Thank you for understanding.

What will my tattoo cost?

There are a lot of factors that will determine the final cost of your tattoo. This includes size, style, and location. We require that you book an in-person or Skype consultation with the artist that you want to work with.  A consultation is free and allows you to have a block of time dedicated to you and your idea. During your consultation, we will answer any and all of your questions, as well as take the time needed to understand the direction you want to take with your tattoo.  If you are unsure of which artist you want to work with, please look at the "Home" page on this website and choose an artist that you feel is the one for you.  

Does getting a tattoo hurt?

Getting a tattoo does hurt. However, it is a pain that a very large amount of people have no problems dealing with.  Pain management is crucial to assist with getting a great tattoo.  Taking deep breaths, staying relaxed, and not moving is the best thing you can do.  

Do you reuse tattoo needles?

 Absolutely not!  We carry only single use, sterile tattoo needles.  For your added safety, we also use 100% disposable tubes.  We also cover everything that we touch or that can touch you as well as our surfaces with protective barriers.  Every year our artists are required to take continued education on how to maintain a sanitary studio. 

How should I prepare for my tattoo?

To prepare for your tattoo you should start by lotioning your skin a few days prior to your appointment. Make sure to eat well and also be rested. Be at the peak of your daily energy.  Don't come in sick or with a hang over, you'll hate life.  Make sure that you are wearing comfortable and accommodating clothing.  Think about the area that you are getting tattooed, and how the artist will get to that area.  Are you a woman getting upper chest work done? Then a white blouse and your favorite bra would be a bad choice.  Are you getting your upper thigh done? Then tight pants would be a bad choice. Remember, we are using ink. 
Children are not allowed in our shop unless they are getting pierced.  If you have children, make sure you have someone to watch them. 

How should I care for my tattoo?

Your artist will go over this in person, but just in case you forgot anything, here is the rundown.  Clean and moisturized is the goal.  Every few hours, wash your hands with the soap you bought here, or as an alternative, antibacterial soap. Once hands are clean, wash your tattoo with hot but not scalding water while gently massaging it.  Pat dry with a paper towel, then lotion it using either what you bought here, or a non-scented , non-dyed lotion.  Keep it out of direct sun or tanning beds for three weeks. Showers are fine, but do not submerge your tattoo in any type of water including pools, ocean and or rivers for three weeks. Do not pick or scratch it.  If scabs form, leave them alone.  Secretion is normal in the first few days, peeling skin is normal between week 2 and 3, blacks will fade to a lighter black, and color will lose some of its initial vibrancy.  These are all normal. You can contact us directly if you have any questions.
If signs of infection develop, let your artist know and seek out your medical professional of choice.  

How should I act in your studio?

Oh yes, Tattoo Etiquette! 
Let's do the quick run down. 

Do your research.
Always know what you want when you go into a tattoo shop.  Bring reference photos (but not an overwhelming amount) that can give the artist an idea of what you want.  They can’t read your mind, so they will need your help on this.

Remember artists specialize in particular styles. 
Don’t go in wanting a realistic black and grey portrait of your grandmother and ask a color New School artist to do it, or vice versa. Don’t be offended when they tell you there are other artists who would do a better job. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to do your tattoo, that just means there’s an artist out there that can render your idea more closely to the style you are looking for.

Be open to your artist’s ideas. 
Your tattoo artist is (hopefully) a professional for a reason.  They know best.  So when they tell you the lettering should be bigger or that a mandala on your back will come out cleaner than one on your ribs, it’s most likely because it will hold up better in the long run and read more clearly.

Don’t be a back seat driver. 
Again, your tattoo artist knows best.  Don’t overwhelm them with nitpicky details about every single shade of blue that you want added to your tattoo, how many centimeters apart something should be in the design, or how many hairs that portrait of your grandmother should have on her head.  If you did your research and picked an artist you trust, your tattoo will turn out beautifully.  That being said, if there is something major in the initial design you really don’t like, speak up and let them know.  A good artist wants to work with you and make sure you’re happy with the final result. 

Good tattoos aren’t cheap and cheap tattoos aren’t good. 
This is nonnegotiable.  Your artist has his or her set prices for a reason. Respect that.  If you haggle for a price, you are disrespecting the artist.

Be patient. 
Setting up a tattoo station and preparing to tattoo someone takes time, especially if you are getting a walk-in tattoo.  Allow time for your artist to design the piece or even finish up with the clients who walked in before you.  A patient client is an appreciated client.

Have good hygiene. 
Your tattoo artist is going to be up close and personal with you while you get tattooed.  Make sure to shower, shave and brush your teeth before your appointment. You don’t want to be known as Sir Stinks-A-Lot every time you get inked. 

 Be sober. 
Always get a tattoo sober.  This should be a no brainer, but make sure you go into the studio without any alcohol or drugs in your system.  Not only will this ensure that you pick the idea you actually want, but it will make saturating the tattoo easier for the artist.  This means try not to drink the night prior to getting a tattoo as well.  Alcohol thins your blood and will cause you to bleed a lot more.

Don’t bring your whole family to the tattoo parlor. 
One friend is fine, but more than that is overkill.  It crowds the shop and creates distractions for both the client and the artist.  Also, no one wants to deal with your rude, nitpicky aunt who keeps claiming you should have gone with that other photo of grandma halfway through the portrait session.

Don’t set time restrictions. 
Yes, some artists charge by the hour instead of by the piece, so don’t go into the session saying you can only afford three hours and ask for a six-hour tattoo.  If you can only sit for a few hours, let your artist know before hand so they are prepared in case you have to tap out after several hours and come back to finish the piece.

Don’t eat while getting tattooed.
To eat while getting tattooed forces you to wiggle unnecessarily and is unhygienic, and in some states, like New Jersey, it is also illegal.  Take a break if you need to get your nom on. 

Tip your artist. 
Tipping is not expected, but it is appreciated. It shows that you love the tattoo and appreciate all of the hard work the artist put in to make it.  Tips should probably be somewhere between 15-20% if they are monetary, but sometimes cool gifts that you know your artist would be into are just as acceptable!