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Does it hurt?

Of course it hurts, we’re sticking needles into you. Now levels of pain is a different story. Generally speaking it’s an annoying kind of pain, not unbearable but also not a pleasure. (There are those who enjoy it but they’re another story entirely) The least painful areas are generally the outside of the arms and legs. Chest and back are somewhat more painful and usually the sternum and the ribs are the worst. Genitals I think you can figure out for yourself. A good rule of thumb is that anyplace that feels good to be touched is going to suck to be tattooed. A common myth is that fatty areas are less painful than muscled or bony areas. The level of pain doesn’t have anything to do with fat, it’s all got to do with nerve endings. That means a tattoo on your butt isn’t neccessarily going to be less painful than somewhere else. It does tend to get more tender when you get toward joints (not the kind you smoke) Wrists, elbows, knees, ankles, those kind of spots. Thats because nerves use these spots as anchors as they move on throughout your body so you have a greater concentration of nerves there. (Is the fog starting to lift).

Is there anything I can take for the pain?

Not much. There’s not awhole lot that works, though there are a couple which I’ll go over. The best of the bunch is a topical ointment called EMLA, it’s a topical anesthetic thats made for doing skin grafts. It works better than anything else I’m aware of, in fact I use it myself when I’m getting back work. (I never said I was a tough guy) It requires a prescription and its alittle pricey. It doesn’t get you high or anything like that and it’s not a classed drug so most doctors don’t seem to have any problem with prescribing it (unless they have an attitude against tats). It does require some preparation though. It has to be put on an hour before the procedure and is effective for about two hours. It’s also availible over the counter (no script) in Canada if you’re northward bound.

Narcotics are another item, they have a limited use. They can help in that they make you not care about the pain, you feel it but so what. I don’t really recommend them, I’ve found they make me feel like crap in general and aren’t really worth it but not everybody agrees with that. Then there’s the legal side, and driving under the influence and on and on with the evils of narcotics. nuff said.

Things that don’t work.

BOOZE, Please give me a break, just because you’re father got drunk for his tattoo in 1952 doesn’t mean it was a good idea. The only time I ever got sick and light-headed from being tattooed was the one time I got tattooed drunk. All it does is give you booze balls, and if you need that to get tattooed you shouldn’t be getting tattooed to begin with. When you’re drunk you’re more likely to pass out, get sick, or make a lousy choice of designs. It also causes you to lose all your muscle tone which makes it harder to tattoo, it makes you bleed more (Alcohol thins your blood) which makes it harder to tattoo, and drunks STINK. If you think you’ll get an artists best work when they have to hold their breath to tattoo you because of the booze stench oozing for your pores you’re WRONG. We don’t want drunks in the studio, thank you.

Pot, cocaine, LSD,ect.

Sorry, all these things just intensify the discomfort. In other words, it makes it worse than using nothing at all.

How much does a tattoo typically cost?

The minimum most charge is $50-, average price is generally $80 – $125. All designs in the shop are priced, custom work is $150- per hr. There is an additional surcharge of $20- on work done on the neck or between the sternum and the crotch front and back. This is because those are more difficult areas to tattoo and it takes longer. There’s no surcharge on custom work since you’re paying for time to begin with.

Can I bring in my own design?

Yes, by all means do. We can usually work from just about anything, magazines, photos, cd’s, statues, pendants, we’ve seen all these things in the past and have worked up designs from them. This is custom work and is $150- per hr. drawing time is free, you only pay for tattooing time. Although we ask if you want something drawn up that you plan to get the tattoo if the drawing is satisfactory. All finished drawing are property of the studio and don’t leave the premises until the tattoo is done. That means if we draw it we keep it, if you get the piece you can have the drawing later but if you decide not to get the tat, you don’t get the drawing. As a courtesy to our customers we won’t reproduce custom pieces. If you see a piece in one of our portfolios that was done as a custom piece for someone we won’t reproduce it for you. We don’t think that’s fair to the person who came up with the idea in the first place. If you come in with the same notion or image as someone else thats different, we’ll do that.

Can I get tattooed with my parents permission?

No. You must be over 18 with a positive I.D. Something with your picture and date of birth. Sorry, thats the law in this state, no if ands or buts. Just like going to a bar, you’re parents can’t legally order you a drink either. We have nothing to do with this, we don’t make the law, we just have to live with it. If you don’t like it, by all means call your state rep and let them know.

Is there anyplaces some shops won’t tattoo?

Yes, some don’t tattoo heads, hands, feet, or genitals. There are several reasons they don’t tattoo those areas most of which are pretty obvious so I won’t bore you with the details.

Are needles and/or inks reused?

No. Most law forbids the reuse of any equipment in the tattooing process. Nothing that is used on a client should be reused. All needles and inks are disposed of after each tattoo.

Will colors show on darker skin?

Colors get muted by dark skin tones. When you look at a tattoo you are looking through the skin at the tattoo. So the darker the skin the more muted the colors will appear. On coffee colored complexions (regular with milk) or lighter we can still safely use colors although the pallette becomes a little more limited. We can usually use some reds, oranges, pink, and some light greens. On skin darker than regular coffee we generally recommend staying with gray shading or solid black, since most complexions aren’t actually black (though some are pretty close) solid black work will usually show on anybody.

This is also important for people who like to get tanned in the summer. Often after getting tanned the lighter colors on a tattoo will seem to become significantly faded. This is a temporary condition, after the tan fades the colors will come back out again. Remember though the sun is the number 1 killer of tattoos, too much sun worshipping with your tattoos and they will fade prematurely, a little sunblock can go along way towards keeping your tat in good shape.

Will tattoo artists rework old tattoos or other peoples work?

Yes we most will, if they consider the piece salvageable they will rework it. I include “salvagable” because you wouldn’t believe some of the god-awful messes we encounter. (Remember kids, only get pricked by a pro) Rework is considered custom work and goes by the hour, they can usually give you a guesstimate on cost once we see it and discuss how you want to approach it. They will usually recommend redoing the whole tattoo rather than just adding spot color. The reason for this is if you take an old tattoo and just add a little color here and there it looks like an old tattoo thats had a little new color added. (looks pretty damn lame) So they recommend redoing the outline along with the rest of the tattoo, it’s more expensive but it really makes a big difference in the final outcome. (Don’t cheap it out, you’ll be wearing it a long time).