Frequently Asked Questions

How old do I have to be to get a tattoo?
Age requirements depend on the state that the work is being done in. In Oregon, you must be 18 years old or more to get tattooed. There are no provisions for parental consent in Oregon.

What do tattoos cost?
Tattoo costs vary greatly due to the artist’s skill level and demand. Some studios charge by the piece, some charge by the hour. We charge by the hour. James charges $220 an hour with a 3 hour minimum. We require a deposit equal to one hour of the artist’s rate to hold an appointment unless otherwise stated.

Should I tip my tattoo artist? Is it required?
Tattooing is a service industry, and tipping is common, but there is no standard rate or percentage typical in the industry. Tipping is always appreciated, but it should reflect how you feel about your service and what you can afford.

Can I still get a tattoo if I’m sick?
When you are sick, generally it is a good idea to reschedule your tattoo. Your immune system is already busy trying to fight the infection and doesn’t need further complication. Getting tattooed while sick could make the tattoo take longer to heal (and not heal as well), and prolong your sickness. Lastly, we try hard to keep our clients happy and healthy, so it is appreciated when people choose to reschedule instead of bringing any germs or virus’ into the studio.

Can I still get a tattoo if I am pregnant?
No. When you are pregnant, everything that you introduce into your body ends up in your placenta and your milk. When getting tattooed there is always the potential that you may be exposed to an allergen. A mild allergic reaction in an adult could be potentially catastrophic to a fetus. The actual risk of the happening is small, but we feel it is not worth the risk. The policy of our studio is to wait until a new mother has finished nursing before doing any tattooing.

How do I prepare for a tattoo?
The night before be sure to eat well, don’t drink (alcohol) heavily, drink plenty of water and get a good nights sleep. Bring snacks (like trail mix, energy bars, nuts) and healthy drinks (vitamin water, juice) and water to have during your session. These will keep your energy high during your tattoo and you will feel better and have more stamina sitting for your tattoo. Taking vitamins regularly is good idea as well.

How long does it take a tattoo to heal?
How long a tattoo takes to heal depends on many factors, including the aftercare, the clients diet and their general health. Superficial healing should generally be complete between 5-10 days. The tissue needs to heal beneath the outer layers of the skin for 3-5 weeks before tattooing the same area again. Tattooing the same area before it is fully healed will cause excess pain, bleeding and difficulty healing.

How do I take care of a new tattoo?
There are many methods people recommend to heal their tattoos, this is what we find works well.

1. Keep tattoo bandaged overnight.

2. The following morning, after removing bandage, wash the tattoo thoroughly with warm water and mild soap. Wash the tattoo until it feels totally clean and smooth. Rinse the tattoo with cool water. After washing, pat the tattoo dry with paper towel until tattoo is no longer sticky. If the tattoo remains sticky after drying with the paper towel, use a hair dryer on a cool setting and blow the tattoo dry. (If you don’t have a hair dryer, let it air dry) It is important that the tattoo is no longer sticky and feels dry before putting any clothing over the tattoo.

If the tattoo is still sticky or oozing, it has not closed itself up and will continue to push out plasma and ink, and create a larger scab. What we want is a thin, dry scab that will flake off quickly.

Wash the tattoo 2 to 3 times daily in same manner, until the light scabbing starts ‘flaking’ off. After day one, you can start applying antibiotic cream as needed when the tattoo feels dry or tight.

It is important that you do not use a petroleum-based ointment as it will cause the tattoo to weep and produce larger scabs and may cause you to loose color.

After the tattoo begins flaking, discontinue the washing process and avoid soaking the tattoo. Continue applying the antibiotic cream when tattoo is dry, until the tattoo is healed. After the tattoo has finished flaking, switch to an unscented, dry-skin lotion. It may still look milky or be dry for a week or two after the tattoo has healed initially.

It is important to remember- do not pick, scratch, soak, or sunburn the tattoo. It’s a small effort to ensure a beautiful tattoo for a lifetime.

**Or, if you are using Landerm to heal your tattoo, please go here for more information on how to use and purchase Landerm.

Are tanning and sunbathing okay with a tattoo?
No. The sun is one of the worst things for a tattoo, especially while it’s healing. Ultraviolet light can make the colors in your tattoo fade, as well as interfere in the healing process. While the tattoo is healing, it is best to wear clean, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing over the tattoo. After the tattoo is healed, you should apply a SPF 55 or higher sunscreen (100+ is better!) and follow the instructions on the bottle for how much and how often to apply it. One application does not last all day.

Can I exercise with a new tattoo?
Exercise should be avoided during the initial healing of the tattoo. The stretching and pulling of the skin could make it difficult for the tissue to heal.

Can I swim with a new tattoo?
No.  Submerging your tattoo in any kind of water for an extended period of time while it’s healing is never a good idea. This can cause the scab layer on the tattoo to become waterlogged and prematurely lift off. This can damage the tattoos appearance after it is healed. Swimming pools are especially bad because of the Chlorine.

Are all of the needles and other equipment clean and sterile?
Yes!  Our client’s safety is very important to us. We use disposable, sterile single-use needles and our instruments are sterilized with a monthly spore-tested autoclave. All equipment that cannot be sterilized is covered with single-use, disposable plastic barriers and changed after each client.

How do I choose which artist I want?
It is important to choose an artist that is skilled in the style of work you are looking for, is receptive to your ideas and that you are comfortable working with. Tattoo sessions can be a big process that takes a lot of time so you want to feel comfortable. It is worth looking around for a while until you find an artist that works for you.

If the artist charges more than you expected, it is best to save your money and get the tattoo you want than to settle for an artist that doesn’t have what you are looking for. It will cost more to have the tattoo fixed later, than to have it done right the first time.

How long does it take to get a tattoo?
The amount of time a tattoo takes to complete varies greatly from project to project. The complexity of the design, the amount of color, body placement, and the client’s pain tolerance are all factors. Good tattoos take time. Only through the magic of Hollywood can a sleeve or back-piece tattoo (or a drawing for that matter) be completed in a few hours. We will try to give a rough estimate of time for a tattoo project, but it really is difficult to be precise.

How do I get an appointment?
After choosing your artist, you can submit a consultation request form. We will set up a consultation to discuss your project, and then make an appointment to start the tattoo.

What happens at the consultation?
During the consultation, The artist will talk with you more in-depth about your design, take a tracing to map out the size and shape for the tattoo, and look at any references that you might have.  After talking if you both agree to move forward with the project then the artist will take a deposit and set up a future date to start the work.  A deposit is needed to set a tattoo appointment. We take a deposit that is equal to one hour the artist’s hourly rate and it is credited towards the final session of your tattoo.
Deposits are not refundable.

Do you take apprentices? Or teach people to tattoo? Do you do body piercing?
No. In Oregon, in order to teach anyone to tattoo, you must be a licensed tattoo school- registered with the Oregon Department of Education. We are not registered as a school, and currently do not plan to be.

We do not do any body piercing, there are many piercing studios in Portland, and we believe that it should be left up to them.

How do I become a tattoo artist?
It varies according to the state you reside in. In Oregon it’s a bit tough. Here’s a link to the Oregon Health Licensing Agency. You can find all the information you need to become a licensed tattoo artist in Oregon.