Does getting a tattoo hurt?
Some people claim to feel nothing but pressure or a slightly irritating feeling and nothing more during the tattoo. Some claim that it is "annoying". Others admit that it is quite painful but not totally unbearable. How a tattoo feels depends on the person. Each person, and how their body tolerates pain, is different. None will report the same exact sensation.
The feeling of getting tattooed can range from cat scratch to burning to electricity or just the feeling of being written on very stiffly with a ballpoint pen. In the end, getting a tattoo feels like getting a tattoo. Try it and find out.
Ladies please take note: You may notice that the sensation of the tattoo may be amplified if you're getting work done a week before or during your menstrual cycle...
How long does it take for a tattoo to heal?
Tattoo healing times can differ greatly from person to person. Most people are healed within 2 weeks, others can heal at a much slower rate. I've seen tattoos that have taken up to a month to heal. If a tattoo looks healed on the outside, doesn't mean the tattoo is completely healed underneath.
Healing time can depend on the individual and their health. The better your health, the faster you'll heal. Skin type can also be a factor in this.
Healing time can depend on the body part. Some areas will heal faster than others depending on how much you use the body part. Joints and places that flex or bend on a regular basis can take longer to heal. This includes hands and feet, which can take up to a full month to heal because of the difference in the texture of the skin in these spots.
Each artist works differently and certain individual techniques may overwork the skin and cause the tattoo to take a bit longer to heal.
Tattoos that scab may often take a bit longer to heal than a tattoo that peels.
Does a tattoo always form a scab?
Some tattoos will scab, some will peel. Sometimes a tattoo will do both. Either is possible and quite normal. There is no way to predict whether your tattoo will scab or peel. This can vary with each individual and each tattoo as well as each body part and the aftercare used.
When I go to get my tattoo, what should I wear?
Wear something comfortable... and breathable. Wear old clothes... tattoo ink stains!
Wear something tat allows the artist easy access to the area you'd like tattooed. The artist needs no more exposed than the area in which he or she is going to be working with a few inches surrounding to be able to wipe excess ink away.
Do you numb the area before a tattoo?
No. To prescribe any type of anesthetic you must be a doctor and there is no way I'm going through medical school to be able to give a person a painless tattoo.
People have been getting tattooed (and things much, much more painful) for thousands of years with no numbing needed. In fact, it was done to prove how much the body could endure.
If it was painless it would be all too easy, everyone would have tattoos and it would be a worthless commitment. If you want that tattoo bad enough you'll sit through it. You'll earn it. Even if you're not proving your strength to society or your peers... you're proving it to yourself.
Does one color hurt more than another during the tattoo?
Absolutely not, you'll hear some people saying that one color hurts more than another color. This makes no sense. It's not the color or ink that causes the sensation, it's the tattoo needles. You can run water through a tattoo machine and it will feel exactly the same way.
A lot of people claim that black ink hurts more. I've heard some claim that yellow and white ink (or very light colors) hurts more. Why? Black is normally the first color that hits the skin... and that can cause a bit of shock to the system. The skin hasn't been worked yet and the feeling is very new to your body. Once it goes on for a while you tend to adjust and get used to it.
White or other very light colors are often the last colors used. The skin has already been worked so it's a little tender by this point. Sometimes that last color can seem like the worst, especially since you're anticipating the end of the process and enjoying your new addition. This is what you've worked so hard for.
Does the tattoo needle have to go deeper to make the color darker?
Lets think about this logically. When you paint a wall in your home, does the paint come out of the brush a darker shade if you press harder on the brush? Of course not, if you desire a darker shade or a darker color, you must change the color of the paint. In matter of fact if you get tattooed and an artist tried to go deeper it would cause an open wound. This is why getting a tattoo from a professional is important. We all went through a tattoo apprenticeship for a reason, to learn the proper techniques of tattooing.
If the tattoo needle goes deeper does the color stay better?
Not really. If the artist runs the tattoo needle too shallow, then the ink has more of a chance of falling out as the epidermis heals and sheds the dead cells. If the artist goes too deep they run the risk of hitting the fat layer. When this happens, ink can spread beneath the skin creating blobs in the line work or a haze that might surround parts or the entire tattoo.
Can I have a few drinks to loosen me up before my tattoo?
Not if you expect me to tattoo you. It won't happen. Alcohol is a blood thinner so it will cause you to bleed more. The excess flow of blood can cause immediate fading. Being that I take great pride in my work, I can't see wasting my time and effort putting all my love and energy into a tattoo piece if the person on the receiving end doesn't care what their tattoo looks like when it heals. My work is my signature and my good name. If it looks bad so do I. The bottom line is that I'm not drunk when I work on you... show me the same respect. If I smell alcohol on you, you will not be tattooed. No exceptions.
If a woman gets a tattoo on her stomach (abdomen) and then decides to have children, will the tattoo stretch out of shape? Will it ever go back to normal?
This depends solely on the individual. Sometimes the abdomen will stretch but remain smooth, unmarred by stretch marks. Most likely the tattoo will go back to normal in this situation. However, if stretch marks do occur, they will run over the weakest areas of skin. Areas prone to easiest stretching would be where the skin was perforated before... if a stretch mark runs through your tattoo you have less than a 50% chance of it going back to normal, no matter what you do.
Stretch marks from pregnancy have the potential to run anywhere from the tops of the thighs to just under the breasts and from hip to hip across.
Ladies, think very carefully about getting a tattoo in this area if you plan on having children and keeping your ink looking good. There's little to nothing you can do to completely prevent stretch marks from occurring if it runs in your family
Can stretch marks and scars be covered by a tattoo?
They will still be noticeable, but most of the time they can be tattooed over and disguised. I advise finding an artist who is experienced with working on these types of tissue as it can require more care when being tattooed. The scars or stretch marks must be healed thoroughly (sometimes a year or more to be sure) or you may wind up with a mess. Imagine having a canvas, the canvas has blemishes on it, you paint over the blemishes but they still stand out since the blemishes are raised and thick. I will tattoo over scars and blemishes but understand that you may notice a difference in the tattoo.
Is it true that tattoos are addictive?
Yes, but not in the traditional sense... It's not very often that a person gets one tattoo and quits. They may even wait years before the next tattoo, but sooner or later they get back in 'the chair'. Most people I know keep coming back, the pain is unique. Plus once your tattooed youre in the club.
Tomorrow is my 18th birthday. Can I get my tattoo now?
Nope. California state law prohibits the tattooing of minors. There is no parental consent. I don't have any plans for breaking the law and I don't plan on being fined or doing jail time because you wanted a tattoo a few hours early. Sorry. You've waited this long, another day won't hurt.
I've seen tattoo ink that glows in the dark/under a black light. Can I get a tattoo like that?
You can, but not from me. The chemicals and phosphorus used to make the tattoo ink glow are not fully proven to be safe. Some people can get tattooed with it and be fine, others report very bad reactions after a few years. In my opinion, tattoo black light inks haven't had enough time to be thoroughly tested and proven safe... I'd rather my clients not be test subjects.
Can a tattoo be done in white ink?
Yes. Unfortunately, you have to get really lucky for a white tattoo to stay white. The paler you are, the better off you are, but finding an artist who works well with white and is willing to do a white tattoo may be difficult. I've done tattoos on people who soak up white like there's no tomorrow - but unfortunately, not everyone can hold white that well.
White generally stays better in small areas like highlights. Larger areas are a bit tougher, but on some people, not impossible. From what I've heard, most artists won't even bother with white... (Which is really disappointing) they won't even attempt to work with it. I, myself, would be lost without white. I love using it. I like it even better when it stays well...what you have to remember is that all colors are affected by the pigment of your skin, not just the white. Even though it may not show up perfectly paper white (it rarely ever does), if it shows, it shows up lighter than your skin tone- and that's the point. It may add a little more dimension and liveliness to a tattoo by making certain points stand out a bit more prominent.
A solid white tattoo with no black outline will not be very noticeable. You may get a lot of questions asking if it's a scar, brand or some other form of mark. The tattoo will not stand out bold from your skin. If you tan, it will be even less noticeable and may be one of the first things to fade with repeated sun exposure.
After working with it in small areas, I may be able to better decide if white will stand out and stay in your tattoo. Normally, the deeper the pigment of your skin, the less you'll notice white.
Tattoo artists inexperienced at working with white may try to 'grind the tattoo ink in' to get it to stay. This only creates scar tissue, not brighter color.
Why does my tattoo raise up from time to time?
Some scarring occurs with every tattoo, most of the time it's not really noticeable. When the tattoo becomes irritated the scar will raise up for a bit. This can be caused by sun exposure or sunburn, slapping, scratching, rough clothing or even stress. Given time to calm down, the tattoo will lay flat again.
My tattoo is raised all the time. Why?
If the tattoo is raised constantly, chances are it's permanently scarred. This can happen with sensitive skin or skin that's prone to keloiding. It can also happen if the tattoo artist goes too deep or overworks the area. There isn't really anything that can lessen the scar tissue.
There's a rash around my tattoo! Am I having an allergic reaction?
In most cases, the rash (which looks like small pimples) is caused by over moisturizing the tattoo. Chances are, you're applying some sort of ointment or lotion to the tattoo. All that moisture needs a way to escape and can do so in the form of pimples... A rash can also be caused by something as simple as clogged pores or sometimes, ingrown hairs. Once the tattoo has finished scabbing or peeling, you can apply rubbing alcohol to the rash to help dry it out. Don't try to pop the pimples... this can cause scarring and may lighten the tattoo in that area.
It is possible that you're allergic to the ointment or lotion that you're applying. You can try switching brands... but make sure you consult your artist about the condition of your tattoo before changing anything in your aftercare procedure. They should be able to help you find an alternate way of caring for the problem.
If you're having an allergic reaction to the ink, the spot with the 'offending' ink will rise up, itch and have an extremely hard time healing. At times it may 'weep' and look a bit lumpy. Allergic reactions typically occur just after the tattoo is finished, and noticed as the tattoo tries to heal. Sometimes an allergic reaction can occur years after the tattoo has been done and healed- but that's pretty rare from what I've seen. The most common allergy-causing color is known to be red (a.k.a. Red Reaction), but it is possible for a person to be allergic to any color. If you're known to have severe allergies, ask your artist about doing a spot test.
I saw a picture in your gallery and it's perfect for me. Can I take it to my artist to have him/her tattoo it on me?
This is part of a big sore spot for me... I feel a tattoo should be unique to the wearer. Many of my clients request custom work... some have ideas in mind that they've been planning for weeks, months and even years. Some make sure that everything in the tattoo has a specific meaning or symbolism. They and I have slaved over designs for hours getting everything right and putting it to skin. What right does anyone else have to take that artwork that is so very important to them and render it exactly on their skin. If you write to me asking to use a design in my gallery just the way it is, don't be surprised when you get a big no in response. I have no problem letting my art and tattoos influence and inspire another piece, but blatant copying is LAME and any professional will tell you the same thing . Be your own person.
I found the perfect picture of a tattoo in a magazine/on the internet. It's already set up just the way I want it. Can you tattoo it on me?
This is the other part of the sore spot. If a person comes to me to design a tattoo I give them my word that I will not reproduce it on anyone. It's the same if you come to me with a picture of someone elses tattoo. I can use it for inspiration and influence in a new design, but I will not copy it exact. If you're insisting on getting it exact, all this shows me is a lack of respect for other people and a big lack of creativity and originality. I find it extremely disappointing and sad that some people cannot figure out what means something to them and work from there.
Creativity and originality go a long way with me.
What happens to the picture or artwork after I get a custom tattoo?
I can design a custom tattoo for you or you can bring in any artwork that you like. Once the tattoo is finished the stencil for that tattoo is destroyed. I do not keep custom artwork to add to the flash. I will not put personal artwork or art that's not specifically meant to be tattoo flash into public circulation. I have heard of this happening and, rest assured, this will not happen with me.