Tattoo FAQ

Here at Adorn Body Art we are committed to working with you to create a beautiful tattoo that you will cherish for a lifetime. In order to facilitate this we have to come up with answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQ).

There are three things essential to getting a quality tattoo:

  • A talented artist
  • A beautiful design
  • State of the art sterilization procedures

In this FAQ we will give you information on choosing a good artist and studio, and address many common questions to assure that your tattoo process is Good Clean Fun. While design questions are too numerous and complex for the scope of this article, our staff is always happy to help. Here at Adorn Body Art we are committed to friendly, personalized attention from beginning to end.

How do I know if the tattoo shop is clean?

Cleanliness is of the utmost importance. Take a look around; do you like what you see? Trust your eyes and your instincts. If you have any doubts run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit. Better safe than sorry. Ask if there is an autoclave on premises and if so, do they spore test? The answer to both questions should be yes and they should be able to show you proof. INSERT PICTURE OF AN AUTOCLAVE AND A SPORE TEST HERE. The artists supplies should be single-use disposable and the artist should change their gloves frequently during the tattoo process. Smoking, eating and pets should be restricted on the premises. for more information on our sterilization process, check out our Video or read our article on In-House Sterilization Procedures.

How are tattoos priced?

We price our tattoos at roughly $100-150 per hour (industry standard) and have a $70 minimum. Artists prefer payment in cash. We also accept Visa, Mastercard and debit cards. Once we have a drawing, a size and location we can give you a price quote. A quote dictates a price range based on the amount of time/effort we expect your tattoo to take. Quotes are done in studio, not over the phone. Rough estimate quotes may be done by email, but the final quote will still need to be done in house. When determining whether to get a tattoo at one studio or another, price should be the lowest consideration. Good tattoos are are rarely cheap and cheap tattoos are rarely good. See Tattoo Costs.

Am I expected to Tip my tattooist?

Tips are appreciated but not expected. They are a service industry standard at 5-25%. For more extensive information on tipping see our article Tips for Tats.

Do I need an appointment?

We work by both appointment and walk-ins. You don’t always need an appointment, but they are usually ideal! We reserve time on Saturdays just for walk-in clients, but take them on other days when possible. Walk-in clients are taken on a first come, first serve basis. We cannot guarantee availability. Some artists book 1-2 months or more in advance, so plan ahead. Appointments require a deposit and must be made in person. Deposits are non-refundable and are applied to the final cost of your tattoo, providing you cancel or arrive in a timely manner. If you are ½ hour or more late for an appointment or cancel without a minimum of 24hours notice you will forfeit the deposit. See more information on booking appointments.

How old do you have to be to get tattooed?

It is illegal to tattoo anyone under the age of 18 in the state of Oregon. In addition to the mandatory minimum age required by law, we reserve the right to refuse anyone service. Highly visible areas of the body, also known as “job-busters” will be done on a case-by-case basis. We have seen the pain and frustration caused by these tattoos too many times to want to contribute. If we tell you “No”, please understand that it comes from decades of experience and a genuine desire for your long-term happiness. We don’t hate you or your money.

Can my parent sign for me?

No. All tattoo clients must be over the age of 18 and provide valid state or federal issued photo ID.

Can I have a drink before I get tattooed?

It is illegal and ill advised to get tattooed while under the influence of alcohol. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol will not make your experience any better. It actually makes the process more difficult for you as well as the artist and raises the risk of complications. Other drugs, including Marijuana, can also have a negative impact on the process.

Can I get tattooed while pregnant or breast-feeding?

No. Your body is going through tremendous changes and stress. Getting tattooed while pregnant or breast-feeding can negatively impact either/or your health and that of your baby. It’s simply not worth the risk.

Should I eat before I get tattooed?

It is ideal to eat a healthy portioned meal within four hours of being tattooed. You don’t want to be starving or stuffed. Having stable blood sugar bolsters your immune system and helps the body deal with the fluctuation of endorphins, which are released during the tattoo process. For long tattoo sessions bring some fruit and trail mix. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and aspirin.

Can we bring children into the shop?

For the saftey of your children and the sanity of our studio we ask that you kindly keep your well-behaved children fully under your control and out of trouble at all times. When it is time for your tattoo we strongly encourage you to get a babysitter. The artist is trying to concentrate and you and the other clients are trying to relax. At the very least, you will need to bring an addtional adult to supervise and monitor the child while you are getting tattooed. Particular artists may have greater sensitivity to children in the station. We reserve the right to reschedule you at your own expense if the child poses a problem.

What can I do to prepare for my tattoo?

Do your homework. Pick the right artist, the right tattoo and the right time in your life (for example: don’t get tattooed the week before you go to a resort with a hot tub.) Happy, healthy people heal better. Getting tattooed when you are sick, post or pre-surgery, or exceptionally stressed out is not ideal. Furthermore, people with compromised immune systems (e.g. diabetes, Hepatitis, HIV) typically take longer to heal. For more information on preparation, see these articles: Pre-service Tattoo Info How to Judge a Portfolio

How long have your artists been tattooing?

Our artists have been tattooing for 5-20+ years. A portfolio, not longevity, is the best judge of an artist’s talent and suitability for your tattoo. Take a thorough look at photographs of work that the artists have accomplished. For more info on how to look at a portfolio look at our article on How to judge a Portfolio. Feel free to ask our counter staff or artists any questions. They will be happy to lead you in the right direction.

Can I bring in my own drawing?

We encourage you to bring in your own artwork or references and ideas that our artists can use to draw you a custom tattoo. A custom tattoo is a tattoo designed with you specifically in mind, made to fit your personal tastes as well as your body shape perfectly. We believe your tattoo should be yours and will not tattoo it on anyone else. Our artist may need to rework your personal drawings based on the drawings’ “tattooability”. Custom tattoos require a deposit as well as time for the artist to draw. The amount of time necessary to draw your tattoo will depend on the scope of the piece as well as how booked the artist is. Once the artist has drawn for you he/she will re-work it, if necessary, until you are satisfied. Your deposit will be applied to the final cost/session of your tattoo. If you choose not to be tattooed or decide to cancel your appointment without sufficient notice, your deposit is considered a drawing fee. For more information look at our article on Image Is Everything.

How big does my tattoo have to be?

The size depends on the complexity of the image/text and the area of the body where the tattoo is being placed. In general, tattoos that look big on paper look far smaller in the larger context of your body. We will gladly consult with you to determine the best way to meet your needs and get a tattoo that will survive the test of time.

Can you fix/cover-up a bad tattoo I have?

Probably. Not every tattoo is an ideal candidate for fixing or covering. Additionally cover-ups require a special skill set and not all artists are good at them. A consult is essential to determine and discuss what imagery is necessary to adequately cover the old work. Consults are free and generally take 10-30minutes to complete. Two of the most frequently covered tattoo designs are gang related and lovers’ names. In consideration of this fact, our artists may choose not to do them. For more information on cover-ups check out our article Out of the Frying Pan, Not into the Fire.

Can you tattoo over a scar?

It depends on the severity and maturity of the scar. This is judged on a case-by-case basis; in general, a scar should be at least one year old. Come in to discuss your options.

Does it hurt?

Yes. No. Maybe. Pain varies from person to person and from day to day. Most people compare getting a tattoo to the discomfort of scratching a sunburn. Relax, don’t fight it and it will all be over soon… or in a few hours, depending on the size of the tattoo.

What is the most painful place to be tattooed?

Again, pain is subjective and varies from person to person. Do not choose an area or a size based on the pain factor. The beauty of the tattoo will last for decades longer than the brief period of discomfort it takes to complete the tattoo.

What if I’m allergic to latex?

In general, it is important to inform your artist of any allergies or medical conditions. Nitrile gloves are the industry standard for the tattoo procedure. Use of latex gloves for the tattoo procedure is antiquated and unsafe and a strong indication that you should choose another studio.

How do I take care of my tattoo?

Listen to your artist! Not your buddy, not your mailman, not your uncle Bob. Your artist is the expert and they are invested in your healing their work properly so that the resulting healed tattoo is something that makes you both proud. See more information on Tattoo Aftercare.

How long can I expect my tattoo to take to heal?

Tattoos when cared for properly takes approximately around 3 weeks to initially heal. After 3 weeks you should be able to resume normal activities (swimming, gym, etc.) It takes a couple months for full healing.

What area of the body is hardest to heal?

Blood flow is an integral part of the healing process so the closer to the heart the better the healing. Healing of the lower legs and feet can take longer based on that fact. Another significant factor in healing is friction. Tattoos on the torso where clothing constricts and where pivotal movement is constant can lead to longer heal times and complications. Areas of the body with natural seams, like elbows and knees can have a harder time healing as well.

Is it normal for my new tattoo to scab?

Scabbing, flaking, peeling, dryness and a hazy appearance are all natural parts of the healing process. However, severe scabs that are deep and thick may indicate a need to change your aftercare routine and should be addressed with your tattoo artist.

Can I tan?

Stay out of the sun and tanning booths, especially during the healing process. Any form of tanning can and will damage and fade a tattoo. If you are a sun worshiper, we recommend a SPF 30+ sun block for life.

What happens if my tattoo gets infected?

More often than not, what you perceive as an infection is actually an irritation. Allergic reactions or infections are extremely rare. If you think there is an issue, please come speak with your artist. If there is an actual infection, a physician will help you get healthy.

Do you do free touch-ups?

90% of the time our artists will continue to touch-up their work for as long as you can find them. (That is not true of every studio!) Hands, feet and neck tattoos are exceptions to the touch-up policy. With those areas of the body you get one free touch-up within the first year. Other exceptions to receiving a free touch-up include setting and then blowing off your touch-up appointment or blatant disregard of proper tattoo aftercare. Simply put, disregarding the importance of your artists’ time and advice disqualifies you from free touch-ups. If your behavior has fallen under the disrespectful category your future appointments may require gifts, money and/or apologies. It is also important to note that most tattoos do not require a touch-up! If you think you need one or are unsure, simply drop by the studio and ask your artist.

What if I don’t like it?

Tattoo removal is still a painful, expensive and imperfect process. It is best to circumvent the need for tattoo removal by choosing your artist and design wisely and then taking care of it dilligently. Remember, a little extra time planning will save a lot of time regretting. You want to be sure you are getting a tattoo that you will be happy with for the rest of your life. If even with the best of planning and intentions the end result is still not perfect come back to the studio to discuss your options.

If you have any further questions, please call, email or drop by the studio and we will gladly assist you. Or read these articles: