F.A.Q.

How is the pain of a tattoo?

That is very hard to say, considering that each person has a different interpretation of how the pain feels, but most people describe it as a superficial sharp sensation. The intensity at which a stimulus begins to evoke pain varies from individual to individual and for a given individual over time. This is called the pain threshold.

How is the job market for a tattooed person?

The job market for a tattooed person is not as bad as it used to be. Now more than ever, society has to accept how tattooed people look, as we now represent a significant manpower amount. Moreover, the market has also been adapted to the population characteristics, and thereʼs now a lot more business, including whole sectors of the economy that won’t care about the colour of your hair or if you have visible tattoos. Actually, many business owners prefer employees with these characteristics because they are like the customers that they want to attract to their business!

Where on my body should I get a tattoo?

To find out, you have to have a good critical look at your body to realise where you would like your tattoo and where on your body you wouldn’t like people to be paying attention. Example: if you have a big arm, you cannot get a tattoo the size of a coin on your shoulder, because your arm will look even bigger and at some point you will realise that your tattoo is too small for the spot. Or, if you donʼt like your belly because itʼs not fit as you’d like or for any other reason, donʼt get a tattoo around your belly button. Think about if you want it to be shown or not.

How to choose a tattoo shop?

You can start by doing a tour of 3 or 4 tattoo shops. There are very good, good and not so good tattoo shops and it is only by comparing them that youʼll find out which one is your favourite. Donʼt give up until you find one that inspires trust. Have a good look at the artistʼs tattoo portfolios. The pictures must be neat. Try to realise what kind of style this tattooist does best and if the subject that you want to get tattooed is one of their specialties. Good tattoo artists will also have their own artwork on display like drawings or paintings. If possible, talk to the artist. They have to inspire trust and look comfortable about your tattoo idea.

Also, have a good look at the shop premises. It has to look clean and hygienic. If you are not sure, ask them to show you the cleaning and sterilisation room. It is very important that it looks extremely clean! After finding the perfect shop, the price is the last question to ask.

Should I get a small one first just in case I regret later?

The truth is that you can regret getting a small tattoo too. Some people decide to get bigger tattoos after the small ones and now they wish they had that space available. Ideally, the design should fill the area you chose on the body. And after all, if you made the wrong decision, you can at least learn from your mistakes.

Should I have any special food on the day of my tattoo?

Yes. You have to eat normally but note that if you are having a long session, (over 2 hours), you will need some extra energy to resist the pain, and this energy you get from food.  I recommend that you choose calories over light foods. So remember to have a good meal before your tattoo appointment.

When do I need to touch up my tattoo?

That depends. In the case of a well done tattoo: if you take care of it, which means avoiding the sun and applying sunscreen lotion every time your tattoo is exposed to the sun, having a healthy diet and drinking water regularly, a touch up may be necessary only after several years! Tattoos are applied on skin to last a lifetime, so remember that and always protect it when you expose it to the sun light.

I realised my new tattoo was badly done. What should I do?

Was your tattoo badly done? Badly done as in amateur level?  In that case you should consider going to a good tattooist to fix it. One very important thing to consider when thinking of a cover up is: be open to the new tattooist’s suggestions and use your imagination. It may need to be bigger than the original one, darker and even a different subject than you may have thought. And it will probably cost more.

Note: Touching up new tattoos requires a period of at least 3 months between the day it was made and the day of the touch up. The reason for this is that the skin needs to fully heal before having the resistance to endure a tattoo procedure again. Even if it’s a small one.

Is it normal to have fever after getting tattooed?

It may occur sometimes due to the extra tiredness of the body from the effort of handling the pain. Thereʼs no reason to worry about it. A good night of sleep will make you feel better again. Drinking plenty of water helps reduce the inflammation.

Is it possible that someone has the same tattoo that I have?

If you choose your tattoo design in a catalog, magazine or from the internet, the answer is yes. There are tattoo shops that donʼt tattoo the same design twice, and others modify it so it doesn’t look the same. The best option is to ask your tattooist to draw something exclusive for you.

Is it possible to have a tattoo removed?

Yes. Itʼs a more painful and more expensive procedure. You should ask someone that had a tattoo removed and had a satisfying result. You can also find some good recommendations in tattoo shops.

Is it safe to get tattooed?

Yes. Thereʼs no hazard contamination since the tattoo shop you chose follows hygiene procedures, cleaning and sterilisation, elimination and utilisation of disposable materials.

Is it true that toxic substances can interfere in your sensibility?

Yes. Toxic substances like alcohol, weed or cocaine are not welcome in tattoo shops. If you are under the influence of any of these substances while getting tattooed, you won’t be able to concentrate, disturbing the concentration of the tattooist and interfering in the final result. If you want professional work, think like a professional, dedicating yourself to the fullest and helping your tattooist. This way you demonstrate respect to the tattooist and his profession, to art and to your body itself.

Is it true that people faint when getting tattooed?

It may occur but not frequently. People usually faint not because of the pain, but because theyʼre nervous. It usually happens not in the end, when the pain is more intense due to the constant work in the same area, but in the first minutes when the person is still tense and afraid of the needles. Some people faint from seeing blood and they are not feeling pain at all. Thatʼs a psychological thing. Other factors that lead to the collapse are poor diet and muscle fatigue. So if you feel tired or did not have a proper meal, donʼt go get tattooed or youʼd probably faint. So remember, before getting tattooed, have a good night of sleep and eat plenty of calories.

Is there an anaesthetic I can use for tattooing?

There are topical creams but they are not very efficient. Only in a few cases do tattooists suggest that you use them.

What is the best age to get my first tattoo?

Thereʼs no best age and so it only depends on if you are ready and want it or not. Of course, in the UK, by law, you cannot get any tattoo before you’re 18 years old. Not even if itʼs your birthdayʼs eve or if your parents “approve” it.

My parents donʼt like tattoos. What should I do?

Anyone over 18 years old has the right to have a tattoo, but of course, it also depends on the relationship that you have with your parents.

Where to find the perfect drawing for my tattoo?

None of the drawings that you can find on the internet, in catalogs, flash, books or magazines would be perfect, because they are accessible to everyone. They should be used as reference and inspiration only. The perfect drawing will come from the hands and mind of your tattooist, and yourself. A friend can also draw it for you. But the secret is: the drawing must have some connection with you…

Is the tattoo equipment sterile or disposable?

In fact, both. The disposable materials are needles, gloves, ink cups, paper towels, spatulas, plastic bags, etc. This material is strictly single use only. The sterile equipment like tattoo grips that donʼt deteriorate with time and have a long lasting lifetime can be reused if sterilised properly, not providing any health risk.

Can the sun damage my tattoo?

Yes! The sun is the main external factor of skin ageing and consequently, of damage to your tattoo. Sunscreen lotion must be used every time you expose your tattoo to strong sun radiation. Please note that after a few years your tattoo will still be there, so take care of it through all your life.

Why do some tattoos seem to be scarred?

That happens when the skin is damaged in the tattoo process usually done by an inexperienced tattooist. Depending on the level and extent of the scar, it may have been the tattooist’s fault.

Why does the black colour in some tattoos seem to be blue?

I believe that is the black ink colour mixed with the beige skin colour (usually a problem only for lighter skin tones) that can turn it to a bluish, greenish tone.

Another theory, but unlikely due to the fact that the most common black pigments used nowadays are rarely made this way, is because of the origin of the pigment. The Japanese, as an example, make their ink through a burn process using wood from 2 different trees. One wood produces a black with a blue tone, and the other one with a brown tone. Sometimes you have a t-shirt that you think is black, but when you dress it with black jeans you realise that it is actually dark blue. But donʼt worry, nowadays all the tattoo black ink for sale in the market is really black.

Why do tattooists photograph the tattoos?

Thatʼs the way to register their work. Tattooing is an ephemeral artwork and the photography not.

Can I cover a scar with a tattoo?

Yes, and this is a common procedure. Tattooing over scars is less painful than people think and the result is quite satisfying.

Can I do sports during the healing process?

Yes, except swimming or other sports in the pool or in the sea. Any other sport is allowed, since it offers no risk of friction on the tattooed area. The tattoo must be washed after the excessive sweating and the aftercare can be followed normally. But I wouldn’t recommend.

Can I use Vaseline to heal my tattoo?

Vaseline is the base of many lotions, but of course, there are better products that accelerate the healing and produce better results. Some are made specifically for the tattoo healing process, like Tattoo Goo or Hustle Butter.

What is the best ointment to heal a tattoo?

Usually tattoo healing cream made specifically for that purpose. Tattoo Goo and Hustle Butter are very good ones.

What is the best time of the year to get a tattoo?

It depends on your life style. If you like to sun bathe in the summer or like outdoor sports, then your best time to get a tattoo is the winter. Doing this, your tattoo will be perfectly healed by the summer and you’ll be able to expose it to the sun, protecting it only with the sunscreen lotion. But remember, the sun will damage any tattoo so avoiding direct sunlight is ideal.

What is the most painful region of the body?

Any part near to the bones – they are the extremities. Example: foot, hands, head, elbow, the top of shoulders, ribs, wrist and over the spine. But also some tender parts can be sensitive, like belly, behind the knees, neck, the bend of the elbow. Donʼt forget that the palm of hands and soles of the feet are very painful, probably the most painful part of the body to get a tattoo due to the large amount of sensitive nervous connections.

What is the final destination of the biological waste and sharp items?

By law in the UK every tattoo shop must have a contract with specialised companies that regularly collect and incinerate all the biological waste and sharp items.

What is used to sterilise the tattoo equipment?

The grip and tips used for tattooing are sterilised in an instrument called an autoclave steriliser. An autoclave is a large pressure cooker; it operates by using steam under pressure as the sterilising agent. High pressures enable steam to reach high temperatures, thus increasing its heat content and killing power. The sterilisation of materials using steam and pressure is a dependable procedure for the destruction of all forms of microbial life.

What is used to clean the tattoo equipment?

The tattoo equipment is cleaned in an instrument called an ultrasonic cleaner. An ultrasonic cleaner is a cleaning device that uses ultrasound and an appropriate cleaning solvent (sometimes ordinary tap water) to clean delicate items.

Can immersion baths damage the tattoo?

If the tattoo is in the healing process, yes. Immersion baths and saunas can soften the scabs too much, leaving the skin more sensitive and unprotected before their time.

What is the healing time for a tattoo?

It may vary from person to person, but if all the instructions have been followed and if the tattoo was done by an experienced tattoo artist, it will rarely take more than 2 weeks. The average time is 7 days.

What parts of the body can be tattooed?

Considering that the most tattooed man in the world has 99% of his body tattooed, I would say that any surface of the human body can be tattooed.

After getting a tattoo, how long should I wait before exposing it to the sun?

Usually after 20 days, when your skin is recovering its natural resistance and appearance. But remember that the sunscreen is indispensable.

What kind of artwork can be reproduced on skin?

Any kind actually; famous paintings, child drawings, portraits or even a realistic reproduction of any photography. Any kind can be reproduced given the tattooist skills.

I do Bodybuilding. If I modify my muscle mass it will distort my tattoo?

Maybe. Bodybuilding is a healthy sport, not offering any harm to the skin’s elasticity except if you’re taking growth stimulant compounds. Steroids can produce stretch marks and ruin your tattoo.

Are tattoos expensive?

Thatʼs relative. There are tattooists with different skills and experience levels, tattoo shops with different characteristics and consequently different prices. Each artist charges what he think his work costs, and itʼs up to each person to decide what is worth: a cheap tattoo or a good tattoo. You cannot have both.

Do tattoos hurt?

Yes.

Do tattoos bleed?

Yes, a little bit. It happens during the tattooing process only. Note that the ingestion of alcohol the day before your tattoo appointment will cause much more bleeding, and consequently affect the tattooing process and the final result. So remember not to drink alcohol prior to your tattoo appointment.

Can an old tattoo be touched up?

Yes. This is a very common procedure and it usually produces good results. But not all old tattoos can be reworked. The best thing to do is to have a chat with your tattooist to find out if it can be done or not.

Can an old tattoo be covered?

Yes. This is a very common procedure and it usually produces good results. But not all old tattoos can be covered. The best thing to do is to have a chat with your tattooist to find out if it can be done or not. Cover ups are difficult to do and require special drawings. In some cases, we recommend some laser removal sessions before starting the cover up