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© Sarah Hlavaty 2019

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Tattoo Tips

Tattoos can be scary, especially if you've just decided to take the step to getting your first one.  Preparing yourself beforehand can help out both you and the artist by preventing unnecessary distractions and other issues!  Before anything else, do your homework into the studios and artists you feel might be a good fit for you, including their consultation and tattoo booking methods, art styles, etc.  Once you've got that figured out, get yourself acquainted with some helpful tips and tattoo etiquette!  Below are some general guidelines that can benefit new comers and return clients alike:


We need to make sure your contact info with us is up-to-date every time you come in.  Even if you were here two weeks ago for a different tattoo, bring in your ID so we can keep files current.  Studios are only required to keep their records up to a short time, so if you come in just outside of that window without proper ID then you're out of luck.  Check with each studio or artist if you have any questions on what they consider proper ID, as well as the age requirements for tattoos in your state.

Health issues

ASK YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER about any health risks.  Some health issues and related prescriptions can affect the tattoo application and healing afterwards.  Heart issues, diabetes, and auto-immune disorders (just to name a few) can cause some unforeseen complications, so make sure you and your doctor discuss and are fully prepared for any potential risks that involve the tattoo and taking care of it afterwards.


If exceptionally hairy, carefully shave the area clean the day before if possible without irritating the skin.  Doing so can help prevent redness/swelling and fresh cuts of the skin vs. shaving just prior to tattoo.


Please consider the amount of time and the close vicinity you'll be spending with the artist (and anyone else you decide to bring along).  Shower and scrub well, deodorize, and clean the area before your appointment.  We all appreciate it!

Rest well before session

Be sure to get enough rest and sleep so your body isn't fatigued during the tattoo.  Exhaustion can make it difficult to cope with pain associated with the tattoo, and if your body is recovering from fatigue or sickness it can prolong the healing process.

Eat and hydrate before session

This helps your body deal with pain and can prevent light-headedness and nausea during tattoo.  Food and drink are NOT allowed in the work area, so fueling your body up before you get to your appointment is the best course of action.  Snack breaks scattered thru longer sessions are also welcome - feel free to bring some snack bars or a drink for breaks inbetween.

Refrain from alcohol and drug use

Any lingering alcohol and medication in your blood stream can affect how well the tattoo sets into your skin, even while we're tattooing.   Thinned blood, unusual/inebriated behavior, and other negative affects can make tattooing difficult, prolonging the session and costing you more time and money.  Furthermore, if the areas are subsequently overworked due to aforementioned reason, it can affect the healing of the tattoo afterwards.  No one can tell how every individual will react under the influence until they start the tattoo session, which can become a safety issue very quickly.

Dress properly

While everyone would like to look their best in their tattoo session documentaries, unfortunately ink does splatter and stain.  Wear some (expendable) comfy yoga or pajama clothes that allow you to easily stretch how we need you, and give us unhindered access to the tattoo area.

No vaping or smoking in work station

With the rise in popularity of vaping pens, we've seen a decrease in courtesy and consideration when using these while tattooing.  Even if we may not mind them out of the work space, it can be VERY difficult to see through a solid plume of vape as we're working.  Go in assuming that vaping is NOT allowed at the work station, and always check with your artist beforehand and respect their wishes if they ask for a vape-free zone.  This helps to ensure we give you the best quality, unhindered work possible.

No pets are allowed

This isn't just studio policy, it's state regulation.  With the exception of registered/marked service animals, all pets and other unmarked service/therapy animals will not be allowed in the studio due to health risks.

No kids

As lovable as they can be, babies to adolescents can bring a lot of distraction into the work place (not to mention biohazards).  We request a calm quiet environment to focus on giving you the permanent piece of art that you'll love for years to come.  This can be difficult when children (unattended or not) are being excessively loud and disruptive, wandering into rooms or areas that are off-limits, getting into trash cans, etc.  Especially for longer sessions, hours of these disruptions can be very taxing for everyone in the studio.

Do not play your music or videos over our own

Artists may listen to music or play videos during the session for your comfort, and to set their focus and groove.  It can be distracting (and rude) to play your own music loudly over the speakers.  That said, BRING YOUR OWN EARBUDS.  We will totally respect your wish to listen to your own music via your headphones while we work, as long as you speak up if you need a stretch break, start to feel sick, etc.

Keep moral support down to one or two people

We appreciate that getting a tattoo (especially a first one) can be a very exciting experience that you want to share.  Some artists may allow you to take pictures or video to share with your friends.  However, bringing in a posse of several people causes loud disturbances, and clusters up room that typically isn't available to begin with - most workstations tend to be big enough for just you, the artist, and *maybe* one more person.

Don't bargain on tattoo prices

In this industry, it's typically true that you pay for what you get.  The less you try to pay for a high-quality piece of art, the less quality you'll end up receiving.  We charge a considerably fair price for the quality and amount of time and effort we put into our work.  Bargaining and expecting us to lower prices tells us you don't appreciate it.

Read on to the aftercare page to learn how to care properly for your tattoo after the session!

Questions or concerns?  Contact me!