Frequently Asked Questions

What is a custom tattoo shop?

In a custom tattoo shop, the artists design their clients a unique custom tattoo. This means that your tattoo is yours alone, and no one else has the same design! It also means that for the most part our artists do not have flash sheets, or ready-prepared imagery for clients to pick off of a wall or out of a book. Usually clients will bring our artists an idea and some reference imagery, and our artists use that as inspiration to create an entirely unique design for their client in the artist's personal style.

 

This is my first tattoo. Will it hurt?

Yes, getting tattooed hurts, but we find that for the most part by the time you are ready to be tattooed you have felt worse pain. Some say it feels more uncomfortable than painful, and the sensation is often compared to a cat scratch. 

 

does it hurt more if you get it on your (ribs/feet/stomach/nipples etc.)?

Everyone's body is different, and people have varying pain tolerances. Areas with more nerve-endings may be more tender. A good way to tell is if you are more ticklish in one spot than another, it's likely to be more tender. However, you shouldn't let this stop you from getting your tattoo done wherever you want it most.

 

What is a consultation like?

During your consultation, you will fill out a brief questionnaire with information about you and your tattoo idea. You and your artist will go through it together to talk about the specifics of your design. You'll chat about size, placement, color, design, and budget during this 15-20 minute meeting. This is an opportunity for both you and your artist to make sure it feels like a good match. Once you find your artist and you are on the same page, you will then proceed to place a deposit on file and book your tattoo appointment. Depending on the complexity of your design and your tattoo artist's personal policy, a deposit will be $100-$300.

 

What do I bring to my consultation?

Bring yourself and your good ideas, as well as any reference imagery you have that might help you explain to your artist what you are looking for. You can bring images on your phone, iPad, or computer, or you can feel free to print them out to leave with your artist.

 

What is a deposit? Why do I have to leave one?

Your deposit is your promise to your tattoo artist that you are a serious client who is not looking to waste their artist's time. When you book your tattoo appointment, you will leave $100-$300 on your account. As long as you show up to your appointment on time, your deposit will come off the final price of your tattoo, so you can think of it as pre-paying.

Deposits are NON-REFUNDABLE! If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment and you give us at least 72 hours’ (3 days’) notice ahead of your appointment, we will keep your deposit on your account to use at a later date. If you call to cancel or reschedule with less than 72 hours’ notice, your deposit is paid to your artist. This is because it is hard to find a new client to fill the time you had booked with less than 3 days’ notice. Your artist will be losing a lot of tattoo time, and has probably already spent hours preparing a drawing for your appointment. Your deposit is compensation to the tattooer for having lost precious time tattooing or drawing for other clients.

 

Can I see my design before my appointment?

Generally our artists draw designs for their clients’ tattoos only a couple days before the appointment, and any minor changes that need to be made can be made the day of the appointment. That's because they have appointments every day, and all of the drawings are done in their own personal time. That's a lot of homework! So generally, your design is not available to be seen ahead of your appointment.

We also have a shop policy that tattoo designs do not leave the shop. Our artists generally do not email designs to their clients or allow potential clients to bring custom designs home for contemplation. While rare, clients will sometimes take custom designs done by one tattooer and bring them to another in the hopes of having the same piece done at a lower price point, which is disrespectful to the artist, and the time and effort they put into the preparation of the design.

If you would like to see your design ahead of your appointment, most of our artists are willing to book you a Drawing Consultation. In that case, you would come into the shop in person and see the design the artist has specifically prepared ahead of the appointment. We generally require a deposit of $100 for a drawing consultation, so if you do not show up to this appointment or you do not want to continue with the tattoo after seeing the drawing, the artist will be paid for their extra time spent drawing ahead of the appointment.

 

How should I heal my new tattoo?

Each tattoo artist has slightly different instructions on how to heal their tattoos. Your artist will go over aftercare at the end of your appointment, and you should always follow your artist's instructions. However, below are some general guidelines.

• Your tattoo will take about a month to fully heal. After a couple days it will dry up and the skin will start to peel and flake off. This is totally normal! Your artist will advise you on their personal preference for moisturizer which should be applied in a very thin layer if your skin feels tight or itchy.

• Do not submerge your tattoo in any water for 2-3 weeks. Mucky ponds and bathwater can infect your tattoo, and chlorine can ruin your tattoo's healing process.

• Please DO shower with your new tattoo. Your family and friends will thank you.

• Do not expose your tattoo to any sun for 2-3 weeks.

• Do not expose your tattoo to pet fur.

• Do not over-apply moisturizer. This can smother your tattoo and disrupt the healing process.

• Do not pick or scratch your tattoo. If you pull off flaking skin or scabs too early, you may remove pigment from your skin.

• Finally, DO NOT consult the internet or your friends for advice! You can give the shop a call anytime during shop hours or shoot us an email at info@oxbowtattoo.com and we would be glad to advise you on the healing process.