Hey there! Welcome to my FAQ page. If you have specific quandaries regarding how I do booking, check out my Booking Info page in the drop down menu in the FAQ tab.
Do you accept walk-ins?
Nope. I do everything by appointment.
How can I book an appointment?
Check out the booking info page and put through a submission when booking is open.
What forms of payment do you accept?
For appointments, cash is always preferred but I also accept cards & Venmo. Checks are not accepted.
Any card bearing a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, or JCB logo is accepted.
What are your hours and location?
I am located in Sacramento, California at Old Republic Tattoo Company
The shop is open 7 days per week noon-8pm and we are located at 2504 Franklin Blvd. Sacramento, CA 95818
I tattoo Sunday, Monday, Wednesday & Thursday, hours vary depending on when I have child care. These days are subject to change during the Holidays or due to Travel.
How much will it cost?
My hourly rate is $200 and I do have a 1 hour minimum. A custom tattoo is a permanent investment in a piece of artwork that you will carry around forever. I can do my best to ballpark a price, however, prices for a tattoo vary based on many factors (like size, where the tattoo is going, style, detail, black & gray vs full color, and more). For that reason it is virtually impossible to quote an exact cost (especially for larger scale pieces or without an appropriate amount of information about the idea). When booking multiple sessions for larger pieces, you will only need to pay per session for the time spent tattooing. If you need to stay within a budget for each session, just do the math and let me know; I will book you accordingly. I realize that not everyone has an unlimited budget for tattoos, and while conscious of budgetary constraints, will not compromise the quality of the work. My goal is to provide a valuable piece of artwork to last a lifetime. If I do not think I can accomplish what you're asking within your budget, I will let you know.
Why do you have a 1 hour minimum if I just want something that's going to take 15 minutes?
The hourly cost for a tattoo takes into account more than just the time I spend with my needles to your skin. It accounts for the cost of materials (needles, ink, paper towels, barrier film, soap, table drapes), the rent I pay for my space, the assistant that I pay to schedule your appointment, my scheduling software that reminds you of your appointment and all the time I spend chatting with you via email prior to make sure your design is perfect when you walk into your appointment.
**Pro Tip** If you have a few small tattoos that you've been planning, book them all at the same time! I'm more than happy to book you for a couple hours and we can do like 5 tiny tattoos!
I know I want a tattoo from you but I have questions... can we chat?
Because of the demand I have for my work, I do not have additional time available to book consultations for projects that are not on my schedule. If you submit and idea and book an appointment I often have extensive chats prior to your appointment. I do most of my consulting via email so the client has time to consider any questions I may bring up and respond when they have time. I use this consultation process to clarify and hone ideas, talk about sizing or placement and address any additional concerns the client may have about the process. If you have a specific question that's not answered here in the FAQ's or on my other info pages, shoot me an email. It might take me a couple days to get back to you so please be patient!
Does getting a tattoo hurt?
Yes, there is some pain involved with getting tattooed. They are not licked on by kittens... unless by 'licked' you mean poked and by 'kittens' you mean needles. O.o But for the most part, people find the pain to be mostly just annoying yet tolerable.
Everybody's pain tolerance is different. Start small if you are unsure of your pain threshold. Some body parts can be more sensitive than others. If you have concerns, I will be happy to discuss it with you.
Can I use a numbing cream prior to my tattoo?
I don't generally recommend using a numbing cream unless it's absolutely necessary. Most numbing creams tend to oversaturate the skin with moisture, changing the texture and making your skin more 'spongy' and difficult to tattoo. I do have a numbing spray we can use to take the edge off once the skin has been broken if we need to. Most of the time I find clients really only need this on more sensitive areas like the ribs. I find things like: getting a good night's sleep, staying fed & keeping hydrated are just as effective in preparing your body for a tattoo.
Does getting tattooed hurt more when you're on your period?
My clients who menstruate do report more difficulty and pain with getting tattooed if they are a) about to start or b) are currently menstruating. Everybody is different so every BODY is different, but this has been my observation after many years of tattooing (and being tattooed) as a person who menstruates.
How do you draw tattoo designs?
90% of the time I create tattoos digitally. I work mostly in ProCreate on my iPad or in Photoshop and then stencil the design onto the client's skin. On occasion I do draw directly on the client with marker.
Can I bring my own image?
Reference art and images are always welcome to provide a jumping off point for the design. If your looking for an exact copy of something, I probably won't do it... BUT if you have a piece of artwork that you would like to use as inspiration or would like my interpretation of that's a great place to start! On occasion I have been known to re-create (for example) a client's grandmother's watercolor flower painting or something like that.
If I give you a concept (or terrible drawing I did) can you help turn that into a cool tattoo?
Yes, that's exactly what a custom tattoo design is. I work with clients every day to turn their concepts, thoughts and ideas (and often poorly rendered drawings) into the works of art that they want on their bodies. Also, I kind of love client concept drawings... after all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
I got a tattoo from you in the past and want to add to it. How does that work?
Submit a form when my books open and make sure to let me know! Make sure to include a photo of what your tattoo looks like now so I can assess if we'll need to do a touchup alongside adding something new to it.
Can you cover up scars?
Absolutely! Covering a scar(s) can help you reclaim a piece of your body that may not look the way you want it to and be an important part of your healing journey. I recommend the scar be at least a year old before a tattoo is attempted to make sure the tissue has had time to settle and any discoloration has had time to fade. Large surgical scars may want to wait longer. Consider whether you want to turn your scar into something (like a branch with flowers on it) or if you'd like to completely cover it within a larger piece of artwork so that you cannot see the scar(s) at all. Imagery with a lot of texture or content (like lots of petals on a flower) works best when covering textured scars like those related to self harm.
Can you cover up my old tattoo?
I can do cover ups. However, the existing tattoo will dictate what can be done to fix or cover up. The general rule for coverups is 'twice as big and twice as dark'. Watercolor generally won't work well for cover ups. The more flexibility and freedom you can give me with a coverup, the better it will turn out. After all... I don't want you to have to get a coverup of your coverup someday, and believe me... that's a thing... I've seen them, and usually it's not pretty.
Can you finish a tattoo that another artist has started?
As a general rule, I do not take on pieces that other artists have started. If I am the artist you want to finish your piece, it must be a piece that fits into my style. Trying to mesh my style with another artist's work or style can be a huge challenge and often won't work. Artists get attached to their work and it can be considered poor etiquette within the tattoo community for another artist to finish your work. There are a few exceptions that I speak with clients about on a case by case basis. EX: If the client has made a reasonable attempt to get the work finished by the original artist and is unable to... If the artist has left the area and will not be returning to finish projects (some artists will move but come back intermittently to work on clients)... or if the client had a bad experience with the original artist and no longer feels safe returning to finish the piece. You should absolutely not feel obligated to return to an artist who has made you feel unsafe or uncomfortable.
Will weight loss or gain effect my tattoo?
I get asked this questions a lot and most of the time, no, weight loss or gain won't effect the look of your tattoo. Plus or minus 20-30 lbs over a longer period of time isn't going to do anything. If the gain or loss is significant (50+ lbs) and fast (like from pregnancy or weight loss surgery) AND in an area that is very stretchy (belly, inner bicep, sides) you may see some distortion of the tattoo. However, even then, it's not usually super drastic. The most common distortion I've seen has been from things like upper arm bands (because the outer arm and the inner arm don't expand at the same rate if your arms get bigger) OR from designs that have long straight lines/perfect symmetry on places that flex and move (like the outer hip or waistline/side area). Ultimately, I'm going to level with you... I'm definitely like 50+ lbs heavier than when I got my first tattoo at 18 years old and it still looks fine. Yes, it's a tramp stamp, yes, I'm old enough for that to be relevant and I only mildly regret it. It's a good story. Ask me about it sometime ;-) I also have a tattoo on my ribs that stretched out quite a bit during my pregnancy and I honestly don't notice a difference in it now vs before I had my kiddo.
I really like the way *insert body part here* tattoos look on others but I hate my *insert body part here* :
First of all, stop it, you're perfect and your body is amazing. Tattoos are about adorning your body. Tattooing a part of your body that you don't like gives you agency over that body part. YOU get to decide how it looks with a piece of artwork that YOU decided on. Time and time again, I've tattooed clients that 'hate their thighs' and then end up rocking shorts for the first time in years because now they've got a great piece of art that they CHOSE on their thigh. There is an empowerment in choosing to alter a part of your body, to celebrate it, and thereby celebrate yourself.
Can you tattoo me if I have a skin condition like eczema?
Yes, with a but... I cannot tattoo over an area that is experiencing an active break out. This goes for eczema, acne, psoriasis and a few more. As long as the area you're looking to get tattooed is not experiencing an active flare up, we can tattoo it.
Do you tattoo minors?
No. It is illegal in the state of California to tattoo anyone under 18. Even if there is parental consent.
How do I care for my new tattoo?
I will provide you with my recommended aftercare instructions and an aftercare kit that includes my recommended soap and lotion at the time of your first session. The main points are to keep it clean and keep it moisturized! If you have questions beyond what is on my extensive aftercare sheet, shoot me an email during your healing process and we can chat about it.
Do you use Saniderm or Tegaderm and what is it?
I do! These products have become commonplace in the tattoo scene over the last few years. They are medical grade adhesive bandages that help with healing and are applied when the tattoo is finished. Once applied, it acts as a second skin, protecting your fresh tattoo (a wound) from the elements and can be left on for the first couple days after your tattoo session. I have found that these products aid the healing process and help your tattoo heal better and faster. I'll provide you with more details on how it works and how to remove it when I go over aftercare instructions with you at your appointment.
How long does a tattoo take to heal?
Everybody is different so every BODY is different. On average, it will take approximately 3-4 weeks for your tattoo to heal completely. Tattoos heal from the top down, so even when the surface of your tattoo appears healed, it's still settling underneath. About 5-7 days after your appointment, you'll probably notice your tattoo starts to flake and peel. This is what I call the 'fruity pebbles' phase, because, you guessed it, it looks like fruity pebbles (color and all). You may also get some areas that are drier or slightly scabby. This is normal, DONT PICK AT IT!!! Your body is amazing and will heal itself as long as you don't mess with it beyond keeping it clean and moisturized. Make sure you don't submerge your new tattoo in water (no swimming, baths or spas) for at least 2 weeks and keep it out of the sun during the healing process.
What if I have a vacation planned?
I recommend getting tattooed either 3-4 weeks before you go on vacation to allow time for your tattoo to heal fully before your trip OR wait until after your trip to get your new tattoo. This way, you don't have one more thing to think about (caring for a tattoo) while you're relaxing and having fun on your trip.
How do I prepare for a tattoo?
Get a full night sleep the night before your appointment and drink a lot of water. Rest and hydration will help your body to prepare for getting a tattoo. Do not consume alcohol the day before or day of your appointment. Eating a larger meal an hour or two before your appointment will help prevent any dizziness, lightheaded feelings, or passing out. STAY HYDRATED.
Bring snacks, juice or candy in case you start to feel dizzy or light headed when getting tattooed. This happens when you experience a decrease in blood sugar levels during the tattoo process.
Can I take a pain pill, consume alcohol or partake in cannabis before getting tattooed to relax?
Alcohol and pills of any kind can thin the blood. This makes it difficult for me to give you the best possible piece. Alcohol and some medications may cause more scabbing or troubles during the healing process. Some cannabis products make the user feel different, can make your skin more sensitive or make the user more aware of sensations. This can hamper the ability to get tattooed.
It is illegal to tattoo someone who is under the influence.
All prescriptions MUST be disclosed to make sure your prescription will not affect the process.
Can I have an allergic reaction?
Allergic reactions are very rare. Be sure to mark any allergies you have on the release form. I use all high quality inks/supplies and nitrile gloves (no latex).
Be honest with me so I can use a different product if needed.
What should I wear to my tattoo appointment?
Wear something that is comfortable to hang out in for a few hours. The more comfortable you are, the easier the pain of a tattoo will be. Pajama pants are ok y'all, don't dress up on my account! Make sure the area you're going to be getting tattooed is accessible. Feel free to bring options and we can determine what will work best when you get to the studio. I do recommend bringing a sweater, even in the summertime. Getting tattooed can make you feel cold and the shop does stay pretty cool. Having a sweater on hand will keep you cozy while I poke you with needles. I want you to feel comfortable and safe during your appointment. While our shop is a pretty open space, I do have partitions that can be put up for additional privacy. **ProTip** If you're getting your back tattooed, bringing a zip hoodie to wear backwards will keep you warm while giving me the access to your back I need to properly tattoo you!
What can I expect on the day of my tattoo appointment?
On the day of your tattoo, we will look at your design and discuss any final details or changes you may desire. Next I'll have you fill out a release form while I finish setting up for your session. Be sure to go to the bathroom, hydrate and fill up your water etc... before the tattoo starts to avoid taking more breaks. Then the tattoo process will start!
While we are tattooing, please do your best to limit breaks to every couple of hours if needed. When we're all done with your session, we'll take photos of your new tattoo (for the Instajams and Facespaces), then I will bandage you and talk about aftercare procedures. At the very end we will do the exchanging of the monies.
Where do I park?
There are a handful of parking spots right in front of the shop. If those are full, there is an additional lot behind the building (next to Fitsom) that you can park in. Street parking is often ample as well. All parking around our shop is free and has no time limitations.
Should I show up early to my appointment?
I will meet with you at the time scheduled for your appointment. Being 5 minutes early is okay. If you're going to be more than 5-7 minutes late, please let me know either via email or if you're driving, for the love of god, don't text and drive... call the shop with your bluetooth or something. Please arrive at your appointment safely!
Any earlier than that, I do ask that you to please wait in your car, as we are unable to have an open reception area due to Covid-19 protocols. If you show up super early, I may still be with another client and ask that you respect their time and space. If I'm not with a client when you arrive, I'm most likely getting ready for you or quickly trying to stuff lunch in my face between appointments. There are a few coffee shops and bakeries around that are perfect for killing off a little time if you happen to be significantly early.
WHEW!!! There, did I do it? Did I answer all your burning tattoo questions? I hope so. ;-) If you have any additional questions... shoot me an email. firstname.lastname@example.org