How To Make A Tattoo Appointment?
Booking a tattoo appointment, in theory, seems easy. But in fact, the process can be very intricate. If you’re not careful, and especially if you haven’t been through the process before, wrongdoings at the time of the booking can go on to cause catastrophic consequences for you and your tattoo by the end of the process. You can book a tattoo appointment by:
- Going through the website booking point
- Emailing an artist directly
- Calling the studio or artist
- Walking in
- 1 How do you DM a tattoo artist?
- 2 How early do you show up for a tattoo appointment?
- 2.1 How Much Should U Tip a tattoo artist?
- 2.2 Why are tattoo artists so rude?
- 2.3 Where is the least painful place to get a tattoo?
- 2.4 Should I get a small tattoo first?
- 2.5 How much do tattoos cost?
- 3 Should I tip my tattoo artist after every session?
How do you DM a tattoo artist?
Step 4. How to message a tattoo artist when booking an appointment? – The question we get asked the most is: How to message a tattoo artist when booking an appointment? And we promise messaging a tattoo artist when booking an appointment doesn’t have to be full of anxiety. Our advice is pretty simple, just like your message should be! What to email a tattoo artist when booking an appointment:
- A simple description of your idea and any photo references you may have.
- The size and body part you’d like to have tattooed, as well as your budget.
- Any particular style, colors, details, and similar, that you’d like included.
- Dates that work well for you.
The best thing to keep in mind when you ask yourself how to message a tattoo artist is: be straight-forward and polite. Keep it short but make sure to include all of the information above plus anything else you think may be relevant. What if I’m unsure about the size or the placement? If you’re unsure about the size or placement of the tattoo, that’s okay! Just say so! But we’re pretty sure you probably have an estimate in mind. Let the artist work their magic with you! We totally understand why so many people are confused about how to email a tattoo artist. It’s not always obvious how a tattooist wants to be contacted, and a lot of people don’t really know what to say anyway! And what if it’s not clear how to book? Maybe their profile doesn’t have a “Book Now” button, or they don’t have a bio specifying how they want to be contacted.
- if you don’t, that’s also okay;
- The tattoo artist will work with you to figure out a size and a placement for your piece that will work perfectly;
- It’s part of their job;
- The same goes for if you’re unsure about colors, design, style, etc;
If it’s an artist, try to find their email. Keep it short and brief, like: “Hey, I found you on Tattoodo, but I wasn’t sure how to book a tattoo with you. Please let me know what you prefer, and what information you’d like to have. ” The same goes for a shop that doesn’t have contact info.
- If you can’t find the shop email, feel free to give the shop a call — phone calls are great;
- Simply say, “Hey, I found you on Tattoodo;
- I’d like to book a new tattoo;
- ” Again, the key is to be clear, and to the point;
Many shops don’t have a shop manager to handle calls, so an artist is probably taking time away from drawing or tattooing to help you. Have your schedule ready to confirm a date, and make sure to write down anything else you’re told. What if you have the artist’s email, Instagram, Facebook or phone number? Unless you have a special relationship with that tattoo artist or that person is a dear friend, following the rules will make you the best client you can be. And we assume if you’re reading this: that’s exactly what you should do. Tattoo artists’ schedules are whacky and busy, keeping track of multiple forms of communication is exhausting for anybody. By going through the right motions, you ensure you’re on the calendar properly, and it will help everyone out in the long run. .
How early do you show up for a tattoo appointment?
– If you’ve made it this far into our guide, it’s safe to say that you have all your bases covered. To wrap things up, here’s how your interaction with your artist and getting your tattoo done will likely unfold:
- Reach out to the artist or shop to talk about rates and set up a consultation.
- Meet the artist to talk about your design and expectations.
- Agree upon the final design with the artist and confirm the rate. If revisions are needed, this may involve setting up a follow-up appointment to look over the final design before locking in your tattoo date.
- Aspirin (Bayer) and ibuprofen (Advil) are off limits in the 24 hours leading up to your appointment, as they can thin your blood. This applies to the consumption of alcohol as well. You may be able to take acetaminophen (Tylenol), but confirm this with your artist beforehand.
- Plan to wear something that will keep the area to be tattooed exposed. If you can’t do this, wear something you can easily slip in and out of.
- Show up to your appointment 10 minutes early. Don’t forget to bring cash for tips!
- Fill out any paperwork and, if needed, finalize any details of your design.
- Your artist will take you to their station. You may need to roll up or remove any clothing that may be in the way of your tattoo placement.
- Your artist will disinfect the area and use a disposable razor to remove any hair.
- Then your artist will place the tattoo stencil onto your skin. Move this around as much as you like until you’re happy with the placement!
- Once the placement is perfect, your artist will tattoo the outline of your design before filling in any colors or gradients.
- After your artist is finished, they’ll clean the tattooed area, wrap it up, and tell you how to take care of it.
- Don’t forget to leave a tip for your artist when you pay! It’s standard to tip at least 20 percent, but if you had an awesome experience and are able to tip more, go ahead.
If you have any lingering questions, ask before you leave the shop. One of the best times to get them answered is when your artist is wrapping your skin. Since you’re here, screenshot or print out this handy list of questions for your consultation before you commit to an artist.
How do you go about getting a tattoo?
What should I do before a tattoo appointment?
How Much Should U Tip a tattoo artist?
How Much to Tip Tattoo Artists – Unfortunately, there’s no hard and fast rule governing how much to tip tattoo artists. As with tipping waitstaff, 20-25% percent is a good standard. An easy way to include tipping in your budget is to add it in when getting the estimated costs for having your work done.
- So, if your tattoo is expected to cost $200, with a 20-percent tip, that’s $240;
- That said, you can tip more or less, depending on several factors;
- For one thing, your willingness to tip will depend on how pleased you are with their work;
If you don’t like the work, it makes sense that you would want to tip less. That’s up to you. But keep in mind that a tattoo is a piece of art you wear on your body for personal expression. The tattoo artist makes your vision a reality on your skin. Choosing the right tattoo artist is as important as choosing the right tattoo.
- Do your research, first;
- Don’t be afraid to ask people with great ink where they got it done;
- Chances are they’d love to tell you about their tattoo artist and the experiences they had with them;
- Another reason you might tip less or choose not to tip at all is because of a bad experience;
But, like any service-based industry, it’s not just the artist’s attitude that’s a big deal. You want to be treated with dignity and respect, but so does your tattoo artist. Tipping is a part of that, but so is showing up on time and being ready for your appointment.
In most instances, tipping is appropriate and encouraged. While you can tip less than 15%, try to avoid it. Good work should be recognized, and being broke is no excuse not to tip. If you don’t have the money to tip your artist, rethink getting tattooed until you can.
Or, ask your artist if they’d be interested in being tipped in goods or services if you run your own business and can float a sweet freebie their way in lieu of cash. Tipping in cash is fine. That way your tattoo artist gets the entirety of the tip and avoids any service fees or taxes.
- If adding your tip to a credit or debit transaction, add a bit more to cover those fees;
- The best time to tip is after your appointment when you’re paying for your services;
- If your tattoo artist isn’t the person checking you out, just hit them up afterward with a thank you and, “This is for you;
” They’ll appreciate it. Remember, you’re tipping them based on their professionalism and the quality of their work, so there’s nothing wrong with waiting to make sure you’re pleased with the experience before you tip. You also don’t need to let your tattooer know you’re tipping, but it’s not a bad idea.
That way they know you didn’t accidentally overpay them or think they owe you change. In some rare instances, a tattooer might not accept tips if they’re the owner of the shop, but that’s very unlikely to be the case.
There’s no reason to ask your artist about tipping if you plan on tipping them with cash. And, most credit card interfaces offer prompts for adding tips as part of the check-out process, making it even easier. Gratuities are part of the tattoo experience so don’t feel awkward or uncomfortable about them. .
What do tattoo artists say when booking?
What should you not say to a tattoo artist?
Why are tattoo artists so rude?
Conclusion – It could be that the tattoo artist that you go to see is having a bad day or has been treated badly by another customer. There could be lots of reasons why they seem to be being rude towards you. However, it could just be their way and they don’t mean anything by the abrupt way they speak to people.
How much do you tip on an 800 dollar tattoo?
The Takeaway – Tipping may not be mandatory, but it’s a way to show that you appreciate all of the hard work and effort—physical and monetary—that your artist put into your new tattoo. Remember: A tip isn’t about you, it’s about the artist. If your artist made your tattoo experience good, great, or amazing, a tip is a sincere way to show your gratitude.
Plus, it helps their business out in the long-run. “When you show your artist you’re grateful for their work, it helps them create and share more artwork with the world—which, at the end of the day, is what it’s all really about!” says Fiore.
The best rule of thumb you can follow is to tip at least 20 percent of the total cost of your service, and tip even more for custom, intricate designs. It’s the human thing to do..
Where is the least painful place to get a tattoo?
Least painful to tattoo – The least painful places to get a tattoo are areas of your body with fewer nerve endings. Think outer shoulder, calf, buttocks, and outer arm. While people generally focus on the location on the body, Stanley Kovak , a cosmetic physician, theorizes that pain is more about size.
Should I get a small tattoo first?
A few more tips for choosing the right tattoo design – So, you thought choosing a tattoo design was simple? Well, think again, although choosing a tattoo design isn’t rocket science. But there’s more to it than one would think, especially if you’re new to tattoos. Here are some other things to consider when picking the right design for you:
- Small, highly-detailed tattoos generally don’t age well. Your tattoos naturally fade as your body ages. Fine lines become thicker. Darker colors fade into less dominant colors. Crisp edges grow softer. Those changes look even more drastic on smaller tattoos that have a lot of detail, as well as on tattoos that are photorealistic.
- During the design-choosing process imagine your tattoo being extra large. Take a smaller element of a larger design and make that your tattoo.
- The simpler your tattoo design – especially your first design – the better. That’s especially true for smaller tattoos, but it’s a good rule for tattoos of any size. Don’t add too many things to the design, but keep it to one main subject, one secondary subject, and one background element.
- Choose a design that includes your favorite colors, favorite images, and a style that you like.
- Think it through and then think it through some more. Give yourself a few months to think about your tattoo design. If you still haven’t soured on the idea, then there’s no reason you shouldn’t get it.
- On the other hand, spontaneity is sometimes a good thing (especially if you’re in a rational frame of mind) when deciding suddenly to get a tattoo.
You should never make a rash decision about something that’s as permanent as a tattoo, even if it’s a decision you make spontaneously. But many people who made a spur-of-the-moment decision to get a tattoo end up having regrets about it. Choose a design that you won’t outgrow, such as political statements or pop culture references that will seem incredibly dated a few years from now. In today’s fast-moving world with its rapidly-changing tastes, some things seem outdated in even in a year.
How much do tattoos cost?
Factors of Average Tattoo Prices – There is a lot that goes into figuring out the cost of your new tattoo. It isn’t a straight forward answer. Things like materials, size, location, and type of tattoo affect the price. On average you can expect to charge $50-100 for a small tattoo, up to $200 for a medium tattoo and over $250 for a large tattoo.
What are the most painful areas to get a tattoo?
Should I tip my tattoo artist after every session?
Your tattoo artist devotes a lot of time and effort to each tattoo. Often, tattoo artists go the extra mile to ensure that their clients are comfortable as well as satisfied with their final product. So, the question is: should you tip your tattoo artist? The short and simple answer is, ‘ yes.
Can you go into shock from a tattoo?
Tattoo Frequently Asked Questions Does It Hurt? This is number one in our Frequently Asked Questions simply because it is surprisingly just that. The simple answer is, yes it does. However, not as much as some people might like you to believe, as after a short period of time your body’s natural pain-killers (endorphins), kick in and make things much more manageable.
How long these endorphins last usually defines your natural ‘limit’ as to how long a tattoo session you can handle (usually between 2-3 hours), after this time you will tend to become very uncomfortable.
The pain of a tattoo is often likened to a mild burning sensation or a cat scratch. However, the real factor as to how much a tattoo hurts is really down to where you intend to get it. Any area directly over bone will be particularly sensitive; this includes ribs, feet, hands, head, and pelvis to name a few.
Add to this the number of nerve endings in an area and this defines the most painful places. If you are looking for a less painful spot, then you should consider a less sensitive area protected by a large muscle; such as the fore-arm, upper-arm, shoulder, calf and thigh.
That being said, everyone’s pain threshold varies, so there are no hard and fast answers to this question. How long does a tattoo take? Tattooing is not a quick process, nor should it be rushed as you will be living with the results permanently. An averagely complex piece of work about the size of the back of your hand, usually takes about two hours to complete.
- Larger or more complex pieces can take tens of hours, and will require several sittings to complete;
- Usually appointments are made in multiples of hours, but some smaller pieces may only require a thirty minute appointment;
A full sleeve (done by any decent artist), could take anything from ten to fifty hours work to complete depending on complexity. How much does it cost? When it comes to tattooing, you get what you pay for. Do not expect a good artist to come cheap, and if that’s the way you go, you could end up spending a great deal more further down the line, when you have to pay for a large cover-up or laser tattoo removal.
Save your money until you can afford what you really want! Don’t settle, just because you are impatient to get some ink, this decision will be with you for a long time. Most of the laser removal we do here at SECRET INK, is for just that reason, impulse tattoos! At SECRET INK we are happy to do a payment plan with you where you can pay for the tattoo you really want gradually.
Can I use numbing cream or pain killers? This is a less frequently asked question than you might expect. You can use numbing cream, but very few tattoo studios will recommend it for several reasons. Firstly, it needs to be applied several hours before you sit for your tattoo and can only last for around thirty to forty-five minutes.
- Tattooing being an art-form and therefore not an exact science, means that sometimes there could be a period of waiting past your appointment time, while the tattooist finishes off a piece of work that took longer than expected;
This makes it very difficult to time the application of the cream. Secondly, even if you manage to time its application correctly, the potential short working period of the cream makes it a very limiting to anything but the simplest and smallest of tattoos.
Lastly, if your tattoo is not finished before the cream wears off, then the pain will come back with a vengeance! Your body has been fooled and will not be producing those handy pain-killing endorphins, so will be hit with the force of the returning pain with no protection.
From the tattooist’s perspective, the creams can cause the skin to become a little puffy in some customers. This means that the tattooist needs to work harder to get the ink into the skin, which can cause additional trauma. This will obviously have some repercussions during the healing process and can create an undesirable amount of scabbing during that time.
Some tablet pain killers can also cause a problem. Aspirin is the biggest problem as it thins the blood and reduces clotting, this will cause excessive bleeding during your tattoo, which will affect the quality of the finished tattoo.
Aspirin will also extend the healing time that your tattoo needs so it is best avoided. Paracetamol will have little effect (positive or negative), other than a placebo. Ibuprofen based painkillers can give minor pain relief during the process, by reducing localised swelling, and will not hinder the tattoo in any way.
Can tattoo’s be removed? They can, completely and without scaring. There are several options available to you if you have ink that you want rid of. The first, and by far most common way is the cover-up. This involves working with your tattoo artist to come up with a design that will go over and ‘cover-up’ the old one.
There are a few misconceptions regarding cover-ups, it is not as easy as just doing another tattoo over the top. The new tattoo will sit in the same layer of skin (the dermis), as the old one, so the cover-up needs to be darker than the existing tattoo in order to over-power it.
This makes very old or faded tattoos easier to cover up than new bright ones. The black panther was a big cover-up favourite with the ‘Old School’ tattooists, for obvious reasons. This also means that the new tattoo generally has to be a great deal bigger than the one to be covered up, so that the old design can be lost in the new one.
Obviously this very much depends on the tattoo to be covered and the skill of your artist. The second option available to you is laser removal. This can be very effective, again depending on age and colour of the tattoo, but can also be very time consuming.
- Have a look at the Laser Removal Frequently Asked Questions ( Laser FAQs ), on our website if you are interested in more information on removal;
- The third option available is a combination of both of the above;
The laser removal can be used to reduce the density of the offending tattoo, so that a much more desirable (and often smaller), tattoo can be used to cover up the old design. This takes much less laser treatment than removal, and gives much better cover-up results on the new tattoo.
- How do I decide on a design? Traditionally, you would have chosen your tattoo design from the designs on the wall of your tattoo studio, or from their stock books of pre-drawn designs;
- These designs are referred to as ‘Flash Art’;
This work was rarely designed by the tattooist, but instead bought in from ‘Flash Art’ suppliers. Thankfully today things are different. While there are still tattooists who rely heavily on Flash (often because they have limited artistic ability of their own), there is an increasing number of tattooists who will design custom work to your specifications.
This obviously requires a higher degree of artistic skill, so you should expect to pay slightly more for bespoke work than for Flash, but you will be guaranteed an original piece… not the same tattoo that five other people are walking round town with! In addition to this, your artist will be able to work with you to generate a tattoo that is personal, has more meaning and is less likely to go out of favour with you in a few years.
This all adds up to better value in the long run. At Secret ink Tattoo, we don’t carry ‘Flash’ art. All our tattoos are generated bespoke for the customer to ensure you only get the best in custom designs, unique to you. Because of this, we suggest that you begin with an initial free consultation with your artist to discuss your design.
If you can bring your tattoo artist any reference material that you think is relevant, it will help both of you understand each other much easier. You don’t have to have exact images, even if your examples simply have the same ‘feel’ as what you are trying to convey it will help your tattoo artist understand your needs.
Your tattoo artist should also give you lots of good advice regarding the limitations of the art (don’t forget, we are talking needles, ink and skin here, not pen and paper). They should advise you as to placement, and how the tattoo is likely to be viewed, for example; a small piece that would work well on the wrist, might not work as well placed on the thigh.
They should also discuss how well your tattoo will stand the test of time. You can generate some amazingly complex and delicate tattoos, but tattoo ink spreads and thins under the skin over time, so your dainty tattoo might look great on the day, but may look fuzzy and unrecognisable after just a couple of years.
A slightly bolder design could look great for ten years or more. The choice is always the customer’s, but it should always be an informed choice. Once you have had the initial conversation with your tattoo artist, you will usually then want to book in for some time at the studio.
Your tattoo artist will usually have a good idea at this point as to how long your tattoo is going to take, and will be able to advise you on cost. Booking your appointment usually requires a deposit (£50 unless your tattoo comes in under that price), which is to discourage time wasters and to offset against the artwork the tattoo artist will produce for you, should you not turn up.
When you do turn up however, your design work will be free and your deposit will be then offset against the price of your tattoo. A few days before your appointment, we will usually email your design to you (unless other arrangements have been made), so that you can approve the design or make any changes that need to be made to the design.
- We are not precious over designs, we understand that it is your tattoo, so don’t worry about offending our artists if you don’t like your design, it will be redrawn as many times as needed to make sure it is perfect for you;
How do I decide on a studio? Visit studios, talk to the tattoo artist, get a general feel for them. Getting a tattoo is a very personal experience, you should have a rapport with your tattooist, and feel comfortable in their studio. How is their customer service? Many tattooists will treat customers with contempt, as if it’s a burden to them to work with you, especially if it is your first tattoo… just walk away, there are plenty of tattooists who will treat you with respect.
- If you get an unhelpful response, or are told to ‘pick something from the Flash’, when you ask for help, again maybe the best course of action is to find another studio;
- Is the studio clean and well presented? If a tattoo artist can’t keep their house in order, what other corners might they be cutting? You could potentially be putting your own health and wellbeing at risk;
Ask yourself; if this was a dental surgery and not a tattoo studio, would I let them touch my teeth? Potentially there are a great deal of similarities between the two regarding the possibility of cross contamination of instruments and equipment, and the transmitting of blood-borne pathogens.
The regulations in the tattooing industry are minimal at best, so it is very much up to the individual studio to police themselves past the very basic health and safety requirements. Because of this the cleanliness of the studio, will very much reflect their attitude towards their customer and their customer’s wellbeing.
Should I have a drink before my tattoo to steady my nerves? No. This is not advisable for several very real reasons, other than the obvious difficulties of tattooing a drunk person, and the fact that any good tattooist will refuse to tattoo you if you have.
The main reason is that alcohol thins your blood considerably. In turn this causes excessive bleeding while you are having the tattoo, which not only makes it difficult for the tattoo artist, but will have the effect of ‘washing out’ ink as it is being put in.
This makes the process much longer, and can produce poor results. Alcohol can have an effect for several days, so it is also not a good idea to have a tattoo after a night drinking, even if you have not consumed anything on the day. What should I do on the day of my tattoo? There are several things you can do to make your experience easier and more enjoyable.
- Firstly, try and make sure you have had something to eat and drink about an hour before your tattoo;
- During the tattoo, your body behaves in a way very similar to going into shock, as it generates endorphins to deal with the attack on the skin;
This can cause a drop in blood sugar, resulting in light-headedness, and sometimes nausea or fainting. Having a meal and consuming natural sugars, such as orange juice can help to prevent this. If you feel faint during your tattoo, let your artist know immediately, and they will help you through it.
- Don’t be ashamed of telling them, if you have chosen your studio wisely, they will be totally sympathetic to your needs and help you through the experience with dignity;
- Often a tattoo studio will offer you hard boiled sweets or a lolly to help keep your sugar up during the tattoo;
Secondly, think about what you are going to wear. You know where you are likely to get your tattoo, so make sure you dress so that you can expose this general area while at the same time maintaining your dignity. Usually the studio area can be covered (door closed or a screen put in place), if you are feeling particularly vulnerable.
- Have these conversations with your studio and they should be able to tell you what they can put in place to make you feel comfortable;
- Don’t wear your Sunday best;
- While tattoo ink will generally not stain clothes, and your artist will do everything they can to keep your clothing clean, there is always the possibility of getting ink on your clothes so dark clothing is favourable;
Tattoo ink is very concentrated, and will go a very long way, so it’s always best to bear this in mind when choosing the day’s wardrobe. If you do need to remove tattoo ink from your clothing, you will need to do so on a very hot wash. Thirdly, shave the area if possible.
- If you know where you are having your tattoo, shave the area (and surrounding area), the morning prior to getting inked;
- Even if you don’t think it needs doing, shave it anyway, as even the smallest, downiest hairs can have a detrimental effect on the tattoo process, but don’t worry, your tattoo artist will still shave you if you haven’t;
This will save time applying the stencil and mean that more of the time you are paying for is going towards your tattoo rather than preparing the area. It is a small thing, but your tattoo artist will really appreciate that you have taken the time to consider this.
- However at SECRET INK this is not a huge concern as we do not feel there should be any financial pressure on the customer during preparation, so will only charge for the time you are actually being tattooed;
Other things you may want to consider bringing might include an MP3 player, or other distraction like a book or smart phone etc. Some people like to chat to the tattooist, others like stony silence, others prefer a distraction like the things mentioned above.
Can I catch anything from getting a tattoo? Yes you can, but it is very unlikely. If you have followed the advice above and chosen your tattoo studio wisely, then the chances of catching anything are similar to a visit to the dentist.
Everything will be either sterilised to medical standards or be disposable single use. Again, a reputable tattooist will be certified in infection control and have no issues discussing their procedures with you. If they do, don’t think twice, just walk away.
If correct infection control procedures are not followed, there is the potential of transmitting blood-borne pathogens from one customer to the next, or from the tattooist to the customer. This could potentially include HIV or Hepatitis.
However, before you become unduly worried, the vast majority of tattooists work safely, and the chances of you contracting anything like this from having your tattoo are extremely slight. Again, if you choose your studio wisely, this won’t even be a consideration.
The other thing you might hear people say is; “I got my tattoo/piercing form Joe Blogs Tattoo, and it got infected, I must have got the infection from there!” This is absolute rubbish! Apart from blood-borne infection (viral), as mentioned above, you won’t catch an infection like they are discussing from a studio, as what they are talking about is an infection caused by bacteria.
You don’t catch bacteria, it builds up over time. That only means one thing, poor aftercare. That applies for tattooing, piercing and laser removal, the only way bacteria will infect you is if you’re not keeping the wound (yes it is a wound), clean. For further information on how to look after your new tattoo, piercing or laser treatment , check out the relevant sections on our website.
- How safe is Tattoo Ink? It depends where it comes from;
- There are many inks on the market today that are readily available;
- High quality tattoo ink, Ink has been tried and tested over generations without ill effects;
Nowadays, the manufacture of inks is regulated to meet certain health and safety standards, but only in some countries (EU and USA). sale of tattoo inks on eBay, has unfortunately opened the market up to cheap Chinese inks, and counterfeit copies of well known and respected brands.
These Chinese inks can be dangerous. A report was recently released in which some of these inks had been analysed and shown to contain both banned and toxic substances. With this in mind, it is no longer good enough that your tattoo artist uses trusted brands, they must also source their inks directly from the manufacturer, or manufacturer’s approved outlet, to ensure the integrity of their product.
If you have any other questions that we haven’t answered here, please feel free to contact us..
Why do tattoo artists take so long to reply?
Before I started getting tattooed on a regular basis, I had no idea how the whole process worked. I followed a lot of tattoo artists on Instagram, but assumed that booking a tattoo appointment would be a lot like booking in to get my hair done or my teeth cleaned—you call the shop, request a day, and you’re in.
It turns out, it’s not that simple. While, yes, there are plenty of tattoo shops that offer walk-in availability for flash tattoos or small designs, booking a larger, custom tattoos—especially with a popular artist—takes a lot of patience, flexibility, and a little bit of luck.
Here are some things you should know before trying to book a tattoo appointment with your favorite artist All artists have different booking procedures. Almost every artist I’ve worked with has a different tattoo booking procedure. Some require you to fill out a form on a shop or personal website, others book through Facebook or Instagram messaging, and some use tattoo-booking apps for scheduling.
The majority of artists I’ve worked with book through email. They ask clients to send them booking requests via email, usually with specific criteria that a potential client needs to fill out. Read up on your artist’s booking procedures and make sure you follow all instructions and requirements.
If you do not include all the necessary information in the initial booking request, your request will likely get passed over and you won’t get an appointment. Keep in mind that every tattoo artist is essentially operating their own business. While some shops coordinate bookings through shop administrators and front-desk staff, the majority of tattoo artists either handle their own bookings or work with an assistant to coordinate appointments. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash You may need to wait for your tattoo appointment. If you’re looking to get a sleeve started or bang out a big thigh piece tomorrow, all I can say is good luck and Godspeed. While all artists operate on different timelines for booking, most will book appointments a few months—or even a year—in advance.
This means, if you really want a tattoo from a particular artist, you could be waiting anywhere from 3-12 months (or even longer) before getting it done. Additionally, some popular artists have waiting lists, so even if you put in a booking request, you may not get an appointment.
Instead, your name could be added to a waiting list, and you will be contacted when the artist has availability. The key here is to be patient. If you really love an artist’s work, it’s always worth the wait. Don’t get frustrated and try to book a similar tattoo with a different artist who has more availability.
You might have a slim window to book a tattoo appointment. To keep the administrative processes of booking to a minimum, many tattoo artists will only open their books or schedules for one day or a couple days at a time.
This might happen every month, every couple of months, or only once a year—it depends how far out the artist chooses to book her schedule. You will only have a chance to book an appointment with the artist when her books are open. Any requests that come in while an artist’s books are closed will be ignored. Photo by Renáta-Adrienn on Unsplash If you really want to book a tattoo with an artist whose books are currently closed, follow her on Instagram and change your settings so that you see notifications from that artist. Most artists will post details that explain when their books will open and how you can go about requesting an appointment. Then set your alarm, mark your calendar, or create a notification on your phone—anything you can do to remember to send in your request within the timeline established by the artist.
- If you don’t get your booking request in while an artist’s books are open, you will have to wait until the next round;
- You should expect for a delayed response;
- As previously mentioned, tattoo artists are business owners who have to balance their time between a variety of things;
In addition to spending hours tattooing, their time is devoted to designing custom tattoos and drawing, managing their social media accounts, doing their bookkeeping and finances, purchasing supplies, and attempting to have family and social lives. Reviewing booking requests and responding to emails is a time-consuming process, so you shouldn’t expect to hear back from the artist right away.
Sometimes, it could take weeks or even a month or two for artists to get back to you about scheduling a tattoo appointment. Be patient. Sending multiple emails asking for a status update or reaching out to an artist via Instagram DM will not be appreciated and will continue to slow down the process.
Only resend your request if an artist or a booking assistant instructs you to do so. The artist may choose not to tattoo your design. When books open, sought-after tattoo artists are often inundated with requests for tattoo appointments. Sometimes, they receive hundreds of emails, but only have a limited number of appointment slots to fill.
Artists may decide not to work on a specific tattoo design for multiple reasons. Maybe it doesn’t mesh well with their particular style. Maybe your budget doesn’t align with their current rates. Maybe they’ve tattooed something similar before and don’t want to tattoo it again.
Maybe there are simply other requests that they are more interested in. If your design doesn’t get chosen, don’t lose heart or get angry. Unless you receive a response that says your request is something that the artist has no interest in taking on, you can always resubmit the request at a later time. You will need to pay a deposit. If you and your artist agree on a date for your tattoo appointment, you will need to pay a deposit in order to confirm and lock-in the date. Tattoo deposits are used to encourage clients to show up for their appointments and as a way for tattoo artists to cover their costs if a client cancels.
Deposits are usually a percentage of the estimated rate or a flat fee that is decided by the artist or the shop. Tattoo deposits are forfeited if clients cancel or do not show up for their appointments.
You will not be able to get your tattoo deposit back unless the cancellation is the fault of the artist or the shop. Deposit policies vary, so make sure to ask about your artist’s or studio’s policy before booking a tattoo appointment. You may have to shift your schedule.
If you want a tattoo from a popular artist, your date selection is going to be limited. In fact, you might not be able to select a date at all. Let’s put it this way—there are only 52 Saturdays in a year. While most artists will certainly try to provide a date that works for you, others will provide a couple options and you can either take them or leave them.
This might mean taking off work or adjusting your schedule in order to get in with your artist on a Tuesday at 1 p. Once you have a date, mark it on your calendar and set reminders—especially if it’s a few months out. Many shops and artists will confirm your appointment as it gets closer, but it’s important that you remember when to show up.
Not showing up for a tattoo appointment will cause you to lose your deposit and likely upset your artist, making rescheduling unlikely. You might not see the tattoo design in advance. While this isn’t a policy across the board, know that some tattoo artists may not show you the design until the day of your appointment.
Personally, I’ve had over 11 larger tattoos done, and I’ve only seen two of the designs in advance. Many tattoo artists do this to try and minimize major design changes and a lot of back-and-forth nitpicking by clients. Almost all artists will make minimal changes and adjustments to the design on the day of your appointment so that you’re sure to get the piece you want. Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash If you are nervous about the possibility of not seeing a tattoo design before your appointment, there are a couple things you can do. First and foremost, be clear about what you want your tattoo to look like when you send in your booking request and provide clear reference images for inspiration. Second, schedule a consultation with your artist in advance. Consultations are a time for tattoo artists to talk to you and get a better understanding for what you want your tattoo to look like.
If you still really want to see the design in advance, ask your artist if it is a possibility. Many artists will accommodate these requests. At the end of the day, it’s important to trust your artist. If you like the artist’s style and the other tattoos she’s done, chances are whatever they put together for you will be even better than you could imagine.
Please note: These observations are based on my own tattoo-booking experiences and are not universal for all artists and studios..
Is it rude to ask tattoo price?
Many artists find it extremely rude if you try to haggle the price of a tattoo. Though negotiating the price of some goods and services is normal, haggling with your artist over the cost of a tattoo is typically seen as unacceptable and insulting.
What do you say when tattoo artist asks your budget?
Tell your artist what you can afford, and together you can create a design and a timeline that works for both of you. Spreading the cost across multiple sessions will not only help the tattoo to heal well, but you’ll also avoid spending a large sum of money all at one time.