FAQ's and Tattoo Aftercare
How do I book an appointment?
Typically, the best way is to email me, or submit a consultation request here. Consultations usually take half an hour, and give you a chance to discuss the design and placement for your tattoo. This is also a good time to get a rough estimate on the cost of the tattoo. Please keep in mind that I am not able to take on all consultation requests.
At this point, if you would like to book an appointment to have the tattoo done, you will need to leave a minimum deposit of $200.00 (it depends on how large the piece you want to get is, and how much drawing is required). Your deposit will hold your spot and be transferred to each upcoming appointment until your tattoo is finished, at which time it will come off the the total for that session.
Deposits are non-refundable, but can be transferred to a later date with 72 hours notice (3 business days).
How much does it cost?
As previously mentioned, the consultation is a good time to get a rough estimate on the cost of your tattoo. I charge $200.00/hour as well as a $50.00 set up fee for each appointment.
How can I prepare for a tattoo?
The best thing you can do is to eat a good meal in advance, and bring something to drink (water is always good, and so is orange juice- it helps to maintain blood sugar levels for a long period of time). Feel free to bring small snacks like nuts, berries or a granola bar to eat during the tattoo (just nothing messy please!).
Also, don’t be hungover! Your body doesn't handle shock or adrenaline as well when you’re hungover. Think playing sports hungover- not fun.
Do tattoos hurt?
Tattoos feel different for everybody and some are more painful than others, but it’s never as bad as you think it’s going to be. Some areas of the body are more painful than others, so I recommend that you try somewhere easy for your first (like arms, legs, or upper back).
Can you draw something for me before I book an appointment?
Unfortunately, I can’t. I simply do not have time to do extra drawings for anybody who is not prepared to commit to an appointment.
While I also don’t usually get a chance to do the drawings for appointments too far in advance, I am able to make minor changes to the tattoo at the appointment (although all details are usually settled at the consultation, and this is not needed).
Can you do this design we found on the internet?
No, but I would be happy to draw you something that is original to you. Chances are, if you found it on the internet, ten other people have it.
Will you tattoo my hands/fingers?
No; for a number of reasons. First of all, fingers don’t tend to stay that well and while the internet tells you it’s going to look awesome, it typically falls half out within a couple of months.
Second, hand tattoos are really a job-stopper. There are some exceptions, but I would rather put your tattoo somewhere that you can hide down the road in the event that you really really need to.
What if I forget the appointment, or have to cancel last-minute?
I require a minimum of 72 hours (3 business days) notice of cancellation or any changes to the design. If you are unable to give me 72 hours notice, you will lose your deposit, as it doesn't leave me enough time to fill that time slot and I have likely done a drawing already. The deposit merely compensates me for my time.
What if I I'm running late?
I understand that YYC traffic isn't always ideal, so shoot me a quick email if you're running late. Anyone more than 20 minutes late with no email will be treated as a no-show and lose their deposit.
Do you do touch-ups?
I offer one free touchup on your tattoo, but only if you have properly taken care of your tattoo. Picking at scabs, scratching your tattoo, swimming, rebandaging, etc. void the free touchup and you will be charged the minimum rate of $150.00 plus a $50.00 set up fee.
Do you tattoo under 18 years of age (even with parental consent)?
No, we don’t. However, we would be happy to meet with somebody for a consult prior to their 18th birthday in the event that they would like to get tattooed for their birthday.
How do I take care of my new tattoo?
Please leave the bandage on for 24 hours unless otherwise specified. This prevents a still seeping tattoo wound from sticking to (and ruining) your sheets at night, and from having to be peeled off of them in the morning. If your tattoo does stick to clothing or sheets, do NOT rip it off. Gently soak it off with warm water, and remove the article gently.
Wash the tattooed area with warm soapy water. You need to use a mild unscented soap (brands like Dove, Ivory or Soft Soap, or most baby soaps) to avoid irritating the tattoo. Do not use anything other than your hand to wash the tattoo area off; no loofah, facecloth, or anything abrasive.
Ensure that you have thoroughly washed off all of the plasma, Vaseline and other debris from your tattoo before continuing to the next step.
Pat the tattoo dry with a clean towel; do NOT rub the tattoo.
Let the tattoo dry out a little bit; usually 1-2 hours, or until it starts to feel very tight. Apply a very basic, unscented lotion (nothing scented, petroleum based, with dyes or aloe, or any Polysporin) to the tattoo. We personally recommend Aveeno Unscented or Aquaphor (unless you have an allergy to wool/lanolin. If unsure, test on a small area of skin first, like inner elbow or wrist). The first few days after your tattoo you can expect it to still be tender and the tattoo will often seep a small amount of ink; this is normal.
When applying the lotion, the trick is to ensure that it gets deep into the freshly tattooed skin. Do this by applying a light application of the unscented lotion, but enough to fully cover the tattoo, and spending 3-5 minutes rubbing the lotion into the skin. If there is excess lotion, you can wipe it off with something soft like a Kleenex.
Repeat application 2 - 3 times a day as needed for the first 2-3 weeks. It is important that you do not over or under moisturize your new tattoo, as both can hinder healing. Be careful not to pick or scratch at your new tattoo because it will pull the ink out. It is normal to have some flaking and peeling, although you should never develop thick scabs on the tattoo.
WHAT NOT TO DO
Do NOT soak your new tattoo for 2-4 weeks depending on healing. This means no pools, hot tubs, lakes, oceans, bathtubs, etc. You can still shower normally.
Do NOT go tanning for at least 2 weeks. Sun does major damage to a new tattoo (and to a healed one), so keep it out of the sun. After the tattoo is healed, ensure that you protect it with a high SPF (80-100SPF) to keep is looking great for years to come!
Do NOT work out for 5 days. Your newly tattooed skin is fragile, and overworking it or sweating too heavily can damage it and hurt the healing process. You’re not going to lose all your ‘gains’ in 5 days, and besides, once damage is done to a tattoo, it can rarely be fixed.
Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns about your new tattoo! :)
© Erin Belley Tattoos 2016