The Art Den

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​Frequently Asked Questions

​Here are some of the tattoo questions we are often asked.  If you have a question which is not in this section, please email us at:

​How do I choose a design for a tattoo?

​You should spend some time thinking about what image you would like to live with permanently; something that commemorates a person or an experience you've had, a group you belong to.  Something important.  Something that has meaning and value to you.

The concept/meaning is the most important thing.

​Once I have a concept, do I have to find my own representation of it?

​If you want to find or create your own drawing for your tattoo, you are welcome to; just be aware that your artist will let you know whether or not it will make a good tattoo.  Your design may have to be altered.

Most of the time your tattoo artist will create a drawing for you, as our goal is to create custom body art/illustrations, so you don't necessarily need to have artwork.  Your artist can help you with the look and execution of your concept.

​I’m ready for my tattoo.  What is my next step?

​You should contact us by email or telephone (or stop in the office if we are free) to make a consultation appointment; which are free, in-person meetings where you bring printouts of visual references of your concept or we will research your concept at the time of your appointment.  Discussion of your vision for the piece will be in great detail.  We will also take a picture of the location that the tattoo will be created on your body.  Once the tattoo is drawn, we will send you an email (or meet in person) with the drawing over the picture.  This will help you have a visual of what the tattoo will look like.  

We will also collect a deposit (A small, non-refundable amount of $40) that goes towards the cost of the tattoo.  Once the drawing is to your liking, and price is decided upon, we will book your tattooing appointment and ask that you read over our Tattoo Care Sheet very carefully so that you are prepared for the day of your appointment.

​I have scars, moles, freckles on the area of the body that I want to get a tattoo. Is that OK?

​Our main goal at The Art Den is to help people feel good about their bodies.  One of the ways we do this is to help turn scarring/anomalies into artwork. This is not always possible, but many times it is.  Your artist will need to know about those skin anomalies; you should show them at the time of your consultation.  Getting a tattoo can be a great way to cover up a scar: old burns, surgical scarring and mastectomy scars, for example.  But many scars are difficult to tattoo over, especially if they are raised, bumpy or mushy.  (The same thing goes for stretch marks.)  If the scars are solid and flat, it is easier to tattoo over them but some scars will not take ink well.  This does not mean we cannot create a tattoo.  This may mean we will need to incorporate the scar/anomaly with the tattoo itself, but not tattoo on the actual anomaly.

We will usually just go around moles; if we try to tattoo over them, they bleed a lot and don't always hold the ink.  Freckles are usually no problem whatsoever; we can ink right over them with no trouble.

​How To Take Care Of Your Tattoo

​Here are some things to do before you come in for your tattoo:

​Keep your consumption of alcohol, the night before your appointment, to a minimum and get a full night's sleep.  Stop drinking coffee/caffeine six hours before your session -- because it is a stimulant and can make you bleed more -- this also includes energy drinks.  Make sure you have eaten something substantial one to two hours ahead.  Drink water and feel free to bring some snacks with you if you know that you're going to have a long session.  You may also bring your own pillow, blanket and iPod.  Sometimes it's nice to have a friend with you; but please bring only one person with you.

Do NOT exercise beforehand that day and plan on not exercising afterwards for the rest of that day/evening; you need all of your endorphin reserves to get a tattoo and will probably be pretty tapped out after receiving it.  You may exercise the next day but be careful not to get dirt or sweat in your new tattoo.

Wear loose and comfortable clothing to your sessions because we may have to move it around to reach the area where you want to be tattooed.  If you're female, don't schedule a session immediately before, or during the week of your period -- a week afterwards is usually best.  Your hormone levels will have leveled out and the tattooing process will not be as painful.

If you have, are coming down with or are just getting over a cold or flu, or have suffered a substantial injury, PLEASE reschedule -- Your immune system is already fighting to get rid of your illness or heal your injury and you may not have enough endorphins to get through your tattooing session. 

Please give at least 24 HOURS NOTICE if you have to cancel your appointment.

Do these things after you receive your tattoo:

​After you're done with your session, please just take it easy -- go have some food, drink some liquids and relax.  Do nothing strenuous for the rest of the day/evening to help your body replenish itself.  Don't work out or get your brand new tattoo sweaty or dirty.

Keep your bandage on for at least 3 hours.  After that, take it off; you won't need to put another bandage on your new tattoo.  Wash your hands and wash your tattoo thoroughly with warm water and mild soap -- something without perfumes or dyes.  Liquid soap is best; bar soaps tend to sit in sinks collecting germs.  Dr. Bronner's unscented liquid soap is good. If you can't find that, Dial's Antibacterial liquid soap is OK.

Towel your tattoo dry, then apply a VERY thin layer of an all natural body butter or oil.  We recommend HustleButter (can be found on, Ava Anderson Body Butter (can be ordered online at their website or through a representative) or plain old Coconut Oil or Olive Oil (found in any grocery store.) Do this process of washing and then applying body butter/oil at least twice a day.  If your skin is dry, you can do this more often.  Continue this process for 4-7 days, depending on how fast you heal.  Be aware that if you use an oil, you will have to apply it more often than if you were using a body butter.

After about 4-7 days, you may switch to a lotion if you prefer, but you do not have to.  One without too much alcohol is best, because alcohol will dry the skin out too fast.  Apply as needed.  You want to keep your new tattoo clean, moist and protected.  If you have to use perfumes or body sprays, don't put them on your new tattoo-- wait for two months before using them on your new tattoo.

Always make sure your hands are clean before touching your new tattoo.  Don't let anyone else touch it unless their hands are clean.  Your tattoo may itch and peel; if this happens, take some body butter/oil and rub it in with the flat of your fingers.  Never scratch or pick at your tattoo.

Do not soak your new tattoo (in lakes, oceans, hot tubs, pools, bath) -- NO CHLORINE for three weeks.  Showers are fine.

Keep your tattoo out of direct sunlight or tanning booth for one month.  Direct sunlight and tanning will fade any tattoo over time, so use sunscreen on your healed tattoo every time you're in the sun or keep your tattoo covered.  We recommend using an all natural sunscreen as many store bought brands are full of perfumes and chemicals that you do not want in your tattoo.  Ava Anderson sells a wonderful one.  You may also chose to use Zinc Oxide (think of the white stuff you see on swimmers noses and such).

If your tattoo somehow gets infected, you should contact your physician immediately.

Remember, your tattoo has been applied in a clean and professional manner.  For it to continue to look good and heal well, proper aftercare is crucial.


Approximately one week after the application process, you will most likely see peeling/scabbing.  We call this the “it looks awful” stage.  This is just a natural healing process and usually lasts up to three weeks.   Some people peel/scab more than others.  Some people heal faster/slower than others.

After your scabs come off and peeling ends, there is a layer of skin under the scab that is dead skin.  Just like when you get a sunburn and your skin peels, you get that whitish, faded-out, hazy look over your new tattoo.  That skin will then peel back showing the more vibrant/true colors.
Tattoo Care.pdf
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