Tattoo Facts

*Please Note:   We will only provide finger/hand tattoos for existing clients or their referrals .

Here are some of the tattoo questions we are frequently asked. If you have any questions that are not addressed here, please contact us.

I'm ready to get a tattoo. What's the first step?

You should spend some time thinking about what image you would like to have on your body for the rest of your life ~ Something that has meaning and value to you.  Something important.

Of course, there are some people that just love to get tattoos and are looking for fresh ideas.  We can help with that!  We are artists by trade, not just tattoo artists, so we try to approach the design process with fresh ideas and come from a different angle.

Either way, the concept/meaning is the most important thing.

I've chosen my concept. Now what do I do?

We are combining as many consultations and tattoos as we can.  If you already have a good idea of what you would like to get and just need some help in putting it together, we will book a combined appointment.  If you are getting a full sleeve, back piece, custom piece, etc., we still prefer to have a separate consultation so we have time to work on the designs.

*If you are  on antibiotics, 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.  Antibiotics  may cause skin sensitivity and your body is trying to fight some form of bacterial infection. Receiving a tattoo adds more work to the immune system delaying the healing process for your body.  When getting a tattoo and being on antibiotics, it may delay the healing process and may raise the risk of more infections to enter.

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

If a consultations is required, they are free of charge and usually last 30-60 minutes.  At this time we will discuss your concept, in detail.  Feel free to bring any references that you may have - all references are helpful to the artist so we can get a feel for what you are thinking.  If you don't have any references, we can research the ideas at the time of the consultation.

If you want to find or create your own drawing, you are welcome to do so.  Just be aware that your artist will let you know whether your design makes a good tattoo.  Your design may have to be altered.

If, at that time, you would like to move forward, we will collect a deposit - $50 for smaller tattoos, $150 for medium to large tattoos - that will be taken off your remaining balance at the time of your tattoo appointment.  Once your design is to your liking and price is decided upon, we will begin the tattoo process. 

If a consultation is not required, your artist will work WITH you, on the day of your appointment, to create a unique piece of art that fits you and your body.

We 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 and freckles on the area that I want to get tattooed. Is that okay?

Our main goal at The Art Den is to help people feel good about their bodies.   One of the ways we do this is by turning scars/anomalies into bodyart.  Your artist will need to know about your skin anomalies and you should show them at the time of your consultation.

Tattooing can be a great way to cover/blend your scarring.  Many people choose to tattoo their surgical scars, mastectomy scars even old burns ~ But many scars are difficult to tattoo, 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 over it.

Moles - Sometimes we need to go around moles; if we try to tattoo over them, they may bleed a lot and don't always hold the ink.  Some moles are small and don’t cause and issue.  Freckles are usually no problem whatsoever and we can ink right over them.

How to Take Care of your Tattoo

Before Care

Here are some things to do before 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 three 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 or music.  Sometimes it's nice to have a friend with you; but please bring only one or two as it can get distracting to the artist.

Do NOT exercise beforehand 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 (depending on your workout) 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.

After Care

Things to do 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.

If you have a cloth bandage, keep it on for at least one hour.   If you have the tattoo film, keep it on for up to seven days.

To clean your tattoo after your bandage is removed - 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 or Dial Antibacterial liquid soap are good choices.

Pat dry your tattoo or let it air dry.  Do not rub.  (Paper towel is best).  If a moisturizer is necessary, then apply a VERY thin layer.  We recommend  Coconut Oil or Olive Oil (found in any grocery store.)  If you prefer a lotion, we recommend Burt’s Bees.  We have also found that clients have had very good success with mixing their moisturizer with aloe vera gel.  All natural is best - we recommend Seven Minerals.  Do this process twice a day.  If your skin is dry, you can do this more often.  Continue  for 4-7 days, depending on how fast you heal.  After that,  once a day is fine.  If you use perfumes or body sprays, don't put them on your new tattoo-- wait for two months before using them.  If your tattoo is in a location that is more prone to infection, you may mix a very small amount of an antibiotic ointment with your moisturizer for the first 7-10 days - usually hand, wrist, forearm and foot tattoos.

Always make sure your hands are clean before touching your new tattoo.  Don't let anyone else touch it.  Your tattoo may itch and peel; if this happens, apply more moisturizer.  Never scratch or pick at your tattoo.

Do not soak your new tattoo (in lakes, oceans, hot tubs, pools, bath) for one month.  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.  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.  

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 the  peeling phase 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.

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