We don't like rules any more than the next guy, but we have found a few things which make the shop experience better for everyone.
Every tattoo artist draws and approaches each tattoo differently. The most important step in getting a great tattoo that you are going to love is choosing an artist whose style is appealing to you. Reviewing an artist's portfolio will help you determine if they are a good fit for you. It is unlikely that the portfolio will have the exact tattoo that you are looking for, so instead you should determine if the artist's previous works are appealing to you. For instance, if you are searching for someone to do a photorealistic tattoo and there is no such work represented in their portfolio, it is likely that they either don't do this style, or they don't do it frequently. Likewise, if their portfolio is all photorealistic, it probably wouldn't make sense to ask them to do an American Traditional tattoo. The best way to get a good tattoo is be comfortable with the artist's previous work, and let them create the best tattoo for you with minimal constraints.
Custom tattoos require some sort of consultation and a face-to-face meeting is the best way to communicate ideas. We have found a few things that make the consultation process more streamlined, while providing the best customer service.
First, make sure that the artist you choose is the best fit for your idea. Please read the paragraph above and view portfolios (galleries).
Second, an artist will not be available for a consultation if they are tattooing so a CALL is recommended before stopping by.
Third, bring all available references to the consultation to help the artist better understand your idea.
While we pride ourselves in being a laid back, fun-loving shop, we do have some rules when it comes to children. Children can come into the shop, but it's best to leave your children at home while you are getting tattooed or getting your nails done. Our shop is not a place for children as there are many hazards they can be exposed to. It's also an adult environment so some of the conversations, images, and what not might not be appropriate for kids. Children can be very distracting to you, the artist, and other clients. We recommend finding a sitter and enjoying your session all for yourself.
While friends and family are welcome, we advise that you limit the number of accompanying people to one. Please keep in mind that our shop is not very big, so large groups do not work well.
We work primarily on an appointment basis. Please be on time for your scheduled appointment, and call at least 24 hours in advanced if an appointment cannot be kept. We require $50 deposits for tattoo appointments at the time of booking. For nail appointments a 50% deposit will be required for group appointments and sets over $100. Appointment bookings will only take place at the shop unless otherwise stated.
This non-refundable deposit is a guarantee that you will show up at the agreed time for your appointment. After the consultation and on the day of your appointment only minor changes are able to be made to the design. Your deposit will be considered a drawing fee if you decide to completely change the design. If you can’t make your appointment, you must cancel at least 24 hours in advance or you will lose your deposit. If you cancel your appointment you must reschedule within 2 weeks. If you show up at the agreed upon time the deposit will be applied to the price of the tattoo. or nail service. For multi-session tattoos (sleeves, back pieces, etc) the deposit will carry over and will be credited toward the last session.
During your appointment, we ask that you do not use your cellphone. We can understand if there is an emergency or a call of utmost importance and that is the only exception to the rule. Texting and calls will not be tolerated during your appointment (unless done with hands-free devices). This is to limit unnecessary movements which could compromise the work being done on you.
Please maintain personal hygiene and personal decorum. Unfortunately, this has to be said some people's sake. There is nothing more unpleasant than having to work on someone who smells badly. You wouldn't go to the doctor without bathing, so please show the same courtesy to our artists and nail tech. Also, if you are having some stomach issues (i.e. gas) it may be a great courtesy to not pollute the working space with your farts. We have a washroom or outside for you to relive the pressure.
Do not come to our shop is you have been drinking or under the influence of drugs. Show your artist some respect and arrive sober. We do not like to deal with sloppy drunks. If your breath smells of alcohol or you exhibit signs of being under the influence of drugs, you will not be getting worked on.
We get asked this a lot, so we decided to include it here.
If you didn't know that tipping a tattoo artist or nail tech is customary, you know now. Tattoo artists and nail technicians do not get paid an hourly wage, they earn a percentage of the money you pay for the tattoo and that is it. They depend, heavily, on tips to support themselves. You wouldn't refuse to tip wait staff unless the service was bad, would you? Your tattoo artist is marking you for life, something that is far more serious than a fancy meal, so haven't they earned at least the recognition a server does? If you receive exceptional service, show your appreciation by tipping!
As a general rule, tipping 10% is a minimum, 15-20% is normal, and anything above is considered tipping heavily. If you don't have the extra money to tip, at least explain that to your artist (they'll understand and appreciate it), and, if you can, bring them a tip the next time you can.
With our shop being designated a mental health safe space, we have to make it known that members of our staff along with a large section of our clientele are people who battle mental illnesses. We ask that you please do not try to force your artist or nail tech to make social conversation if they don't seem receptive to it. Some artists like to talk and others don't. You want the best service you can get, so let your artist work in the way that they are comfortable. Your artist will appreciate the consideration and it'll be reflected in the work. Some artists forego conversation in order to concentrate and focus on what they are doing.
Some people act like it's their responsibility to try and get a tattoo/piercing/nail work at a "rock bottom" price and try to bargain an artist down $5 or $10 just to see if they can. That's offensive and just plain tacky especially if you start haggling in front of other clients. If you're going to get something that you are going to wear forever, do you want the "bargain" or the "deluxe" job for $10 more? If you are tempted to bargain, stop! Think about how much you want your artist to come down on their price. Divide that amount by how many years you think you have left to live. Then decide if those few quarters a year are worth being stuck with a "bargain" tattoo. If you can't afford the tattoo you want, talk to your artist beforehand in private and ask if they can do the work staying within your budget or see if there's a way to work out a payment plan (multiple sessions/pay-as-you-go) or wait and save up. If you settle for something else, or even a smaller version of what you want, you'll probably end up regretting it.