So, you’re ready to get a tattoo?
Over the years I have had the pleasure of meeting and tattooing folks from all walks of life. Many clients that find themselves in Crimson Hilt Tattoo & Gallery are first timers, and they always have similar questions. Today, I’d like to go over a few of these often asked questions and hopefully give you some solid advise as to getting your first tattoo.
The first question is usually,
“Who in the shop specializes in a particular style?”
Now there are definitely artist that specialize in one specific approach to tattooing. Some guys only do black and grey, portraits, or traditional. In many cases, ours included, the artists in the shop are trained to tattoo in a variety of styles. A lot of people come to the shop because they where either referred to an artist by a friend, or they saw the artist’s work in person or online. If you saw something you liked from a particular artist, then you already have an idea of how they tattoo. When being referred to a particular tattoo shop, it is a good idea to sit down and look at portfolios. Everything you need to know about how an artist’s work will look is in those books.
After taking the time to research an artist’s portfolio, you should have an idea of whether or not they are the artist for the job. Being a custom shop and having tattooists that can do multiple styles means you should be looking for individual aspects that you find appealing. If someones work jumps out at you, then regardless of the subject matter, that artist will be able to put his or hers spin on it. A good idea is to always come to the consultation with any reference you might have. It definitely does not have to be another tattoo. It can be anything from a sketch, a photograph, or even a trinket that you like. We are custom artists and can draw pretty much anything, but it always helps us to get an idea of the direction you want to go in.
The next questions people generally have go into logistics,
“How long will the tattoo take and how much will it cost?”
For this, the answer varies from artist to artist and tattoo to tattoo. Crimson Hilt charges $125 an hour. This hourly rate mostly applies to multiple session tattoos like sleeves or back pieces, but also works as a basis for us to quote single sessions or smaller tattoos. For example, if you were to get a half sleeve that will take around 12 hours you would be looking to spend around $1,500. Say you wanted to get something that was closer to palm sized it could be anywhere from $250 to $300. A nickel sized heart would be the shop minimum of $60.
These are of course loose examples. Every piece is unique and the overall time it takes to complete a tattoo is at the discretion of the individual doing the tattoo. In most cases we can quote a tattoo at the time of the consultation. But always remember, good work isn’t cheap and cheap work isn’t good. Everyone knows someone that can do it cheaper. If you want a premium tattoo, be prepared to pay a premium price. You are, after all, going to wear it for the rest of your life.
Another frequently asked question is,
“Will it hurt more in a particular part of my body, if so should I move it?”
Truth is tattoos hurt. Period. There are things that you can and should do to make the sitting easier on yourself. Eat a large meal before you come in, and stay hydrated. Your body is going to go under stress when you receive a tattoo, so make sure to show up rested. Coming drunk or hungover is a big no no.
There are parts of the body that are going to be more painful than others. Your ribs or foot tattoo is going to hurt more than your forearm. This being said, I would never recommend someone change the location of their tattoo based on the amount of pain. Remember that it is a permanent mark, the pain is temporary. Even if tattoos hurt, they are bearable. People would not have them if they weren’t. We will go over important practices to help you sit. Among these are breathing exercises which will prove invaluable to your experience.
The last frequently asked question is regarding heal time.
This, like most questions, has a variety of answers depending on the tattoo. A small set of initials could be healed completely within a week. If you get a large full color dragon tattooed, it could take two to three weeks for the skin to recover. Your heal time will also be subject to your health as well as how well you take care of the tattoo. If you take care of yourself and follow the specific instructions provided to you by your artist, you should have no problems with the heal. However, failure to do so could result in complications, extending your heal time.
I sincerely hope that this helps you. Remember that we here at Crimson Hilt love what we do and we do it well. If there is a question you have about the process or the art do not hesitate to ask. We pride ourselves as being one of the friendliest and relaxed tattoo shop environments in Denver. We are always happy to answer any questions. I recommend taking the time to read our reviews and look at our portfolios, I am sure we have the right artist for your first tattoo or your 50th. We look forward to seeing you in the shop.
– Alex Taylor, Tattoo Artist & Co-Owner of Crimson Hilt