Tattoo FAQ

In this FAQ I will give you general information on how I work, pricing, policies, as well as information on choosing a good artist and studio. Issues with design are too numerous to mention, and I am unable to give quotes or estimates via phone or email. Set up a consultation appointment, and I will be happy to help you, or, guide you in the right direction. Below, I address many of the questions I frequently get asked, and will give you tips to assure that your tattoo process is a good one…

There are five things essential to a quality tattoo:
1. —-Knowing what you want.—-
2. A talented artist.
3. A great design.
4. A sterile, sanitary, bright and clean environment.
5. A good attitude.

First Off:

  • Choose your tattoo wisely. (It will be around 6 months longer than you will.)
  • Please bathe/shower and pop a breath mint before your appointment. (I will do you the same courtesy.)
  • Please be on time for your appointments. (not 20 minutes early, not 15 minutes late)
    Everybody’s time is valuable, and I keep a very tight schedule. (If you are going to be more than 10 minutes late, due to traffic, parking, etc….please call or txt 503-319-4855.) **If you are 15 minutes late, and have not contacted me, you are considered a no-show, will forfeit your deposits/fees, and I reserve the right to leave the studio, to take care of other business.There may be a rescheduling fee to get you back on the books, if at all.
  • 72 hours notice on reschedules or cancellations please, or forfeit your deposits/fees. No-call-no-shows will forfeit your deposit, and you will not be rescheduled.
  • No Alcohol before getting tattooed.
  • I prefer cash.
  • Visa and MasterCard are available with a 3% fee.
  • I reserve the right to refuse to tattoo mean, nasty, rude, impatient people, or people with bad attitudes. Feel free to take your attitude elsewhere.

1) What is a F.A.Q.?
FAQ refers to Frequently Asked Questions.

2) How far are you booked out?
I am generally booked out 5-6 months from the time of consult.

3) How are Above the Pearl’s tattoos priced?

  • Hourly Rate : $155/hr
  • Studio Minimum: $100
  • Tattoo Deposit: $100, non-refundable applied towards the cost of your tattoo, due at the time of the initial consultation in order to get scheduled, or begin any artwork.
  • Consultation fee: $20, non-refundable, applied towards your deposit, if you decide to schedule a tattoo appointment.

4) Does it hurt?
Yes. Its a tattoo. Pain varies from person to person. Most people compare getting a tattoo to the discomfort of a cat-scratch on a sunburn. Relax, don’t fight it, and it will all be over soon, or within in a few hours, depending upon the size of the tattoo.

5) Do I need a consultation appointment?
Yes. Consultation appointments are $20, non-refundable, and applied towards your tattoo deposit, should you decide to schedule a tattoo appointment. I require a consultation appointment of all my clients, regardless of the size, scope, simplicity or complexity, and a non-refundable deposit of $100 if you want to schedule an actual tattoo appointment, or have me do any drawing. Large, conceptual or extremely complex designs may require a 50% non-refundable pre-payment of the final estimated cost of the tattoo. Once I have image information, size and a location, I will give you a ballpark figure on cost, at the time of the consultation appointment. I do not give hard estimates. Multiple reworks or revisions of artwork may incur additional art charges at $60/hr. This is determined on a case-by-case basis. Quotes cannot be given over the phone or email. Please use the CONTACT/SCHEDULING FORM to set up a consultation appointment.

5a) How do I make an appointment?
Read through this FAQ then use the CONTACT/SCHEDULING FORM form on the website.

6) Do I need to leave a deposit?
Yes. In order to schedule a tattoo appointment or have me do any drawing, I require a non-refundable deposit of $100, at the time of the consultation appointment, The deposit is applied towards the cost of the tattoo. Deposits include one set of sketches (up to 2 hours drawing time) and one set of minor revisions. Multiple revisions maybe subject to a $60/hr design fee on top of the cost of the tattoo, and a $20 charge for each addtional time we have to meet. Large, conceptual or extremely complex designs may require a 50% non-refundable pre-payment of the final estimated cost of the tattoo. Deposits are absolutely non-refundable. Do not make an appointment unless you are sure.

7) Cancellation/Rescheduling Policies:
72 hours notice required on cancellations or reschedules. Cancellations with less that 72 hours will forfeit your deposit/fees. Please know that If you cancel/reschedule your tattoo appointment, it could take up to 6 months to get back on the schedule. A $50 rescheduling-fee will be required for multiple cancellations/reschedules, which will be not applied towards your tattoo. No-call no-shows will not be rescheduled. Exceptions will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Tattoo deposits are valid for 8 months from the time of the initial consultation appointment.

8) Do you do custom tattoos?
YES. The art I create is 100% based on what the client wants. I take bits and pieces of visual reference you supply, and put them together to make a unique, and custom piece of artwork based on what you envision, within the scope and limitations of the medium, in order to last, and look good over time. You want your tattoo to look good when you are 80 years old. I take pride in producing tattoos that meet both the client’s needs, as well as addressing design issues that are necessary for a tattoo to last, and look good, over the course of a lifetime. Simplicity is key.

I will generally schedule you an “art/sketch appointment”, between the consultation and actual tattoo appt. to make sure we are on the same creative wavelength. I will show you rough sketches at that time. I will generally have more than one version of your art from which to choose. Any tweaks or changes can be discussed at that time. Final line work will be revealed the day of your tattoo appointment.

Any minor requested changes discussed at the art appointment will be ready, and unveiled at the tattoo appointment. I do not make changes to the artwork the day of the appointment, except for size. Extensive reworks may require a reschedule. Multiple revisions may be subject to an additional $60/hr drawing charge. Artwork is done in the days leading up to, if not the day before, the appointment. If you choose not to be tattooed, the deposit is considered a drawing fee/ appointment retainer fee, and is non-refundable.

8a) Can I have the drawing if I decide not to be tattooed?
Artwork created is the property of Above the Pearl Tattoo, LLc. You are welcome to purchase the artwork/sketches for the amount of time it took to research/create/produce the artwork, at the rate of $60/hr, up to the estimated cost of the installed tattoo. I do not allow photographs or copies of the artwork to leave the studio. If you feel you need to run the art by someone, or get someone’s opinion, you will need to bring them with you to the scheduled art appointment. NO EXCEPTIONS.

9) Can I bring in my own drawing?
Yes…BUT…  I may need to rework personal drawings based on the drawing’s “tattoo-ability”. Simplicity is key. Tiny, highly-detailed drawings tend to blur together over time in the skin.Things that look good on paper, do not necessarily translate to tattoos.

10) How do I take care of my tattoo? Aftercare Instructions -CLICK HERE!
Follow the aftercare instructions I give you. Not your friend, not your previous tattoo artists, not the internet, not your mail person, or your Uncle Joe. Aftercare is AS, if not MORE, important than the actual tattoo itself. It directly affects how your tattoo will turn out. I am just as invested in your healing properly, as you are. I know what heals my tattoos best, as well as what is recommended by the health department.

11) How long can I expect my tattoo to take to heal?
Tattoos take between 7-10 days for the initial healing process. It can take up to 2 months for your skin and hair to grow back to normal.

12) What area of the body is hardest to heal?
Blood flow is an integral part of the healing process so the closer to the heart the better the healing. Extremities can take longer to heal. The other significant factor affecting healing, is friction and creases. Tattoos on the torso where pants can constrict and where pivotal movement is constant can also take longer to heal. Areas of the body with natural seams, like elbows and knees can also heal rough.

(12a) I’m Diabetic, Can I get a tattoo?
it depends. There are some restrictions, I require a written doctors clearance, and your levels will need to be managed and withing range. Each individual situation is different, and on a case-by-case basis. please see this helpful article on tattoos and diabetes.
Click HERE

13) Is it normal for my new tattoo to scab?
Scabbing, flaking, peeling, dryness are all natural parts of the healing process. Severe scabs that are deep and thick may indicate a need to change your aftercare routine and should be addressed with your tattoo artist.

14) How long have you been tattooing?
I have been tattooing since 2005, and was a graphic designer for 15 years prior. A portfolio is the best judge of an artist’s proficiency. While I am versatile in my styles, at this time, I do not do photo-realistic portraits. As a general rule, take a thorough look at the photographs of work that artists have accomplished. Most artists are able to do a variety of styles but they may have a particular style that they enjoy and are considered exceptional in. If you like my style and general look and feel of my tattoos, then I am artist for you. Feel free to ask any questions. If I end up not doing your tattoo, I will be happy to refer you to another artist that may be a better match.

15) Can you fix/cover-up a bad tattoo I have?
Probably. A consult is typically required to determine what imagery is necessary to adequately cover the old work. Be prepared to go at least 70-300% or larger, than the tattoo you want to cover. Cover-ups may require multiple sessions/layers beyond the initial tattoo installation. It may be necessary to come back within a number of months/ years to go over the covered-up area, due to sun, ink fading, etc. This is considered part of the process, and not included in the free touch-up period. Sometimes I can give tattoos new life, without having to drastically change the artwork. FYI: The most frequently covered up tattoo styles are gang-related, lover’s names, wrist tattoos, tribal armbands, and blocks of tiny text.

16) Can you tattoo over a scar?
It depends on the severity and maturity of the scar. This is judged on a case-by-case basis. In general, a scar should be at least one year old, and have healed to your skin color.

17) How do I know if the tattoo shop is clean?
I, Tanya Magdalena, and Above the Pearl Tattoo, use the highest standards of cleanliness and sterilization techniques dictated by the Oregon State Health Licensing Department. Cleanliness and safety are of the utmost importance. As for other shops, take a look around. Do you like what you see? Trust your eyes and instincts. If you have any doubts, run- don’t walk to the nearest exit. Better safe than sorry. Ask if there is an autoclave on premises and if so, do they spore test? The answer to both questions should be yes and they should be able to show you proof. The artist supplies should be sterile, single-use needles, disposable, and the artist should change their gloves frequently during the tattoo process. Smoking, eating and pets should be restricted on the tattoo floor premises.

17a) Do you use Vegan-friendly ink?
yes. I use the highest quality, industry-standard pigments/ink.

18) How old do I have to be to get tattooed?
It is illegal to tattoo anyone under the age of 18 in the state of Oregon and Washington. I may choose not to do highly visible tattoos on anyone under the age of 21. This is decided on a case-by-case basis.

19) Can my parent sign for me?
No. It is illegal to tattoo anyone under the age of 18 in the state of Oregon and Washington. All tattoo clients must be over the age of 18 and have valid state or federal issued photo ID, regardless of parental consent. Anyone who says they will do a tattoo underage with parental consent, is being untruthful.

20) Am I supposed to tip?
Yes, tips are always welcome, appropriate, and appreciated. A tip is nothing more than a compliment on a job well done.Tips range anywhere from 15%-100%….and YES, if the person doing your tattoo owns the shop, you are supposed to tip them.

21) Can I have a drink before I get tattooed?
No. It is illegal and ill-advised to get tattooed while you are under the influence. It will not make your experience any better. It actually makes the process more difficult for you and the artist and raises the risk of complications.

22) Can I get tattooed while pregnant or breast -feeding?
No. Getting tattooed while pregnant or breast-feeding has the possibility of complications your health and that of your baby, and is against Oregon State Law

23) What can I do to prepare for my tattoo?
Please bathe/shower and pop a breath mint. (I will do you the same courtesy.) Eat a good meal with lots of protein, within 2 hours of your tattoo appt. No alcohol 8 hours before your tattoo. Best not to come in hung-over, it will just make you bleed more due to the blood-thinning properties of the alcohol still in your system. Avoid caffeine and energy drinks the day of your tattoo. Happy, healthy people heal better. Getting tattooed when you are sick, post or pre-surgery or extraordinarily stressed out is not ideal. Furthermore, people with compromised immune systems (e.g. diabetes, Hepatitis, HIV) typically take longer to heal, and I require a doctor’s authorization.

24) Should I eat before I get tattooed?
YES. It is ideal to eat within two hours of being tattooed. Please eat plenty of protein, and be well hydrated. Having stable blood sugar bolsters your immune system and helps the body deal with the fluctuation of endorphins, which are emitted during the tattoo process.

25) What is the most painful place to be tattooed?
Pain varies from person to person. General consensus is ribs, tops of feet, inside the elbow, and back of the knee are the most painful. Don’t choose an area or a size based on the pain factor. The tattoos beauty will last for decades longer than the minimal difference in sensation.

26) What if I¹m allergic to latex?
Inform me of any and all allergic tendencies. I use latex alternatives.

27) What happens if it gets infected?
Infections or allergic reactions are VERY RARE. More often than not, what you perceive as an infection, is actually an irritation. If you think there is an issue, please come speak to me. If there is an actual infection, a physician will help you get healthy, hopefully without allowing personal prejudice against tattoos or tattoo artists to cloud their professional responsibility.

28) Do you do free touch-ups?
One free touch-up is included within 6 months of the tattoo appointment, if needed. Anything beyond the free 6 month touch-up is $80. Cover-ups, feet and white tattoos are an exception to this rule. Another exception would be blatant disregard of the rules of common sense and provided tattoo aftercare instructions. The final exception to free touch-ups is if you blow off a touch-up appointment, thereby disregarding the importance of my time and efforts. Future appointments may require deposits, gifts, or cost you money. It all depends on how badly you offend me.

29) Can I tan?
Any form of tanning can, and will, damage and fade a tattoo. You need top keep a new tattoo out of the sun until it is healed. If you are a sun worshiper, I recommend a SPF 30+ sun block, after the tattoo is healed. In general it is best to stay out of the sun and tanning booths, especially during the healing process.

30) Is there anything you won’t tattoo?
I will not tattoo anything above the collar, below the wrist, genitals, hate-based, blatantly obscene tattoos, and will only do limited work on feet. (ie: no hands, necks, faces or genitals) I reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, for any reason. Especially mean, nasty, rude people, or people with bad attitudes. Feel free to take your attitude elsewhere

31) What if I don’t like it?
I will always give you the absolute best tattoo I am capable of at the time. You will approve the artwork and placement 3 times before it is actually installed. It is best to circumvent the need for tattoo removal by choosing your artist and your design wisely.  If you do not see examples of the style of tattoo you are looking for in their portfolio, then they probably do not specialize in that particular area.  If you are not 100% sure…then don’t do it. Avoid trendy tattoos, lovers names, and go for something symbolic and timeless. Remember that you are getting a tattoo that you want to be able to live with for the rest of your life. Tattoo removal is still a painful, expensive, and imprecise process.

Please use the contact/scheduling form to schedule a consultation appointment :-)

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