// Tattoo Ethos
I have always cared from the heart about art and tattooing, and the client's needs. Some colleagues have said i care too much! But obviously what we do is very important to the people involved, and can have a huge impact on lives. It can be a challenging process to collaborate with clients and create the right magic! - so I always try to go the extra mile to make sure we get the desired result and more.
Patience and freedom with the process is highly beneficial and appreciated! but I also fully understand the need for client input and comfort, so we are always trying to find the right balance. Needs can vary greatly from project to project.
Every tattoo and art piece I do now I try to make special, and I'm aiming high, so always hoping to talk to the client about their likes and dislikes...and then get the support and belief to create something world-class.
Imagination and the possibilities are always shifting & changing in modern tattooing. Going forward I'd like to create more big pieces with impact and soul...and avoid clichés. Art not just with beauty...but character, and truth.
Art - especially the most personal way in which we express it on skin - can be a major therapy and growing experience (for viewers, collectors, and artists)
// Tattoo Procedure & Equipment
As the years go on I continue to strive to improve my procedure, and equipment setup. Client and artist safety is paramount, and no corners are cut.
Many of the tattoo supply companies have worked hard to make tattooing a safer and more efficient process, and make things much easier for us artists. Preperation time & cost can be sizeable however, to do things the right way, and get the best results.
I ofcourse use new cartridges (needles) for each client, from various manufacturers and often many different groupings to achieve the desired results. I use several rotary (almost silent) machines, usually wireless.
I use vegan inks from Dynamic and Eternal, always distilled water and organic medical soap.
I sometimes use protective barrier film ('2nd skin') for suitable tattoos, which is the revolutionary new way to protect & heal the work after the tattoo has been done...some clients however show a reaction to the film (especially if left on longer than advised), so it is upto you on your preference. Aftercare advice will be given either way.
Pain relief is not provided, but I am not against you doing whatever you need to do to get through comfortably (within reason!). Pain relief products can be recommended, and advice
on application given.
I encourage numbing creams or pain relief if you feel you are sensitive to the pain (as this can lead to impairing the end result).
Tattoo pain can vary from barely noticeable to almost unbearable! but most people are absolutely fine until 3 or 4 hours into it. I tattoo in an efficient way and minimalise pain to the client...although sometimes it is inevitable, and we have to concentrate on doing the job properly ofcourse. First time tattoo clients are usually pleasantly surprised that it wasn't as bad as expected.
On this note, it is always beneficial to not fight the pain, or fear it... to accept it and go 'with it'.
Lack of resistance and a calm mood goes a long way.
Tattooing can be a 'surrendering' process for the client, both in terms of that pain, and the final result. Trust and patience is needed ofcourse.
Breaks or stopping for whatever reason is fine, and the sessions are always flexible. I hope to help you feel comfortable and unpressured.
// Advice for Tattoo Clients
Before your tattoo, you should research your artist, studio and imagery well. Think in advance about how the tattoo will be placed ofcourse, and always try to take into account your future plans, and future tattoos. Your artist should help give you more perspective with this. Try to communicate your ideas clearly, but also listen to the advice of your respected artist(s) and take time to process it.
On the day of the tattoo, be well rested and eat a good meal before you come. Shave the area in question if you feel comfortable; using shaving foam, being careful not to damage the skin, and keeping it very clean. Shaving beforehand can give the skin time to settle before the tattoo starts. Don't worry at all if you don't do this.
Try not drink alcohol in the 24 hours before the tattoo ;) Being hungover is certainly not advised
At the studio we will make you feel at home. Try not to worry or overthink anything, take your mind off, listen to some good music...whatever works for you!
During the tattoo (or any time!) you should make sure you're well hydrated! Sugar can also help people feel better. I also encourage your favourite music or movies to take your mind off, if neccessary.
It's nice for me to concentrate and get in the zone (especially at the start of the session)...but also feel free to chat or communicate anything! I usually make conversation myself
After the tattoo, a short cool down period usually happens, where we can clean it up, discuss aftercare and wait for it to settle before taking some pictures. The pain usually subsides quickly, and the tattoo is only usually tender to the touch for a few days. This can vary from person or tattoo. Good nutrition, hydration and rest is beneficial post-tattoo, especially after longer sessions.
For aftercare advice, see here.
I tattoo strictly over 18's only (I.D. may be required), and pregnant women are not allowed to be tattooed. If you have any health conditions or diseases, you are required to inform us beforehand, and a questionnaire is always filled out for us and the council before the session.
If you have any questions about my procedure or equipment, please don't hesitate to ask.
// Tattoo & Design Process
Here are notes about the process for those interested, or unfamiliar with aspects of tattooing or art;
My process with custom tattoos is firstly a free consultation, either online or in person. After a personal one, online contact is often beneficial before the day, to discuss the options.
To start any design work or make any appointments, a deposit is always required. This is so we can both fully commit to the project. Deposits range from £50 up to £250 per session, depending on the tattoo. The price of the deposit comes off your tattoo on the day, and design work is often free of charge/included in the tattoo rate.
Desposits are non-refundable but the date can often be moved with some notice without charge. I'm easy-going if you have special requirements or requests, or are running late, etc. I feel like the most important thing is that both parties are relaxed and positive.
To focus on projects properly, design work sometimes operates on a week by week basis ...that is to say, I will do the majority of the work for your design or the finalisation of it, in the week or two leading up to the tattoo. This is normal and often the best way to manage everything, and I am very accustomed to working on these time frames (or less). A lot of the tattoos in my portfolio are designed 'on the fly', on the day...or even freehanded. For larger projects I may work on the design periodically for months leading to the date, it all depends on the project.
Rest assured all effort and experience is applied to make sure your design and tattoo is successful...patience and belief helps the whole process flow more naturally.
Before this design though, we will talk a lot about your tastes and the options. I'll look at it from different perspectives and try to foresee any possible problems, challenges and opportunities. And from there with your support I will go ahead and design. Balance can be challenging here as your input is vital to the whole thing (sometimes a small input, sometimes large), but then there also needs to be a letting go where I explore the design and work out the best solutions. Often I will ask for more input or opinion along the way. Sometimes I will send designs before the appointment date, and for other projects, you may not see the design until the day...to make it much easier to explain all the options/ layers/ designs.
Realistic designs are often done digitally on photoshop, so we can explore more options quicker, and change things easily.
During long tattoo sessions I aim to have short breaks every 1-2 hours to keep up concentration, hydrate and move! Sessions can often start or end late, again patience is highly appreciated as we have a lot to prepare, think of, and carry out. I'm always of the opinion that the most important thing is the end result, and I'm often going the extra mile or sacrificing my own needs or profits to make that happen.
After the session I will apply the neccessary dressing, and give the relevant advice both verbally and via link to this page. Healing can vary greatly, and usually the initial healing takes between 5 days and 2 weeks. Dryness and further skin healing in the area is normal for weeks after the tattoo. For aftercare advice see here.
I am very open and honest, feel free to ask anything. I have a lot of experience in a range
of styles, perspectives and environments, and happy to share my thoughts.
I create my best work with freedom, and I'm always trying to improve. I also value your opinions, and again, they are vital to the process. Also, the more research you put into finding the right reference images or styles, the better.
It is much appreciated if you can send good quality photos
when fully healed, thank you!
I had a lot of inexperienced clients wondering how it goes... so to summarise, a custom tattoo process might look like the following:
Consultation > Deposit > Date booked > Design > Consult > Tattoo
A quick tattoo timelapse
Timelapse... designing a modern Nordic 'Tree of Life' tattoo
// Aftercare Advice
There are various ways to heal tattoos, and you will often find varying advice between artists. I will give verbal aftercare advice after the tattoo, as well as a printed copy. Following is downloadable aftercare advice, some notes from myself, and a good list of Do's & Dont's.
The aftercare depends on which dressing is used; either with Protective sticky Tattoo film (Second Skin), or with the usual cling film (general tattoo aftercare):
Click the image to see the download link