Tattoo Do's & Dont's

It takes two to tango—and the same goes when creating a good tattoo. Getting a tattoo involves not just the Artist and his/her work, but also the client’s cooperation and ability to listen to instructions. You may have envisioned a bad-ass tattoo to grace your skin for the rest of your life—but as the old saying goes: “a goal is reached by beginning with a first step”. And the first step is KNOWLEDGE. A complete awareness of what you’re getting yourself into. So today I have gathered insights from a number of tattoo artists and here’s what they wanna tell you. Read this Tattoo Etiquette article for guidance and how to behave & I guarantee, you will walk out of the tattoo shop with total understanding, satisfaction, plus a good relationship with your tattoo artist.

How much for a Tattoo?

It really depends on many factors – size, detail and placement – so the longer it takes to do a tattoo, the more it will cost you. It’s important to have a clear idea in mind of things like size, placement nd detail as these will influence the overall cost of your tattoo. It’s also a good idea to bring along a couple of references so we can get a clear idea of exactly what the design entails. Colour also influences the price – the more colour variations present in the tattoo, the more time it will take, the more it will cost.

When can you help me?

We work on bookings so the next available spot in our calendar. Give us a call or send us an email to find out when that is. We can usually squeeze in a small tattoo on any given day.

Can I bring my children?

Our shop adheres to a strict health code and we work very hard to keep it as clinically clean and sterile as possible. We do however work with needles, blood, chemicals, bio-waste, sometimes language to describe searing pain, expensive art books, semi-naked people and Charl’s dangerous opinions about his flat earth theory. Because of this, we do not allow children under the age of 16 in our studio. Trust us when we say this is for their own good. The last thing an artist needs to deal with is children running into his or her station. Tattoo shops are for adults and we suggest that you leave the little ones at grans for the day.

Did you get my mail?

We probably did. Most of the time we are tattooing, giving our undivided attention to our clients at that moment. When it is your turn to get tattooed, you too will expect the same type of devotion. Our artists try to reply to emails and messages in between tattoos or later in the evenings when they are not designing for the next couple of clients. Sometimes a manager will reply to your email or inquiry, other times an apprentice might reply. There is no harm in asking again later.

How do I make a booking?

There are a couple of methods to choose from. Through the bookings page on our site, or you can give us a call and set up a consultation. The best is always to pop into our studio and speak to an artist, manager or apprentice. You can also mail an artist directly.

Please note that you will have to pay a deposit to finalize your booking. This can be paid in the shop itself with cash or card, or via EFT if your booking date is more than three days in advance.

Do you do white Tattoos?

No we do not. Many pictures of white tattoos floating around on the Internet were taken directly after the tattoo was finished, which is misleading for a few reasons. First, the skin is raised, which puts any highlight from light sources on the tattoo itself, making it more visible.

Also, the skin around the tattooed area is usually a little red from irritation, which adds contrast in the moment, but will not be there once the skin is no longer irritated. Finally, in the process of healing, layers of skin cover the tattooed area, meaning your bright white tattoo will end up just being a highlight of your own skin tone (usually a version of yellow, as most people have a yellow base to their skin tone).

Does it hurt?

Tattoos hurt for the most part and it is completely up to your pain threshold and mindset. Clients that are relaxed and sit still while being tattooed experience a lot less pain. A couple of handy tips for when you get tattooed

  • Get enough sleep the night before
  • Eat a good breakfast
  • Start to moisturize your skin a couple of days before the tattoo
  • Bring a book or tablet for some distraction
  • Make sure you have some sweeties for those sugar levels
  • Don’t bring friends (Yes its weird, but people have this desire to demonstrate their pain in front of people they know)
  • Sit still and relax
  • Most important – Do not fight the pain
Can you cover old tattoos?

Most of the time the answer is yes. The easiest way to find out is to come by the studio and let one of our artists take a look.

Louis wrote a detailed article in our Blog section of this site. Go check it out.

Do you do designs?

Yes we do designs for our clients. Designs usually take a long time to do and we are glad to spend the time on someone we are actually tattooing in the future.

Here at True Blue we have years of design experience. Some of our artists studied design at some point and qualified at the top of their classes. Whether it is simple sketching out a design or using advance manipulation techniques in Photoshop to formulate the best possible layout for a body part, we can do it.

If you are looking for someone to show you what your idea is going to look like before you make a booking we can suggest googling local graphic designers, sketch artists, painters and even some mobile apps that digitally impose tattoos on selfies. We do not do free designs as we would rather invest the time into our own clients.

Do you tattoo the bottom of hands and feet?

Not if we can help it. That picture on Pinterest looks great now (seeing as it’s just been done) but, given enough time, tattoos on the bottoms (or sides) of hands and feet don’t heal well (nor will they ever heal well). Half the tattoo might stay while the other half disappears – just Google healed hand/foot tattoos and you’ll see what we mean. Unfortunately skin also has a limit and therefore it would be impractical to assume you could touch up the tattoo indefinitely without completely ruining the skin. Don’t do it.

When can I expect my design?

We do our client’s designs when we are not tattooing. We correspond with our clients while we design and send the designs as they are completed. True Blue is booming with business during the day, leaving after hours and personal hours for designing. Our clients are booked in advance and we do our designs accordingly. It's important to have an accurate brief for your artist. We are visual people and sometimes words are found lacking when describing ideas, that is why references and sketches are very important and it speeds up the design process. We try to deliver designs the week of your appointment and allocate some time before we tattoo for minor changes that need to be made

Does colour cost more?

In most cases it does cost more. The more colour variants in a tattoo, the longer the tattoo takes to complete.

Why doesn’t Scully speak?

Some say that the last thing Beethoven heard was the angelic voice that belongs to Scully. It was so beautiful and kind that any other sound fell mute onto his hearing from that day forth. Those who have heard his voice has described it as the sound of children’s prayers on a cold winter night. Other said it is the sound of light.

He only speaks to those who bring a worthy design concept. Needless to say he hasn’t spoken in 10 years…

Who plays the instruments?

Mostly Louis and Charl.

Louis plays for a band called “The Ice Project”. They kinda sound like that music your mother would listen to. All jokes aside, they are very talented and you should check them out on Youtube. Louis is one of the most talented musicians you will ever meet in a grocery store. He plays the bass guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, drums, banjo, piano and he has a voice that will tear the underwear off of any self respecting lady. Charl on the other hand summoned a goat through a portal with one of his bitchin guitar solos.

Please do not touch the instruments without authorization. Actually… don’t even ask if you can.

Express Yourself. Hit the streets in bespoke tees, caps, True Blue Stalkers (our sneakers, as named by our fans) and hoodies all available for men and women