(click the question to view the answer)
Yes, it’s needles in your skin! However, here are a few things that might ease your mind:
- Pain tolerence differs from person to person and with tattoo size/location so what’s super painful for one person may not be that bad for another person.
- After about 15 minutes the process becomes a little less painful for most people. This can be attributed to a drop in anxiety and an increase in endorphins.
- The pain is temporary. It really only lasts for the duration of the tattoo process and by the next day most of the soreness is gone (although this varies from person to person and with tattoo size/location).
- A tattoo is a big decision, congratulations! Now, are you going to let a little pain get in the way? If you want it bad enough you can get through it!
Yes, our needles are single use. We would never, under any circumstances, reuse needles and all items that can be single use are single use (needles, ink cups, gloves, rinse cups, razors, ball point pens, barrier bags, etc.). Items that are not single use (metal tubes) are soaked in bleach, cleaned in an ultra-sonic, scrubbed inside and out, individually bagged, and then sterilized in an autoclave. We pay to have our autoclave tested monthly by a certified company, it has never failed a test and we have these results on file. After each appointment, the work station is thoroughly cleaned with a disinfectant, the spray bottles, clip cord, etc. are covered in clean bags and new, individually bagged/sterilized needles and tubes are brought out which your artist will open in front of you. We are extremely careful to avoid cross-contamination and take your health, as well as our own (we all get tattooed here!), in the highest consideration. We go through needles, gloves and cleaning products like you wouldn’t believe!
That being said, common sense tells us that whenever skin is being broken there is risk of infection (although rare and seldom serious) which you will be required to acknowledge by signing our consent form. Before your skin is broken and before applying the design stencil or writing on your skin with a single use ball point pen, the area to be tattooed will be cleaned with rubbing alcohol, green soap and then shaved with a single use razor. Other products used before, during or after also include vaseline and Vitamin A&D ointment. However, even though we practice these numerous sterile measures it is not reasonably possible for us to know whether you might have an allergic reaction to the pigments or processes used or get an infection after you leave. Proper aftercare is essential, good hygiene being key. You should also be aware that two types of bacteria – Staphylococcus aureus (staph), which is most common, and Streptococcus pyogenes (strep) – can live harmlessly on your skin until they enter through a cut or wound and cause the skin infection impetigo (although most common in infants and children). In adults, impetigo is usually the result of injury to the skin – often by another dermatological condition such as dermatitis (diabetes and a weakened immune system could contribute as well). Remember, the world is full of bacteria so once you walk out our door it is up to you to prevent infection by following the proper aftercare!
It’s “your” tattoo, “you” decide. Do some research online, look through books/magazines or come by and browse through our personal portfolios or large library of categorized binders. Once you know what you want we can help you fine tune it but the basic idea is up to you because… a tattoo is permanent!
Schedule a consultation and then bring a cash deposit (Lori can tell you how much) and elements of your idea in any format (magazine, book, t-shirt, photo, greeting card, rough sketch, etc.), or we can help you find the elements in our shop. For example: if you want a pin-up girl you’ll need to find the body position, face, hair, clothes, etc. that you like and then the artist will put it all together. If your idea is complex or large and an artist is not available to talk to you, a consultation will be scheduled for another day so that you and the artist can discuss one-on-one. We do not take on custom drawings via e-mail or over the phone.
A detailed work-order will be written up per “your” specifications so be 100% sure of what you want and how you want it “before” you leave a deposit. We draw on our days off and do not want to waste time drawing something that someone might not get. The drawing will be a basic outline only and will not be colored/shaded in, that’s where you have to trust your “artist” to make it come alive (and we assume you trust us since you chose to come to our shop). We will call you when your design is ready so that you can come by and take a look at it. We do not e-mail drawings because details get misinterpreted. That means if you live out of town you will need to make another trip in but since you chose a shop out of (your) town we’re assuming that shouldn’t be a problem. It’s always best to discuss something permanent in person!
Currently we do not charge for draw time but we also do not work for free… keep reading. The deposit is non-refundable, holds your appointment and goes towards your tattoo unless any of the following occur: you decide that you don’t want the tattoo (for whatever reasons); you don’t finish your tattoo (for whatever reasons); you want “major” changes made to the drawing that weren’t on the original work-order; or if you want something entirely different… then the deposit goes towards our time because again, we don’t work for free. If you want something else drawn another deposit will be required if the artist is still interested. Again, please be sure of what you want before you leave a deposit! We will not take your deposit if you’re too vague or wishy-washy, if you’re super picky and we think it’ll be hard to please you, or if your idea will simply not translate well into a tattoo.
Bill works on existing clients ONLY or sometimes by a close referral… by appointment with a scheduled consultation first and then a cash deposit (you can schedule the consult over the phone). Bill has a 2 hour minimum and doesn’t do anything small or just lettering tattoos. Lori takes some walk-ins (first-come-first-served) but prefers to work by appointment, just depends on what the design is.
Again, it’s always best to discuss something permanent in person. Once you’ve consulted with Bill or come by with a simple idea to show Lori, we then require a cash deposit (at least $100, more on sleeves, back pieces, etc.) to make the tattoo appointment(s). The deposit shows us that you are serious (again, time is money), guarantees your appointment, is non-refundable and goes towards your tattoo unless you cancel at the last minute or don’t show up (read next question). We do not make or change appointments via e-mail.
If you live out of state or out of town (and we’re not talking Elk Grove, Sacramento, Roseville, Placerville, Davis, etc.) you can mail a cashier’s check or money order, we’ll call you when it arrives and schedule your appointment then. You might need to come by before your appointment to drop off your idea or pick something out (how soon before will depend on what you’re getting, please ask the person on the phone). If your design is fairly simple you can e-mail it but if you want something large or complex you’ll definitely need to come by to discuss in person.
Call, do not e-mail! We answer the phone or return calls every day, and you can leave a voicemail at any hour. Again, the deposit is non-refundable but if you call at least 2 days in advance (enough time for us to fill your spot) we’ll be happy to move your deposit to a new appointment. If you’re a chronic rescheduler you might be better off on the cancellation list.
If you call at the last minute with a lame excuse you will lose your deposit! Don’t make an appointment for a Tuesday if you don’t get paid until Friday because we will not tattoo you on a Tuesday and then wait until Friday for you to pay us; and don’t make an appointment for a day you work unless you’re positive you can get the day off. If you have an emergency we would of course be understanding.
If you’re going to be a few minutes late please call us, we’ll want to know you’re on your way. If we don’t hear from you 15 minutes into your appointment time, we’ll start making calls to try and fill your spot. Remember, time is money so if you’re late you’ll be paying for time that you won’t get!
If you’re a loser and don’t even show up (a “no-show” is the lowest of lows!) you will lose your deposit and any other appointments on the books will be canceled immediately. Also, if you call at the last minute or don’t show up not only will you lose your deposit, but a much larger one (and possibly prepayment for the entire tattoo) will be required “if” the artist is still interested in tattooing you. Again, if you have an emergency we’d of course be understanding.
Remember, once you book an appointment we turn business away for that time slot so if you flake out we lose money. Like you, we go to work to make money and time is money!
Come by and we’ll give you an estimate (call to schedule a consultation if your project is detailed and/or large). Bill charges by the hour (please call for rate) and has a 2 hour minimum. Lori charges by the piece and also has a minimum (please call for). The cost of your tattoo will depend on its size, amount of detail/color, location on your body and artistic worth. We usually do not give estimates over the phone or via e-mail but if we do remember, an estimate is subject to change. It’s much easier to discuss and understand a design in person therefore give an estimate in person. Also, it will cost more if you can’t sit still, need to take a bunch of breaks, want changes made to the design at the last minute or (of course) want to do the tattoo bigger.
CASH. Just like a tattoo, cash is permanent.
Good question and “extremely” important! See our page on Aftercare. We will go over the basics with you and you will get a detailed aftercare folder before you leave. Remember, good hygiene and proper aftercare are essential for your health as well as outcome of your tattoo! We are not medical professionals so if you have any concerns use your best judgment.
Only right after your tattoo is completely healed and smooth (up to 6 months). If you notice some light spots please come by and if it looks like you’ve cared for your tattoo properly and a touch-up is necessary, we’ll schedule an appointment for you at no charge. The reason we will not touch-up a tattoo for free several months or years later is because we have no guarantee that you took care of it properly during healing, or later by protecting it from the sun. Contrary to popular belief, touch-ups are not always necessary and a professionaly applied and properly cared for tattoo can remain vibrant for years (Lori’s arms and foot are almost 15 years old and have never been touched up!). Please read our Aftercare.
Our shop is clean, professional, friendly, quiet… and attitude free! Here are a few other things you should know:
- All money is non-refundable so be sure you want the tattoo.
- A 2 day notice is required to reschedule or you lose your deposit.
- If you don’t show up you lose your deposit.
- If you change your mind on a custom design you lose your deposit.
- Cash only.
- Kids under 18 are NEVER allowed in the shop (that means babies, kids and teens).
- Bring a photo I.D., we will need to copy it onto our Client Record form.
- No food or drinks are allowed in the shop (water is OK).
- TURN OFF YOUR PHONE (& no texting either, it will make you move).
- Sit still!! If you move it will take longer, cost more and be way more painful if an area has to be fixed (“if” it can be fixed).
- If your tattoo takes more than one appointment your deposit will be deducted at the end (we must always have a deposit to hold an appointment).
- In order to give you the best tattoo possible and keep the area sterile, no one will be allowed to sit with you or stand in the tattoo work area (our work areas are not behind closed doors so you will be able to be seen from our lounge). We can concentrate better without someone looking over our shoulder and without you talking to someone or holding their hand. Also, it’s pretty difficult to work on someone who is whimpering or moaning so please try to suck it up.
- Please don’t bring a bunch of people with you! We realize that getting a tattoo is fun and a big deal, but we’re here to work and our studio is not a hangout. If your friends/family are too disruptive in our lounge/waiting area they will be asked to wait outside and honestly, you’ll do better without them hanging around. Please don’t yell to your friends/family from the chair or ask them to come take a look or take a photo (or at least, ask your artist first if he/she minds). If your artist needs to stop tattooing due to your phone or friends/family… you will lose tattoo time that you’re paying for! Our “job” is to give you the best tattoo possible without worrying about these disturbances.
- Bring your deposit slip on your (final) appointment day, we’ll need it to verify your deposit amount.
- If you are getting tattooed in a discreet area (breast, bikini area, etc.) please wear the appropriate clothing so that both you and your artist are comfortable with the situation. Ladies: a bikini top works good for chest tattoos, halter top or something that zips/buttons up the front that you can wear backwards good for back tattoos, sweatpants for the lower back or bikini area. Please use your common sense, we will not tattoo you if we feel uncomfortable.
- We do not tattoo fingers, palms, toes, bottoms of feet or badly calloused areas, ears, faces, some necks, or extremely private areas. Also, we reserve the right to not tattoo (what we feel are) inappropriate designs.
- Eat something before so you don’t get lightheaded!
NO, never. It’s against the law in California to tattoo someone under 18.
Maybe a little but that’s kind of an old wives tale because nobody likes to work on someone that’s drunk. If you are drunk, on drugs, are disrespectful or inappropriate you will be asked to leave.
ONLY if being given to a current customer who is on the appointment book. If you live out of town you can mail a money order or cashiers check payable to “Liberty Tattoo” and once received we will mail the gift certificate to you.
For your safety as well as our own, if you have a medical condition such as but not limited to those stated below you must be honest with us, and you will be required to fill out a Medical History form on the day of your appointment. Remember, it’s “your” health and we’re not medical professionals therefore it’s “your” responsibility to be as informed as possible about your condition. Talk to your doctor, with a note we “might” tattoo you with “some” of these conditions but in general we will not tattoo you if:
- You have a HEART CONDITION such as but not limited to MURMUR, PACEMAKER, etc.
- You have DIABETES, HEMOPHILIA or EPILEPSY.
- You have HEPATITIS, HIV-AIDS, STAPH, H1N1 or any other COMMUNICABLE DISEASE.
- You have a SKIN CONDITION such as but not limited to LUPUS, KELOID SCARRING, ECZEMA, PSORIASIS, or ACNE, MOLES or a SUNBURN in the area to be tattooed.
- You are on MEDICATION that MIGHT IMPAIR your JUDGMENT or AGGRAVATE the TATTOO PROCESS INCLUDING HEALING (such as but not limited to BLOOD THINNER).
- You are UNDER THE INFLUENCE of DRUGS or ALCOHOL.
- You are PREGNANT or NURSING.
- You are ALLERGIC to LATEX GLOVES (although we are currently using non-latex gloves).
- You are NOT 18 or older.
Yes, Assembly Bill 300 (Safe Body Art Act) passed 1/1/12, enforcement began 7/1/12, and you should only do business with a tattoo facility that has a (green) “PASS” permit from the Sacramento County Enviromental Management Dept. We were already in compliance with the bulk of AB300 (how to avoid cross contamination, proper cleaning and sterilization, etc.) and are now in compliance with other items such as more (detailed) paperwork and logs. Our facility first passed inspection on 9/12/12, and all permits are current as required by law.
If you have any questions at all that aren’t answered here, please call us at (916) 985-3777 or come by.