Frequently Asked Questions
The first step in the process is to set up a consultation where we discuss all the particulars such as size, style, placement, etc. Consultations generally take 15-40 minutes, depending on how involved the tattoo is. The consultation itself is free, but if you do decide to book a tattoo appointment once we’ve talked, I have you put down a deposit to secure your spot.
While you are not obligated to book a tattoo appointment once we've had a consultation, I ask that you please consider my time and not schedule a consultation appointment unless you are truly ready to get tattooed. If you have general questions or need to be pointed in the right direction before you settle on an idea, I can offer preliminary advice through email.
Once I have a deposit I set you up with a tattoo appointment and I will either schedule you a drawing consultation to see it in person, or email you a preliminary sketch a few days beforehand. If you completely change the concept of the tattoo and let me know well before I've drawn it I may need to charge you a small fee if we need to meet for a second consultation.
How do I set up a tattoo appointment?
How do deposits and drawing fees work?
I take a deposit to ensure that I will be compensated for the time I've spent emailing, consulting, and drawing. Deposits are non-refundable but they do come out of the tattoo cost once the tattoo is complete.
Your deposit is not transferable to another tattoo or another person.
I generally take $110 worth of deposit for every appointment scheduled. So if you have two appointments on the books, your deposit would be $220, three appointments would be $330, and so on. This is just a general formula, so depending on the drawing size or appointment length your deposit may by more or less than this but it is typically how I operate. I apply $110 of your deposit towards your tattoo each session until it is used up.
Deposits are forfeited if you:
- Do not provide at least 7 days notice if you need to cancel/reschedule. If you are sick and give me less notice than that I won't take your deposit. I would rather you stay home and recuperate (and not get me sick;)
- Reschedule an appointment more than once. If you put down a larger deposit I will take off $100 for every rescheduled appointment after the first rescheduling. So if you put down a $200 deposit and have two appointments on the books you can reschedule each of those appointments one time if necessary. Rescheduling them again will result in $100 of lost deposit per appointment.
- Do not get tattooed within 6 months of putting down your deposit or have a gap of more than 6 months between tattoo appointments.
- Change your concept once it is drawn, requiring a lengthy redraw, or want me to rework the existing drawing extensively.
If you no longer have a deposit on the books for one of these reasons I require another deposit to be made to secure another appointment.
Hopefully you understand why I may have to take someone's deposit. By the time we're ready to tattoo you I will have already spent time emailing, consulting and drawing. If someone cancels or reschedules repeatedly I am not always able to get those openings filled, resulting in a loss of income. It can be hard to be an independent business person, so I appreciate your understanding and support:)
I take a drawing fee between $40-$300 depending on the size and intricacy of the drawing. The drawing fee is taken upon booking the appointment and is a nonrefundable payment that does NOT come out of the cost of the tattoo upon completion. It is a payment you make when you book your tattoo that pays for my time to create your custom drawing.
Small drawing tweaks are included in the drawing fee and are ok. If you have requests that are above and beyond a normal amount of adjustments or if you give me information regarding your design after I've started drawing that I would've needed before I started drawing, I will charge you an additional drawing fee.
I spend a lot of time and put a lot of love into each design and this fee is to compensate me for time.
Do I have to create my own design and when can I see my drawing?
I do custom tattoos as well as recreate existing art pieces and portraits. You do not need to come to the consultation with the exact image that you want tattooed, although you do need to have an idea of what you want your tattoo to be about or what imagery you'd like it to consist of. I approach consultations from a collaborative standpoint and I welcome any insight into your concept.
I do not copy tattoos that exist on other people's bodies, but if you'd like to show me some tattoo images that are inspirational, that is ok. If you'd like to show me pictures at the consultation, I recommend coming with a pared-down list of images that you find pleasing. If you are in the beginning stages of figuring out what you want, I would start saving images that relate to your idea. Then start a game of "which one of these thing does not belong" and delete pictures until you're left with a handful of images (3-6) that feel similar, and are a good representation of what you'd like a tattoo of. This process can also help you figure out what you actually want, if you're waffling on an idea.
Once I have a deposit I set you up with a tattoo appointment and I will either schedule you a drawing consultation to see it in person, or email you a preliminary sketch a couple of days beforehand. If you completely change the concept of the tattoo and let me know well before I've drawn it, I may need to charge you a small fee if we need to meet for a second consultation.
How long is the wait and how much does it cost?
Due to covid 19 I'm only taking on a few tattoos at a time. I am currently booking out 2-3 months to start new projects.
My hourly rate is $200 plus tax. I have a $700 +tax minimum on photorealistic portraits of people and a $600 minimum on photorealistic portraits of animals. Because of my busy schedule I am currently not taking on projects that take less than approximately 3 hours to complete. I do also charge for the time I spend placing stencils and drawing on your body, which tends to be half of my hourly rate depending on the intricacy of what I'm doing. I can give you a rough time/cost estimate at the consultation.
How should I prepare for my tattoo appointment?
YOU MUST BRING A VALID ID TO YOUR TATTOO APPOINTMENT
YOU MUST BE OVER 18
YOU MUST WEAR A MASK
YOU MUST BE FULLY VACCINATED
YOU MUST NOT BE SUNBURNED ON THE TATTOO AREA
Everyone is different, but here’s a list of general preparation practices:
-Eat well before you come in and bring a quick snack or two in case you get hungry as well as a full water bottle.
-Don’t drink alcohol the day of your tattoo and I would advise not being hungover from the night before, as it can make the whole process a lot less fun for the both of us.
-Do not take any kind of medication that acts as a blood thinner. If you take a blood thinner regularly, ask your doctor if it is ok for you to pause that medication a couple of days before the tattoo appointment and resume the medication the day after the tattoo.
-Wear comfortable clothing that allows me to access the tattoo area easily and that would be ok to possibly get ink on. For example, if you’re getting your upper arm tattooed you should wear a tank top. If your extremities tend to get cold think about bringing socks and/or mittens to stay cozy.
-Make sure you are clean and not wearing any strong fragrances, and if the area being tattooed is hairy you may want to clip/shave that area beforehand so we don't have to take too much time out of your appointment to shave you. I wouldn't recommend trying out new hair-removal practices shortly before you get tattooed just in case your skin becomes irritated.
Can I bring someone with me to my appointment?
Due to Covid 19 I ask that you come alone to your appointment.
How do I care for my new tattoo?
I am not a doctor and cannot prescribe anything, but these are my suggestions for caring for your new tattoo:
- Keep your bandage on anywhere between 3 hours and overnight, depending on what we discuss at your appointment.
- Immediately wash your tattoo upon removing your bandage using warm water, soap and your clean fingertips (a washcloth will be too rough). Hand soap works great and I prefer soap that comes in a pump so that you don't have to worry about the bar soap being dirty. Run fairly hot water over your freshly unwrapped tattoo for a minute or two before you soap it up in order to open up the pores. Lather your tattoo up really well (be gentle but really get in there and work that stuff up) and rinse it off until the slickness of the blood/plasma/ink/balm is gone.
- Wash with soap and water twice a day for the first 1-2 days, and drop down to once a day after that until the tattoo is healed.
- Start applying balm twice daily, approximately 12 hours after receiving your tattoo. Apply the balm after washing your tattoo and letting it air dry, with clean hands. Only use a very small amount of balm; just enough to make your tattoo soft without making it feel "wet". I recommend Bright Tattoo Lotion, which I sell at the shop. You can also use Aquaphor Healing Ointment for the first 2 days and then switching to unscented white lotion.
- DO NOT pick or scratch at your tattoo. If it itches you can slap it. If you pick at your tattoo you may remove the ink.
- DO NOT soak your tattoo until the scabs/dryness are completely gone, which is usually at about 3-4 weeks. This includes swimming, bathing, long hot showers that turn your bathroom into a sauna, saunas, hot yoga, etc. In the shower I recommend just keeping it out of the stream. If your tattoo gets too wet while it's healing, the healing skin can come loose and slough off, taking ink with it.
- DO NOT expose your tattoo to direct sunlight for 4 weeks. After that, use sunscreen diligently. Sun damage can greatly affect how your holds up over time. This does not mean put sunscreen on it and go into the sun after 2 weeks, this means NO sun at all for 4 weeks.
- Be careful of pet hair if you live with furry critters.
- In the first few days tattoos can weep because they are wounds. If you find that your tattoo is stuck to your clothing/sheets, get that thing sopping wet before gently and slowly peeling it off.
- Tattoos generally take roughly 3-4 weeks to heal.
Finally, keep it clean and don't mess with it!:)
What is a vegan tattoo and can I get one at Bellwether?
Vegan tattoos are tattoos that utilize vegan materials. I can provide vegan ink, session balm and stencil paper. There isn't any difference in the tattoo process or quality when using vegan inks. Please specify beforehand if you are interested in this option.