Below are some Frequently Asked Questions in regards to our studio, artists and policies and for preparing for your tattoo appointment. If you have any other questions that are not covered below, please do not hesitate to contact us or your artist directly.
What are your rates?
All of our artists are at different stages in their tattoo journey so varying rates are offered. Our studio minimum is $120 plus a supply fee, however, some artists have a higher minimum and/or hourly rate.
Most everyone will offer their own flash designs at flat rates or offer occasional promos, so it's definitely worth keeping an eye on everyone's pages if you're looking for sales or deals! (we also share artist deals/promos/new flash to our Instagram stories so you can keep eye on our page for those as well!)
Do you take walk-ins?
While we do default as a By Appointment Only studio, on occasion we will offer walk-in days. We will post to our page (usually in Instagram stories) when we are taking walk-ins or advertise a post for a future walk-in day that we have planned. Keep an eye on our page for those updates!
What are your shop hours?
All of our artists work their own independent hours and schedules so our studio does not have set open-to-close times or set open/closed days. Typically, there is usually someone at the studio between the hours of 11am and ~6ish pm most days, but as we operate by appointment only, we cannot guarantee exact hours of operation.
If you are looking to book an appointment for an evening time slot, or want to inquire about a specific date and/or time for general studio availability, most of our artists are happy to do their best to accommodate between them!
What forms of payment do you take?
Each artist handles their own forms of payment, primarily e-transfer or cash. Some artists offer Square for debit/credit, but not everyone!
Studio supply fees can be paid to the studio directly via cash, e-transfer, debit or credit. Studio merch or products for sale from vendors may be paid directly to the studio in the same forms of payment.
All deposits for bookings are paid to your artist directly via e-transfer in accordance to their individual booking policies.
Do you do coverups?
Depending on the tattoo that needs to be covered, most of our artists are keen to do what they can to cover or fix existing work. If the project does not align with their art style or skill set, they will direct you to another artist that may be better suited for you.
Coverups typically require a more in-depth consultation process to discuss all the possibilities for the project as well as to inform about realistic expectations.
If you have any questions about a coverup, please contact us and we will do our best to help you out! Please include all relevant information in your email, including photos of the tattoo you wish to have covered or reworked, and a brief description of your goals for your tattoo.
Why don't you have phone number? How do I reach you to talk?
As we do not currently have a receptionist at the studio, and most of our artists handle their own clientele and schedules, we don't see a reason to spend the extra dollars on having a phone in the studio. Unfortunately, this does make it difficult to reach us at times, and we are sorry about that!
But you can still email or message us on our socials and we will get back to you as soon as possible to answer your questions. Please remember that due to our workloads and schedules, responses may not be prompt so please have patience until we get back to you!
What is parking like around the studio?
There is street parking around the studio but with some of the ongoing construction in the general area, finding parking can sometimes be a bit difficult. Be sure to give yourself extra time to find parking so that you don't arrive late for your appointment!
Several of the streets around the studio have 2-hour limits, but some streets are free all day so just watch the signs! There is also free parking in the Unity Square area two blocks north of the studio, but as this parking is meant for patrons of Unity Square, be sure to purchase something from one or more of the shops (like your drinks or snacks for your sesh!) and keep your receipt.
In the summer, the 124 Street Market is on every Sunday on 102ave between 122st and 124st so be extra mindful of parking on those days!
Do you tattoo under the age of 18 with parental consent?
Unfortunately, at this time we do not offer tattoos to anyone under the age of 18, even with parental consent.
Many reputable shops in Edmonton do not tattoo under the age of 18, but there are a few who will! It is very important to do proper research before receiving a tattoo from anyone, and we highly recommend making sure that the shop you find that will tattoo under 18 with parental consent is reputable, clean, provides a proper consent form, and offers pre-tattoo advice and information as well as proper aftercare instructions.
The artist providing the tattoo should have the client's safety and best interest in mind during the entirety of the procedure. (This should be common practice for all tattoo experiences but we want to make sure you know what to look for in a reputable shop, especially when signing for a minor!)
What is your cancelation or reschedule policy?
Each artist has their own cancelation or reschedule policies, so upon booking make sure you ask your artist about their policies.
That said, in general and in most cases, deposits are non-refundable so if you cancel your appointment without wanting to reschedule and/or without a good reason*, you are forfeiting your deposit. However, with your artist's permission and consent, and with ample notice, your deposit may be transferred to another person. This is solely artist discretion and is circumstantial.
Reschedules are totally okay providing you are giving your artist as much notice as possible. You will not lose your deposit as long as you are giving your artist proper notice according to their individual policies. Please make sure you understand your artist's policies upon booking!
*exceptions to full deposit refunds vary artist to artist, but most of the time we are super reasonable and are willing to work with you! Just please be aware our policies are in place to protect us as artists. All we ask is that you communicate with respect and we're happy to work things out with you!
What should I wear for my appointment?
You should wear clothing that is comfortable, especially if you have a multi-hour tattoo session booked. Depending on body location for the tattoo, your artist may recommend certain clothing options (such as wearing a bikini top if you are receiving a sternum tattoo) to make the process a bit easier. Tattoo pigment can sometimes get onto clothing during the procedure and this is almost always a permanent stain, so be sure to wear clothing that will not be ruined should tattoo pigment accidentally get on it.
Can I bring food/snacks with me?
Absolutely, especially if you have a long session booked. It is highly recommended to eat a decent meal before your appointment so that you are not receiving a tattoo on an empty stomach, but also to bring snacks with you (especially sugary ones) that can help keep you sustained throughout your session. You should also bring something to drink, such as water, gatorade, tea, etc. We also have water and tea available and keep juice boxes on hand at our studio if needed as well as candy dishes scattered throughout the studio.
Can I bring a friend/partner/relative with me to my appointment?
In most circumstances, we ask that you arrive solo to your appointment.
If the studio is a full house on the day of your appointment, bringing extra spectators with you causes overcrowding which is a safety issue and too many people around can make other clients/artists uncomfortable during their sessions. Some of our clients are sensory sensitive and we prefer to keep the studio from being too chaotic whenever possible.
However, if the studio isn't very busy and you have checked with your artist, it is possible they may allow you to bring someone with you to your appointment. Always check first, though!
What if there are two or more of us getting tattoos together?
Again, please check in with your artist prior to your appointment. If the studio is busy, each person may have to take turns receiving their tattoos while others wait in reception or leave the studio and come back for their appointments separately. Unity Square is only a couple of blocks away for clients to shop or grab a snack/coffee while they wait their turn.
I don't have childcare, can my child/ren come with me to my appointment?
Unfortunately, no. Children can be an extra and unnecessary distraction while receiving a tattoo and if other artists/clients are present, this can create unwanted discomfort for others. Even if your child is a teenager and/or well-behaved, we would still like to maintain that humans under the age of 18 not be present during tattoo sessions, as we are an 18+ only studio.
Can I consume alcohol before or during my appointment?
We recommend avoiding alcohol consumption within a minimum of 24 hours prior to your appointment to ensure your body is in optimal condition to safely receive a tattoo. If you are able, we also recommend avoiding or cutting down on caffeine consumption as this can thin your blood and potentially cause more skin irritation or swelling during the procedure.
No alcohol may be brought to your appointment. Save the alcohol consumption for after!
What kind of pain medication can I take to help alleviate the pain?
You can take tylenol (acetaminophen) prior to and during your appointment to aid in some pain relief. It does not numb the pain but it definitely helps with tolerance.
Painkillers that may thin your blood (Ibuprofin or aspirin) are not recommended prior to your appointment as this may cause more bleeding than necessary during the procedure. However, these can be taken after the tattoo is completed, if needed.
Can I bring my dog/pet with me to my appointment?
No, you must leave your dog/pet at home or with someone else during your tattoo appointment. The only exception to this rule is if you have a certified service animal that must accompany you at all times. If this is the case, you must inform your artist of the situation so that they can check with other artists and their clients in the event that someone has an allergy.
Can I use numbing cream or spray before or during my appointment?
Yes, the use of a pre-numb cream and spray during the procedure is allowed, but please check with your artist directly prior to your appointment to make sure. Numbing creams all work differently and last differently from person to person, so results are mixed. It may work very well for one person or one part of the body, but then not work well for another person or another part of the body. You should still prepare yourself for experiencing some pain, even with the use of numbing agents.
Please note: Your body will heal your tattoo the best with minimal use of numbing!
Why doesn't numbing always work?
There are many different reasons why numbing may have varying results. Some people have a higher or lower tolerance than others. Some brands don't work as well as others. Sometimes the numbing is taken off too soon or left on too long. Typically, parts of the body that are less meaty (chest, shin, tops of feet/hands) tend to lose numbing more quickly than others. In our personal experience, once the skin is broken open the numbed areas don't hold numbing for too long but again, this varies person to person.
Numbing sprays are typically only used once the skin is broken open, relieving the stinging sensation of the tattoo and making the tattoo procedure easier to tolerate as it is completed. However, excessive use of numbing sprays can affect how the tattoo heals, so our rule of thumb is to try to wait as long as possible before using any numbing spray. Usually this would be for towards the end of the tattoo and/or the white highlights (if any are added).
What brands of numbing cream do you recommend?
Armocaine is a really great numbing agent made locally in Edmonton through Armorclad Labs. Their product is a favourite of ours and in our experience, works the best. You can order from them online directly through their website, or you can purchase in person through one of the distributor tattoo shops in Edmonton (listed on their site).
We also recommend Zensa numbing, which is made in Vancouver, Canada and made specifically for body modification procedures (including microblading and piercing procedures in addition to tattoos). It can be ordered online through their website or purchased over the counter in some Shopper's Drugmart pharmacies. Dr Numb and Emla creams are also available in pharmacies at more affordable costs but we find that they have mixed results.
What kind of bandaging do your artists offer?
We have a few different bandaging options available. Our most used and best option is second skin adhesive bandaging. Our artists use a few different brands but the most common is 3M Tegaderm. While this bandaging is hypoallergenic, occasionally clientele will react to it if they are particularly prone to reactions to adhesive bandaging.
In addition, we also have absorbent pads and self-adherent wrap (similar to what is used in vet offices on your pets) and/or paper medical tape available.
What kind of aftercare do you offer or suggest?
Currently we sell Purtect aftercare ointment and a smaller package of vitamin a&e ointment at the studio. For lotion aftercare, we suggest a gentle unscented lotion, such as Aveeno, to keep your tattoo moisturized (remember to not over-moisturize!).
We also offer an aftercare pamphlet that has a list of other types of aftercare, as well as full instructions on how to care for your new tattoo.
Please remember that the tattooed area is still considered a wound until it is fully healed so please do not allow other people to touch the area or allow your pets to lick the area!
How soon before I can swim/bath/hot tub/suntan?
Most tattoos take an average of 3-6 weeks to heal on the surface, but tattoos actually take several months to fully heal under the top layer of the skin.
Water: It is highly recommended to avoid soaking your new tattoo until at least 3 weeks (ore more, depending on how quickly your tattoo is healing) have passed, especially in pools, lakes, rivers, ocean, etc. While it is okay to get your tattoo wet (as in when you shower, for example) you want to do your best to avoid prolonged exposure to water and to try to avoid soaking it. Baths are okay only if you are able to soak without submerging your new tattoo (for example, an arm or lower leg where that limb can be out of the water). The longer you can put off soaking your tattoo, the better.
Sun: Even when tattoos are fully healed, exposure to sun without some kind of protection can fade or lift pigment in the skin. You should wait the minimum of 3-6 weeks until your tattoo has completely finished peeling before applying sunblock for exposure to sun. The tattooed skin will be more sensitive to sun so when possible, keep covered until fully healed, and then always remember to keep your tattoo protected with sunblock to prevent fading or sun damage to your tattoo.
If your tattoo heals with scabbing in areas, give your tattoo extra attention and be extra cautious when exposing to water and sun.
Can I get tattooed if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
While technically you *can* be tattooed while pregnant or breastfeeding, it is highly recommended to wait until you are no longer pregnant and/or no longer breastfeeding. Sometimes a person may not yet be aware that they are pregnant when they receive a tattoo, and typically there is little to no issue from the procedure, especially with proper aftercare. The danger lies with the possibility that the tattoo may become infected which could affect the bloodstream and therefore cause concern for the fetus. In addition, the body responds to tattoos as trauma and that can also have a negative impact. It's just best to wait until you are no longer pregnant or breastfeeding to book for your tattoo, and please do not lie to your artist if you are pregnant just because you don't want to wait!