This is number one in our Frequently Asked Questions simply because it is surprisingly just that. The simple answer is, yes it does. However, not as much as some people might like you to believe, as after a short period of time your body’s natural pain-killers (endorphins), kick in and make things much more manageable. How long these endorphins last usually defines your natural ‘limit’ as to how long a tattoo session you can handle (usually between 2-3 hours), after this time you will tend to become very uncomfortable.
The pain of a tattoo is often likened to a mild burning sensation or a cat scratch. However, the real factor as to how much a tattoo hurts is really down to where you intend to get it. Any area directly over bone will be particularly sensitive; this includes ribs, feet, hands, head, and pelvis to name a few. Add to this the number of nerve endings in an area and this defines the most painful places. If you are looking for a less painful spot, then you should consider a less sensitive area protected by a large muscle; such as the fore-arm, upper-arm, shoulder, calf and thigh. That being said, everyone’s pain threshold varies, so there are no hard and fast answers to this question.
Tattooing is not a quick process, not should it be rushed as you will be living with the results permanently. An averagely complex piece of work about the size of the back of your hand, usually takes about two hours to complete. Larger or more complex pieces can take tens of hours, and will require several sittings to complete. Usually appointments are made in multiples of hours, but some smaller pieces may only require a thirty minute appointment. A full sleeve (done by any decent artist), could take anything from ten to fifty hours work to complete depending on complexity.
When it comes to tattooing, you get what you pay for. Do not expect a good artist to come cheap, and if that’s the way you go, you could end up spending a great deal more further down the line, when you have to pay for a large cover-up or laser tattoo removal. Save your money until you can afford what you really want! Don’t settle, just because you are impatient to get some ink, this decision will be with you for a long time. Most of the laser removal we do here at INDO INK BALI TATTOO STUDIO is for just that reason, impulse tattoos!
At INDO INK BALI TATTOO STUDIO we are happy to do a payment plan with you where you can pay for the tattoo you really want gradually.
This is a less frequently asked question than you might expect. You can use numbing cream, but very few tattoo studios will recommend it for several reasons. Firstly, it needs to be applied several hours before you sit for your tattoo and can only last for around thirty to forty-five minutes. Tattooing being an art-form and therefore not an exact science, means that sometimes there could be a period of waiting past your appointment time, while the tattooist finishes off a piece of work that took longer than expected. This makes it very difficult to time the application of the cream. Secondly, even if you manage to time its application correctly, the potential short working period of the cream makes it a very limiting to anything but the simplest and smallest of tattoos. Lastly, if your tattoo is not finished before the cream wears off, then the pain will come back with a vengeance! Your body has been fooled and will not be producing those handy pain-killing endorphins, so will be hit with the force of the returning pain with no protection.
From the tattooist’s perspective, the creams can cause the skin to become a little puffy in some customers. This means that the tattooist needs to work harder to get the ink into the skin, which can cause additional trauma. This will obviously have some repercussions during the healing process and can create an undesirable amount of scabbing during that time.
Some tablet pain killers can also cause a problem. Aspirin is the biggest problem as it thins the blood and reduces clotting, this will cause excessive bleeding during your tattoo, which will affect the quality of the finished tattoo. Aspirin will also extend the healing time that your tattoo needs so it is best avoided. Paracetamol will have little effect (positive or negative), other than a placebo. Ibuprofen based painkillers can give minor pain relief during the process, by reducing localised swelling, and will not hinder the tattoo in any way.
Traditionally, you would have chosen your tattoo design from the designs on the wall of your tattoo studio, or from their stock books of pre-drawn designs. These designs are referred to as ‘Flash Art’. This work was rarely designed by the tattooist, but instead bought in from ‘Flash Art’ suppliers. Thankfully today things are different. While there are still tattooists who rely heavily on Flash (often because they have limited artistic ability of their own), there is an increasing number of tattooists who will design custom work to your specifications. This obviously requires a higher degree of artistic skill, so you should expect to pay slightly more for bespoke work than for Flash, but you will be guaranteed an original piece… not the same tattoo that five other people are walking round town with!
In addition to this, your artist will be able to work with you to generate a tattoo that is personal, has more meaning and is less likely to go out of favour with you in a few years. This all adds up to better value in the long run.
At INDO INK BALI TATTOO STUDIO , we don’t carry ‘Flash’ art. All our tattoos are generated bespoke for the customer to ensure you only get the best in custom designs, unique to you. Because of this, we suggest that you begin with an initial free consultation with your artist to discuss your design. If you can bring your tattoo artist any reference material that you think is relevant, it will help both of you understand each other much easier. You don’t have to have exact images, even if your examples simply have the same ‘feel’ as what you are trying to convey it will help your tattoo artist understand your needs. Your tattoo artist should also give you lots of good advice regarding the limitations of the art (don’t forget, we are talking needles, ink and skin here, not pen and paper). They should advise you as to placement, and how the tattoo is likely to be viewed, for example; a small piece that would work well on the wrist, might not work as well placed on the thigh. They should also discuss how well your tattoo will stand the test of time. You can generate some amazingly complex and delicate tattoos, but tattoo ink spreads and thins under the skin over time, so your dainty tattoo might look great on the day, but may look fuzzy and unrecognisable after just a couple of years. A slightly bolder design could look great for ten years or more. The choice is always the customer’s, but it should always be an informed choice.
Once you have had the initial conversation with your tattoo artist, you will usually then want to book in for some time at the studio. Your tattoo artist will usually have a good idea at this point as to how long your tattoo is going to take, and will be able to advise you on cost. Booking your appointment usually requires a deposit (AU$ unless your tattoo comes in under that price), which is to discourage time wasters and to offset against the artwork the tattoo artist will produce for you, should you not turn up. When you do turn up however, your design work will be free and your deposit will be then offset against the price of your tattoo. A few days before your appointment, we will usually email your design to you (unless other arrangements have been made), so that you can approve the design or make any changes that need to be made to the design. We are not precious over designs, we understand that it is your tattoo, so don’t worry about offending our artists if you don’t like your design, it will be redrawn as many times as needed to make sure it is perfect for you.
No. This is not advisable for several very real reasons, other than the obvious difficulties of tattooing a drunk person, and the fact that any good tattooist will refuse to tattoo you if you have. The main reason is that alcohol thins your blood considerably. In turn this causes excessive bleeding while you are having the tattoo, which not only makes it difficult for the tattoo artist, but will have the effect of ‘washing out’ ink as it is being put in. This makes the process much longer, and can produce poor results.
Alcohol can have an effect for several days, so it is also not a good idea to have a tattoo after a night drinking, even if you have not consumed anything on the day.
There are several things you can do to make your experience easier and more enjoyable.
Firstly, try and make sure you have had something to eat and drink about an hour before your tattoo. During the tattoo, your body behaves in a way very similar to going into shock, as it generates endorphins to deal with the attack on the skin. This can cause a drop in blood sugar, resulting in light-headedness, and sometimes nausea or fainting. Having a meal and consuming natural sugars, such as orange juice can help to prevent this. If you feel faint during your tattoo, let your artist know immediately, and they will help you through it. Don’t be ashamed of telling them, if you have chosen your studio wisely, they will be totally sympathetic to your needs and help you through the experience with dignity. Often a tattoo studio will offer you hard boiled sweets or a lolly to help keep your sugar up during the tattoo.
Secondly, think about what you are going to wear. You know where you are likely to get your tattoo, so make sure you dress so that you can expose this general area while at the same time maintaining your dignity. Usually the studio area can be covered (door closed or a screen put in place), if you are feeling particularly vulnerable. Have these conversations with your studio and they should be able to tell you what they can put in place to make you feel comfortable.
Don’t wear your Sunday best. While tattoo ink will generally not stain clothes, and your artist will do everything they can to keep your clothing clean, there is always the possibility of getting ink on your clothes so dark clothing is favourable. Tattoo ink is very concentrated, and will go a very long way, so it’s always best to bear this in mind when choosing the day’s wardrobe. If you do need to remove tattoo ink from your clothing, you will need to do so on a very hot wash.
Thirdly, shave the area if possible. If you know where you are having your tattoo, shave the area (and surrounding area), the morning prior to getting inked. Even if you don’t think it needs doing, shave it anyway, as even the smallest, downiest hairs can have a detrimental effect on the tattoo process, but don’t worry, your tattoo artist will still shave you if you haven’t. This will save time applying the stencil and mean that more of the time you are paying for is going towards your tattoo rather than preparing the area. It is a small thing, but your tattoo artist will really appreciate that you have taken the time to consider this. However at INDO INK BALI TATTOO STUDIO this is not a huge concern as we do not feel there should be any financial pressure on the customer during preparation, so will only charge for the time you are actually being tattooed.
Other things you may want to consider bringing might include an MP3 player, or other distraction like a book or smart phone etc. Some people like to chat to the tattooist, others like stony silence, others prefer a distraction like the things mentioned above.