Want to learn more about Side Show Studios? Here are some of our customers’ most common questions. If you’ve never gotten a tattoo before, please take a look at our guide for first-timers (or if you’ve gotten a tattoo before, but have questions that you’ve been afraid to ask!). And if you’ve lost your copy of our before and aftercare instructions, you can find them on the site here.
What makes your studio so darn amazing?
Our artists, of course! They come from a variety of different art backgrounds, giving the studio a supportive environment for fostering creativity. Stop in sometime to check out the gallery space if you are wanting to get a feel for our studio.
How do I make an appointment?
Each of our artists sets their own schedule. When you use our contact form, select the artist you want to be tattooed by. They will contact you directly to set up your consultation/tattoo/piercing appointment. Please keep in mind that our artists choose their hours as well as their travel schedules, so please understand it may take them a little while to get back to you. Some artists will require a deposit, and they will let you know when you contact them for a consultation.
How much does a tattoo cost?
Size, location, detail, and artist are some of the many factors that contribute to the cost of a tattoo. Sometimes your artist can give you a definite price, but other times, like when working on a large, evolving back piece, we may have to break out one of Char Hall‘s favorite quotes: “It is done when it is done, and we won’t know until then.”
I know what I want, but don’t have artwork.
Lucky you! We are an all-custom shop. Sometimes people bring artwork with them, but more often they have a shoe box of ideas floating around in their heads. Find the artist whose art you like the feel of, and make an appointment for a consultation so that you two can take some time to flesh out your ideas.
I have a drawing that I would like to get tattooed. Can you do it?
If we have the permission of the artist, sure! We have done oodles of doodles, as well as detailed drawings. Keep in mind that some artistic mediums don’t transfer well to tattooing, and skin can have some limitations. But if you take a peek at our artists’ galleries, we think you’ll see that nearly anything is possible.
Can you fix/update/cover-up my old/botched/regrettable tattoo?
You bet! Some artists enjoy this challenge more than others. And some tattoos need more love than others. Talk with your chosen artist to find out what the best options are for you and your tattoo. This can take time, pigment, and more skin surface space, so come in with an open mind to a variety of ideas. We will help you as best we can. One thing to keep in mind: a cover-up of a cover-up is drastically more difficult than the first cover-up. If you are wanting to change an old tattoo, give it some thought as to why your old tattoo is no longer working for you. Your new tattoo should be one that makes you happy and isn’t merely a temporary fix.
Can you draw something up for my local tattoo artist to tattoo for me? I can’t make it to California.
Well, many of our artists do travel and you might want to talk to them and see if they are planning to be in your region in the near future. Most of our artists won’t draw something up for another artist to tattoo, simply because the final tattoo just wouldn’t look the same as it would if done by the original artist.
What do I bring to my consultation?
That shoe box of ideas rattling around in your head, the clippings that you hold onto because you love the images in them, a thumb drive full of the ideas you have been hoarding from Pinterest–all of these things can help your artist get an idea of what your tattoo looks like in your mind’s eye. Some people know 100% what they want, while others are still trying to find the right words to communicate it. We want your tattoo to be awesome, and communicating with your artist in the manner most comfortable for you is the best way to ensure that.
While consultations are usually done in person, sometimes your artist will do a consult via email, if geographically necessary. If you are doing an online consultation, the images you provide and the clarity of your communication will be all the more important.
What should I do to prepare for my tattoo?
First of all, smile! You are about to be the recipient of a unique, one-of-a-kind piece of art.
A good night’s rest, nourishing food, and proper hydration will not only make the process of tattooing more comfortable, but will also better prepare your body for healing when the tattoo is done. Blood sugar levels are important for being able to keep those endorphins going, which help to keep pain in check. Receiving a tattoo can be a challenging process, so if you’re getting a big tattoo, snacks and arranging a ride for after could be beneficial.
Right before you receive the tattoo, you will be asked to fill out a release form, as well as a medical questionnaire. Your body’s health is a big factor in how your body heals and retains the ink, so these are important tools for us to provide you the best tattoo we can. We will also need to see your ID to confirm that you are over 18 years of age. We will then give you aftercare instructions. Read them before you get your tattoo. Most people are so excited by their new tattoo that they don’t remember to ask any questions they may have had about taking care of it.
Be sure to wear comfortable clothing that gives the artist ample access to the area being tattooed. Tattoo inks and ointments are notoriously difficult to remove from fabrics, so don’t wear your favorite things if you will be crushed if they also go home with a tattoo.
Alcohol and painkillers also don’t mix well with getting a tattoo. They can thin the blood, which may slow healing and leave you open to infection for longer. If your doctor has you on medications that thin the blood, please consult with them before getting a tattoo. We will also not tattoo anyone who cannot consent to a modification of their body with a clear mind.
Do you take walk-ins?
We do if we have artists available with open time. Some of our artists have wait lists ranging from a few weeks to several years in length, but depending on the day they just might be able to take a walk-in. Feel free to call the shop if you want to know if someone is available. But please remember that tattoos can live on you forever, so be sure to pick an artist you want to do your forever tattoo, not your right now tattoo.
Can I bring a friend to my appointment?
Sure! A supportive friend or family member is always a great thing. However, it is best to have a friend who isn’t prone to taking over the conversation. We want to make sure that the art is for you, and doesn’t instead reflect your friend’s enthusiasm.
Please make sure that they are over the age of 18, as we do not allow children in the tattoo studios. They can wait in the gift shop, frame studio, or piercing room, if accompanied by an adult who is not getting a procedure.