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QUESTIONS MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED ABOUT TATTOOING TATTOOING OVER THE PAST TWENTY YEARS, I HAVE ANSWERED MANY QUESTIONS. THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED.

1. WITH SO MANY TATTOO STUDIOS, HOW DO I CHOOSE ONE?

There are many things to look for in choosing a good tattoo studio. You must visit in person, not call. When you enter look for an overall atmosphere of cleanliness. Even if they are busy you should be acknowledged within a few minutes of entering. Any questions should be answered and they should be willing to take time to talk to you. Remember that when an artist is tattooing they may not have time to answer 20 questions, but should make you feel welcome to look around and talk to you briefly as they work. Ask to see photos of their work and if they are in the process of doing a tattoo watch and listen. Listen to a friend's experience with a studio, but remember that the best rule of thumb is your own feelings. I have seen terrible tattoos on people that went to a certain studio suggested by a friend because the artist was cool, or had cheap prices or made group deals. Cheap tattoos are not good, and good tattoos are not cheap.

2. HOW DO I KNOW IF THEY ARE CLEAN AND STERILE?

Remember the old railroad crossing rules we learned? STOP. LOOK. LISTEN. You can tell if a business looks clean or dirty. The bathrooms should be clean. The work area should have washable surfaces, chairs and floors. Sterile conditions are another matter. All tattoo studios should sterilize with an auto-clave. This is basically a pressure cooker looking type of machine. It sterilizes under pressure and high heat. All ink cups, watercups and tissue should be disposable. The needle bar with attached needle and the needle tube that attaches to the tattoo machine should be pre-sterilized prior to use and packaged in a paper auto-clave pouch. Don't expect a artist to sterilize these items at the time you get your tattoo, as it is a long process, and we have hundreds of needle bars and tubes sterilized and ready to go. An artist should never feel offended if you ask questions about their sterilizing process and should be able to tell you the time and temperature the process takes. Some auto-claves differ but the basic minimum time to sterilize is 20 minutes at 260 degrees at 15 #'s of pressure. I personally run my auto-clave at 270 degrees for 45 minutes.

3. A STUDIO ADVERTISING AWARD WINNING ARTISTS AND THEY HAD PHOTOS IN VARIOUS MAGIZINES. ARE THEY THE BEST?

While there many good artists with features and photos in these magazines, just as many are not very good. All it takes to have your photos in a magazine is to send them in for publication. With so many different magazines now on the market, the scramble to fill their pages with photos is on. As for the award-winning artists, the same can be true. It seems that there is a tattoo convention taking place every week some place in the USA or abroad. With that many going on it takes some of the credibility out of the awards. While there are some very credible conventions such as the National Tattoo Association, don't let awards be a deciding factor in your decision.

4. WHAT ABOUT THE CLUBS AND ASSOCIATIONS TATTOO ARTISTS BELONG TO?

Throughout the USA look for members of the National Tattoo Association or the Alliance of Professional Tattooists. In the state of Florida, look for members of the Florida Professional Tattoo Artists Guild.

5. HOW MUCH DOES A TATTOO HURT? WHERE IS THE LEAST PAINFUL AREA?

I find the best way to describe getting a tattoo is that the outline feels like a cross between a mosquito and a bee sting. The coloring in feels like a sharp scratch. It is really not as bad as most people think. Different areas feel more or less uncomfortable, but there is not a great difference in discomfort.

6. HOW DO I CARE FOR MY NEW TATTOO?

After you receive your new tattoo we will give you written and verbal instructions on the care, and a list of do's and don'ts. Like any intrusion to the skin, it must be kept clean and the ointment we give you applied as per instructions. Failure to follow instructions could result in your tattoo becoming infected, or losing some of the color before it is totally healed. The number one rule in caring for your tattoo is to never touch it without first washing your hands. You should never touch your healing tattoo unless you are washing it or applying ointment to it. Human hands are full of germs and should be thoroughly scrubbed in hot water prior to touching your unhealed tattoo.