Frequently asked questions
I passed out... WHY? (Vasovagal Response)
If you happen to become "green", hot, sweaty, dizzy, your ears ring, or you feel nauseated, you are more than likely experiencing a vasovagal response, which can lead to vomiting or fainting. While I am not a doctor and can't diagnose health concerns nor prescribe medication, this is a reasonably common phenomenon in tattooing. Fainting is not a pleasant sensation. I know, it's happened to me personally. Over the last 3 decades, I have seen it many times in my clientele.
Good News! Most of you will never experience it, and there are simple ways to avoid it in the future.
There could be a number of reasons for what many artists call, "the nod." Even seeing your own blood can cause a vasovagal response. In my experience it can be directly related to diet, sleep, stress, or restricted blood flow. If you typically have low blood sugar, or haven't eaten a sufficient meal and/or are dehydrated, that can tend to be the most common culprit where tattooing is concerned.
So be sure to eat a balanced meal, drink lots of fluids, wear loose fitting clothing, control your breathing, relax, stay calm, smile, and talk to your artist. Please, if you start to feel sick, tell me! I can usually get you sorted before you faint!
Please note: There could be several other conditions that would cause fainting or getting sick. If you have experienced fainting often, you should consult with your physician.
Have a look at this website for more information on
And here is a great reference on how to deal with fainting:
Q: Will this happen every time I get tattooed?
A: It's extremely unlikely that you'll experience it 100% of the time, and unlikely that is would reoccur during the same tattoo session.
Do you tattoo minors with parental consent?
"But, my spouse and I are--"
No. Please stop asking.
"But why not?"
Because I prefer to deal with adults old enough to make permanent life alterations, and avoid debating with adults who don't have a problem modifying the flesh of minor children who aren't even fully grown. A tattoo is more than just a piece of living art. It's an affirmation of adulthood.
"But my kid is very grown up for their age and knows what--"
Do you do body piercing?
No. I stopped piercing over a decade ago.
Why? Because I am a tattoo artist and found that I had no professional interest in it.
If you found me through Google or some other search, understand, search engines tend to lump tattooing and body piercing together as an individual professional category. I wish they would make the distinction. It's like "Hair and Nails." One is most certainly not the other. Some people do both, I get it. Thanks for considering me, but I'm sorry I can't help you with your body piercing needs. That ship has sailed.
Do you tattoo on weekends?
I have a set schedule just like everyone else.
I work Monday through Friday from noon until 5pm.
I don't want to tattoo 7 days per week. I usually do other things on my weekends, just like you. My friendships and family matter to me as I'm certain they matter to you.
That said, I am flexible on occasion, but you can expect a non negotiable weekend rate of +50%.
Can you do glow in the dark colors?
In my humble option, 'glow in the dark' pigment is garbage. And technically it does NOT actually glow in the dark, it is merely 'UV reactive.' That is, it appears more vibrant in the range between UV light (Black Light) and normal color spectrum (ROY G BIV).
Glowing in the dark requires materials that to put it plainly are carcenogenic. It's one of the reasons we surface dwellers aren't naturally bioluminescent.
In my experience, it doesn't have the lightfastness of tried and true industry standard pigments, thus it is not in my arsenal. It might look cool at a rave, but under normal light conditions it's not even as vibrant as regular inks.
When it first came out, people were mixing it with other brands of color to get the best of both worlds, but here we are years later and the results are in, the stuff is junk either way.
CAN I? Yes. WILL I? No.
Why are tattoos so expensive?
I loathe this question, and arguing about it is even worse. How does one put a price on a great tattoo? Let's see...
Consider what it takes to research, create, and transfer a custom tattoo design permanently into your skin. The age of my clientele ranges from 18-80. The bulk of those are an average 30 yrs old. (They used to be younger, but so did I.) Anyway let's say the average customer will have his/her tattoo for another 40 years or so. Based on a $325.00 tattoo (2.5 hours at $130/hr), the amortized breakdown is about $8.13/yr. That's 0.022 cent's per day.
Overall that's a reasonable price for a tattoo, wouldn't you say? Expensive? Not at all.
What kind of tattoo guns do you use on your tats?
I can always tell a noob when they start using terms like "guns" or "tats" in reference to tattooing. I don't "tat" people. I don't put "tats" on people. And when I tattoo and most certainly am not "tatting" them, nor do they end up in "tatters." Please get your terminology straight. Nothing sounds more like nails on a chalkboard to a tattoo artist.
"I use tattoo machines," is my defacto standard reply.
But since I do understand the question and am not a complete arsehole, I'll answer it:
I use industry standard dual spring / dual coil brass or ferrous tattoo machines. Some are custom, others aren't. I have my favorite workhorses and I have some that I haven't touched for years. We all find our favorites. An experienced tattoo artist can fine tune a machine the way it should run no matter who initially built it, provided it is constructed with good geometry and materials. I have some amazing Micky Sharpz and Danny Knight machines I picked up years ago that have needed minimal upkeep. I have some Wayne Mitchell Custom brass machines and Sean Ozz Oliver's run great. The point here is that machines are a personal thing. They don't need to cost an arm and a leg and they don't have to be the latest and greatest. If you like pen or swashdrive rotary, pneumatic, pivot or standard tattoo machines, use whatever works for you. Since artists use all types and get good results, the question is essentially rhetorical.
My other tattoo artist told me to put .... on my new tattoo. Is that good?
I've already explained my aftercare procedure in great detail on this website. I don't give a baboons rosey red butt what anyone wants you to smother your new ink with. It's irrelevant.
There are about as many methods out there as tattoo artists. Fundamentally though, it's a tattoo, not some generic wound, thus, it should be healed as such. That requires you to understand the philosophy/logic behind the healing method. For you non readers, just do as you are told.
If you don't think my aftercare method works, then by all means fiddle around with someone else's method. I get paid the same either way. When their method fails you, feel free to give
MY AFTERCARE METHOD a whirl.
Blah Blah, blah blah blah blah COVID-19?
The world has been awakened to the reality that we can rapidly transmit viral infections through mucus, saliva, tears, blood, and other body fluids, with relative ease. Oddly enough, this is old news.
It's 2021 as of this post. Certainly you know what to expect by now. Covid is real, and has mutated. The vaccines developed and forced down our throat offer no cure. Bottom line, if you want to wear a mask do it. If you want me to wear one, I'll be happy to oblige. Beyond that, I have no further desire to discuss anyone's opinion on the virus or the vaccines that have killed more people than all other vaccines combined. I'm a tattoo artist. If you need to talk the politics of COVID-19, 20, etcetera, please do your own research.
As a general rule, if you have any life-threatening viral infection, you need your immunities to focus on getting healthy and fighting the existing issues you already face, not healing a new tattoo.
The world may never get back to "normal", but we now know how to fight and starve diseases utilizing these basic principles:
I reserve the right to temporarily close my doors at anytime during the COVID crisis or any other epidemic. I certainly don't work when I have a cold or flu (which is rare anyway).
For the immediate future, let's all support each other by being cautious, staying safe, respecting each other's personal decisions, and focusing on what truly matters.
sterilizing the things we contact
covering our mouths when we cough or sneeze
wearing appropriate face covering/mask/gloves
maintaining social distance
habitually washing our hands with soap
using hand sanitizer when available
Unless you are pregnant or otherwise averse, take Vitamin D3, Selenium, Zinc, C, and drink lots of water (read all warning labels and don't exceed the recommended dosages!). This will turn your body into a virus fighting machine naturally.
I heard you were moving to Denver. Is that true?
Once upon a time, it was absolutely true. Denver is a big place filled with its own wonder. But, plans fall through sometimes for all sorts of reasons. I'm still in Twin Falls and barring any changes, will be there for quite some time. Thanks for standing by me. Sorry for any confusion. Now, let's get busy!
Why do my lines look all blown out in places, and light in others?
While your artist does his/her best to keep lines looking consistent, crisp, and clean, there are places on the body that don't have a consistent dermal thickness. These are areas where the hypodermis is closer to the epidermis. When pigments enter a layer of tissue where there is no way to hold fast to the pigment, it either sloughs away with the thin dead epidermis or migrates in the deeper subcutaneous hypodermis. There's a sweet spot for pigment that lives just under the basal layer of the dermis which is where our best results come from, the fleshier areas. Unfortunately, the area of the body chosen for your tattoo is a critical factor in determining the best results. The tissue around joints and tendons such as the ditch of the arm, wrist, knees, elbows, hands, and feet are typically thinner and give us less margin of error. The thick pads of the hands and feet are virtually pointless to tattoo. Remember, this thick tissue rolls around the sides of the feet and hands, and offer no quarter for good clean tattoos. They don't even hold onto the bodies natural melanin very well.
If you have lines that are light or migrated, those are usually quick and easy fixes.
In summary, go for the fleshy bits, you'll see better results by default.
What are the most painful spots to get a tattoo?
You'll feel it no matter where you get it done. However, it's true that some places are naturally more sensitive than other places. I saw a pain chart (you can google it) once, that showed where the artist thought the most painful spots lived. Here are my thoughts:
In the order of the loudest customer complaints:
4. Ankles/Tops of feet
6. Inner bicep
Everything else is inconsequential and not worth mentioning.
I say, pick a nice fleshy spot where you want your tattoo where you and others can see it, if you so choose for it to be seen, that is. Don't worry about pain. Just get the damn thing where you want it! Pain is temporary. It's more irritating than painful anyway. Most people thoroughly enjoy it, and the silly process it can be. Good music, good conversation and your eyes on the prize, will help you have the best experience. I tell my customers to keep their mind occupied on other things, and before they know it, we are all done, and they have new ink to brag about.
What does a tattoo feel like?
What a goofy little question!
It all depends on the person and their perspective. Some people are more sensitive than others. So you see, what feels like a bee sting to one person can feel like a cat scratch to another. I find those comparisons a little bizarre, having been heavily tattooed.
The closest thing I have been able to compare it to is giving yourself a good hard whack with a stiff bristle toothbrush. I know that sounds silly, but it simulates the sting a bit, though not entirely, and leaves a nice little irritating burny-itchy sensation behind. All you have to do is close your eyes and imagine it being about 3 times worse with around a two-week healing time. See? We all have different ways to describe it.
At the end of the day, there is only one accurate way to describe it. It's exactly like getting a tattoo. Nothing else feels, sounds, smells, or lasts like a new tattoo. There is no accurate comparison. And, the only way for you to truly know, is to come get one! :)
Do you tattoo permanent cosmetics?
Like body piercing, I found that it wasn't the type of thing that held my professional interest as an artist. I can appreciate it, but the results can vary from one person to the next, and it's not art in my opinion.