The “Inked” Edition

In Advice, Beauty, Fashion, question on June 13, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Hey Ally! It’s Paul. You know … one of the guys that lives with your brother. We’ve met a couple times. I have had a question to ask you for sometime now, and am finally asking you this question. I will celebrate once I have sent this and proceed to announce my self-pride to the world. So here it is:

I have been thinking of getting a tattoo on my right shoulder blade. The design is one that a buddy from high school drew for me and is a some what complex design. Now the dilemma is finding a place in the KW area that is not too sketchy and expensive to get such a custom tattoo done. So I have come to you, Ally. I wish to know if there are some reputable places in the KW area that don’t charge you an arm and a leg to get a custom tattoo done. Thank you and I can’t wait to read your response to it.

Paul V

P.S. I was reading your post about your dog and I loved it… shear genius =D

* * * * *

Dear Paul,

Ah yes, I remember you. You had hair, I believe, when we met. Also possibly some sort of face, and at least one foot. Anyway, I would like to preface this answer with a comment: cool tattoo! It will look scrumtrelescent. If you don’t know what that means, look it up – but not in any “real” dictionary; that kind of thing ain’t my style. For those of you who haven’t seen this tattoo – it sucks to be you, but I’m not putting it up here, because that would mean one of the six people who read this blog might get it, and ruin the originality… and I will not stand for any of that!

Moving along…

Unfortunately my knowledge of the KW area is sketchy at best, and I’ve never gotten a tattoo or piercing there, nor do I really know anyone who has. So my answers wouldn’t be any good to go by. However, what I can do is tell you how to avoid a tattoo parlour that might, I dunno, give you a blood infection… or Hepatitis.

This means you’re going to have to do some legwork, but it’s worth it! First off, ask around. If you know anyone who got a tattoo, ask them where and how they found the place to be. You’ve probably already done that already, so let’s move on.

Check online – what you’ll want to look for on the site are any sort of awards, credentials, etc. Chances are if a place has gotten even a local People’s Choice type award, it’s going to display it. You’ll also want to read any comments people have left, but obviously these will be edited for content, so don’t go solely by them. The thing I’d most look for is dates. See if they’ve been around for a while. If they have then they have a slightly better chance of being clean, since they haven’t been shut down for health code violations. We hope.

But you’re obviously going to have to go in. Pick a few places, stop by one afternoon, and “browse”. Look at their portfolio – should be out on a counter somewhere – and check out the artist’s style.
Look around you:

Good Things to See

Clean floors etc
People waiting
Aftercare instructions (some places just have little sheets of paper with instructions to give you)
Gloves etc
Individual packaging abounds!

Bad Things to See

Dead bugs
Live bugs
Peter MacKay (this is just in life in general)
Baby Deer (Public Enemy No.1)
Blood (especially in the lobby)
Mucous (ever)

I’ve seen some good and bad tattoo places… okay, I’ve only ever been in four… but three were good and one was not (thank god that wasn’t where I got mine!)

A good tattoo process should go like this:
You – “Hello kind sir! I believe I have an appointment for a tattoo”
Them – “Why yes you do! Allow me to make a transferable copy of your design. It kind of works like a temporary tattoo, and is really cool”
You walk into a separate room, which is clean. The surfaces are all clean and there are individual packages and sterilizing solutions everywhere. Your Artists washes their hands. Artist puts on gloves. Artist cleans area with disposable alcohol wipe. Artist applies temporary design. Artist takes new, sterilized needle out of packaging and inserts it into tattoo-thingy. Artist opens new ink packet, applies some ink, and goes to work
You – “Boy, this stings somewhat”
Them – “Suck it up, pussy”
You – *cries like a little girl*
Them – “Hahaha, jokes aside, you’re done now. I will now put some sort of something on the tattoo (this varies according to place). And now I will explain to you how to care for your tattoo (also varies according to place… ) I will also give you a card with my name and our number on it in case you have any problems or questions. I will advise you that if you suspect an infection, you go to the hospital to get it checked out”
You – “I will now pay your price, which, I accept, will be slightly higher than the lowest possible price, but which I am willing to pay since I have not been infected with Hepatitis! I will also give you a reasonable tip because you did a good job”
Them – “Thank you. You are a kind and wise man.”

A bad tattoo process might go like this:

You – “Hello. I believe I have a tattoo appointment”
Them – “Yes you do. Come on back here… mind the dog. Yeah, just sit wherever… move that plate, I was having lunch, sorry.
Artist brushes crumbs off of a windowsill on which rests a tattoo-device and some open ink packets. Artist squishes a fly. Artist picks up a needle from somewhere, puts it in the device, and goes to work.
You – “Um, I wanted a dragon”
Them – “I only do naked chicks.”
You – “Can you stop then?”
Them – “Not unless you want to walk around with just a pair of boobs on your arm for the rest of your life”
You – “Fuck”
And then you get a disease!


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