My tattoo is raised all the time. Why?

There is a good chance you were scarred (the skin was over worked) while getting the tattoo.

The damage and factors vary depending on the amount of damage and how sensitive you skin is. Minimal scarring can cause the tattoo to rise if your skin is sensitive. Personally, I have a few tattoos that rise when I am cold, they are not scarred but the skin was worked enough to cause the tattooed area to rise. This can also happen from various irritations, i.e. sun exposure, sunburn, slapping, scratching, rough clothing or even stress. Any scarred skin react the same, stretch marks, etc. But they do lay flat after the irritation has ended.

Anytime your skin has hundreds of holes poked into there is a scarring, just different levels. The worse or most noticeable in a tattoo is when the skin develops thick opaque scabs. As stated earlier, you can tell you skin is scarred when thick scabs develop during the healing process.   A tattoo with minimal scarring will itch and will shed dead skin like healing sunburn, not like a thick opaque scab similar to a scab that develops after scraping your knee as a kid                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               A person with sensitive skin or skin that’s prone to develop keloid will have a far greater chance of their tattoo raising.

 There’s a rash around my tattoo! Am I having an allergic reaction?

It is possible, but the most common cause is using too much lotion and or cream. Small pimples form throughout the area that has been over moisturized. It sometimes looks like a rash, or group of small pimples. It is also called prickly heat. The moisture builds up and clogs the pores or some of the shaved hair has become ingrown. This can also become a staph infection if any bacteria have gotten into the hair follicles or opening in the skin and you trap it there by over moisturizing your skin. To avoid this, wash your hands before touching/cleaning/ re-applying a small amount of aftercare to your new tattoo.

There is a possibility that you are allergic to the ointment or lotion that you’re applying. If you have sensitive skin and may be allergic to the ointment/ream try switching brands. If you are having an allergic reaction to the ink, the ink that you are allergic to will rise or become lumpy and not heal as quickly as the rest of the tattoo. If you have sensitive skin and or a lot of allergies, have the artist do a test spot.

Thoroughly wash off the cream and or lotion with a mild soap and pat it dry. Allow it to dry a few minutes before moisturizing the tattoo again. This time apply less lotion/cream by putting a very small dab in the center of the tattoo and spreading thoroughly throughout the tattooed area. You can apply alcohol to the area surrounding the tattoo to dry out the rash. Once the tattoo has finished peeling, you can apply a small amount of alcohol to the area to dry out any remaining rash on the tattooed area.

Whatever you do, do not pop the pimples, especially the ones on the tattoo, it may cause scarring and lighten the tattoo.


 I saw a picture in your gallery, a magazine or on the internet and it’s perfect for me. Can you tattoo it on me?

Yes, but I would we should not use it exactly the way it is. I suggest that we customize the art and merely use the design you bring in as a guide. In my experience the majority of cherished, not regretted tattoos are those that have meaning and thought behind them via symbolism. Therefore I have no problem using anything you bring in as an influence or inspiration to another piece.

 What happens to the picture or artwork after I get a custom tattoo?

That is your call. If you want the artwork, you can take it with you. If you want to leave it as inspiration for others that is fine too. It does not go in the books but it can be available to show people who are interested in similar designs. I would merely show it to them to see if it I the style they are looking for.

 I see in your bio that you are self-taught. I’ve been thinking about teaching myself to tattoo. Do you have any advice that can help me out?

I have experience from many different artists, both I met in person and those on videos and who have written books.

You want learn? Then live to tattoo, I mean, read books, watch videos and most of all get someone who knows how to teach show you the ropes. Try to find an apprenticeship that doesn’t use you like a slave and or treat you like you are joining a biker club. Find a mentor, who wants to teach, likes to teach and loves to tattoo.

I wasn’t lucky with a couple of the guys who showed me how they worked. They wouldn’t care too much about the customer, size needle, smoking and not washing their hands etc. What was interesting to me was some of the DVD’s where much more professional and proper then the guys in the shops who always seemed to take short cuts and have attitudes as if they were doing the customer a favor by tattooing them.

Always take pride in your work, so don’t start tattooing people until you have tattooed yourself and you are confident you can do it right. Remember that everyone who walks away with a tattoo from you will tell people you are the one who gave it to them, so it better be good.

 How much does a tattoo cost?

The cost depends on the tattoo, detail, size and location. The rates start at about 60.00 on up.

How long does it take to get a tattoo?

The same factors come into play when determining how long a tattoo will take. If it will be more then two to three hours, I usually do it in different sessions. I also take into consideration the pain tolerance of the customer. In other words if a customer could sit comfortably longer, I will tattoo longer if the customer is in pain I will do shorter sessions.

If I don’t like the tattoo can I have it taken off and changed?

Most likely it can be changed by adding to it. Covering it can be tricky depending on the size and colors of ink. As far as taking it off: You can get laser tattoo removal. Laser removal is expensive and there is a chance of losing the skin pigment. I had one laser off of my hand and it hurt worse then getting the tattoo. Fortunately I didn’t lose the color of my skin tone. There are also some chemical peels that I know nothing about.

Does it hurt?

Yes and No. There is some degree of pain but you do get over it fairly quickly. To some people it feels like a tingling with an occasional pinch. For others it is much stronger. It all depends on where the tattoo is located on your body and the amount of coverage needed.

What considerations should I make when picking a tattoo artist or studio?

First, always do your research, most shops have a website, then choose a shop to visit.

Questions to ask and things to look for when you arrive at a shop:

  1. The general cleanliness of the establishment is always a good indication of how much importance the practitioner places on disease protection.
  2. Is there a posted shop state license? Make sure the tattoo artist who is tattooing you also has state license posted.  Never get a procedure if they cannot be provided.
  3. Always remember you are the customer and the artist/studio is serving you.
  4. Can I see the portfolio of tattoos that the artist who will be doing my tattoo has done? Always look at the artists’ work. Make sure the artist has plenty of pictures of his tattoo work; if he only has a few he may be new to the profession.
  5.  Ask how long has the artist been doing tattoos professionally?
  6.  Do you use one time use sterilized needles?
  7.  Can the artist please open the needles in front of me when he sets up? Most artists will normally set up the machine in front of you.
  8.  Can I see where you tattoo? They should not hesitate to give you a tour, unless the stations are being used.
  9.  Absolutely always make sure the dyes or pigments are drawn from unused single-use containers.
  10.  Make sure the practitioner always uses gloves. If he or she leaves the station, a glove tears, the artist touches anything that that has fell on the floor or touches their face the gloves have to be replaced.
  11.  If the practitioner is an apprentice, they must be under the direct supervision of a practitioner.
  12.  If you or the practitioner is ill do not get the procedure.