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Questions you may have before booking an appointment

Do tattoo's hurt?


Yes, there is a level of discomfort you are having a needle stuck in you, and this can all depend on the style, size and location of the tattoo.  If your friend told you it didn’t hurt, they’re telling porky pies!!!  There are certain areas of the body which hurt more than others, bony and sensitive parts like the wrist, elbows, chest or collarbone and certain parts of the feet, ribs, inside of the upper arm, BUT, you will be fine.


The use of numbing cream is up to the artist's personal preference, some of our artists do not mind you using it, and some do.  If it is something you would like to use, please ask during the consultation/booking stage.  We do not supply or sell numbing cream at the studio, you will have to purchase it yourself, we have found Dr Numb works well but can be expensive. 

Do I need to be 18 to get a tattoo?

It is against the law in the UK to tattoo anyone under the age of 18, even with parental consent it is still illegal.  If your friend has been tattooed under 18 in the UK, the tattooist was breaking the law.  You must be 18 years or over and have a valid, up to date photo ID to be tattooed.  If you do not bring a valid photo ID with you and look under 25, you may be refused to be tattooed and lose your booking fee.


If you do not have a photo ID we recommend you apply for a Citizens Card, these are inexpensive and can be sent out within a few days of applying.  Please do not be offended when we ask you to provide a valid photo ID.


How long will the tattoo take?

This all depends on the area being tattooed and the size and design of the tattoo. The duration and size of your tattoo will be discussed with your artist during the booking process.  We will generally recommend that all outlining is done in one session, but if you can not or don’t think you can sit too long, discuss this during the booking process.

Can I bring a friend with me to my appointment? 


We understand that you may want to bring a friend or family member with you for support, however, space in the studio is limited and they will not be allowed in the tattoo area. Unfortunately, our tattoo area only has enough room for you and our team. It can also be very distracting for the artist when you are chatting away and often moving to face your friend to chat.  Although the artist will talk to you, they also need to concentrate on getting your tattoo right.  We do have a small reception area, but again space is very limited and is needed for customers with appointments and consultations.  Ideally, we’d prefer you didn’t bring a friend, if you do, please let us know when booking, but they will have to sit in the reception area and 'not' keep getting up to chat with you.

Do you offer a vegan set up?


Yes, all the inks and most of the products used in the tattooing process here at Old Smithy Tattoo are Vegan.  If you have any questions regarding this please ask during the booking process.

How do I know that the equipment used is sterile?

The equipment used at Old Smithy Tattoo that touches the skin is single-use and disposable.  All other equipment is cleaned with a hospital-grade cleaner and is then wrapped to prevent any cross-contamination.  Our studio, artists and guest artists are all registered with Staffordshire Moorland District Council and we pride ourselves on our high hygiene standards and best practice.  


I want a hand, finger or neck tattoo?


We will always question when a customer wants a hand, finger or neck tattoo, young or old.  If it is going to be your first tattoo, we will strongly advise against it and may refuse to tattoo you.  We class ourselves as a conscientious tattoo studio and aren't just out to make money out of you.  If we feel your chosen location is not a good idea, we will explain why we feel so, this could also be down to your design idea.


Unfortunately visible tattoos still send out a certain message to society and can hinder future job prospects.  Also, hand and finger tattoos can have issues healing, as you have to wash your hands regularly and the skin on your hand replenishes quicker than other parts of your body, which means the tattoo can fade quickly. We suggest giving healed hand or finger tattoo a quick Google and you'll see what we mean.


Please think carefully before asking us to mark your visible skin for life.

Can I get tattooed if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

We will not tattoo anybody who is pregnant or breastfeeding.  This can cause increased stress to your body and in turn the baby.  We will also refuse to tattoo you if you are breastfeeding as there is a small risk that anything being put into your body, like ink during the tattoo process, will be absorbed into the milk you then feed your baby. Why take the risk?


I’m going on holiday can I get a tattoo?


If you are thinking of going on holiday especially in the sun, we recommend your appointment is no later than 4 weeks before you go.  You will most likely be swimming, doing activities, drinking, and not be concentrating on looking after your new tattoo.  It is advisable to use factor 50 suncream for healed tattoos, this will help protect the quality of the tattoo and keep it looking better for longer.  You wouldn't spend hundreds of pounds on a painting then leave it out in the sun!!!


We also recommend, if you have been on a holiday in the sun, you wait 1 to 2 weeks to let your skin settle from any sunburn or tanning.


I have an old tattoo I want covering up. Is this possible?


Yes, tattoos can be covered, but you will be limited with design options as to what will cover it.  Most likely the cover-up will have to be bigger and darker than the original tattoo that’s being covered.  The best option is to either pop into the studio to show us what needs covering or by sending us a message with a picture of the offending tattoo and your ideas for covering it. We are happy to discuss your options and style for the cover-up.

Can you tattoo over or around scars, moles or skin blemishes?

We can tattoo over and around scars, however, they need to be fully healed and a very light pink colour similar to your normal skin tone.  Depending on the depth of the scar they can take up to 1 to 2 years to be fully healed.  If we tattoo over scars that are not fully healed we could cause more trauma to the sink which could, in turn, compromise your health and quality of the tattoo.

The tattooist will make a judgment whether a mole or skin blemish can be tattooed, bigger moles that protrude from the skin will more than likely be tattooed around.  


Please advise us first if this is a concern for you or you wish us to tattoo over or around scars. We will always want to see them first either in person at the studio or via a picture in a message.

I want a tattoo sleeve. How much will it cost?


That all depends on what you want. Sleeves can take anywhere from 4 to 6 full day sittings to complete, as an average a quarter of your arm can be done in a day depending on the style and level of detail in the tattoo, so that’s at least 4-day sittings. Also, everyone’s arms are different sizes and lengths, and you all have different types of skin, or you may not be able to sit for a full day, everyone is different.


Will you copy this tattoo or design I’ve found on the internet?


Sorry No!


This would be an infringement of copyright, just because it’s on Pinterest, Instagram or Google doesn’t mean it is fair game to be copied.  We will, however, use it as a reference as an idea of what you like, to create you your own design personal to you. 


We are a custom tattoo studio all our artist pride themselves on creating original tattoos.


That said there are certain designs, symbols and logos that are very generic that we will tattoo, like music logos, Disney, TV and film characters, and popular symbols.  We will still try to have a conversation with you about how we may be able to be a bit more creative with your idea, we just want you to have a tattoo that is unique to you and you will love forever.

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