Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead!
Obviously, if you’re standing right outside the studio, and you feel the itch, just walk in. Please keep in mind that you may not be able to get tattooed that day and an appointment will need to be made. However, if you do find you have some planning time, try our Booking Feature! You can directly book a consultation online, and make sure that we have room for you. If you can’t figure out how to book through our site, find our contact info and give us a call. Keep it short, “Hey, I found your website, but wasn’t sure how to book an appointment. Are you busy today?” By giving the tattoo studio a call ahead of time it helps a few things: you can see how busy they are, you can see if there’s a better time or day to do a walk-in, and you can see if they even take walk-ins.
Don’t bring an entourage!
If you are traveling with a pack of humans and you all want tattoos, try to give the shop some warning. Hanover Junction is a small, private studio and customers only are allowed inside. Most shops are pretty small, with all the spare room for artists to work. If you are waiting your turn, just be smart and kind about it — go for a walk around the neighborhood, wait outside if possible. If the parlor has a shop manager, ask if it’s okay to leave your number with them and come back in pairs later. Basically, think about the space around you: would you want a pack of people gathered tightly around you while you worked your job?
Make mom proud: be on your best behaviour!
We totally understand that ogling tattoos in the making, and tattoo artists while they’re working, is better than going to the zoo...but you’re not at a zoo. Talking to, staring at, or standing directly in a tattoo artists space can be really distracting, and you always want to make sure your tattooists concentration is at 100% so they can create the best tattoo possible! And, like we mentioned above, tattoo shops tend to be on the small side. Reminder: only customers are allowed inside. This isn’t your living room, so take your feet off the table, and make sure to show your respect to the space. We promise it’ll be noticed and totally appreciated!
Just as it’s worth noting that the shop isn’t your living room...it’s also not a bar. The tattoo studio is a place of creative work. Most shops will not tattoo someone who is drunk, or otherwise impaired, as this can mean bad choices and regrettable tattoos...Again, think about it like this, if your friends visited you at work, and were acting foolish, you wouldn’t totally dig that, right? Same goes for a tattoo shop. Keep it cool.
Custom versus flash...
Hopefully, when you get the itch for new ink, you have an idea about what it is that you’d like to get. Custom tattoos versus flash tattoos are two pretty different things, and involve a different sort of process. If you’re looking for a custom tattoo, this involves a conversation with your artist, and, depending on the design, more time to draw up your piece. Flash tattoos can be pulled right off the wall onto a stencil and then onto your chosen area. Pretty swift! So before you walk-in, think about your expectations and how best to describe them to your artist! We will say, however, that patience with your artist is key. They may make it look easy...but churning out designs you really freakin’ love ain’t freakin’ easy.
Don’t haggle about the price!
Okay, don’t ever do this. Go with the price given to you! Sometimes you’ll be charged the usual hourly rate for a tattoo, sometimes you’ll be charged a flat rate. It’s up to your artist.
Be respectful of each shops “mission”...
This sort of thing differs shop by shop, but many different tattoo studios these days are trying to be more inclusive and progressive. If you go into a tattoo shop, you’ll probably see signs that state things such as “Tips Are Appreciated” or “We Know It Hurts, Please Don’t Scream”. But there are tons of other unsaid rules that you’re probably interested in and it’s possibly why you’re reading this in the first place. If you have questions, you can always check out the tattoo studio’s website, because many of them will have links or words stating their mission. Some tattoo studios are “sober spaces” meaning no drugs or alcohol of any kind, some are “safe places” meaning marginalized communities can go there and feel confident that they will not be exposed to discrimination, or harassment. Again, it completely depends on the shop. Walk-ins are super appreciated at almost any tattoo studio, but it’s always best to know what kind of experience you want, and the people you’d like to be involved, before jumping ship! Another tip: if a tattoo studio says it’s a “private studio”, this usually means that they do not take walk-in’s.
Tips aren’t just appreciated...they should be mandatory.
Okay, we should mention that this sort of depends where in the world you happen to be. Tipping is often contingent on the local culture. But, and we’re saying this as avid supporters of the tattoo community, tattoo artists, and tattoo clients, here you have all the best practices for being a stand out collector of the best tattoos...and that should definitely include a tip for your artist. In most of Europe, and some spots in Asia, tipping isn’t customary. But, that being said, tipping your artist will always be appreciated. If you had an extra special good time, if you know your tattooists when above and beyond, or if you just want to let them know how much you appreciate their work, throw in a tip. Again, keep in mind where you happen to be. While some spots on the globe may not expect a tip, in the USA it’s definitely mandatory...this is where reading guides like this helps you be ultra prepared! If you need help figuring out exactly how much a tip would be, check out our Guide on Tattoo Cost! That should help, and keep in mind that if you don’t have the cash to tip, then you don’t have the cash to get a tattoo.
Canceling day of is not cool.
Hopefully, since you’ve read this far, you’re super serious about this new tattoo and you’re totally psyched to go get it. But...if you’re having second thoughts, aren’t capable of the commitment, or are a lil low on funds, rescheduling or canceling is totally okay. However, please please please do not do it the day of the appointment unless you have a super good reason. This is how a tattoo artists makes a living, and when you make an appointment try to stick with it, otherwise you’re taking the place of someone who is more serious, or more capable of spending the time and money with that artist!