FAQ

  1. How much do tattoos cost?

    This varies on a number of  factors, such as size, placement and the complexity of the design. Our Hourly rate ranges from $120 for our junior artists to  $175 an hour, with a $95 minimum.

  2. How long can I expect the colors to last?

    Tattoos fade with time. They will look thier best if properly cared for. If you follow proper aftercare instructions, and  use sunblock in the sun, your tattoo will look the best it can for years.

  3. What are the different styles of tattoos?

    There are so many styles, it's hard to pin down. Portrait/Realism, Traditional Americana, Japanese Based, Black and Grey, Grafitti New school, etc. Don't feel restricted by styles. Do what you want and go to a tattooist who can do what you want, regardless.

  4. How can I tell if a shop is clean?

    Does the artist have basic personal hygene? Are his fingernails clean? Is he under the influence of drugs or alcohol? You can ask to see up-to-date "spore test results" which indicate that the shop autoclave is working properly. Ask for a quick look around at work area or equipmet. Make sure autoclave indicators on all bags have changed color to show sterilization.  Ask questions. Are the staff open and helpful, or guarded and shady?

  5. What's an autoclave? How is it used in tattooing?

    An autoclave is a hospital-grade Steam Pressure Sterilizer that kills any microbes and/or pathogens on equipment. It is essential for Sterilizing contaminated equipment. Clean and Sterile are not the same , and "clean" isn't good enough for a tattoo. If a tattoo shop doesn't have one, leave.

  6. How can I tell that the needles being used are new and clean?

    This is the standard in most reputable shops. Ask your tattooist to show you sterilization equipment. You can ask to watch them take your needles and tubes out of sterilization pouches with indicators on them. You can watch them put together their machines. Don't assume anything when your health is on the line.

  7. Can I request a custom design?

    Absolutely, mostly anything can be done. If it is not something we specialize in, we will refer you to the right artist for the job.

  8. I have an idea in my head. How do I get the idea tattooed on me?

    Find a tattooist whose style you like, talk to them about your idea. Make sure they specialize in the style you wish to be tattooed in!  You may be able to arrange for the artist to draw it for you (or draw a rough copy yourself), and let the tattoo begin. Reference and example pictures to work from are always great!

  9. Can you quote me a price over the phone? How about via e-mail?

    It is difficult for us to give an accurate quote without speaking to you directly and seeing were you want your tattoo and how much time will be involved. Very small designs are usually our minimum charge.

  10. How long does a tattoo take?

    Anywhere from 30 seconds to hours.

  11. What if I don't like a tattoo after it's done?

    Keep an open mind -- Don't be unreasonalbly perfectionist. Tattoo artists aren't xerox machines and tattoos are a handmade product. If the very minor flaws inherent in handcrafted tradework will be an issue for you, DO NOT GET TATTOOED. Check spelling and placement of the stencil BEFORE tattooing begins. We want you to be happy with your final product, and stand by every tattoo we produce. Touch ups, when necessary, are free. Rites of Passage coined the phrase "We guarantee our work." We also ask that you have a reasonable understanding of the trade.

    Please know that some artists will mislead clients to cover thier own mistakes, essentially blaming clients for bad work.  There are a lot of egos in tattooing. Chances are, you took care of your tattoo fine, the ink isn't the problem, and your suntan the week after didn't cause your horrble color or botched linework.  You probably are not to blame if you got a bad tattoo somewhere, no matter how much the artist says it's your fault. Cover Up work, or Fix ups are a  possibility for botched tattoos. See #22 and #23.

  12. Will a tattooist work with me on a design?

    Usually if you want them to. It is our job. Don't be afraid to voice your ideas. You should never feel "bullied" into a tattoo design. However, you also should listen to the artist's suggestions. If you trust a professional to permanently mark you, you should probably trust thier artistic judgement as well... We ARE professional artists, and do tattoos for a living. We are not the same calibre as your cousin's friend Leroy who "draws sum deadly wizards" (although we also do that sometimes...). We usually have a good idea of is possible in a tattoo, and in rare cases reserve the right to refuse specific tattoo designs that we KNOW will not work.

  13. How can I spot a good tattoo artist?

    There are a few ways. Luckily, Rites of Passage Tattoo takes pride in our industry and quality workmanship. Pat literally wrote convention criteria on judging a quality tattoo based on the following standards: Good tattoos should have crisp, even linework. Bad linework looks scratchy, shaky, or jumpy like morse code. Often, bad linework has "inconsistent line weight" where a single line goes from thin to thick unintentionally.  Solid areas of consistent smooth color are important in full color tattoo work. Shading should be smoothly graduaded and consistant, without looking patchy like a sketched checkerboard.  Placement should compliment the area of the body that the tattoo is placed on, and not conflict with body flow.While these are ideal standards in a quality tattoo, always look at photographs of a tattooists work , or even better - live examples, before getting tattooed. When speaking with your artist, look for professionalism, confidence ,and competence when discussing design options. Do not allow yourself to feel pressured to be tattooed by a bully or someone with an insecure attitude towards your design.

  14. How can I see examples of a tattooist's work?

    If you see a tattoo on the street that you really like, politely ask who did the work. Try to find if the studio has a website. Visit the studio in person, ask to see a portfolio. Any qualified tattooist should have a book showcasing what they can do for you. You may want to see thier sketchbook or other original artwork. They may have healed examples of thier finished tattoo work available for you to see (on clients, coworkers, etc). Do not get tattooed by people who "lost" thier portfolio, sketchbook, pencil crayons, website, but still have thier ink-stained tatoo gear.

  15. Do they let anyone in tattoo studios?

    We have a sign asking people who are broke, on drugs, ill, under-age, sunburned, pregnant, dirty, stinky, rude, looking for a deal, or otherwise unpleasent, to please come back when they are not.

  16. Can I choose the colors or should I leave that up to the artist?

    While artists appreciate your input and direction, we also usually have ideas on what colors would be best for your tattoo. Hopefully they will be the same as your ideas. Remember we have years of experience, and ROP artists consider color theory (complimentary and contrasting colors) a fair amount when designing a tattoo, so it's not like we're just shooting in the dark.

  17. Will you tattoo people's faces? How about hands?

    Generally, no. We prefer to only tattoo hands of heavily tattooed people, who already know the social stigma of having very visible tattoos . We also may tattoo hands to cover up a gang insignia, etc. Faces and necks are the same criteria. If you don't know what it is like to be treated like a criminal for no reason, get a very visible tattoo, and you soon will.

  18. Do those tattoo kits you can order in the magazines really work?

    No. Don't even think about tattooing. Leave it up to the professionals. Don't start scarring up your friends. "Tattoo" kits only work in the sense that as soon as you ignorantly drill some ink into someone's skin, you have technically "tattooed" them...

  19. Should I get drunk before getting tattooed?

    No. Drinking thins the blood, making you bleed more, and drunks rarely sit still. They tend to be more animated when talking. It is a bad idea to show up under the influence, or even smelling of alcohol; you will likely be asked to leave.

  20. What can I do to keep my tattoo from fading?

    Use a decent sunblock whenever you are exposed to the sun, and generally take good care of your skin.

  21. What if my tattoo fades over the years?

    You can suck it up. You will also get wrinkles and arthritis eventually! Old tattoos can be redone, but if it's really that important to you, take really good care of it while you are still good looking.

  22. I have an old discolored tattoo. What can I do to make it look better?

    Come by, let us take a look, and the chances are we will be able to fix it up and make it look brand new again. We re-work misfit tattoos on a regular basis.

  23. Do you do cover-up work?

    Yes, all the time. Cover ups are a huge part of the job. It's your body and your choice if you want to have your tattoo re-worked or covered. Do not feel obligated to return to an artist you are unhappy with. In many cases, we have met clients bullied by the first (unskilled) artist into spending a LOT of money for a worse result than the original. We will not "fix up" a tattoo that we feel actually is a high quality tattoo in the first place. With Cover Ups, we strive for clarity and quality in our design choice. There are many factors involved, such as fading and placement of the original, size of the proposed design, composition of linework, and damage to the skin. Sometimes the design you *want* may NOT actually cover the design you have. Even talent and experience cannot cover solid black with bright yellow.  In rare cases, we can refer a local business for spot laser tattoo removal in order to accomodate specific cover up requests. Most are no problem however.

  24. How can I get started in tattooing?

    Don't. There are better things for you to do. It's not like hairstyling with an endless amount of hair to cut. Go to school for graphic design. These aren't the droids you're looking for.

  25. Why do you have tattoos?

    The same reason as everyone else... to fit in.

  26. Can you send me a picture of what I'm looking for?

    We do not send out any drawing, flash or pictures of our artwork for tattoos without a deposit and commitment to being inked by one of our artists. You may be able to purchase a custom design alone from your favorite artist for any use,  from murals to clothing design.

  27. Can I arrange a custom design through email?

    With most large or detailed design, we need to discuss placement and composition with you directly. Rarely can people describe what exactly they want through emails. If possible, bring reference material by, stop by and chat, or book a consultation with your artist to arrange details face-to-face.

  28. Is there anything else I should know?

    There are no stupid questions regarding your tattoo,  just a lot of stupid people answering most of them. Call us first.