Hypnotic Art Tattoo is one of the best tattoo studios in Central England.

200 Queensway, Bletchley, Milton Keynes
Mobile: 07397780450
Telephone: 01908 989695
E-mail: hypnoticarttattoo@gmail.com

tattoo faq

Tattoo FAQ

tattoo faq

Q. Do I want a tattoo?

A. It’s a good question to ask yourself before booking a tattoo appointment. Do you want something that’s going to be on you for life? What you should consider is the reason you want one. Are you looking to commemorate a loved one or an important life event? Maybe you just want to have great art on you? Your artist can help you with designs and ideas but they can’t answer this question for you, so you should only book once you’re certain.

Q. I’m under 18 but my parents/guardian said it’s okay.

A. Unfortunately it is against the law to tattoo anyone under 18. If you look younger, you might be asked to provide proof of age as with any business. You can get a tattoo on your 18th birthday as long as you bring a valid ID with you. Note that we can’t accept a photo of your ID. You must bring the physical copy. If you are getting a tattoo on your 18th birthday we encourage you to think it over and make sure you’re certain about it, as it is an important decision you have to make.

Q. How do I choose a design?

A. It’s worth having a look around on social media platforms. If you see something that catches your eye, share it with the studio or the artist that you’re working with, as it will help us in creating a design that’s unique to you. Alternatively you can tell us what you want the tattoo to symbolise. Whether it’s people, pets, names, dates or anything in between we can create a design based on it.

● Can’t you just copy the exact tattoo I saw online. Simply put, no. We, like many artists, refuse to just copy designs. The reason behind it is that it’s someone else’s work, it can lead to a negative reputation and this is generally looked down upon. We can create a design inspired by someone else’s tattoo but not to outright copy it.

Q. Can I bring someone to my appointment?

A. We know better than anyone that it can be scary especially if it’s your first tattoo. Technically the answer is yes. However due to limited space and seating we would like to discourage it, but understand if you want someone to be with you. We would like to limit it to one other person if possible. It can be distracting for some artists, so please be mindful when bringing someone else.

Q. My friend/family/partner does not like the design?

A. If it’s important that people close to you approve of the design or idea, please discuss it with them beforehand. However when it comes to the design of the tattoo, it’s best kept between you and the artist to make it truly yours and not someone else’s. Remember that it is something that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. The most important opinion is yours. You need to be comfortable and happy with the design above all.

Q. How do I know which studio/artist is best for me?

A. How do I know which studio/artist is best for me? If a studio or an artist specialises in a certain style, you might not get the best results for something completely different to their speciality. Browsing their online profiles can give you an idea of what to expect from the finished piece (given that the healing process is done properly). Browsing the social media is a good start however it might not give you the full picture. Alongside the browsing we advise to read the reviews from different customers about their experience, as they usually describe the atmosphere and attitude towards the customers. We have many talented artists under one roof that all have something they do exceptionally well and try to assign projects based on their strengths.

● Are all of the artists employed by the studio? That’s not always the case. The artist may be renting out the chair from the studio but will be completely independent in all other aspects. They could also work directly for the studio. It varies between different artists and studios.

Q. Can I let my artist know on the day that I won’t make it?

A. When possible please give as much notice as possible. It’s not always easy to fill in the missed appointment, especially if it’s on the day. Likewise we will give you as much notice as possible if one of our artists is unable to make it. It’s understandable that sometimes life gets in the way and you should not feel guilty if you need to cancel. In certain cases we can look to reschedule the appointment but we can’t make any guarantees.

● Why is the studio asking for a deposit?/Why is the deposit non refundable? We take a deposit in order to secure the date for you and make sure our artists still get compensated in cases of no show. If a booking is cancelled especially on short notice it is incredibly difficult to fill the date with another booking. The deposit shows commitment and respect for the time the artists dedicate to our customers. Don’t worry as the deposit can be used to pay for part of the tattoo or alternatively it can be used to book the next one.

Q. How long will it take?

A. We can estimate based on complexity of the project and size. But things sometimes don’t go to plan. It can take longer based on different factors outside of our control. For example, your body could stop taking ink and to prevent damage to your skin or the tattoo we will stop. That is just one of many different ways things can extend the work time.

● Why is my tattoo split over multiple sessions? If that’s the case it means that the scope of the project exceeds what we can possibly do in one sitting. The bigger or more complex pieces can take more than 2 sessions to finish.

Q. Do all studios have the same price?

A. No, all studios and artists set their own prices or rates. The way that the artists and studios set their prices can be down to different factors, usual ones include location, experience, demand and costs involved. This isn’t an extensive list but just to give you an idea of what can affect the price. If you look at different tattoo studios in a given area you might find that the prices vary quite a bit. Even within a studio you will find that different artists charge different amounts.

● My friend was charged less, why? Depending on time that passed it could be down to factors stated above. It could also depend on size and complexity as the tattoo could take longer to complete. The artist could have raised the rates due to demand. If booking for a studio you could have a different artist that charges a higher price. Once again there’s different factors involved.

● Why was I quoted a different price on the day? This usually happens with smaller tattoos but if the design was changed to something that will take longer the price will likely increase. If you book a day session the price will likely stay the same as you’re here for a whole day.

Q. Why is it so expensive?

A. The term “you get what you pay for” can’t be more true in this industry. All artists and studios have different rates. What you need to consider is that the more experience an artist has the more demand there is for their work. You can find cheaper options, however usually the lower the price the lesser amount of experience an artist has. If you want to get a tattoo from someone with 10 years in the industry you won’t pay apprentice rates.

Q. How bad is the pain?

A. The pain you experience during a tattoo is very subjective. Some people feel it worse than others. There is no objective way to measure it. Many people describe it as a pin prick sensation. It can also be compared to being scratched or a painful vibration when tattooing on the bone. Despite that, your skin is more sensitive in certain areas. Which means that the tattoo will hurt more.

● Most painful area for a tattoo? Here is a list of more painful areas: ribs, neck, head, feet and abdominem.

● Best area for a tattoo? Forearm and calf are by far the best areas for a tattoo. Especially if it’s your first one. The next best is thigh but depending on the placement it can be more or less painful. Front and outer sides are less painful.

● Why do a lot of artists discourage hand/feet tattoo? The reason why it’s discouraged is that the skin in those areas is different to other parts of your body. Those areas go through a lot more wear which means that the ink is likely to fade a lot sooner too. If you compare the amount of times you wash your hands to other parts of the body you can see the bigger picture. Also due to much of those areas being right on the bone the pain is much greater. We don’t want you to go through so much pain only to be disappointed in a few months when the tattoo inevitably fades.

Q. Colour or black and grey?

A. All tattoos fade a little after a period of time. A common belief is that colour tattoos don’t last as long. That is entirely false. The reason why some colour tattoos don’t last as long is that the colour was not put into the skin correctly. With modern inks, colour stays looking fresh as long as it’s done properly and you follow the aftercare guide properly. We would like to note that the choice may not be completely down to you sometimes. People looking for a tattoo who have a darker complexion should lean more towards black and grey or black work tattoos. The reason is that the colour won’t show up on darker skin or it won’t look how you want it to. If you are adamant that you want a colour tattoo it’s best to discuss it with your artist as they may recommend certain colours but remember that sometimes it is just not possible.

● What do you mean it can/will fade? All tattoos fade after some time. Some fade more, some less. Main reasons for tattoo fading are sun exposure and ageing. To mitigate some of the effects of ageing we recommend to keep the skin moisturised and well taken care of. For sun exposure, make sure to use appropriate sunscreen. Remember this will only mitigate some of the effects you can’t completely prevent it from fading. You can get it touched up after some years to get it looking fresh again.

Q. Do I tell my tattoo artist about my medical conditions?

A. Yes, but before making any bookings or arrangements please contact your doctor and check with them if it’s safe for you to get a tattoo with your conditions. Many studios have a consent form that you will be asked to fill out once there. It’s important that you fill out the form honestly as it will let the artist know if they need to make any reasonable amendments. If you have a medical condition that’s not listed or the artist does not use consent form please bring it up. It’s for your own safety as well as ours.

● I’m diabetic, can I get tattooed? Yes, but once again check with your doctor beforehand. You need to bring all of the necessary medication with you. During the tattoo your blood sugar can drop drastically, if you are diabetic it can be dangerous. If you feel dizzy or like you’re about to pass out let someone know asap.

● What if I’m allergic to something? Make sure to let us know beforehand. Many artists use nitrile gloves instead of latex, but it’s worth asking which ones they use and not assuming it. Any allergies need to be reported to the artist before the procedure so that they can let you know if they can make arrangements for your booking. If you are unsure whether you are allergic to something you can request an allergy patch test with your doctor.

● I heard that there are toxic substances in inks? All of the inks we use are genuine products made in accordance with laws and regulations in place. Above all the ink does not go into your bloodstream and is deposited in the dermis layer of the skin. They are safe for most people but please refer to the point above if you have any allergies.

Q. How do I know it’s hygienic?

A. This is a tough one. Unfortunately there is no straight answer. It’s hard to tell with a naked eye if the studio adheres to best hygiene practices. Some places can seem clean but poor hygiene practices render it hazardous. To ease your mind you can ask them to walk you through the cleaning process. Things that you can observe: machine is wrapped and clean, any bottles with soap or water are wrapped, the needles or cartridges are pre packaged, the work areas are clean and covered to prevent any cross contamination. Many studios use autoclave to sterilise grips and other equipment. It is better than just using sanitiser as it steam cleans the equipment in a high pressure environment. These are just some of the things to look out for.

● How safe is it? As long as best hygiene practices are followed, tattoos are quite safe. This does not rule out a possibility of an infection. During tattoo the needle breaches your skin akin to an open wound, which can lead to an infection or allergic reaction. If you believe that the tattoo got infected or that you might be having an allergic reaction, contact your tattoo artist so that they can advise you on the best course of action. They may refer you to a medical professional in severe cases.

Q. What is the healing process?

A. Once the artist is done and you leave the studio, you might think that it’s all done. That’s not the case. The skin will take time to heal. As we mentioned already a tattoo is essentially an open wound so you need to protect it in order to avoid infections and to get the best result. Well how do you protect it? Don’t worry we have you covered. Below you will find this question broken down into more digestive sub points. Please keep in mind that your artist may recommend different methods, products or steps you take during the healing process, so it’s always best to listen to them.

● How long does it take to heal? The tattoo will take 1-2 weeks for the outer layer of skin to heal. However it takes up to 3 months for the skin underneath to fully heal. After the outer layer is healed, continue to moisturise the skin. During the first 4-6 weeks try to keep it out of the sun, after this time you can start to use sunscreen in order to protect it from direct sunlight.

● Can I take a bath right after a tattoo? This question is asked a lot! You need to clean your tattoo 3-4 times per day until it heals to prevent bacteria and dirt from getting into it. In order to further minimise bacteria and dirt you should continue to take regular showers and maintain usual hygiene habits. During your showers try to keep the tattoo out of the direct water stream but it’s okay if it gets wet. You should never soak a fresh or healing tattoo, it can lead to infection as you’re exposed to bacteria in the water. Alternatively it can cause scarring and loss of pigment. You should avoid swimming pools, baths, hot tubs, saunas, trips to the beach and anything similar until the outer layer of your skin is fully healed. When cleaning the tattoo use gentle liquid antibacterial soap.

● Which aftercare do I choose? Today there are many products for tattoo aftercare. Gone are the days of Bepanthen being the only product recommended by tattoo artists. Can I still use Bepanthen? Yes, however you need to be careful to choose the right one. There are different forms of Bepanthen for different applications, we have seen nasty results from using the wrong ones on a fresh tattoo. What we recommend is to use aftercare designed for tattoos specifically. Always look at the ingredients of the aftercare, as we strongly advise against using petroleum based products. Many products that contain petroleum jelly have the potential to prolong the healing and irritate your skin. Look for products that contain only natural products, especially ones that contain panthenol. Panthenol helps to moisturise the skin and improve wound healing. The product of choice at our studio is ThInk aftercare.

i. How do I use it? We will walk you through the process from start to finish. If your tattoo has been wrapped in cling film, do not leave it on for more than 2-3 hours. Your tattoo needs to breathe, so after you unwrap it use gentle antibacterial soap of the liquid variety. Wash it well but avoid being rough. Don’t let the tattoo remain too long under water.

ii. Gently pat the tattoo dry (don’t rub it) with a paper towel. Do not apply ThInk aftercare for the first 24-48 hours, as recommended by the artist.

iii. From the 2nd or 3rd day onwards you should wash the tattoo the same way as in the previous steps and let it air out for 20-30 minutes, before applying ThInk aftercare. You should ideally apply it once daily, but if the skin gets tight and discomfort persists, apply the cream once in the morning and once in the evening. Make sure to repeat the washing process between each application of ThInk aftercare cream.

iv. Before applying the cream, wash your hands well. After, let a small amount of the ointment warm up in your hand. Finally pat it into your skin whilst avoiding any force in spreading the ointment. Don’t suffocate the tattoo with too much cream and use it for at least 1 week.

v. Note that during the healing process your tattoo will scab, afterwards it will peel and flake. The scab will fall off on its own and any scratching or picking can cause some of the pigment to disappear. It also creates an opportunity for bacteria and dirt to get into the tattoo which can lead to infection or scaring. Once the scabbing is over, continue to use ThInk aftercare cream once daily or you can switch to ThInk tattoo butter.

vi. The above does not apply if your tattoo was covered with Second Skin film or equivalent. Second Skin should remain on a new tattoo for 5-7 days but not longer than that. Once the film is removed use ThInk aftercare once daily.

● Can I leave it uncovered at work? If you work in an office environment or similar line of work it’s completely fine, just avoid touching the fresh tattoo. If you work in places similar to a kitchen or construction where it’s possible for the tattoo to get damaged or for dirt to get into it, we advise that you keep it covered. However you shouldn’t wrap or cover it for longer than 3-4 hours at a time and to let it breathe regularly when possible.

● Always listen to your tattoo artist when they advise you on the steps you need to take in healing your tattoo. They want the best result for you as well as for them.

Q. I have pets, is that okay?

A. Generally speaking, yes. Although you need to be cautious around them with fresh tattoos. Do not let them lick or scratch the area, try to not get any fur on it. If that occurs, wash it with antibacterial soap as it can lead to infection. If the area was damaged contact your tattoo artist for best advice.

Q. Do I shave the area before my appointment?

A. We advise against it as you can accidentally cause damage to the area you want tattooed. The area will be cleaned and shaved on the day of the appointment. Majority of artists use disposable razors so you can be sure they’re clean and sharp.

Q. How to prepare for my appointment?

A. Make sure you get plenty of rest as your body and immune system will be strained during the day. If you can, eat a filling breakfast and bring a sugary drink or snack for your appointment. For full day sessions you will likely have a break at some point so feel free to bring some food with you.

● Is it okay to use numbing gel? We heavily discourage the use of numbing agents. It tends to cause the skin to toughen up making it much more difficult to work with. Your skin won’t be able to take on ink as well as it normally would. Another factor is that once the numbing agent wears off, the sensation of pain will be greater as your body won’t have time to get used to it and will be a lot more sensitive.

● Can I use painkillers? We advise that you don’t take painkillers 24h before the tattoo as well as during your tattoo session. If you do use painkillers, you must be cautious when taking painkillers such as aspirin or ibuprofen as they thin your blood and prevent clotting.

Q. Why can’t you do a cover up?

A. Cover up tattoos can be difficult, especially if they cover a large area or use thick black outlines. Many think it’s just making a new tattoo on top of it, but in reality you have to work with the old ink underneath to create a new image. It depends on what you want to cover up and if the artist is comfortable taking on the project. They might suggest getting laser removal first, before they can tattoo anything new. Alternatively there might be a certain style of tattoo that works for the cover up. We ask anyone that is looking for a cover up to keep an open mind to suggestions made by the artist. Poorly thought out coverup tattoos can have the old ink show through the new design and in certain cases look worse than it did.

Q. I’m having second thoughts about it?

A. We understand that it is an important decision to make so you need to be certain that a tattoo is something you want. You can always discuss it with your artist whether it’s about the design, placement on your body, colours or anything to do with tattooing itself. We want you to be as comfortable and safe as possible during the session. It may be helpful to meet face to face with your artist and have a quick chat about anything that’s worrying you. However at the end of the day it’s your decision to make, we can help of course but we can’t decide for you.