Utopia's Step by Step Procedure
Book an appointment with us for discussion and/or design consultation
Get estimated quotation and details regarding tattoo/s
Pay a non-refundable deposit($100-200) for the artist to start any drawings or customisations. Deposit will be offset from the final tattoo session
Set an appointment for viewing and measurements after design is completed
Finalise a date for your tattoo appointment
Any changes in designs after finalisation may result in a forfeit of your deposit and existing quotations may differ
If no appointment is made within 3 months of confirmation of design, your deposit may be forfeited.
Free touch ups are only applicable within 6 months after the completion of the tattoo
Answered by a tattoo artist who has been in the business more than 10 years of experience.
Q1. People know that it will hurt. But how much?
With the advance in technology, getting a tattoo is faster and hurts lesser as compared to traditional means. As we go through the process of getting a tattoo, our body will produce natural pain killers (endorphins) which makes the process more bearable. It sets the limit for your tattoo session (between 2-3 hours). Timings may very due to individual tolerance levels. After this period, you tend to feel very uncomfortable.
Any skin area directly over the bone will be particularly sensitive; this includes ribs, feet, hands, head, and pelvis; to name a few. If you are looking for a less painful spot, then you should consider an area protected by a large muscle; such as the fore-arm, upper-arm, shoulder, calf and thigh. That being said, everyone’s pain threshold varies, so there are no hard and fast answers to this question.
Q2. Is it safe to get a tattoo?
At Utopia Studio, hygiene and cleanliness are one of our priorities. We always use new needles for every customer and dispose of them properly after use. After each client, we sterilize our equipment with alcohol to remove bacteria.
Q3. Is it permanent?
Tattoos are permanent. But tattoos will age because of sun, improper healing, and poor health. How well they age depends on the size, and placement. Older tattoos can be redone and recolored. Unwanted tattoos can be covered with a new tattoo (cover up) or removed (laser).
Q4. How much does it cost?
It is impossible for us to quote a price without knowing the design of your tattoo. Custom tattooing costs according to the time involved. Larger and complex tattoos eg. a full back can cost thousands of dollars, while smaller and simpler things cost much less. Do not forget we have literally thousands of tattoo designs for you to choose from. We have been in the business for over 10 years. Arrange an interview with us and bring in your own designs. Only then will we be able to quote a price suitable for your design.
When it comes to tattooing, you get what you pay for. Do not expect a good artist to come cheap. If that’s the route you choose, you could end up spending a great deal more further down the road, where you have to pay for a large cover-up or even laser removal sessions. Save up until you can afford what you really want! Don’t settle just because you are impatient to get some ink, as you will be bound to regret it.
We accept Cash only.
Q5. When should I not get a tattoo?
- Pregnant women, or anyone with a chronic serious condition, should get the advice of their doctor before getting a tattoo
- You must be at least 18 years of age
- Not when you’re drunk, high or feeling unwell
Q6. How long does a tattoo take?
Once you've had a discussion with us, you will usually then want to book in for some time at the studio. Your tattoo artist will usually have a good idea at this point as to how long your tattoo will take, and will be able to advise you on the cost. Booking your appointment usually requires a deposit (commonly of 50%), so as to discourage time wasters and to offset against our artwork that we produce for you, should you not turn up. When you do turn up, however, your design work will be free and your deposit will be then offset against the price of your tattoo. Tattooing is not a quick process, nor should it be rushed as you will be living with the results permanently.
Q7. How do I decide on a studio?
Visit our studio, talk to us and cultivate a general understanding with us. Getting a tattoo is a very personal experience, you should have a rapport with your tattooist, and feel comfortable in their studio. The cleanliness of the studio, will very much reflect their attitude towards their customer and their customer’s wellbeing.
Q8. Should I drink before to calm my nerves down?
No. This is not advisable for several very realistic reasons, other than the obvious difficulties of tattooing a drunk person, and the fact that any good tattooist will refuse to tattoo you if you are drunk. The main reason is that alcohol thins your blood considerably. In turn, this causes excessive bleeding while getting the tattoo, which not only makes it difficult for the tattoo artist, but will have the effect of ‘washing out’ ink as it is being put in. This makes the process much longer, and can produce poor results.
Alcohol can have an effect for several days, so it is also not a good idea to have a tattoo after a night of drinking, even if you have not consumed anything on the day.
Q9. What should I do on the day of tattoo?
There are several things you can do to make your experience easier and more enjoyable.
Firstly, try and make sure you have had something to eat and drink about an hour before your tattoo. During the tattoo, your body behaves in a way very similar to going into shock, as it generates endorphins to deal with the attack on the skin. This can cause a drop in blood sugar, resulting in light-headedness, and sometimes nausea or fainting. Having a meal and consuming natural sugars, such as orange juice can help to prevent this. If you feel faint during your tattoo, let your artist know immediately, and they will help you through it. Don’t be ashamed of telling them, if you have chosen your studio wisely, they will be totally sympathetic to your needs and help you through the experience with dignity. Often a tattoo studio will offer you hard boiled sweets or a lolly to help keep your sugar up during the tattoo.
Secondly, think about what you are going to wear. You know where you are likely to get your tattoo, so make sure you dress so that you can expose this general area while at the same time maintaining your dignity. Usually the studio area can be covered (door closed or a screen put in place), if you are feeling particularly vulnerable. Have these conversations with your studio and they should be able to tell you what they can put in place to make you feel comfortable.
Don’t wear your Sunday best. Tattoo ink will generally stain clothes, but your artist will do everything they can to keep your clothing clean. There is always the possibility of getting ink on your clothes. Tattoo ink is very concentrated and will go a very long way, so it’s always best to bear this in mind when choosing the day’s wardrobe.
Other things you may want to consider bringing might include an MP3 player, or other distraction like a book or smart phone etc. Some people like to chat to the tattooist, others like stony silence, others prefer a distraction like the things mentioned above.
Q10. How Deep Does A Tattoo Go?
We all have seven layers of skin. When we tattoo, it only reaches 3 layers down. This is deep enough to remain in the skin for a long time without shedding off. It is also high enough up that it does not cause raised scar tissue to form as your body tries to protect itself from invading foreign materials.
Q11. Is it ok to ask for Breaks and Stretching?
If your tattoo takes longer than an hour, you will probably take a break at some point during the tattoo process. You will want to walk around, drink water, smoke or relax and loosen your tensed body which resulted from sitting still for so long. We may need to stretch and drink some water too. Tattooing is hard work!
A word of caution: Don’t take breaks that are longer than 10 minutes if you can help it. Your body will start to think that the session is over, and the longer you wait between tattooing, the harder it is for your system to keep producing endorphins. It is also particularly hard to get back in the groove of tattooing when clients take breaks 30-45 minutes long. On a side note, they will begin to swell and hurt a lot more! So it is important that clients are to be quick with their bathroom or smoke breaks so that they wouldn’t have a hard time continuing.
There are plenty of sources out there and an unlimited array of designs to choose from. You can search online, flip through books or check out my stock books filled with flash designs.
We are striving to provide a comfortable and friendly environment that fulfills our clients’ ideals. In order to grasp the exact idea of what the clients want, we find it essential to have an upfront discussion to avoid misconceptions. That is why we run by appointments.
In addition to this, we can work together to generate a tattoo that is both personal and meaningful to you. This reduces the rate of getting a tattoo that you would regret in the future and would have to go through the hassle of a cover-up.
Reference materials are crucial as it will help us understand each other better. Reference materials need not be exactly what you want done, it may be a rough idea of what you would like to capture in the tattoo. We will review your design and ideas and relate to you about the limitations of tattooing (don’t forget, we are talking about needles, ink and skin here). We will also advise you on the placement and if it is ideal. A small tattoo that would work well on the wrist might not work as well if placed on the thigh.
It is always the customer’s choice, but it should always be an informed choice.
If you are thinking about getting your first tattoo but is unfamiliar with the process, the thought of getting one might greet you with anticipation. The fear of the unknown can sometimes hold us back from doing things we really want to do. You might be concerned that it will hurt too much for you to take. You might be worried that even if the artist is inexperienced or is doing something permanently wrong, you wouldn't realize it until it’s too late.
The best thing you can do is to educate yourself on the process of the tattoo application. In that way, you will be prepared and know what to expect when you sit in the artist's chair. So how is a tattoo applied to the skin? From start to finish, this article will tell you exactly how the human skin is transformed into a beautiful work of art.
Please keep in mind that the following outlines describes the most favorable situations for getting a tattoo. There will always be differences between one artist and the next, but any major deviance from these guidelines could indicate a problem.
Picking a suitable design and one that you will be willing to keep for the rest of your life.
Before tattooing, we will reconfirm the design with you. That will be followed by the use of alcohol to clean and sterilize the area of your body chosen for your tattoo. Hairs will be removed from the area with a new disposable razor which will be discarded after use. The area will be cleaned again to make sure it is smooth and ready for the stencil transfer.
Shaving before beginning the tattoo process also prevents the tattoo needles from pushing a strand of hair down into your skin. If this happens, hairs that get pushed into your skin during the tattoo process could result in patchy healing as the hairs are trying to resurface.
Even though sometimes growing the hair back feels itchy, it is really all for the best. As long as you don’t scratch your tattoo while it is healing, you can prevent damaging your fresh tattoo.
Here’s a tip for healing: If your tattoo is on your leg, or someplace that you plan on shaving in the future to show it off - Wait at least two weeks after getting a fresh tattoo! If you shave the area before the tattoo is fully healed, you risk sloughing off an extra layer of skin, which can result in the loss of lots of tattoo ink. Be patient, and your tattoo will heal beautifully and look fantastic for years to come.
Another piece of advice - Let your tattoo artist shave your arm, leg or ribs on the day of your tattoo. Don’t do it yourself.
We can’t tattoo through a fresh scab and scar either (old scars are a different story). We will then have to reschedule another appointment date.
So don’t be a hero. Let us prepare the area when you arrive for your tattoo procedure. It is what we do.
Applying the Stencil
After the area had been cleaned and shaved, the next step is the application of the tattoo stencil, or freehand drawing directly on your skin with a surgical marker or a sharpie.
We will apply the stencil to your skin using Vaseline. Application of the stencil may take a while in some cases in order to get the placement perfect. Relax and feel free to make corrections with the placement at this point of time. Once the stencil or drawing has come to a successful conclusion, we will need to let the stencil dry. This is to ensure the life of the stencil so that it will not be gone halfway through the process. We wouldn’t want that.
Setting up machines
While waiting for the stencil to dry, we will start to prepare our tattoo machine. The inks will be placed in little tiny cups called ink caps, and the needles and tubes will be removed from their sterile pouches and placed in the machine. A cup of clean, distilled water will be essential for the cleaning of needles during the tattoo process.
It’s time to start. So just sit back and relax your body. If at any point of time during the tattoo process should you feel giddy or lightheaded, do inform the tattoo artist immediately and have a break. Water and sweets will help.
Now that your tattoo is finished and clean, it is to be treated just like a graze/wound. You may then take a full view of finished tattoo. A protective layer of ointment will be applied to the tattoo to prevent invasion of airborne bacteria that can cause infection. Afterwhich, your tattoo will be cling wrapped and taped to make sure it is secure to prevent your fresh tattoo from rubbing against your clothes (in some cases). At the end of the session, everything that had been used during the tattoo process (except for the machines and non-disposable tubes) will be thrown away. If kept, tubes will be scrubbed, disinfected, run through an ultrasonic, and then autoclaved to sterilize before use again. The machines will be disinfected, and if they are pneumatic (my favorite machines!), they can be autoclaved and sterilized as well!
It is important that you keep this bandage on for the amount of time your artist instructs, which brings us to our last step: aftercare.
It’s important that you don’t remove the bandage before you get home. The bandage is an important part of the tattoo process, and we put it on you to protect you on your journey home.
P.S. - A quick disclaimer. What you just read does NOT qualify you to be a tattoo artist. Understanding the tattoo process does not make you an expert. Do not attempt to tattoo yourself or tattoo others armed with only the knowledge that you can glean from the internet. It’s a quick way to hurt yourself and those you love. Just say no.
Now that you have your fresh new tattoo, you would want to take good care of it! From this point on, your artist is not responsible for any infection or problems you may have with your tattoo if you don't take proper care of it. It is very important that you follow these guidelines. A really beautiful tattoo can turn into a disaster if the proper aftercare is not taken seriously.
1. Leave That Bandage Alone!
We took the care to cover up your new tattoo for a very good reason - to keep air-borne bacteria from invading your wound. Excitement of having a new tattoo will make you want to remove the bandage so that you can show your friends, but resist that thought. Your friends will just have to wait until later.
2. Wash and Treat
After you remove the bandage, you will want to wash your tattoo. Use lukewarm water to gently wash away any ointment, blood and/or plasma and to completely clean the area. Do not use a washcloth or anything abrasive. Your hand is your best tool in this case. (If your tattoo feels slimy and slippery, you have probably been oozing plasma. Try to gently remove as much of this as possible - when the plasma dries on the skin surface, it creates scabs.)
Then pat (do not rub) the area firmly with a CLEAN towel or paper towel to get it completely dry. Follow up with a very light application of Tattoo Goo (you can purchase Tattoo Goo at the end of your tattoo session). Apply the tattoo goo to your tattoo 2-3 times per day to keep it shiny and moisturized.
**Do not use Neosporin. This is a wonderful product for cuts and scrapes, but not for tattoos. Some can have an allergic reaction to Neosporin, which causes little red bumps. When the bumps go away, so does the ink, and you end up with a polka-dotted tattoo.**
After that, continue to keep it clean.
3. Bathing, Showering, Hot Tubs, Swimming, Sun Tanning
Yes, you can (and should!) shower with a new tattoo. It's OK to get your tattoo wet - just don't soak it. Submerging your tattoo in a bath or hot tub can cause serious damage, so you'll want to avoid those for 2-3 weeks, but showering is perfectly fine as long as you don't saturate your tattoo. If you get soap or shampoo on your tattoo, just remove it quickly with water. Swimming - whether it be a pool, fresh water or salt water and even sun tanning should be avoided for at least 2 weeks.
4. Scabbing and Peeling
After a few days, you will notice some peeling and possibly a little scabbing. You will also start to itch, just like a sunburn when it begins to heal. The advice here is, don't pick, and don't scratch! Your tattoo is almost healed, and now is not the time to ruin it!
What you can expect:
Scabbing phase 3-7 days
Dry flaky skin phase 3-7 days
Leathery phase 3-7 days