Frequently Asked Questions
CAN YOU REFER ME TO ANOTHER ARTIST?
Please note that we are unable to refer you to a tattoo artist in your local area who is competent at replicating Celtic designs. On the page of PAT'S TATTOO COLLECTION you will find the peer professionals that I have been tattooed by, or with whom I have developed mutual admiration and friendship over the decades.
CAN YOU DESIGN CUSTOM ART TO BE INSTALLED BY ANOTHER ARTIST?
I do focus my time creating and installing custom art primarily for those people who make the effort to come to Santa Barbara. Working directly with the client in person gives me the best opportunity to achieve the finest result. If you cannot come to me, may I recommend that you find the design or designs that are closest to what you have in mind, purchase the flash from the LuckyFish Art Store, and have your local artist do the customization or combination. In rare cases, such as adding names into a pattern or melding two designs together, I am able to do custom art at a distance. Please contact me by email to discuss whether or not this may be possible for your concept.
CAN I JUST DROP BY AND TALK ABOUT MY TATTOO IDEA?
If you are local, or happen to be in the area, you are welcome to drop by the studio to say "hi", check out the shop, and look at the portfolio. If you want to look at the archives, begin a consultation about a custom design, or otherwise garner our complete attention, we will require that you make a deposit and an appointment. Your consultation can then begin immediately, even though your actual tattoo will be installed later, at the appointment date. In order for me to work with you to start the design process you simply need to have an appointment on the books for the tattoo installation at some point in the future; this entitles you to consultation time in advance.
Please also note that currently the studio is open only by appointment; if there is no appointment, it will be closed! If you are considering a fly-by, we highly recommend that you call first to see if the studio is open . . . or you could guarantee it by making an appointment deposit!
ARE THERE PARTS OF THE BODY YOU WILL NOT TATTOO?
It is shop policy not to tattoo anyone on the neck or head, or hand. Unfortunately a person with tattoos in those places is likely to find it difficult to get a job, and we resent paying for "the dole" for someone who wantonly made themselves unemployable. Genitals are also not an acceptable request, and stomachs and inner thighs often have such loose stretchy skin that I prefer not to struggle with trying to get the intricate geometric complexities of Celtic art in the precise correct place. Toe tattoos will blur, just as fingers do, so no toe rings.
But take heart, there is all the rest of the body to embellish.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY TATTOO IF/WHEN MY BODY CHANGES?
There are two versions of this question: men want to know what will happen when they work out and get larger, and women want to know what will happen when they diet and get smaller. In either case, that tattoo will stretch or contract as your skin does; however, excessively rapid growth (e.g. steroid use or pregnancy) can lead to stretch marks. Consider placement wisely.
WILL YOU DO A TATTOO WITH ONLY COLOR, NO BLACK LINES?
All colors blur. Even black does, but at a dramatically slower rate. Everyone has seen an old guy with a tattoo that he swears is a pin up girl and you thought was a boat. Time and sun exposure will do that with all tattoos. That is because the skin cells die and are exfoliated. When you lose skin layers the skin cells beneath replicate by division, and as they divide they carry the ink to the sides, making lines wider and causing colors to fade.
If you outline in brown, or any other color, the precise thin line you begin with will change at a rate that is unpredictable. Tattoos done all in color will tend to become smeared, as the colors blend and merge. I am not in business to gratify a whim that I truly believe is all too likely tobecome a regret, I want you to like it forever. Black lines reinforce the Celtic art style, and make it more likely that the tattoo will be a thing of beauty that lasts as long as you do.
DOES TATTOOING HURT?
The important thing to consider with tattoos is their permanence, not the pain of installation. It only hurts during the process, which is at most a couple of hours, then you have it forever. The way to roughly factor how much a tattoo may hurt in a given place is to consider how close the skin surface is to the underlying bone; for example your wrist may hurt a bit more than your ass. But don't pick the spot based on it being where you think it will hurt least. Think about being able to see and enjoy your tattoo and show it off to others for the rest of your life.
HOW MUCH WILL MY TATTOO COST?
I can't make guesstimates online. Price depends on: size of the design, complexity of the pattern, placement on the body, and whether it is color or all black ink. I'll be delighted to work with you to design and install a tattoo, but until you have made a choice of images and decided how big it will be and what style it will have I can't possibly hazard an estimate of cost. I don't charge by the hour because if I wanted to I could make it hurt a lot more and cost a lot more by working slower, which doesn't make sense to either of us, now does it? We agree on all the details of the tattoo and then we agree on the fee, and I ask that you pay it up front. That way the most painful part is out of the way and we get to work for however long it takes until it is done.
ARE YOUR TATTOOS EXPENSIVE?
I began tattooing many years ago, in 1984, so naturally they cost more now than when I started. They are also WAY better than I could have done then, and take a lot less time to complete! I charge what I consider to be a fair price for the time and energy I feel is necessary to do my very best. I do recognize that these are tough times financially for a lot of people, but that's no reason to settle for less than the tattoo you really want. To help make it affordable we can break the tattoo process up into several sessions, making a way for you to get the piece started, in the size you want; and then if necessary you can come back for color later. Especially for ambitious clients who may eventually want a whole sleeve or backpiece, we can do the first design, then the next, and build to a coordinated collage of art. But is the price worth what you get? For that, check out the TESTIMONIALS PAGE and the TATTOO PORTFOLIO . . . then you decide. My clients come from all over the world, leave with art they are proud of, and tip me as they say "It is better than I imagined it could be."
You too can become art. Make it happen!
And Finally . . .