Getting Your Unique Tattoo

The studio has a very large archive of images of all kinds from which you may choose your new tattoo. I have a bank of filing cabinets filled with images, and a library of books, so if you can come with an idea we can facilitate your achieving the best possible tattoo. Essentially anything that can be a pen-and-ink line drawing can be a tattoo, within constraints of size and complexity. 

I'd like to suggest that you take a look at my Online Tattoo Design Store in hopes that it will help you formulate an idea of what you would like. If you choose a Celtic Knot, the following video will help you to understand your options and decide how you would like it rendered in your skin:

If you desire an original custom design, then the day you come for your consultation, when you have narrowed your preferences down a bit, I can show you more designs that may be similar, and you can make the final call about which one you will get, or we can begin designing a custom piece.

This little video will help to explain the process of designing custom art: 

Whether you are interested in Celtic work or images from other cultures, we can look in my extensive reference material, and of course I am capable of doing custom designs that combine elements from several.
Be aware however that if you want something extensive drawn up it may require that we use the first meeting to consult and work out the details, and then you return later to get the tattoo installed. This is NOT something we can do by email or phone, please. We need to talk in person, and you need to be able to point at images you like. 

If you are interested in a sleeve of Celtic Art, please have a look at the BUILDING A CELTIC SLEEVE page.

I of course recommend Santa Barbara as a destination for a vacation, and suggest you ought to plan to come a day early for the pleasure of it. That way we have time to talk and plan, and I have overnight to draw if necessary. Then the next day you can get the piece, having rested comfortably in some quaint hotel, and perhaps done some tourism.

Not to worry if your schedule won't permit this, you may see something I have already drawn that is perfect, and we will personalize it by choosing ways it can be stylized with alternate colors and shading. Quick installation, while you wait! But in the meanwhile please do look on my online store for design ideas: LuckyFish Art. 

Further details: Since no one under the age of 18 is permitted into the studio please do not bring any children along with you. Even with "parental consent" I will never do any tattoo work for anyone under the age of 18. That's the law here. Please bring photo ID showing your date of birth, either a driver's license, military ID or passport, as we always photocopy that onto the back of every release form.

I charge by the piece, not the hour. That way we both agree up front on how much will be spent. It is the way I prefer to pay for my own tattoos, because I've had the experience of watching the minutes tick away as an artist talked on the phone, while I'm thinking the taxi meter is ticking away my tattoo fund.

Price depends on: size of the design, complexity of the pattern, placement on the body and whether it will be all black ink or also have color.
Tipping in advance makes it hurt less.

My studio is equipped to take cash and all major credit cards. Deposits to hold appointments are best sent via:

All the equipment used in my studio is SINGLE USE. EVERYTHING used on one client is completely NEW and will be disposed of properly afterwards. I have been trained by a representative of the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta in the Blood Borne Pathogens Standards. I have also passed the course offered by the Alliance of Professional Tattooists. I presume every client has the potential to have gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, hepatitis or AIDS; and I act accordingly. I don't risk contamination and neither does the next customer. This is the moral part of the job, and I appreciate your trust both in my artistic ability and my commitment to making this a safe procedure. 

I have made a video that I show every client before they get their tattoo, which explains in great detail why I believe it is necessary to use entirely new equipment. I began my career autoclaving equipment... but I now firmly believe it is morally necessary to use NOTHING that has EVER come into contact with anyone's blood. You can watch that video here: 

No matter who does your tattoo........I want you to be an informed consumer. 

The video also explains how to care for a new tattoo.

BUT IF you HAVE a communicable disease, or a life-threatening condition such as severe diabetes or heart disease, please be sensible and don't risk getting a tattoo. If you are under the care of a physician I would need to see a doctor's signed permission slip on office stationary that they feel your getting a tattoo is no threat to your health. If you are pregnant, undergoing chemotherapy, or in any other way immune compromised please do not ask me to tattoo you. You are not in a position to heal properly.

If you have artwork already that you wish to send for my opinion or evaluation please send it by email in .jpg format to:

Please understand that it is not possible for me to do much online. But if you want to ask if I think a design you have found is workable, go ahead and send it by email and I'll give you my honest opinion. Sometimes this saves time because I can tell you I cannot do something that is very intricate at the small size you want. 
I am very much committed to a tattoo being a lifetime investment, and I will reserve the right to tell you honestly that I do not believe a design will be possible, or that I am afraid it will blur as it ages because it is too intricate. For the same reason I will never tattoo on fingers or toes, because I know it will blur as the skin rapidly exfoliates. I want every tattoo I do to be a source of pleasure, not regret. 
At the studio where I have access to my archives and files we can work together to find a design that speaks to you. 
I will work with you to find a pattern that expresses the feeling you want in your tattoo, in the size and placement of your choice. I can show you many photographs from my portfolio to illustrate various ways the design can be rendered. This is your chance to externalize your inner aesthetics, to detail your body with fine art that will be a thing of beauty that will last as long as you do. I hope that we will be able to coordinate schedules and collaborate on a fine tattoo for you.

Dervla the Isish

Dervla the Irish Wolfhound says "A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them. Steve Jobs said that."

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