About Usspacer
Piercers and Tattoo Artistsspacer
Tattoo and Piercing Aftercarespacer
Frequently Asked Questionsspacer
Artwork, Clothing, Music, Tattoo Flash, etc.spacer
Driving Directionsspacer
Wallpapers, Advertisements, etcspacer
News about A.W.O.L. Custom Tattooing, LLCspacer
Services from A.W.O.L. Custom Tattooing, LLCspacer
Tattoo Related Terms

tattoo shop directoryspacerBody Modification E ZinespacerTattoo Shop DirectoryspacerMuskegon Biker InformationspacerC W Eldridge Tattoo ArchivespacerTattoo Shop DirectoryspacerThe Vanishing TattoospacerTattoo CommunityspacerTattoo SourcebookspacerBook Mistress

Frequently Asked Tattoo and Piercing Questions

A.W.O.L. Custom Tattooing Miscellaneous Questions...and here are some Myths as well.

Any serious medical questions should be referred to a licensed physician, all information herein is based upon the experience or research of persons from within the body modification industry.

Now there are many many questions that get asked about tattoos and piercings so we are going to break them down into categories.

Tattoo FAQs below and here's the Piercing FAQ

Age_ Cost_ Type_ Medical_ Misc_

spacer What should I get as a tattoo?

spacer Where should I place my tattoo?

spacer How do I become a tattooist?

spacer What do I need to have or do before my first tattoo?

spacer What do I look for in a tattoo shop?


What should I get as a tattoo? (back to top)

This is a very personal decision. What do you feel represents you, or something that you care greatly about. What are you proud of? If it is a memorial design what was the person that passed interested in? Do you just really like tattoos and want an artist to create something from a general idea or feel that you are in to. These are a few of the questions that you could ask yourself.

If you are having a hard time deciding perhaps you should hold off on getting a tattoo or ask for assistance with developing a design that is right for you. We do not recommend getting a tattoo on the spur of the moment and encourage you to think before you ink. Our artists have no problem coming up with a design just for you.

Where should I place my tattoo? (back to top)

This is a very situational decision. Many designs are made to fit certain parts of the body better than others. An experienced artist will be able to explain these things to you. In many cases a design can be altered to fit areas other than where they were intended to go.

How do I become a tattooist? (back to top)

Most people that set out to become a tattooist don't even make it past the paperwork. Be prepared to spend years learning and growing during and after an apprenticeship. This is a profession that requires an ability to learn for the rest of your career and a willingness to do so. There are more than enough tattooists out there right now so to be able to surpass anyone you will have to do it the right way.

It is an incredible and satisfying career, but there are many, many things to learn. Being a professional tattooist involves medical knowledge, psychology, knowledge of design, business sense, and last but definitely not least mechanical aptitude. If you are not ready for that quit now and don't disrespect the industry, the people that you'll mangle, or waste your own time.

What do I need to have or do before my first tattoo? (back to top)

Well, basically you need to be well rested, make sure that you have eaten, and remain calm. We understand that this is a big deal for someone that has never gone through it before but it's typically not as bad as some people make it out to be. Eating and resting will help your body avoid going into shock, and will give you more nutrients to deal with the situation.

It is also a great idea to either bring or wear clothing that makes the area that you are getting tattooed accessible. Don't wear the best clothes that you own. Occasionally a spot or two of ink will get around the barriers that we use. We do our best to protect your clothing, but things do happen. You are also going to want to be comfortable while you are getting your tattoo done. Loose fitting clothes that will allow you to move around if need be are a plus.

If you are getting a large amount of work done it is a good idea to take an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen, obviously this is if you have no problems such as being on medicine that will interact with them, or allergies to them. Check with your doctor if you have any questions about that. There is a small amount of swelling that occurs when you are getting tattooed and this is more so in larger projects. Here's a checklist for you if you need one.

What do I look for in a tattoo shop? (back to top)

All needles should be autoclaved and single use. Tubes (the part that they hold while tattooing) should be opened fresh at the time of the tattoo. If they are metal they should have been cleaned thoroughly with an ultrasonic cleaner and then autoclaved and stored in a sealed pouch that has an indicator to show if it has been sterilized or not. A new needle in a dirty tube is like putting clean socks into blood soaked boots and wondering how your feet got dirty. An ultrasonic cleaner should NEVER be used in a work station. If you see this leave immediately. Ultrasonic units put minute particles of contaminated water into the air if left uncovered. Contaminating items outside of the work area such as phones, radios, iPods, grabbing whole rolls of paper towel or ink bottles by touching them with bloody/ink stained gloves are all signs that they don't know what in the hell they are doing and you should leave. Inks should never be returned to the bottle after being dispersed. Needles should never be stored on site or in your purse, cupboard, etc for later reuse (i.e. "Your own needle"). They can become contaminated as well as the simple fact that skin does dull metal over time.

A stencil should not be re-used, nor a marker. There are skin diseases (as well as MRSA) that can be passed this way. Speed stick is not the answer for applying stencils. The same needle should never be used on couples, regardless of sexual activity. There are some diseases that can only be passed through the blood. We see many scratchers carrying "tattoo kits" with used equipment right in the same compartment as supposedly clean tools. Storing used items in the same container as "new" items defeats the whole purpose of having new items. There are many factors to take into consideration when it comes to doing a tattoo. Factors that are commonly unknown due to the private nature of the tattoo industry. That is why it is best to leave it to true professionals. It is illegal in the state of Michigan to operate as a tattooist or piercist outside of a health department licensed location. We are not so slow as to believe this will stop anyone from doing it nor do we truly believe that this will weed out anything but the worst shops. No matter where you choose to get a tattoo please be safe about it.