How do I start the tattoo process? I’m completely new to it!

You first need to know what you want. Where do you want it? What kind of styles do you like? Any particular artists in mind? Grab a bunch of reference photos for your artist to use during the design period. Any names or dates should be double checked beforehand. Good research leads to a great tattoo.

Consultations are always free and highly recommended. It’s a great way to start discussing the design with your potential artist, and knowing what you want, where you want it, and whom you want to do it helps speed the process along. At that point, the artist, and only the artist, will be able to tell you how much it will cost and approximately how long it will take. Consultations are usually also available as walkins, but it helps to call ahead to make sure we have an artist available to speak with you. We want the best possible experience for everyone involved, and communication is key for this to happen.

We prefer in person conversations to discuss tattoos, but we also understand that some may be coming from a distance that does not facilitate multiple visits. You can email us with the details and ideas for your tattoo, and once we;ve gotten a plan nailed down, we can move forward with setting up the actual tattoo appointment.

Do I need an appointment?

No, you don’t, but if you want large scale work, an appointment is highly recommended and sometimes necessary to ensure a well done piece. Depending on the day and time, someone might be available for a walk-in, so if you’re feeling spontaneous and have tattoo fever, give the shop a call.

All of our tattooers have different schedule demands, so it’s always worth calling or emailing to check about availability, especially if you have a specific artist in mind for your tattoo.

How do I set up an appointment?

Please refer to the first question. But generally setting up an appointment consists of simply knowing what you want, who you want to do it, and a few options for availability. Once you have all of these, give us an email or call and we will work out a time that works for both you and the artist.

To secure your appointment you must leave a deposit (the amount will be specified by the individual artist). This will hold your place in the artist’s book, and ensure that even if you don’t show, that time has not been completely wasted for the artist. Your deposit is nonrefundable, and comes off the price of the tattoo on the final session. We understand, life happens, so if you find yourself in need of rescheduling give us a call at least 24 hours in advance so we can fill your spot. You will be able to reschedule without losing your deposit if you do so. In any other circumstances closer to the time of the tattoo, still give us a call, we are humans too and will try our best to accommodate you. Don’t leave us hanging, and we won’t leave you!

How do I pick an artist?

This is completely your own choice to make. It’s your tattoo, on your body, and you decide what that is supposed to be. You should pick an artist you feel will be able to translate your ideas into a finished piece you;ll love. Here are some tips and things to look for while you’re instagram stalking your favorite artists:

  • Does this work have the qualities I need? (color, back and grey, thin lines, animals, portraits, ect.)
  • Do I like their past work/style? Can I see myself in this portfolio? While most tattoo artists can work in many different styles, almost everyone has a favorite or specialty. This is most likely where their best work can be found. Consultations are also a great wait to find this out if it is not already clearly stated in their social media (it often is). After all, you wouldn’t ask Picasso to draw you a renaissance grade portrait, it’d come out looking all… squigly…
  • Make sure this artist is available in the time frame you want. Maybe even keep up a few options so you will be sure to get an artist you love even if someone is booked too far out.

Know that when you come into the shop, we are of course always trying to please our clients, but would never agree to tattoo someone or something we do not feel confident in, because we wouldn’t want you to get a tattoo you are not happy with. We will try our best to provide the services you need, but if you are at any point not happy with it, or confident in the artist, feel free to take your time to do more research. As much as we love scratching in sick tats, at the end of the day, the happiness of the client, and preservation of the artists style or values matters the most.

What do I need to do on the day of my appointment?

Please refer to the “Tattoo Instructions” above for more details, but generally speaking, you should prepare your body for a challenge, and your mind as well. Don’t come in after drinking, not sleeping enough, or not eating. You wouldn’t run a marathon hungover and hungry, don;t put your skin through that either. Be good to your body before a tattoo, or else it will take its sweet sweet revenge when that needle gets to your poor tired skin.

Eating is especially important because it affects your blood sugar levels. If you are low on blood sugar, passing out becomes a strong possibility, and worsens as the tattoo progresses. Please, unconscious humans on the floor of the shop are only permitted if it’s an artist passing out after a 12 hour tat fest with minimal breaks.

And finally if you have a bad cold or flue on the day of or day before, you should consider rescheduling. We don’t want to get sick, or anyone else in the shop, and having needles stabbing into you for hours on end is not a cure for the common cold…. Or wait, is that just acupuncture? Either way, our needles will probably just end up making you feel worse

How should I take care of my new tattoo?

Again, you can refer to our “The Day After” section for more details, but generally speaking follow these rules. Always have clean hands when you’re touching your new tattoo, and keep it moisturized, but not too moisturized. Apply ointment or unscented lotion 2 to 3 times a day, especially after showers. DO NOT PICK AT IT. Let it heal naturally.

How long will it take to heal?

Everyone heals differently, but the average tattoo takes 2 to 3 weeks to mostly heal. The tattoo is then completely healed after 30 days.

Can I get a tattoo covered up?

Heck yeah you can! If “Jessica” didn’t turn out to be your forever girl, or the lyrics to that Blink-182 song don’t quite speak to you anymore, come set up a consultation with one of our artists to see how we can work with what you have, and make it into something you love. Follow all the same steps from our above recommendations on how to get ready for your tattoo, but also keep in mind that coverups have to be significantly larger than the original tattoo, and not all styles and colors work well covering things up. For this reason, you should keep an open mind when you come into the shop for your consultation.

Can I cover up a scar, birthmark, or something of the sort?

Possibly. It depends upon how old the scar is, how raised it is, and where it is. Same goes for birthmarks, but it also matters how dark is it and the texture of your skin. Either way, it never hurts to come in and have us see what we can do! Maybe we can make it into a smiley face, or come up with another creative solution.

How does Holistic Ink and Gallery stay so sterile and clean?

We use hospital grade sterilization and autoclave all reusable metal grips and tools of any sort.

We also use single use equipment where reusable would not be safe. For example, all needles, ink cups, plastic wrappings, and gauze etc., are all single-use and safely disposed of after each client. Safe disposal includes: sharps containers, wearing gloves during all set ups and breakdowns, carefully kept trash bins, and a portal to the black hole beneath our shop where we can safely dispose of your coffee cups and whatever if left of our souls.

How much will it hurt?

Getting a tattoo feels different for everyone. The pain will vary in type and intensity depending upon your pain threshold, the location of the tattoo, and the type of tattoo you are getting. But it’ll be worth it! We promise.

How do I get in contact with Holistic Ink and Gallery?

Give us a call or send us a message through our website/the google contact options! We have a couple of super cool apprentices that sit around all day just waiting to hear your sweet voice over that telephone. All our artists and apprentices also take the time to make sure at least one person has responded to every message we receive via text and email. Give us at least 24 hours to respond to your inquiry, we will usually respond within that time frame.

How old do I have to be to get a tattoo?

According to Massachusetts State law, you must be 18-years-old with a government-issued ID that says so. Your parents cannot sign for you if you are under 18, no matter how sick that Barney tattoo would look (we joke, we joke).

Government-issued ID means: valid driver’s license, passport, military ID, or Bill Clinton (or any ex-president) vouching for you.

How much will it cost?

Each artist sets their own prices and hourly rates. In this way, they are able to keep control over their income and ensure a consistent quality and value in their work. As explained above in the FAQ, once you have decided upon an artist, you will work with them in person to decide upon a price point that works for both you and the artist.

The larger and more complex the tattoo, generally the more it will cost. Small tattoos can usually have an exact price before the piece is begun, and larger tattoos will often have a more approximated price due to the extra variable that will be taken into consideration (such as actual time) once the tattoo is under way.

Over all though we do have a shop minimum of $80. That means no matter how small the tattoo will be, it will cost at least $80. This covers the materials used and the artist’s time. In order to keep the shop clean, running, and well stocked, we need a shop minimum to ensure that even after a week of tiny initials on the insides of ring fingers, we can still pay the bills.

How do I get a tattoo removed?

You can find information about getting a tattoo removed here: