Information / Frequently Asked Questions

Is it "tattooist" or "tattoo artist"?
Often the two are used interchangeably but there is a difference. A tattooist is someone who only performs the process of tattooing and does not design tattoos themselves. A tattoo artist is someone who creates their own designs as well as inking them.

I've heard about "semi-permanent" tattoos, what's that?
That's rubbish. There's no such thing as a tattoo that will only last a year or so; either you get inked or you don't.

Can I get my hands/feet/face tattooed?
If you're absolutely certain that you want to, you can but it might take you a while to find a tattooist who'll do the work. Many tattooists will refuse to ink hands, feet and particularly faces. Some may refuse to tattoo the entire lower arms (known as sleeves) unless you already have tattoos on your upper arms. That's the prerogative of the tattooist and all you can do is accept it and walk away. Don't forget to ask if they know of a tattooist who will do the work, though; it might save you some legwork.

Can I request a special design?
The answer to this question is almost always yes. You can have the artist work up a design for you right there in the shop. You can describe what you are looking for and they will sketch the tattoo based on your description. You can always pick designs from their portfolio or the walls as well. The artist will then, sketch the design on to a special paper which will be used to give you a temporary tattoo for them to trace over. This guarantees that the work is done accurately and that there will be no surprises.

Will it hurt?
The amount of pain that you will experience will depend on your individual pain tolerance and the placement of the tattoo. Tattoos done on fleshy areas of your body (like your stomach) will hurt much less than tattoos done on parts of your body with less fat such as your back or ankle. Most people compare getting tattooed with getting a lot of little bee stings at one time. After awhile the area being tattooed will go numb especially, if you are getting a large amount of space coloured in.

How long will it take?
This depends on the design and the artist. If the design is very large, colourful or complicated, you may have to schedule multiple sessions. Even if you choose the smallest, least complicated and colourful design expects to spend a minimum of 30 to 45 minutes. More experienced artists will take less time to complete a tattoo than the less experienced.

Do I have to make an appointment?
Most parlours allow walk ins however some require appointments. If you live in a heavily populated, urban area you probably will want to schedule an appointment to avoid a long wait.

How much will my tattoo cost?
The price of a tattoo is based on the size, colour and amount of time that it takes to complete. Even the smallest tattoo will cost at least R300 which will cover the artists supplies and the small amount of time that it will take. Most artists are willingly to bargain. Do not forget to tip your artist especially if they are giving you a deal.

Will I get to pick the artist who will be tattooing me?
This also depends on the parlour. Most shops have at least two artists available at all times. Most artists have tattoo portfolios that they are happy to share with their customers.

How to choose an artist?
That's a difficult question. Some shops has all the glamour but really bad artists. We recommend that you look at their portfolio and ask around. Rule of thumb stands, if it looks dodgy it usually is.

How can a tattoo be removed?
Tattoo removal is best done with Q-switched Nd:Yag laser, can be safely done in ethnic skin, though multiple treatment sessions may be required. Any surgical procedure including laser surgery has potential risks of secondary infection or hypertrophic scarring. I would start with Q-switched Nd:Yag laser with conservative energy as there may be risks of pigmentation changes.

What about permanent make up and cosmetic tattooing?
Eyebrow, eyeliner and lip colour can all be enhanced by cosmetic tattooing known as permanent make up. This is becoming more common as people -- not just women -- want to have greater control over their looks and take less time applying make up to do so. Cosmetic pigments are implanted under the skin using small, fine needles. Usually, a topical anesthetic is used to reduce the discomfort of tattooing in these areas. Permanent make up is not only used for purely cosmetic reasons but may also be used to cover scars and imperfections or to give the effect of eyebrows after severe hair lose. Keep in mind that scars can take up to a year to heal completely so you'll need to wait at least that long before any work can be done in that area.

Is there a tattoo and piercing council in South Africa?
No there isn't. We know of someone who poses as the body art council and charges something like R900 per year. This is total bull. There isn't any governing body that you have to belong to, to become a tattoo artist. You only need to follow the health and safety regulation set out by the government.

How To Become a Tattoo Artist.
The first thing you need is raw talent. Someone who can't draw or color inside the lines isn't going to be a good candidate for being a tattoo artist. Then you need to hone your raw talent to develop talent into skill. Skill can come from fine art classes, working with a fellow artist, learning technique from books, or all of the above. On top of that, you need to practice, practice, practice. Once you're a competent artist on paper, you'll need to build a portfolio. A portfolio is a case or binder containing examples of your art, to show your different skills. The next thing you need is an apprenticeship. An apprentice is someone who learns a skill from someone else already skilled in the trade. Sometimes an apprenticeship can be free, but many times they cost thousands of dollars. You will need to find a way to save or acquire the money needed for your training. Then you need to find an apprenticeship - but not just any apprenticeship - you need to find the right one for you. One with a master you feel you can truly learn from - not someone just offering apprenticeships to make money. Getting an apprenticeship can be a challenge. Once you are an apprentice, you will learn many skills from your teacher, most of them having nothing to do with actual drawing. You will learn how to safely clean your equipment, how to operate a tattoo machine, how to adjust your power supply, how to protect yourself and your clients from disease, and last but not least - how to correctly apply a tattoo. This can take many months to learn completely. During your time as an apprentice, you will continue to practice and hone your drawing skills. You are not limited to only gaining knowledge from your teacher - you may also have the opportunity to spend time learning from other artists as well. Getting tattooed is a good way to watch and learn the techniques of other master tattoo artists. There's no formal graduation from an apprenticeship. Generally, the teacher decides when the student is ready to venture off on their own. Sometimes a contract was signed at the beginning of the apprenticeship, and the terms will vary. But as long as you are not under contract to continue for a certain length of time or prevented from working for a competing shop, you can decide to stretch your wings when you feel you have learned all you can from your teacher. No matter how long you apprentice or how long you tattoo, you never know it all. There is always more to learn, new techniques to adopt, new ways to enhance what has already been done. Never be satisfied with mediocrity, and never allow yourself to become egotistical.

How to Get a Tattoo or Piercing Apprenticeship
To find an apprenticeship within your means that will provide the proper training to get you into the business of tattooing. This is not a "get rich quick" scheme. You are looking for an apprenticeship that will last long enough to provide you with the proper skills needed - not just in tattooing - but also in sterilization, proper cleaning, and business management. Among these skills you may also learn things such as needle making, prepping, making stencils and every other aspect of the business. A complete apprenticeship cannot be accomplished in just a few months time. A good mentor won't even let you begin tattooing until you have learned all these other things.

How To Build an Impressive Art Portfolio to Find a Tattoo Apprenticeship
Purchase an actual art presentation portfolio, not just a photo album or binder. Get one that is large enough to accommodate your largest drawings and/or paintings. It doesn't have to be an expensive leather-bound portfolio; just get one that adequately organizes your artwork. This shows that you take your art seriously. Gather all of your best and favorite pieces of art that you want to display in your portfolio. Choose a variety of pieces that show your range of skills and your ability to work in as many mediums as possible. Make sure you have at least a few pieces that are done in a tattoo style if possible. Be sure every piece is signed by you so you can prove that it is all your own unique artwork. If you have larger artistic pieces that can't fit into the portfolio (such as paintings on canvas or sculptures) then take photos of them to include in your portfolio. Take clean photos and multiple angles if needed. The larger the photos, the better you'll be able to show your work. Begin organizing your portfolio by carefully placing each piece in its prospective sleeve or pocket. Add a photo section if needed. Include copies of a photo resume that you can leave behind at the studio after your interview. The resume should highlight any art education, personal experience and your reason for wanting to be a tattoo artist. Behind your resume, include a page of smaller photos of the artwork they would have seen in your portfolio during your interview. This will help refresh their mind as to who you are and your abilities.

How to Get a Tattoo or Piercing Apprenticeship
To find an apprenticeship within your means that will provide the proper training to get you into the business of tattooing. This is not a "get rich quick" scheme. You are looking for an apprenticeship that will last long enough to provide you with the proper skills needed - not just in tattooing - but also in sterilization, proper cleaning, and business management. Among these skills you may also learn things such as needle making, prepping, making stencils and every other aspect of the business. A complete apprenticeship cannot be accomplished in just a few months time. A good mentor won't even let you begin tattooing until you have learned all these other things.

How To Build an Impressive Art Portfolio to Find a Tattoo Apprenticeship
Purchase an actual art presentation portfolio, not just a photo album or binder. Get one that is large enough to accommodate your largest drawings and/or paintings. It doesn't have to be an expensive leather-bound portfolio; just get one that adequately organizes your artwork. This shows that you take your art seriously. Gather all of your best and favorite pieces of art that you want to display in your portfolio. Choose a variety of pieces that show your range of skills and your ability to work in as many mediums as possible. Make sure you have at least a few pieces that are done in a tattoo style if possible. Be sure every piece is signed by you so you can prove that it is all your own unique artwork. If you have larger artistic pieces that can't fit into the portfolio (such as paintings on canvas or sculptures) then take photos of them to include in your portfolio. Take clean photos and multiple angles if needed. The larger the photos, the better you'll be able to show your work. Begin organizing your portfolio by carefully placing each piece in its prospective sleeve or pocket. Add a photo section if needed. Include copies of a photo resume that you can leave behind at the studio after your interview. The resume should highlight any art education, personal experience and your reason for wanting to be a tattoo artist. Behind your resume, include a page of smaller photos of the artwork they would have seen in your portfolio during your interview. This will help refresh their mind as to who you are and your abilities.

How does delivery work with Getinked?
Once you have paid for your order (faster service requires you to send us the proof of payment) you will receive an sms stating that we have received the payment. Your order will be send to packaging where they will pack it and send it to dispatching. When your parcel is dispatched you will receive an sms stating the tracking number (eg. TC000000ZA, SUBBD000000) and a link to where you can track you parcel. Deliveries vary from 24 to 72 hours depending on where your stay. Should you require faster delivery, you should contact us.

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