Black Friday Sale Returns!

Well, 2016 has been a fun one but I think we're all grateful for the holidays and the start of a new year.  We are definitely grateful for everyone who has supported us this past year and are eager to give back! We want to show how much we appreciate your business and also your trust in creating beautiful pieces of art by having a very special sale this week: All of our Gift Certificates will be 20% off!!

We hope you will take advantage of this once-a-year special, to give the gift of beautiful body art to your friends, family, and of course yourself.  Gift Certificates can be purchased online, in the studio and over the phone: 978.744.9393.

We are truly grateful for you all and hope you have a wonderful holiday season!!

Tis The Season…

k-witch-hatNo, not THAT season... its finally Fall and the Halloween season officially kicks off next weekend!  One of the reasons we love being in Salem, MA is this amazing time of year, filled with witches and bats and so much more.  We love to see our yearly halloween clientele, and love to meet new halloween-loving folks visiting the Witch City! We do, however, want to remind everyone that, if you have an appointment with one of our artists, please be sure to give yourself PLENTY oscreen-shot-2016-09-25-at-2-26-38-pmf extra time to get into the city and find parking.  It can be a real nightmare this time of year, especially on the weekends.  We hate when clients lose time on their appointment because they are running late due to traffic problems, so be sure to plan in advance for the delay, especially the closer we get to Halloween weekend. If you are visiting the Witch CIty this season and will only be here for a few days, we definitely recommend you call or contact us through the website to prebook your tattoo appointmentscreen-shot-2016-09-25-at-2-28-24-pmt, even for something really small, because we book up quickly on the weekends especially, and if you want to come in for a walk-in, come in early in the day to grab a spot.  We also have a lot more availability for walk-ins during weekdays. Please don't hesitate to call the studio at 978-744-9393 if you have any questions about getting tattooed at Witch City Ink!  

Travel Notices, Visiting Artists and Conventions, oh my!

The late winter and early spring will be a busy time for us here, and we've got a bunch of important tidbits to share!

Philly convention

FIrst, Natan and Steve will be attending the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention over Valentines Day weekend.  The convention starts Friday February 12th and goes through Sunday!

NatanPhillyWCIScreen Shot 2016-01-31 at 5.27.55 PM

To book either Natan or Steve for the convention, give us a call at the studio: 978-744-9393 or email us at witchcityink@gmail.com to get the ball rolling.

When Natan is done with the Philly Convention, he will be traveling to Maryland to do a guest spot at Time Bomb Tattoos and Curiosities.  He'll be there from Feb 16th through the 20th.

If you would like to book an appointment with him while he is there, you can call the studio at: 978-744-9393.

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And finally, we will, as always be at the Boston Tattoo Convention, which is April 8th through 10th this year.  Steve and Jaesun will be taking appointments all weekend.  Call the studio to book. 978-744-9393 or email us to get a conversation started.  We will also be joined by visiting artist Amanda Marie, who will then be doing a guest spot here from April 11th through 17th.

Amanda got her start tattooing in New York about 6 years ago.  She loves to put her all into every tattoo she does, no matter how big or small.  Amanda values making an inviting atmosphere for her clients and loves to create unique, custom tattoos. She currently works at Evermore Tattoo Company, Los Angeles, California.

To book an appointment with Amanda contact her directly.

Email: amandamarie@dolly-rot.com

Phone: 516-528-8203

AmandaMarie-Guest Spot- Promo

Holiday Hours

During the holiday season, our hours change a bit so our artists and front desk staff can spend time with their friends and families.

We will be closing at 2pm on Sunday Dec. 20th, and will be closed on Dec. 25th and Jan. 1st.

We still have a lot of availability for walk-ins and appointments with Steve and Jaesun the week before Christmas and the week between the holidays, so if you've been putting it off, now's the time to come in and get your new tattoo!!

While you're at it, stop by and grab a Gift Certificate for your favorite tattoo enthusiast and come in together!!

More Art Makes the Best Gift!

Leading up to the holiday's we are showcasing the artwork of our tattoo artists, sharing pieces that they have available for purchase currently.  Gifting art is a very thoughtful and personal way to show someone how much you care about them, especially if  you know they would love one of these original paintings. Jaesun is a classically trained painter and has finally decided he's ready to let go of some of his older paintings to make room for new work he is starting this winter.  He also has a few Giclee prints available, and can occasionally be talked into doing commissioned work.   Jaesun has all of these pieces, and more available at the studio, as well as in his Etsy shop:  www.etsy.com/shop/JaesunTattoos

Preparing For Your First Tattoo- Part 2

Dragon Sleeve by Natan

Dragon Sleeve by Natan Alexander

  It's Tattoo Time... Okay, now it's the day before your appointment!! I know you're excited, but there are a few things you want to keep in mind so that your tattoo experience is the best that it can be!  First, make sure you get a really good night's sleep the night before your appointment.  If you are well rested, you will be able to deal better with the stresses of the process.  Also, don't drink heavily the night before; it makes you very sensitive to sensations and will prevent you from getting a good night's sleep.  Also, it sucks to get tattooed with a hangover and if you have thinned your blood with alcohol you could bleed out a lot of the ink your artist is attempting to put in!! Its good to shower prior to your appointment, so you have fresh, clean skin; also, if you've got any hair in the area that you are getting tattooed, you can shave to prep the area, if you have a general idea of size and placement.  If you aren't comfortable with that, your artist will take care of it for you at the beginning of your appointment. Make sure to stay hydrated the day of your appointment and to eat a good meal just beforehand.  It is very important that your body has the energy to deal with the experience and you definitely want to give it more fuel than just chips or a quick snack.  Bring plenty of water and a couple snacks with you, if you are booked for a longer appointment, as you may want to take a break mid-way through your appointment to give your body more fuel to work with. It is very important to mentally prepare yourself, as well.  Everyone feels it differently, but it is at least irritating and at worst painful.  Depending on your pain threshold, the location of the tattoo and many other factors, you may feel it more or less than friends or family that you have spoken to about it.  It may be good to get yourself centered and grounded; some people prefer to really focus on the sensation itself, or may use meditation in order to overcome the pain.  Some people prefer to distract themselves from the sensation with music, movies or by talking with the artist or a friend.  Overall do what works best for you because everyone will deal with the experience differently.  You may want to psych yourself up a bit, so you can get your adrenaline going, which will help with pain management, but don't psych yourself out and make yourself overly sensitive or second guess what you're doing.
SteveGillespie_TraditionalShipTattoo

Traditional Ship and Anchor by Steve Gillespie

You've Made It Through!! You did it! You're tattoo session is complete and you made it!  Was it what you thought it would be? It wasn't so bad, right? You may even have already started planning your next one! So, now that you're done, the most important thing is taking very good care of it!  You have a large abrasion on your body and its going to take a bit of time to heal, and you have to make sure you do everything in your power to help it heal properly with the least amount of ink loss. Your artist will probably have bandaged your tattoo at the end of your appointment, so you don't leak lymph and blood and ink everywhere while your skin starts to clot.  After a couple of hours, or when you are ready to wash it, remove the bandage and clean thoroughly.  Sometimes its easiest to clean it in the shower, so if you have that option, use it.  If the bandage has stuck to your skin, soak it with warm water first and it should peel off after a few minutes.  There will be a lot of ink on the surface of your skin and on the bandage... don't worry, it's normal, your tattoo is not falling out!  Using a fragrance free anti-bacterial liquid soap, wash your hands first, then your tattoo.  You want to get all the lymph and blood off your skin, and you want it to feel smooth when you're done washing it.  The less material on the surface of your skin, the less of a scab will form.  When you have thoroughly rinsed your tattoo, you can pat it dry with a clean paper towel or let it air dry. The most important thing now, is to let it breathe!  Let the air get at it and keep it clean and dry for the next few days.  It is ideal to wash it 2-3 times a day as you can.  If needed, you can apply the tiniest amount of fragrance free hand cream to it, to relieve tightness and to prevent cracking, but you never want your skin to feel damp or greasy. It can up to 3 weeks for your skin to look healed after your tattoo, and it can take up to 3 months for your skin to completely regenerate and be considered fully healed.  During that time, make sure to keep it clean; if you work in a dirty environment or go to the gym or public places that have questionable surfaces, you might want to keep it covered with loose clothing, but generally you want it to be able to breathe. Don't pick or scratch at it!  I know it itches, but don't do it... if you must, slap it lightly (with a clean hand) until it stops itching.  Also, if you pick off those scabs, you could be lifting ink up with it or you could scar your skin and mar the tattoo. Protect it from the sun!  For the first few weeks, you definitely want to keep it covered with clothing and not use sunscreen to protect it, as it could interfere with the healing process; after it has fully healed, you want to always at least have sunscreen on it to protect it from the sun.  The sun is the tattoo-killer and will fade the color right out of your tattoo if you aren't careful. You also don't want to submerge it in water during the first month or so.  Showers are fine, baths are not.  Also, beware of hot tubs, swimming pools, ponds and the ocean; there are chemicals and bacteria in all of these places that can adversely effect your tattoo while it is healing. Taking care of your tattoo during the healing process and beyond will help to protect your investment and keep your tattoo looking beautiful for years to come.  You didn't go through all that pain to be stuck with a tattoo that is sub-par because you burned out the color or scratched off a scab and scarred it. As always, if you aren't sure about something, ask your artist!! Call the studio at 978-744-9393 and we will walk you through the process!!
Phoenix Arm Piece by Jaesun Duggan

Phoenix Arm Piece by Jaesun Duggan

Preparing for Your First Tattoo- Part 1

Getting a tattoo is a big decision, and not one to be made lightly.  If you have never been tattooed before, it can be a daunting process to begin.  There are a few things to know or to keep in mind when you start thinking about getting your first tattoo, which will make the experience less stressful and will help you to get a tattoo that you will love forever!
Flower Sleeve by Natan

Flower Sleeve by Natan

  In the Beginning... The first thing to do when you have decided it is time to get tattooed, is to figure out what you want.  You may know exactly what you want to have permanently etched on your skin, you might have a vague idea (or ideas), or you may have no clue what you want.  If you know exactly what you want or if you have a vague idea, you need to start looking at what artist will be able to execute your tattoo in the style that you are looking for.  If you have no idea what you want tattooed, now is the time to figure it out. Think about what is important to you; what types of art do you like?  Have you seen any tattoos that have made you swoon?  Do you want to do a tribute or memorial for a family member and if so, what do you associate with them?  Do you want to mark your religious or spiritual beliefs on your skin? Your cultural history?  These are some of the questions to ask yourself to get you started.  You are going to have to look at your tattoos the rest of your life, be sure that you have ink you want to be looking at!! Now that you've figured out what you want, now is the time to pick the artist.  Do you have a particular style of tattoo that you are interested in?  Realism? Traditional? Illustrative? Black and Gray? Color? Start looking at artists' portfolios; do you see similar styles of work to what you want?  If you want a tattoo that is mostly line-work, are their lines clean and precise?  If you are looking for color work, is their color solid and bright?  Do they specialize in the style of tattoo that you want?  While you might not see similar pieces in their portfolios, see if the qualities of the tattoos are ones that you are drawn to or match the types of tattoos that you prefer.
Alice in Wonderland Tattoo by Jaesun Duggan

Alice in Wonderland Tattoo by Jaesun Duggan

  Phase Two... Once you have determined what artist you want to work with, set up a consultation appointment with them.  To prepare for you consult, do your research!!  Look in books, magazine and online for art and images that you like.  You don't need to look at other tattoos to get ideas, look at all kinds of styles of art to find images that you can share with your artist to describe what you are looking to have done as a tattoo.  Look for images that you like the color palette of, the shape of x or y, the face of this and the body of that; this style of art, but that subject matter.... you get the idea.  But the more clear references you have, the easier it will be to tell your artist what you want. During your consult, they will sit down with you and go over your design ideas, and figure out exactly what will work best for you; bring all your references and make sure to share what you like about each. You will also want to talk to them about placement and size, which you should mostly already have thought about.  Try to be open minded during this conversation; while you might think a tattoo will work at a certain size or in a certain place, their experience might be different from your imagination.  Some tattoos don't heal well if they are done too small, some places might be harder to heal than others, and some designs might flow better with the shape of your body in certain locations compared to others. This is one of the most important parts of the process and it is very important to have clear communication with your artist and to let them know what is important to you and what you would be flexible about. When you have gone over the idea, the artist will be able to give you a general idea of how much time it will take to tattoo and the cost.  Now you can book an appointment!  When you're booking think about what your schedule will be like for a few days after getting tattooed.  If it is a larger tattoo, you might want to plan it so you have a day or two to recover.  Also, you won't be able to go to the beach, swim in pools or use hot tubs for a few weeks after the tattoo, and you'll have to be very careful of sun exposure, so if you're going on vacation somewhere tropical, or have an event planned that would be effected by these kinds of limitations, you might want to hold off until afterwards. Now that you've got your appointment set, you'll need to prepare yourself to get tattooed and to take care of it while it's healing.  Stay tuned for Part 2 to learn more!!
SteveGillespie_TraditionalSnakeTattoo

Traditional Snake Tattoo by Steve Gillespie

 

Halloween Season is over and We Survived!!

Reflection of the crowd in the studio window Halloween season is always a crazy time of year here in Salem, MA and this year was no exception!  The insanity began the first week of October and kept us entertained and swamped the rest of the month.
The crowd the  first weekend of Halloween season!

The crowd the first weekend of Halloween season!

We truly had a blast tattooing fun Salem and Halloween related tattoos on visiting tourists and also really appreciated the patience exhibited by our regular clients who ended up having to deal with unexpected crowds and the crazy parking situation all month long. We love wandering through town and seeing all the amazing decorations for Halloween and the Fall. JaesunDuggan_Pumpkins Jaesun started the month off by adding a fun ceramic jack-o-lantern to his station to add some holiday spirit JaePumpkinDecor Here are a few fun tattoos Jae got to do this year for visitors who wanted to forever memorialize their trip to Salem: JaesunDuggan_Walkins JaesunDuggan_Walkins-2 JaesunDuggan_Walkins-3 JaesunDuggan_Tourists JaesunDuggan_CreepyScenery2 JaesunDuggan_MichaelMaskJaesunDuggan_SugarSkull on HandJaesunDuggan_SalemWitchSilhouette JaesunDuggan_Halloween-Knuckles JaesunDuggan_GoosebumpsMaskWM Steve got to do some fun halloween pieces, too, including this cool Hocus Pocus portrait: SteveGillespie_HocusPocus Needless to say, it was a fun month, and we were so happy to see our annual visitors, but we are happy to slow down and enjoy the fall in this small New England city by the water!  With the crazy crowds gone for the year, we are excited to get some locals in who have been waiting patiently to get tattooed! Call the studio to book your appointments now!  978.744.9393  

Jaesun’s One Year Anniversary!!

Jaesun just celebrated his 1 year anniversary here in Salem!! He has created some beautiful tattoos since he's joined us and we wanted to share a few that we just added to his Portfolio, click the link to see more of his work!!  We are so excited to have him as part of our crew!

 
Alice in Wonderland Tattoo by Jaesun Duggan

Alice in Wonderland Tattoo by Jaesun Duggan

 
Death Eater Tattoo by Jaesun Duggan

Death Eater Tattoo by Jaesun Duggan

 
Ariel Tattoo by Jaesun Duggan

J. Scott Campbell Ariel Tattoo by Jaesun Duggan- Work in Progress

 
Celtic Knotwork Owl by Jaesun Duggan

Celtic Knotwork Owl by Jaesun Duggan

 
Stained Glass Owl by Jaesun Duggan

Owl Stained Glass Tattoo by Jaesun Duggan

 
Rose and Clock Tattoo by Jaesun Duggan

Rose and Clock Tattoo by Jaesun Duggan

The best time of year to get tattooed!

Did you know that most professional tattoo artists would agree that we are entering the best time of the year to get tattooed?  Fall and Winter tend to be the best seasons for tattoo collectors to get inked.  While most people think about getting tattooed in the spring and summer, when they want to show off their artwork and when they are seeing inspiring pieces on others, these are generally not great times to actually get work done.
NatanRoseSleeve

Here's beautiful skull and rose sleeve done by Natan!

  In the spring and summer, we all want to shed the layers we're stuck wearing all winter and go play at the beach in minimal clothes.  Unfortunately the sun, sand and water can negatively impact your tattoos healing process.  Skin is fragile during healing, which can take weeks, and exposing it to the sun increases the likelihood of the color fading and your tattoo not healing properly.  We recommend keeping your tattoo covered until its fully healed, which can take up to a month for the initial healing process and up to three months for it to be considered completely healed (with a new layer of skin covering the tattoo).  Ocean, pool and pond water contain many kinds of bacteria and other micro-organisms that can damage your tattoo, causing staph and other infections, and the chemicals found in treated water like pools and Jacuzzis can negatively effect your healing process, so avoiding these situations is imperative to healing your tattoo, and who wants to stay out of the water for half the summer!?
SteveLegSleve

This tropical looking japanese leg sleeve was done by Steve!

  Because all these factors have to be taken into account in the spring and summer, it is often recommended using the fall and winter to add to your tattoo collection!  In the winter you don't have to worry about sun exposure, and you get to keep your new piece hidden while it goes through the most awkward stages of the healing process, because you're probably going to be covered with many layers of clothing anyway.  You also don't have to worry about the not hitting the beach for weeks after you get tattooed, since you are unlikely to be heading there anyway (unless of course you're a fan of those Polar Bear Dips in the ocean!).  Winter also tends to be a slower time of year for walk-ins, and because the majority of the population only thinks about getting tattooed in the summer, schedules tend to be lighter, which means you can probably book an appointment much quicker with an artist in the fall and winter.
JaeLanternFalcon

Jae created this intricate celtic knotwork piece as part of his "Lantern" series!

  A few things to keep in mind, when you get tattooed in the colder months-  Plan to wear looser layers for the first couple weeks after your tattoo.  Some collectors find that their tattoos get more irritated if they are wearing a number of tighter layers, this can lead to additional scabbing, so you want to make sure your tattoo has some room to breathe.  Also remember to plan your tattoos around your vacations- if you are heading to a tropical location, having a fresh tattoo will prevent you from enjoying all the benefits of paradise, the same way it would impact you during the summer.  Lastly, fall and winter tend to be times when our immune systems are taxed and people tend to get colds and the flu, so if you're sick, you may want to reconsider getting work done.  If your immune system is stressed, your tattoo could take longer to heal and be more prone to infection during the process.  In addition to this, your tattoo artist probably doesn't want to be exposed to your illness.
wheat

Cassy made this beautiful but simple piece!

So, if you've been considering starting on a new piece of ink, now's the time to book your consult, come in and talk to your favorite artist and get on the schedule during the best time of year to get tattooed!  See our artist's portfolios to find the one who'll be a match for you!