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!!

Steve still has openings for the Massachusetts Tattoo Convention

MTC-Banner- FB-COVER

Steve Gillespie still has a few openings left at the upcoming Massachusetts Tattoo Convention at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA!  Call the studio at 978-744-9393 or email witchcityink@gmail.com via the Contact Form with inquiries!

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 5.26.27 PM Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 5.26.38 PM Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 5.26.53 PM Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 5.30.41 PM

 

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

 

New Work in Steve’s Portfolio

We just added some newer pieces to Steve’s Portfolio! Go check them out and book your appointment with him today! Steve’s Portfolio

Here are some of our favorites:

SteveLegSleve SteveGillespie_TraditionalEagleChestTattoo SteveGillespie_TraditionalShipTattoo SteveGillespie_TraditionalSnakeTattoo SteveGillespie_UnderboobMandala

Welcome Paul Martinez to Witch City Ink!

We have been searching far and wide for an artist to join our shop after PJ's departure. We are very selective when it comes to the artists we want here at our shop, but we finally found someone! Let us introduce you to Paul Martinez, who we have stolen away from the vast wilderness of Vermont.

Paul has been tattooing for about twenty years in various locations on the east coast, and has a degree in graphic design. He can tattoo any style, but like the other Witch City artists, prefers custom work with his own stylistic touches. Here are a couple of examples of his work, and be sure to take a look at his portfolio for more.

paul_hanya

Oh, and did we mention that the guy can also paint! Check it out:

If you would like to book an appointment with Paul, please call the shop at 978.744.9393.

In Progress from Natan: Phoenix Sleeve

As usual, Natan has a lot of in progress pieces happening. John, a Salem local and business owner, came in for his first session last week. The phoenix was a long outlining session, and he sat like a champ! Natan tattoos a lot of phoenixes, but this is the first one to cover an entire arm in a while. We’re looking forward to seeing this progress in future sessions. Of course, more pics will follow!

natan_johnphoenix

With the Boston Tattoo Convention less than six months away, Natan’s schedule is getting fuller. If you need to schedule an appointment with him to continue an existing piece or start something new, we recommend doing so as soon as you can! Give us a call at 978.744.9393, and we’ll get you in his calendar.

New from Sharonn: The Land and the Sea

So far it’s been nature week for Sharonn. Flowers, a tiger within a Japanese sleeve, a marine biology emblem, and a butterfly.

Sharonn, as always, continues to be a busy lady. She’s definitely one of those artists who snaps a quick photo with her phone when a tattoo is finished, and that’s usually all she has time for (we don’t say this like it’s a bad thing!). But again we must say, these photos do not do her work justice. The good news is, we usually try and bribe her clients to come back when their piece is healed so we can take more pictures. Think of these as a tease.

Dana was the gentleman who had the marine biology emblem done, and he is an interesting fellow! Before he left yesterday, he showed us some cool octopus videos on youtube. Yeah, we’re nerds here. And we love it.

Koi by Natan

It’s no secret that koi are a popular tattoo choice. It’s no wonder, as they’re gorgeous creatures and have a fantastic mythology behind them. Various sources tell the story a little differently, but essentially, as one site says:

“[The koi] is said to climb waterfalls bravely, and, if caught, it lies upon the cutting board awaiting the knife without a quiver, not unlike a samurai (warrior) facing a sword. This theme dates back to ancient China, where a legend tells of how any koi that succeeded in climbing the falls at a point called Dragon Gate (on the Yellow River) would be transformed into a dragon. Based on that legend, it became a symbol of worldly aspiration and advancement.”

Natan loves doing Japanese pieces, so naturally koi are a favorite as well. Here is one that he finished recently.

Natan still has a few days open in May, so get in touch with us if you want to be tattooed by him! 978.744.9393

New Koi by Steve

Early spring, anyone? Okay, it was actually snowing down in Boston early this morning, but February has definitely been gracing us with some warmer-than-usual temperatures, which is drawing people out of hibernation and into our shop. What is it about spring that makes people want to get tattooed? Or is it simply because it coincidentally coincides with tax return season? Either way, we’re not complaining! All five of our artists’ schedules have been pretty full these days, and while we do our best to accommodate walk-ins, this would be a good time to note that we highly recommend making an appointment in advance. You can do so by stopping by the shop, emailing us at witchcityink@gmail.com, or calling 978.744.9393.

In other news, we’ve finally pestered Steve enough where he’s taking pictures of his work again (hooray!). He did this large koi yesterday, on a returning client.

One of the new favorite things in the tattoo world seems to be Instagram, which is a (free!) photo app for iPhones. And guess who has an account? Our very own Mr. Gillespie. You can find and follow him at stevegillespietattoo.