Original picture on www.shopdixi.com/

Alas, you're probably reading this with an eye roll, tapping your tattooed fingers on the table wondering when you're going to hear the end of this debate. Answer: never. Because equal chances are that you've seen some really, really cute pictures of perfect finger tattoos on Pinterest or Instagram and are looking to get one yourself (see header). Whether it's your first tattoo and you just like the look or you're working on a full body suit, the do's and don'ts of finger tattoos are always a good topic.

The truth of the matter is that finger tattoos are a gamble, at best. Take a moment to think about your hands. How much you touch with your hands each day, how little muscle and/or fat you have on each finger, how much work they endure in an afternoon. Though tattoos are permanent, your hands don't have the thick layer of skin needed to hold the ink in, resulting in a tattoo that "falls out"- i.e. a fresh tattoo that can look sloppy, unfinished, or look years older than it is. Another common downfall of a finger tattoo is a tattoo that is "blown out", or where the ink doesn't hold in the spot and expands under the skin, turning your nice clean line into an ink blot.

This does NOT mean you shouldn't get what you want. Many people decide on this tattoo and love the result. We tell you this because with the rise of social media and with celebrities popularizing the finger tattoo trend, many aren't aware of the risks that come with this sort of tattoo. You should always go with what you want, it's your body, just don't be surprised if you come across an artist or shop that don't do this or try and talk you out of it. As much as it's your piece it is also the artist's reputation, and no one wants you leaving the shop with a bad tattoo!

Original pictures unknown

Tattoo Aftercare

Info Graphic created by BARBERDTS.CO.UK

Last week we talked about the all important, yet often neglected, pre-tattoo care. This week we’ll be addressing its twin, the after process. We appreciate that every artist has different suggestions for aftercare. And that’s to be expected! Each artist has a technique comfortable for them, and every body is different and thus has different needs. That being said there are a few well known moves that will greatly help you in your healing process:

  • Keep the dressing on your tattoo given to you by the tattooist for at least 2 hours Your tattoo is, frankly, an open wound when finished. Like any cuts you want to put a bandage on it at first to protect it until you get home.
  • Remove the dressing and wash down the area with warm soapy water. Do NOT scrub or soak the tattoo & pat the tattoo dry with a towel and leave uncovered The reason you don’t keep your fresh piece covered for very long is because you want it to scab as soon as possible. The scab helps lock in the color, so any damage to the scabbing will affect how well the tattoo looks when it’s healed.
 
  • *Apply a lotion to the tattoo up to 3 times a day & wear loose clothing to avoid irritating the tattoo So here is where we start to verge from our helpful info graphic. Here at Witch City Ink we recommend a light, scent free lotion (our artists are also big fans of Hustle Butter) whenever your tattoo is feeling tight. For those with sensitive skin, a small amount of A&D can also be helpful. But extended use of either product will affect the scab forming and thus potentially harm your tattoo. If you are using A&D you should only use it for a couple of days, and for lotion you should use sparingly for as long as needed.
   

  • DO NOT PICK OR SCRATCH at the scab of your tattoo. This will make the healing process longer, disfigure the tattoo, remove the ink and even cause infection. Seriously, just google what an infected tattoo or a poorly healed tattoo looks like when you feel the urge to itch and you will stop itching real quick.
  • Avoid swimming and being in the sun during the healing process At the end of the day the healing process is all about taking care of the delicate scab that is covering your new tattoo. Keeping a scab submerged in water or baking in the sun will only cause serious harm to the scab and thus to your piece.
  • It will take around 7-10 days for your tattoo to heal, sometimes longer depending on where the tattoo is. Personal anecdote to explain this one- when I got a small tattoo on my wrist, it formed a scab within a day and was all healed up within the week. My thigh piece though, which is much larger and has color, took almost a week and a half to heal and was still tender after that. Every body is different.
  • After the tattoo has healed continue to keep your tattoo out of direct sunlight. This will prevent it from fading. This last after care instruction is a universal truth! Sunlight is death to tattoos, new or old. All tattoos fade to a degree over time, but give your piece the fighting chance it deserves with sunblock and coverage during those sunny days.
 

Getting a tattoo? Do these first.

Everyone has questions about how to best take care of their tattoo but few people realize how important the pre-tattoo steps are. We love this graphic from BuzzfeedDIY that illustrates the best steps to take before you even get in the shop.

  • Eat a Big Meal Beforehand When you get tattooed, your body expends a lot of energy. To keep your calories up and to keep you going to the finish line, it's good to eat a healthy meal before you sit down for your tattoo.
  • Drink a Lot of Water Same idea as eating a big meal beforehand. Pretty much treat your tattoo session as the physical challenge it is and do your best to prep your body as best you can.
  • Avoid Alcohol The Day Before This one probably is self explanatory, but alcohol is a blood thinner and that can cause problems for your tattoo artist. Also, no one wants a sloppy tattoo because you had too much fun before your session and couldn't sit up in the chair. But after your tattoo? Go for it, friend.
  • No Painkillers See 'avoid alcohol' comments above.
  • Pack Snacks, Water & Cash for Your Tip Even if you've had a feast for breakfast it's always good to pack fuel for later to keep that energy level going. Think of it as a great excuse to treat yourself! And while many tattoo parlors have card readers these days, it's good to know that those systems do NOT generally have a tipping option. Artists understand that this isn't common knowledge, but still- cash is king.
  • Wear Comfortable, Dark Clothes You know that cute, fitted white tee that is your favorite part of every outfit? Now imagine it with blood on it, agitating your nice, fresh, new tattoo. Not so cute.
  • Stretch Beforehand Like the graphic says, you'll be in the same position for at least a couple of hours. Be your body's friend and it will thank you!
  • Stay Calm. Listen, tattoos don't tickle (except for sometimes). But as our artist Jae says, if they hurt that bad then no body would get them. The important thing to remember is to keep breathing and find your center. It'll be over before you know it and after you'll have a beautiful piece of art that's all yours.
  • Set Aside More Time Than You Think You'll Need Whether it's because of parking or because you want to tweak your idea or because the appointment before yours wanted to tweak their idea, tattoo scheduling isn't an exact science. It's good to remember that even though we're trying our best, we aren't perfect but we want your tattoo to be. We're trying our best but it's not something to rush.
  • Of course each shop and tattoo artist will have different ideas on whats best for you and your tattoo, and at the end of the day you know your body best. But these are all steps we strongly recommend that will help you get through your tattoo session like a champ!

    Original Post in Buzzfeed DIY, illustrator unknown

    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!!

    Solidarity Pins Event

    We hope that you will join us December 3rd anytime between 10am - 11pm! For each tattoo that we do, the wearer will be able to choose from the following list of charities: American Civil Liberties Union Council on American-Islamic Relations Human Rights Campaign National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NARAL Pro-Choice America National Immigration Law Center Planned Parenthood Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network Southern Poverty Law Center Trevor Project For more information on all of these charities, go here For more information on what wearing a safety pin means, check out this great article. For more information on the Solidarity Pins Event at Witch City Ink you can check our Facebook or call the shop at 978-366-4924 solidarity

    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!  

    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  

    Massachusetts Tattoo Convention this Labor Day!

    MTC16web Witch City is proud to be part of the 1st Annual Massachusetts Tattoo Convention, this Labor Day weekend, September 2nd-5th in Worcester, MA. Both Jaesun Duggan and Steve Gillespie will be tattooing at the convention, call the shop for availability! If you are not looking to get tattooed, there is still so much to see and do each day of the convention - live painting, performances, contests and more! Just check the schedule for each days line up. For more information on the Massachusetts Tattoo Convention, check out their website www.masstattooconvention.com

    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.

    12376616_10153891198721514_7939342908074535152_n

    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

    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