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!!

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!

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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

Natan Travel Notice- PA & MD

Philly convention Natan will be attending the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention February 12-14th in Pennsylvania.  If you're in the Philly area and want to get work done by Natan while he is at the convention, call the studio: 978-744-9393 or email us at witchcityink@gmail.com to book your appointment! 11111060_10205715560863505_8969514719014911661_o Natan will also be doing a guest spot at Timebomb Tattoos & Curiosities in Maryland the week after the convention.  He still has availability in his schedule, so if you're interested in getting a piece while he's there, get in touch with us at here and we'll get you set up.

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.
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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

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.
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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!?
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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.
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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.
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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!

Natan: Friday Availability at Tommy’s Tattoo Convention

Natan will be tattooing October 2-4 at Tommy's Tattoo Convention, and still has availability for Friday. This is an awesome chance to be tattooed at a cool event. In progress pieces are preferred, but first sessions might be doable too. Email witchcityink@gmail.com if you're interested!
N CT announcement
And because we know you're not just here for announcements, and you'd like to see some tattoos, here is a Ganesh in progress that Natan began last week. This is after only one session.
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Be sure to follow Natan's instagram, @natanink to keep up with what he's working on as it happens!

Natan’s upcoming travel dates: Pittsburgh and Hartford

Firstly, say hello to our blog again! We've missed you, and missed getting to tell you about all of our goings on! Let's jump right in: After hosting the 14th annual Boston Tattoo Convention and then taking a much needed mini-break, Natan is back to creating tattoo magick at both of his shops, and has some exciting travel plans coming up in the very near future. First is an adventure over to Artisan Tattoo in Pittsburgh, PA from September 8th-12th. This is a rare opportunity for his clients further down the east coast, who find Massachusetts to be a little too far out of reach. N guest spot artisan copy Then he'll be back in Salem and Saugus before he'll be on the road again at Tommy's Tattoo Convention in Hartford, CT the weekend of October 2nd-4th. tommy con If you're interested in being tattooed by Natan in either Pittsburgh or Hartford, please email witchcityink@gmail.com.

Natan Won Best Backpiece at NH Convention!

While Natan was busy working away at the Manchester, New Hampshire Live Free or Die Tattoo Convention this last weekend, he happened to win the first place trophy for best backpiece! After working through many sessions, Natan recently finished up this massive phoenix piece on shop buddy, Mike Carlin:

1st Place Men's Backpiece- Live Free or Die Tattoo Convention

Mike was nice enough to make it out the show in order to enter the contests and was rewarded for his efforts with a shiny new plaque. Natan is booking about a month out for large, custom work, but does have scattered availabilities for consults. Make sure to call or email to start planning your custom piece with him today! _witch city ink witchcityink@gmail.com 978 744 9393

New Work by Natan: Bats, Cars, Birds

With the summer months upon us, we've seen an influx of interesting projects coming our way. At a custom shop, it's always rewarding to be approached with a piece that is not only technically feasible, but artistically challenging and engaging. Natan's been hard at work on a number of such pieces, including the following:

Bats!

Although Natan is generally only working on larger tattoos, he often revels in whipping out fully-realized and highly-rendered one-sitting pieces. These bats he completed on a local barista find a delicate balance between Tibetan-inspired flourishes of line-work and a vivid, painterly color-theory.

Car (In Progress)

We seem to have had a number of vintage custom car fanatics down at the shop lately, such as this woman, who began this tattoo rendition of her car the other week. Old vintage cars always shine as tattoos, with broad flowing lines and bold blocks of color and Natan served justice to this one with elegance.

Foo Dog (In Progress)

Known for his strong and colorful style, Natan is commonly commissioned for large Japanese work, such as this foo dog half-sleeve. This recently completed second session saw the introduction of a dynamic and complex color-theory to the solid foundation of line-work already in place. Keep a look-out for more pictures of this piece in the upcoming weeks!

Phoenix

After many sessions and much hard work, Natan completed this full back-piece on local shop-friend, Mike. An on-going project for quite some time now, both Mike and Natan were proud to finally get in the last bits of color and wrap up this piece. When people ask Mike how many tattoos he has he says one... Natan is available for appointments at Witch City Ink Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays and over at Lightwave Tattoos (Route 1, Saugus) on Thursdays and Fridays. Send us an email, give us a call, or just stop on by the shop to start planning for your custom tattoo with Natan today _witch city ink 186-3 Essex St. Salem, MA 01970 witchcityink@gmail.com 978 744 9393