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!  

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

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  

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!

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.
ganesh prog
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 in Stuff Magazine Boston

For the past four years, Boston's Stuff Magazine has put out an annual body issue. This year, they did a feature on tattooed folk, and who better to speak to about body art than our very own Natan Alexander? As most Witch City Ink clients know, he is one of New England's most prominent tattooers, currently owning two shops while also being the brains and the love behind the Boston Tattoo Convention. Oh, and did you know that he was one of the people who pushed to legalize tattooing in Massachusetts? This is a man who is passionate about what he does, and we're proud to have him representing us in Stuff. Pick up your copy now all over the Boston area, or check out Natan's feature right here on the Stuff Mag website. You can see the Boston, Ink feature in it's entirety online here.

Natan Still has Openings for the Philadelphia Tattoo Convention!

Natan still has openings at the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention, taking place February 10th-12th at the Philadelphia Convention Center. If you're interested in getting tattooed at the show, give us a call at 978.744.9393, or send an email over to witchcityink@gmail.com. Below is some of Natan's work, which has won multiple awards at various conventions!
And although New England has lucked out with a mild winter thus far, who doesn't need a vacation by the time February rolls around? This is a really good excuse to get away and get tattooed. If you've never been, Philadelphia is a beautiful city, full of history, art, and good food. If you prefer not to drive, their public transit system is easy to figure out. So even if you choose not to spend all of your time at the convention, you'll have plenty of things to do! We'd be more than happy to give you some recommendations.

Molly: A Pre-Vacation In-Progress

Our wonderful Molly is off on some big adventures right now. Over the weekend she got on a plane to Germany, where she will be doing a guest spot in Berlin! She'll be back at Witch City Ink the week of the 15th, and in the meantime, consults can booked for her return if you call the shop at 978.744.9393. Here are a couple of pieces that she started shortly before leaving:

Welcome, Sharonn!

We have been excited to share some news with you, and finally, the day has come! We are pleased to welcome Sharonn Bradbury to Witch City Ink! She is no stranger, having been a friend of Natan's for some time, and we are thrilled to have her here in Salem with us. We'll have a bio up for her soon, but for now, we will tell you that she has been tattooing since 1994, and she is already making her space here cozy and beautiful. Here is a peek at the very beginning of it (you should see it now that it's getting decorated!).




And of course, here are some examples of her work. You can find many more over on her portfolio page.

Sharonn officially starts tattooing here next week, and is at the shop Tuesday-Saturday (please note: her Saturdays are currently reserved for existing clients). Give us a call if you would like to set something up with her! 978.744.9393