Frequently Asked Questions
Tattoo and Studio Related Questions
You need come in to schedule an appointment. We get lots of emails every day asking for appointments and we are just unable to schedule this way because it requires too much “back-and-forth” emailing as well as the inability to accept a deposit via email. When you come in we will be happy to find the time that works best.
We require a $50 non-refundable deposit for ALL tattoo appointments. The Deposit holds your appointment and is applied to your final balance for tattoo time. Since we do not allow refunds on deposits, you should be absolutely certain that you are willing and able to get a tattoo because we will not give your money back you if you change your mind. We have a 24-hour reschedule policy: if you need to change your appointment date or time we just ask that you call 24 hours in advance of your appointment and we will still honor your deposit to your next appointment. If you do not provide enough notice, don’t show up or are more than 30 minutes late you lose your deposit and your appointment.
We are also enacting a time limit on deposits. If we don’t hear from you for 13 months after receiving a deposit, we will assume you are not moving forward on the tattoo and will forfeit your deposit.
New Hampshire law requires that studio owners verify all tattoo customers are at least 18 years of age for tattoos and at least 16 years of age for piercings with parental consent. Please see the piercing page for more information on piercings.
If you are pleased with the work and service you are encouraged to tip the artist, even if they own the shop. Shop owners do not pocket 100% of what they make as they are trying to run a business. Tips can range from 10% to 20% of the piece but the amount of the tip is certainly your choice. In addition, if you are happy with the work and service show it off and tell everyone where you got it done!
Our artists will not do white ink tattoos. We always want our customers to be informed about the limitations of white ink before proceeding. The biggest problem with using just white ink for a tattoo is that the results are unpredictable. Once white ink is in a healed tattoo, it does not look pure bright white because you’re looking at it through the pigment of your own skin. Generally it will show as a few shades lighter than your skin tone, but skin tones can vary from spot to spot on your body so it may heal in a splotchy, uneven tone (especially if used as a solid fill). Also, white works better as a highlight color with contrast, rather than a solid fill. When against a dark color, white will look brighter than if it is on its own.
White ink tattoos tend to be very subtle, very faint, and after 5 years or so (depending on how much sun exposure it gets), might hardly be visible at all. Because of this we will NOT guarantee one free touch up on any white ink tattoo. You would have to continue to get the tattoo retouched at your expense much more frequently to keep it looking fresh. White ink designs need to be fairly simplistic linework designs, using thicker lines (things like small lettering are not advisable).
Images of amazing white tattoos on Pinterest have been very popular lately. However, many of the images do not show what happens when the tattoo is healed, they don’t show when a tattoo goes unexpectedly wrong, and many of them are even photoshopped! White ink tattoos can backfire fairly often- a client’s skin tone will tint the ink a strange color, which is impossible to predict, and the reason why our artists have decided to not offer them. It is always our #1 goal to give you the best looking tattoo possible and if we ever feel that can’t be achieved we will advise against it.
In general, over-the-counter pain medications do little to help with the pain you might experience while getting a tattoo, plus Aspirin and other NSAIDS such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen, etc, have at least some blood-thinning qualities to them. Aspirin is most effective at thinning blood so we recommended you not take aspirin at least 1 day before your tattoo. It is generally considered ok to take an over-the-counter pain reliever to relieve pain or swelling from the tattoo AFTER the tattoo is done – However it is important for us to mention that we are not medically trained and cannot legally prescribe any medicines or diagnose health concerns. Please consult your doctor for advice if you’re concerned about this.
So what about prescription drugs? Some prescription pain medications can technically intoxicate you to the point where you will not be as alert or in control of your body as you would normally be, so we don’t advocate their use. Also, we cannot legally tattoo someone who is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, so drinking alcohol or partaking in other drugs before your tattoo is not a good idea. We reserve the right to assess your condition and deny performing you tattoo, in that case you forfeit your deposit for wasting our time.
Having needles pierce your skin does hurt. What you really want to know is how MUCH does it hurt. The pain comes from the cluster of needles piercing your skin rapidly. This feels more like a constant vibration than it does an injection. Your body quickly releases endorphins (pain killers) which dulls the pain significantly. The pain also varies according to the location of your tattoo. Skin above bones (collarbone, anklebone, ribcage, etc.) can be more painful than other locations. Most people describe the pain as if they were having a bad sunburn scratched at with a sharp fingernail. Most also agree that needles used for shading produce less pain than those used for outlining. Remember you are volunteering for the experience. The amount of pain will depend on your psychological attitude and whether you are mentally prepared
We are a custom Tattoo Studio. If you need a custom drawing done, you’ll need to schedule a consultation. This is a free, 30-minute appointment where you’ll meet with the artist of your choice and discuss your ideas and plans for your tattoo. It is a good idea to bring drawings, sketches, photographs, notes, etc. to help illustrate your ideas. Don’t worry if you can’t draw! That’s OUR job. Even stick-figures help us visualize what you want for your tattoo.
At the end of your consult there is no obligation to continue, but if you and the artist both decide to go forward and start working on a drawing, you will be required to pay a deposit. The deposit is non-refundable. (The Deposit holds your appointment and is applied to your bill for tattoo time. It is not refundable under any circumstance, but you are allowed to reschedule your appointment if needed. As long as you call to reschedule 24 hours in advance we will still honor your deposit. If you decide not to do the tattoo, if you don’t show up for your appointment or are more than 30 minutes late for your appointment YOU WILL LOSE YOUR DEPOSIT.)
The artist will then add you to their draw schedule, and give you an estimate as to how long it might take to do the drawing. It’s important to remember that your artist may have up to 20 other clients that they are drawing for, so you may have to wait a while to see your artwork. Before your appointment, we will contact you to let you know your artwork is finished and to confirm your appointment. You can work with the artist to change your drawing until it’s perfect for you.
Walk-ins are welcome – when we are available. Remember that we are a CUSTOM TATTOO STUDIO. It’s best to call ahead to check availability, especially on weekends as we tend to be pretty busy. If you need a custom drawing, it’s best to schedule a consult first. If any artist is available to draw on the spot and work with you, you may expect to pay for a drawing fee along with your tattoo, we leave that up to the Artist’s discretion. We do have artists that will customize smaller pieces for walk-ins. Again, we leave that up to the Artist’s discretion as to whether or not they can do what you’re asking for that day or on a walk-in basis.
We highly encourage you to bring any visual reference which helps us better understand your ideas! We love it when our clients are prepared, coming to us with fairly specific ideas in regards to subject matter, size and placement, and bring us plenty of visual references, such as:
– Images from the internet – if you’ve collected some images from the net, it really saves a lot of time if you can print them out ahead of time – or if you don’t have the means to print, please email them to the artist you’re consulting with before your appointment. Please don’t bring images that are just on your phone. It really makes things difficult for us, and adds considerable time to the consult. We understand how much you love your smart phone and live by it (and we love ours!), but please understand we need physical images (For larger works, preferably large, high-definition images).
– Drawings, sketches, doodles, or diagrams (does not have to be a masterpiece, it just needs to get a point across!)
– Photographs (if you want a portrait, please bring a large 8″x10″ hi-resolution photo of the person/animal)
– An Object such as a figurine, book, brooch, or whatever has inspired you. We can photograph it for our own reference and return it to you safely.
A few words of advice: A consult is typically scheduled as a 30 minute appointment, please keep this in mind. Knowing at least somewhat where your tattoo will be placed, the subject matter involved, and hopefully have some reference pictures to help illustrate your ideas are all ways to keep the consult more concise. We understand that sometimes these specifics are hard to figure out, but remember it can take time to figure out the perfect tattoo that you will have for the rest of your life. So if you are unsure about subject matter or placement, we urge you to give it some more thought before scheduling a consult.
The shop minimum is $75 (this is for a very small, single color tattoo). For the most part, our artists charge by an hourly rate:
Rick : $150/hr
For specific pricing, we need to know exactly what you want before we can provide an estimate. If you would like to email us for a quote, please provide the following information:
- Brief description of the subject matter, or attach photos if you have them. Also If there’s lettering involved, describe the font (typewriter, script, etc.)
- Approximate size – either use inches or compare to a common object (ie: palm-sized, quarter-sized, etc.)
- Will it be in color or black & gray?
- Where is it going to be placed?
You should have some kind of artwork ready when you come to see us. When you come in to get your tattoo, be sure to dress appropriately: be comfortable (not fashionable), and wear something that gives easy access to the area to be tattooed. Be well-rested, fed, and hydrated.Before you start, you will fill out a release form (you’ll need your ID), and your artist will make a stencil of your design. Your artist will place the stencil on you and you’ll get to decide exactly where and how big it will be. Then the tattoo experience will begin! If you’re in for a longer session, you may want to consider getting a ride from a friend afterwards because of the endorphine rush you will experience. After your tattoo session is done, the artist will advise you about aftercare and all the informatino you need to take care of your tattoo.
Absolutely not! However; we can only speak for the studio policies of Rick’s Tattoo/Applied Insanity. Some studios may use your information for personal gain but it would only be released from Rick’s Tattoo/Applied Insanity as required by state or federal law. This means that the appropriate state agency would have to provide the studio with the state statute that requires us to release the information and the studio would research the statute to be sure it is accurate and has not been repealed. Until this process is complete no personal information will be released from Rick’s Tattoo/Applied Insanity.
No. New Hampshire State Law requires that you be 18 years of age to get a tattoo. It’s considered a Class B Felony for anyone (licensed or unlicensed) to tattoo anyone under the age of 18, with or without parental consent. If you don’t have identification proving your age. (i.e., a picture ID,) we will NOT tattoo you. We don’t care who you know or who will vouch for you… period.
Question the integrity and professionalism of someone that illegally tattoos minors for personal financial gain.
Tattoos can be affected by stretch marks. Stretch marks are the result of losing elasticity with weight gain and then weight loss. If you gain and lose weight without losing elasticity then you may not have much distortion in a tattoo. Stretch marks are most common on hips, thighs, arms and the abdominal area. It is suggested that any women that may have children should avoid tattooing the abdominal area. Not only will the tattoo stretch during pregnancy, there is no guarantee the tattoo will go back to its original shape after birth.
These tattoos are tricky – your hands, feet, fingers, toes and the wrinkly part of the knuckles, are all places that don’t take tattoos very well. The skin is either very thin or is constantly sloughing off so you might get a tattoo that looks cool at first but after a very short period of time you end up with something blurry looking or parts of it will be missing entirely.
Because of this, we generally will not do tattoos on the hands and feet and suggest thinking about alternate placement. For the most part we don’t do these tattoos unless the client is already heavily tattooed or already has a a like tattoo.
Example ; One artist, on occasion do Wedding Ring Tattoos: again, because tattoos do not stay on the underside of the finger, we suggest doing a half-ring tattoo or a simple design on the back of the knuckle. The design has to be very simple since details will be prone to blurring together. Names, monograms, or celtic designs are not suggested for a finger or knuckle tattoo. A single letter, a plain band, chinese character, heart, star, moon or other very simple shapes or patterns in black ink are the best kinds of things to put on the knuckle as they will be most likely to last a long time before having to get it re-touched.
Whether we choose to perform these tattoos is another story. Each tattoo design/idea should be discussed thoroughly with your artist and they will guide you on your decision to tattoo your hands or feet. It is up to the discretion of each artist as to whether they choose to tattoo these body parts and any tattoos on these body parts WILL NOT be guaranteed due to the risks. Again, your artist will discuss this with you.
We do not guarantee or do free touch ups on finger or hand tattoos because they are so prone to problems noted above.
The amount of muscle gain is nowhere near as dramatic as what you would see with the stretching of skin of a pregnant woman. As a result, you really shouldn’t have to worry about your tattoo changing shape unless you are trying to be the next Mr. Universe.
This can be a tricky question. The answer would be yes and no. Any artist can tell you they apprenticed for 2, 4 or 6 years and that may be valid in another state. Not so here in New Hampshire. New Hampshire requires an apprenticeship program and you may wish to ask your artist about their training.
The State of New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services requires at least 1500 hours of supervised training under the license of an artist with at least 3 years experience as a licensed New Hampshire State Body Art Licensee. Only after the Mentor believes that the Apprentice is ready and has enough experience and training in shop safety, sanitation of equipment and how to safely and properly tattoo will the Mentor then notify the state that the apprenticeship has been completed and the Apprentice is worthy and prepared to tattoo safely on their own and that they are worthy of a license.
You must also remember that MANY great artists are self-taught and have put in much time perfecting their trade without ever completing an apprenticeship in other states that do not require them. The best judge of an artist’s ability is their portfolio.
Piercing Types, Jewelry and Aftercare
An industrial piercing consists of two cartilage piercings connected by a single barbell. The shape of the ear usually dictates the angle of the industrial piercing and it is very important to choose an angle that is suited to your individual ear anatomy and your piercist should discuss this with you. Long straight barbells are typically worn in industrial piercings but the piercing can also be done with two separate bars and connected later. If this is done it is important that the piercings are angled correctly. If the angles are incorrect undue pressure will be placed on the ear when the two piercings are connected. This piercing should be cleaned at least twice daily with with anti-bacterial soap. Avoid swimming and submersion in water until healed.*Industrial Piercing Healing Time: 8 to 16 weeks
The Septum is the piece of cartilage that separates the nostrils and a septum piercing is pierced through this septum. The cartilage itself is not usually pierced – there is a soft spot in between the lower and upper sections of the nasal septum cartilage. This so-called “sweet spot” is soft and easier to pierce. The piercing is usually done towards the front of the nose, allowing jewelry to hang freely. Ball and circular barbells are usually worn in septum piercings. You can also wear a septum retainer, which is a U-shaped piece of jewelry. The septum retainer can be worn so that the ends show out of each nostril or flipped up inside the nostrils. This allows you to hide your septum piercing easily. This piercing should be cleaned at least twice daily with anti-bacterial soap. The septum heals fairly rapidly but is easily knocked, which can slow down healing. Mucus produced by the nose can ‘seal’ dirt into the piercing site so extra care should be taken. Avoid swimming and submersion in water until healed.*Septum Healing Time: 12 to 16 weeks
The term “nose piercing” refers to a nostril piercing. These piercings are pierced through the thinnest part of the nose, just above the curve of the nostril. Nose piercings are popular in many parts of the world and are particularly associated with India. There are two types of nose stud – curved and straight. Curved nose studs are also called “nose screws” because they are twisted into place. This piercing should be cleaned at least twice daily with anti-bacterial soap. Take care to clean the inside of the nostril as well. Mucus produced by the nose can “seal” dirt into the piercing site so the inside should be given extra care. Avoid swimming and submersion in water until healed.*Nose Piercing Healing Time: 12 to 16 weeks
Also known as cartilage piercings, auricle piercings are placed in the ear rim, usually about halfway down the ear. Most people are able to get this piercing and it can be pierced slightly higher or lower depending on the shape of the ear. Ball closure rings, barbells and circular barbells can all be worn in auricle piercings. This piercing should be cleaned at least twice daily with anti-bacterial soap. Avoid swimming and submersion in water until healed.*Auricle/Helix Healing Time: 4 to 12 months
A labret piercing is a piercing through the lower lip, usually placed in the center of the lower lip. Labret piercings are popular and most people can get this piercing. Labret piercings can be placed up near the edge of the lip or further down, depending on preference and anatomy. Lip piercings heal relatively quickly. Initial jewelry is often a longer labret stud in order to accommodate swelling. This can be switched to a shorter stud when the swelling has gone down. Labret piercings carry a risk of tooth and gum damage due to jewelry rubbing against teeth and gums. This damage can be permanent so it is very important to consult a professional piercer if you notice any change in the area or recession of the gums. This damage can be avoided by wearing a soft Bioplast labret stud. The outside of the piercing should be cleaned daily with anti-bacterial soap. Rinse with suitable mouthwash any time you eat, drink, or smoke. Avoid alcohol until fully healed.*Labret Healing Time: 4 to 12 weeks
A Monroe/Madonna piercing is an upper lip piercing placed on the side of the lip. It is also known as a Monroe piercing, beauty mark piercing or Marilyn piercing. Labret studs are worn in Madonna piercings, often with a relatively small threaded ball. There is a risk of tooth and gum damage due to jewelry rubbing against teeth and gums. This damage can be permanent so it is vital that you consult a professional piercer in the event of any change to the area. This damage can be avoided by wearing a soft Bioplast labret stud. The outside of the piercing should be cleaned daily with anti-bacterial soap. Rinse with suitable mouthwash any time you eat, drink, or smoke. Avoid alcohol until fully healed.*Monroe Healing Time: 4 to 12 weeks
A medusa piercing is a lip piercing placed in the philtrum – the vertical groove in the center of the top lip. Medusa piercings are also known as philtrum piercings. Careful placement is very important, as a non-symmetrical medusa placement will noticeably affect the symmetry of the face. Labret piercings are usually worn in medusa piercings. Most people choose a small threaded ball that fits neatly into the philtrum. There is a risk of tooth and gum damage due to jewelry rubbing against teeth and gums. This damage can be permanent so it is vital that you consult a professional piercer in the event of any change to the area. This damage can be avoided by wearing a soft Bioplast labret stud. The outside of the piercing should be cleaned daily with anti-bacterial soap. Rinse with suitable mouthwash every time you eat, drink or smoke. Avoid alcohol fully healed.*Medusa Piercing Healing Time: 4 to 12 weeks
Tongue piercings are pierced vertically through the tongue. Tongue piercings are usually done near the center of the tongue but they can also be pierced off-center. Most people can have a tongue piercing and it is surprisingly easy to heal. There are however two issues that can prevent you from getting a tongue piercing. Firstly some people have very prominent veins on the underside of the tongue, which may get in the way of the piercing. Secondly, a prominent tongue frenulum may make the piercing uncomfortable or impossible. We always recommend going to an experienced body piercing to get your tongue pierced. Tongue piercings are usually done with a straight barbell. The tongue almost always swells up in the day after piercing so initial jewelry should be an extra-long barbell. This can be swapped for a shorter barbell when the swelling goes down, usually after one week. Tongue piercings carry a risk of chipping a tooth if you bite down on the barbell. This can be avoided by choosing well-fitting jewelry or a Bioplast tongue bar. If the top of your barbell rubs uncomfortably against the roof of your mouth we recommend switching to a flat top ball. Rinse with suitable mouthwash any time you eat, drink or smoke. Stick to soft, non-sticky foods for the first couple of days. Avoid alcohol until piercing is healed.*Tongue Piercing Healing Time: 3 to 12 weeks
A Lip piercing is a labret piercing placed towards the left or right side of the lip (upper or lower.) Labret studs, BCRs and circular barbells can be worn in your side lip piercing. In terms of healing and care, side lip piercings are very similar to labret piercings. There is a risk of tooth and gum damage due to jewelry rubbing against teeth and gums. This damage can be permanent so it is vital that you consult a professional piercer in the event of any change to the area. This damage can be avoided by wearing a soft Bioplast labret stud. The outside of the piercing should be cleaned daily with anti-bacterial soap. Rinse with suitable mouthwash any time you eat, drink or smoke. Avoid alcohol until fully healed.*Lip Piercing Healing Time: 4 to 12 weeks
Nipple piercings are pierced slightly behind the nipple and are popular for both men and women. In both genders it is important not to pierce the fatty tissue behind the nipple as this can lead to mastitis. Nipple piercings can be placed at any angle although horizontal nipple piercings are most popular. Nipple piercings can be pierced with straight barbells, ball closure rings or circular barbells. Some people find barbells more comfortable to wear under clothes. Initial healing of nipple piercings is usually quick but this piercing may take longer to heal fully. Care should be taken when dressing and it may be necessary to wear a breathable dressing in the first couple of days. Nipple piercings should be kept dry and allowed to ‘breathe’. We recommend wearing natural fibers and cleaning the piercing if you become sweaty. Your piercer will be able to advise you on this as opinions vary. This piercing should be cleaned at least twice daily with anti-bacterial soap. Avoid swimming and submersion in water until healed.*Nipple Piercing Healing Time: 6 to 16 weeks