Lots of questions, cheerfully answered
I’ve never had a tattoo before, where do I begin?
From there we need to speak to you in the shop, in person, so that you can put down a $75 deposit toward the cost of your tattoo. We don’t charge for consult time or art, but we don’t start drawing until there is a deposit in the books.
If you don’t have a clear idea of what you’d like to get tattooed, start putting together a file (digital or real) of images that you like and inspire you. We’ve even had people show us photos of tattoos that are NOT what they want – everything is helpful. Too much data is better than too little.
Can you tell me how much my tattoo will cost?
But how much does like, a sleeve cost?
Do I pay for my tattoo up front?
Do you take credit cards?
Do you have gift certificates?
How much should I tip my tattooer?
Do you do piercing?
I can’t find your email in the website, where is it?
What if I don’t live in town and want to make an appointment?
What’s your policy on touch-up work?
Please do not wait longer than about 6 months. If too much time has passed (1+ years) we reserve the right to charge you for the time we spend. This is because we will likely need to do a little extra work to ensure the new ink matches with the aged ink.
Why don’t you allow children in the shop?
• Children are like drunks and we don’t expect them to behave well. We expect them to touch things, be rough, and scream and cry. And that’s ok! They are kids, that’s their job. It would be freaky if they were perfect all the time.
• You will be super distracted with your kids. This is a bigger issue than the children themselves. You might think you’re devoting all your attention, but some percentage of you is not with us. Better to just wait until you can focus on talking about your tattoo.
• Children cannot consent to the risks of a tattoo shop. This is kind of a big deal to us. As an adult, you are making a conscious decision to be around adult imagery, to hear adult conversations, and to be exposed to any other adult risks.
• Similarly, everyone who works at Spidermonkey has made a decision to be in an adult industry. We want to make dick jokes. We don’t want to feel guilty for using swear words. And we use them. A lot. If you assure us your kid is used to hearing them, that just makes us feel bad for the kid, too.
If we have time, we are happy to step outside and talk to you with your children present. Just give us a wave, or open the door and ask if someone has a moment to step out. We deeply appreciate your understanding on this.
Which tattooer would be best for my tattoo?
We would love to guide you in looking through the portfolios but this is best done in person. Come on in!
Why does everyone act so weird about white ink tattoos?
That being said, please talk to us about the alternatives to white ink tattoos. If you want it to be very pale and discrete, we can come up with a design that works but also meets our standards.
White ink tattoos are among the few that we do not guarantee. This means if you want to get it touched up in the future, we will charge you again.
Do you tattoo faces or hands?
A lot of people interpret this reluctance as making moral decisions for you, and this is incorrect. We are making a moral decision for ourselves. Tattooers are human beings who have to feel good about their life choices. We are not robots. We have to sleep at night knowing we made good artistic decisions, but also just good decisions in general – you have the right to ask us to do something, we have the right to say no thank you.
We live in a liberal city, in a liberal state on a liberal coast of a liberal nation. When you travel outside that bubble, people will treat you different.
The industry calls them “job stoppers” for a reason – you may be totally punk rock right now, but take it from people who have encountered this exact scenario: there might be a time in your life when everything hinges on one moment, on one job – be it your dream job, or a shit job that will keep you from being homeless – and there’s a solid chance someone will look at your neck tattoo and say “I’m sorry, we don’t have a position for you.”
What about finger tattoos?
Somehow, finger tattoos have snuck into our culture as being a throw-away impulse tattoo, which is sort of baffling. It is very common for someone to have a hard time committing to a tattoo on their shoulder, but they’ll get a mustache on their finger on a whim. Strangeness of culture aside, finger tattoos just age poorly, and that’s really why we don’t like them. Every Pinterest photo you show us is of a fresh tattoo, not a healed one.
Here, for example, is a before and after (not done at our shop, but nevertheless a good example): As a result, finger tattoos are the other ones we do not guarantee, and we will charge to touch up.
Can’t I just get the tattoo gone over again after it fades?
If you’re talking about tattoos elsewhere on your body that are 10+ years old, a refresh might be right for you. It will cost as much as putting a brand new tattoo on (it is a brand new tattoo, after all), but we can absolutely crisp up the blacks and brighten the colors.
Do you do cover-ups?
Sometimes we recommend a short course of lasering to prep. Lasering is expensive if you’re trying to completely erase an old tattoo, but not so much if you’re just lightening it for a better cover-up. That’s the kind of thing we might talk to you about.
Would you continue other artist’s work I already have?
Often we need to go back over the parts you already have, both to match them in age, but also to try and blend the current artist’s style with the old. Like a cover-up, we can’t commit to anything without seeing you in person first.
Is it rude to get tattooed by more than one person in your shop?
Which spot hurts more?
I’m not 18 yet, if my parent is with me can I get a tattoo?
If you hear of someone willing to tattoo a minor, it is important that you consider why they would be willing to break the law to make money, and what other compromises they make in their craft. If they are working out of a shop, the whole shop could be at risk for their decision. If they are working out of a home or “private studio,” they are probably not licensed and definitely not inspected by the state of Washington, which gives us the heebejeebees.
Can my family/posse come with me when I get tattooed?
Can I bring a drink or food with me?
We also encourage you to bring candy bars, energy bars or other easy to eat food, and whatever beverage you like. We have a water cooler that has chilled and hot water, and we are happy to refill your water bottle.
What was the weirdest thing you ever tattooed?
Can I vape while getting a tattoo?
Do you offer discounts for military?
Can I use a numbing cream?
Some numbing creams are actually very dangerous and there are deaths each year associated with them (this is true, look it up). Others just don’t work very well, or work OK for 10 minutes and then suddenly stop working. Others still contain ingredients like epinephrine (which can give you panic attacks) or ingredients that blanch the skin tone or change the texture. Blah blah blah: they are unpredictable, and we don’t like that.
Does Skrappy have a girlfriend?
Can I be an apprentice tattooer?
Spidermonkey is a small space and we’ve got six full-time tattooers and a full-time desk person. We literally do not have the space to add an extra human into the mix.
If you’d like to come in and talk about how to become a tattooer, we are happy to chat. Be forewarned: we’re going to talk to you about art school.