As we operate quite a busy studio it’s strongly suggested to visit our studio
or call ahead to schedule a consultation prior to making an appointment for a tattoo. All booked in clients get priority over walk in appointments.
During the consultation we'll discuss your rough ideas with the tattoo artists and help guide you in the right direction. At your consult it’s recommended to bring us your ideas, sketches, pictures, or anything that will help us get an idea of what style etc. that you like. We’ll work with your ideas and help design you a custom tattoo.
After the consultation we can then book you an actual tattoo appointment. All tattoo appointments require a small deposit, usually around $30-$100 depending on the size of the tattoo. This deposit is subtracted from the price of your tattoo on your appointment date. If you don't show up for your scheduled appointment or if you don't give us 48 hours notice of cancellation, then you may lose you deposit. On your appointment date we request that you show up a few minutes early to fill out the appropriate waiver form and to discuss any last minute questions you may have.
Why can’t I book through email?
Unfortunately it’s difficult to book tattoo appointments through email as there is a lot of information to discuss, such as style, size, placement, colours, price, time needed etc. This makes it extremely difficult to email proper tattoo quotes. The tattoo artists don't have direct access to replying to emails, and with the number of emails we receive; it's difficult to answer them all with the proper information.
We have a dedicated staff to provide you the best customer service with minimal risk of booking you improperly. We have an amazing studio manager, Katlyn, that takes care of everyone's schedules etc. Katlyn will briefly discuss your tattoo ideas over the phone so she has a better idea of who to book you a consult with. She’ll also discuss what time of day will work best for you to meet the artist
of choice based on your schedule and ours.
With as many appointments and consultations that we deal with daily, I strongly believe it's best to have one dedicated person to handle these requests. This minimizes most mistakes of double booking and getting you the right information during one quick phone call, or one personal meeting, instead of through multiple emails.
But I’m from out of town, how can I make an appointment?
This option is only available to clients that do not have an easy way to visit our studio, usually reserved to those out of town, another province or even country. We will try to help you out as much as possible through email and phone conversations. The first step would be to email us as much information as possible about your tattoo idea so we have a clear vision of what you want done. To make this easy we’ve listed a few important pieces of information to include with your email.
Tattoo description or picture?
Placement on body?
Colour or black and grey?
Did you have an artist in mind?
It's sometimes difficult to email quotes, and have consults through email etc. as the tattoo artists don't have direct access to replying to emails. Also with the number of emails we receive it's difficult to answer them all with the proper information. As you’re from out of town we’ll try our best to make this work for you. If further consultation is needed we’ll probably have one of our artists contact you by phone. The artist will be able to get your full ideas, placement, size, etc and give more of accurate quote and time needed to get it done. This way you'll get the best service possible and get the perfect tattoo you're looking for.
At the time of booking we require a small deposit (usually between $50-$100) depending on the size of the tattoo. This deposit also comes off the price of your tattoo. Out of town clients can send us a deposit through our secure PayPal account. Just follow the steps on the www.paypal.ca
website how to send money. You personally don't need to have a PayPal account in order to pay us; you can just use your credit card on the site. Once the transfer is complete, you and I will both receive a receipt for the transaction. The email address that you will be transferring the money to will be firstname.lastname@example.org
How old do I have to be to get a tattoo and do I need ID?
We require all clients to produce proper identification upon request to get a tattoo at Thrive Studios. ID accepted is a Driver's License, Passport, Health Card with photo, BYID card, Birth Certificate with Student Card. The age for getting tattooed is 18 with proper ID. Clients that are 16 or 17 years of age must be accompanied by a parent with proper identification.
Does it hurt?
This seems to be the most popular question in regards to getting a tattoo. Yes I guess you can say it "hurts" however it's not an unbearable pain. Everyone has a different pain threshold so what may hurt one person may not hurt the other. Most people describe this feeling as a "hot scratch sensation" or more of an "annoying" pain. I can't recall a single incident where a client has not finished their tattoo due to the pain associated with it.
Many of our clients are very nervous prior to getting their tattoo and then feel extremely relieved after the procedure. A common statement we hear afterwards is that it didn't hurt as much as they thought and that they’re already thinking of their next tattoo! We will make sure you go through a relatively painless procedure and make this a very enjoyable experience for you. If it hurt so bad then there wouldn't be as many people with tattoos and we wouldn't be in business!
I'm afraid of needles and very nervous! What can I do to help me get through this?
Many people have a fear of needles which prevents them from getting a tattoo. I believe that this fear can be overcome once you get your first tattoo. Common needles used at the doctor’s office and tattoo needled are completely different. Most of the pain associated with getting tattooed is all in our head. We have repeat clientele that are becoming less nervous with each procedure they get done. It's normal to be nervous prior to getting your tattoo but it usually subsides quickly once you get it started. If you're nervous about watching it being done you can always look the other way until you're comfortable. Usually after the first few minutes you'll become more relaxed and excited about seeing the final outcome. Bring a book, or a friend to chat with and you’ll be surprised how easy the experience can be.
Is everything sterilized? How do I know I'm safe?
To achieve proper sterilization it takes multiple steps. Just owning an autoclave (sterilizer) doesn't mean its functioning properly or even achieving sterilization. We test our autoclave weekly and our spore test results are available to view at anytime. At Thrive Studios we surpass all health board standards and we will continue to uphold the highest guidelines in the industry. Our sterilization room is visible from our main lobby area so you can learn about the sterilization process from beginning to end.
All of our tattoo needles are single use and disposed of immediately afterwards in a sharps container. Absolutely no needles should ever be reused. Our tattoo artists also use completely disposable tattoo tubes, minimizing the risks of using improperly sterilized tools.
What exactly is spore testing?
Spore testing is the most common way to ensure that an autoclave (sterilizer) is working properly. In short, it works by running a package of living spores through an autoclave cycle. This package is then sent to a laboratory which attempts to incubate it. If anything is still alive, then the autoclave did not achieve sterility. Spore tests actually test the autoclaves ability to kill even the most dangerous and resistant organisms such as HIV, Hepatitis and other bloodborne pathogens. If you're considering getting a tattoo or a piercing, seeking spore test results and proper sterilization documentation should be high on your list while searching for a safe establishment. Our facility features a visible sterile room for you to learn about our whole sterilization process.
Recently the media has focused on the improper record keeping within certain tattoo studios and unfortunately little is being done to monitor this situation. Some studios that have been inspected haven't been able to provide any spore testing documentation. In our local area it is required by our Health Board Department to test our autoclaves at least twice per month. Then with our annual Health Board inspection we are required to show them our test results and prove to them everything has passed throughout the year.
At Thrive Studios we go above and beyond the mimimal health board standards. We test our autoclave once per week. We also run integrator tags with each sterilization load to ensure the proper amount of time and the correct temperature was achieved during the sterilization cycle. This allows us to know our equipment is working properly at all times. The colour changing indicators on the back of most sterile packages only indicates the package has reached a certain temperature. This does not mean it has been properly sterilized. Many people believe that an instrument or needle etc. is sterile due to the fact they saw it come out of a package. This is not always true. You can leave a sterilization package on the dashboard of your car on a hot summer day and the indicator will also change colour. Obviously this doesn't imply that the instruments inside the packaging are properly sterilized. Current spore test documentation is the only way to know for sure.
If any tattoo and piercing studio follows the above protocol and are willing to show you all the spore tests, integrators, and answer all your questions about the sterilization process, then they are working to ensure your health and safety. Don't be afraid to ask as most studios would be happy to show their results with you if they are following the minimal standards. Remember it's only yourself that you're putting at risk if you don't know the answers to these questions.
My tattoo artist offers tattooing out of his house, is this safe?
In most cases the answer is no. Usually if they are not working in a studio environment it's for a good reason. Usually it's because they have just purchased their cheap tattoo kit on Ebay and now think they are a tattoo artist. Basically they are more than likely not properly trained and putting you at risk. Beware as they will tell you that they are fully qualified and trained and everything is sterilized. To the average Joe this seems to be enough of an answer to trust them. Most in-home tattoo artists are too cheap to purchase the proper disinfectants (not Windex) and most likely not able to afford a proper autoclave (sterilizer) for this industry. Your stove or oven doesn't work for proper sterilization! My best advice for your own personal safety would be to avoid these establishments altogether and seek out a professional studio that has to at least abide by minimal health board standards.
Does Thrive Studios offer Tattoo apprenticeships?
Unfortunately at this time we’re not looking to take on an apprentice. The bad news is this industry is over saturated with many great artists that are seeking the same position. On average we receive about 2 or 3 emails per week asking for a chance to learn how to tattoo at Thrive Studios. Often people ask us how do I learn how to tattoo and find a proper apprenticeship? If you continue your search I would suggest not using email as your first contact as it isn't personable and many studios receive messages like this quite frequently.
A personal approach with a portfolio in hand would be a good start. Another tip would be to get tattoos...find your favourite artist and get work done by them...build a portfolio...concentrate on may different art forms and get well known by your tattoo artist. Most apprentices I've seen are clients that have built a friendship with the artist and then given the opportunity to learn more. It may take years of searching and getting tattooed but that's half the experience.
Also...I believe if you are serious about this position you will seek out the best possible placement and do whatever it takes to learn by someone that is reputable within the industry. Sometimes this even requires moving to another city, province, or even country. If you ever have doubts about the place you are going to apprentice at then it's probably not a good idea to apprentice there. You are only as good as the person that trains you so don't learn under someone that won't give you the reputation you would deserve. Also beware of tattoo schools trying to teach this art form in a small period of time for a large amount of money. As our industry has gained a lot of popularity over the years, many of schools have opened trying to teach with very poor end results. Most "proper" tattoo apprenticeships will last an average of 2-3 years.
I found a picture of someone else's tattoo on the internet; can I get the same one?
We would prefer to help you design a custom tattoo of your own. Most artists will not duplicate tattoos that are already on someone else as it may be a custom design of their own. If you have pictures or ideas from an existing tattoo you have seen in the past you can still bring it into us and we can help design something custom for you based on these ideas. Certain tattoos can obviously be duplicated such as sports logos, symbols, flags, cartoon characters etc. but for the most part we will still try to add some additional "flare" to these designs.
I saw a sweet tattoo on Miami Ink last night; can I get the same one?
No, once again these are custom tattoos designed specifically for the person getting it done. We don't believe its right to rip off someone else's custom tattoo. If you have your own personal ideas bring them into us and we can help you out.
Can I bring my toddlers and family pets to watch?
We don't recommend bringing your toddler as we cannot properly watch them while you are getting work done. Please arrange for babysitting prior to your appointment. NO PETS whatsoever.
Can my friends watch?
We do allow a friend or family member in the room with you as moral support. Space is limited to ONE guest per client however the artist reserves the right to remove anyone from the tattoo room at any time. Children are not permitted in the piercing or tattoo room. All we ask is that your friends remain calm and quiet as piercing and tattooing take a lot a concentration and skill. Please turn off all cell phones as they can be a distraction during the tattoo or piercing process.
I'm pregnant; can I still get a tattoo?
If you're pregnant or nursing we wouldn't suggest getting pierced or tattooed. Your goal is to provide the best nourishment and staying healthy for your child. Getting pierced or tattooed will put a strain on your immune system which can harm you and your child's well being. Wait a few months after your child birth or after nursing so your immune system can get back on track. You will definitely have much better healing results if you wait.
How much does it cost to get a tattoo?
Tattoos start at $80 and can go up from there. Most tattoos are priced during your consultation with the artist. They will be able to give you a rough quote once they chat with you about your ideas. You can view our thousands of tattoo ideas here at our studio or bring us in your thoughts and we can help design your tattoo for you. Once you bring us your ideas we can usually get you a quote for your tattoo.
Should I tip my tattoo artist?
Sure it's greatly appreciated to receive tips and most artists will happily accept. However, tipping doesn't always have to be money. A simple "thank you" and handshake showing appreciation for the work you just had done will go a long way. Let the artist know how happy you are with your new tattoo or piercing. Telling your friends, giving referrals and being a repeat customer is often enough as a tip. Be creative, some of the best tips
we have received have been simple gifts, baked goods, even an occasional coffee
. If its cash you decide to show your gratitude with and you can afford it then your artist will be more than happy to accept. To sum it all up, tips are greatly appreciated but not expected.