FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Please Read Before Submitting a Tattoo Proposal
WHAT DO YOU TATTOO? WHAT SUBJECT MATTER DO YOU NOT TATTOO?
Work I Do: My work focuses on fine-lined scientific works with dotwork and etching style shading. I will only take customs in my style- native plants, large botanicals, scientific illustrations, invertebrates, birds, amphibians, snakes, other reptiles, marine vertebrates, masterwork replications (Haeckel, Redouté, Margaret Mee), mythical creatures, nature with simple geometric elements, illustrative figurative works, and animorphs/ chimeras. Black, red, and white ink only.
Work I Don't Do: Script (unless it is the scientific name of an organism), realistic figurative works, micro-tats (3 inches or less), "single-needle only" tattoos, super detailed scenes, lots of geometric elements, traditional/ neo-traditional styles, traditionally shaded tattoos, religious tattoos, cultural symbols, color tattoos, most mammals, butterflies or moths, ferns, whole trees, and copied work.
WHAT SAFETY MEASURES DO YOU TAKE?
All of my tattooing equipment is professional-grade and meets or exceeds the industry standard. I use a Cheyenne rotary pen-style machine that utilizes pre-sterilized single-use disposable cartridges and needles. These needle cartridges are always opened in front of the client during the session. There is a medical-grade HEPA filter in my studio is rated for 1,200+sf in a 700sf space. All surfaces and stations are sanitized using medical-grade cleaners. All clients will receive detailed pre-tattoo instructions once an appointment is booked as well as detailed aftercare instructions upon arrival at the studio. For any and all questions in regards to safety and sanitation please feel free to send me a direct message on Instagram or an email from my website's contact form. We follow strict COVID-19 sanitation procedures and everyone inside Squid Ink Studio must be wearing a surgical mask or an N-95 style mask (no valves). Guests are not welcome to join clients in our studio at this time.
WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?
Squid Ink Studio is located in Eureka, California within Humboldt County. We are located in the Henderson Center district. There is a parking lot directly across the street adjacent to Fin and Feather Pet Store as well as available street parking. Do not park at the bank. Guest spots at other locations will be announced on Instagram via my stories!
WHAT IS YOUR DEPOSIT POLICY?
I currently require a $100 deposit to secure a date for a tattoo appointment with me. In the event that you must reschedule your appointment, you must give me at least five days (120 hours) of notice in order to keep your deposit. Your first deposit may be used for up to one reschedule, but a second reschedule will result in the loss of your first deposit. You would then be required to pay a second deposit in order to re-book with me.
WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION/ RESCHEDULING POLICY?
All deposits and payments are non-refundable, with no exceptions. An appointment can be rescheduled once without the loss of a deposit if the cancelation is made prior to 120 hours (5 full days) before the time of the appointment. A lot of time goes into making a schedule work properly, however, I understand that life can be unpredictable. Please try and give me as much time in advance as possible for a cancellation or a reschedule. If you are sick you must reschedule your appointment. I totally understand that losing a deposit because you are sick is frustrating, however if I get sick I have to cancel a week or so of appointments. If you come to your appointment sick you will be asked to leave and I will not work with you in the future. "No call, no shows" will also result in being 86'ed permanently. Please communicate with me as soon as possible if something comes up.
If you reschedule or cancel within the five-day window for a touch-up appointment (ie. you didn't put down a deposit), a $50 cancellation fee will be required in order to reschedule or to book any future appointments. This policy is in place because touch-ups are free and since I do not take deposits for those appointments missing a full day of work means lost income for me. This protects my livelihood, please respect these policies.
CAN I COME TO MY APPOINTMENT EARLY? WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM RUNNING LATE?
Please try and arrive at the agreed-upon time and no earlier. If you arrive at the studio a bit early I would appreciate it if you could spend some time waiting at the coffee shop on the corner of F St. and Henderson St. or inside the Fin and Feather pet store (they have tons of cool animals- perfect for brainstorming more cool tattoos!). There are also several thrift stores nearby. This gives me time to be fully prepped and therefore as relaxed as possible to do your tattoo. I actually may ask to push the appointment back 30 min to an hour so please be prepared for that and keep an eye on your email.
If you are running a little late please shoot me a quick DM on Instagram. If you are running over 15 minutes late then you will lose $50 of your deposit. If a client is over 30 minutes late to the appointment, they will lose 100% of their deposit and be considered a last-minute cancel or "no call, no show". I reserve the right to cancel an appointment if the client is late.
SHOULD I TIP MY TATTOO ARTIST?
Yes, you should tip a tattoo artist in the same way you would tip waitstaff, a nail tech, hairdresser, etc. The industry standard for tips is 15-20%. I understand that tattoos are an expensive service and that people sometimes save for months to be able to afford them. With that said please be mindful of the many costs that are associated with being a tattoo artist and business owner.
WHAT DOES YOUR PROCESS LOOK LIKE?
A lot of work goes into every design I create, especially in regard to customs. Due to my background in Biology I take anatomy seriously in both my subject matter and how the design is placed on the body. Many sketch studies are done by hand to render floral and faunal designs with anatomical accuracy. I do a lot of my own wildlife photography in order to create a deeper level of authenticity for how I render organisms from the wild to then be tattooed on my clients. This method allows me to achieve the detail needed for properly illustrating the morphology and anatomy of plants, animals, fungi, and microorganisms at the scientific level. A lot of personal time and love goes into this unique process of creating tattoos. Details in plant anatomy such as accurate leaf margins and architecture, presence of stipules or bracts, as well as reproductive morphology matter to me and are present in my artwork. The same goes for things like the body plans, musculature, and the natural poses of animal subjects. If you are looking for a quick illustrative tattoo that gives the impression of the subject matter you want, I may not be the right tattooer for you.
DO YOU TATTOO DARKER SKIN/ MORE MELANATED SKIN?
Yes. I tattoo all skin and body types. We can always make adjustments to designs to better fit your body. My goal is that the client feels in control the entire time as we collaborate on the design and I will continue to educate myself about working with different skin types and tones to best guide the client towards a tattoo that makes them feel happy and supported. Colorism has been and continues to be a serious issue in the tattoo industry. I am committed to listening, learning, and doing better in regard to this issue always. All people deserve great tattoos. All questions and comments in regard to this question are welcome via direct message through email.
YOUR BOOKS ARE OPEN! HOW DO I SUBMIT A PROPOSAL?
Please use my booking form which will be accessible through a Linktree link in my Instagram bio. This will allow you to fill out all of the necessary information I need in order to book your tattoo appointment. My books usually open on the 15th of the month for the following month. I usually book one month out but sometimes I will book two months out. Make sure to check my "Booking Info" IG highlight for updates. If you do not have an Instagram you should still be able to access my Instagram page by searching my handle "Kraken.queen_tattoo" and going to Instagram via a web browser page instead of the app. Once you have found my profile you can click my Linktree to access my booking form.
Please do not use the website contact form for booking a tattoo. The contact page on this website is for general questions or non-tattoo-related work opportunities only.
SHOULD I BRING CASH TO PAY FOR THE REMAINDER OF MY TATTOO WHEN I COME TO MY APPOINTMENT?
Yes. I will not accept electronic forms of payment for tattoos. Deposits are accepted via Venmo but final payments must be in cash. There is an ATM a couple doors down if you need to use one.
HOW DO I GET MY PROPOSAL SELECTED?
Fill out the booking form completely and clearly. Your subject section should be detailed. "I want an owl tattoo on my arm," is an example of a poorly written proposal. A better proposal would look something like, "I would like a ~4.5 inch barn owl on my upper and outer arm with the body at 3/4 profile and the head turned to face the viewer straight on. I would like the shading to be done with your soft dotwork scientific illustration style. I would like the owl to be sitting on a floating branch. I am open to what kind of branch based on what you think would look best." I do not like to work with loose parameters but am open to helping guide clients with some, but not all, elements.
I will prioritize larger concepts with fewer elements. If you are working within a budget I ask that you please be thoughtful about your proposal as far as the number of elements and subject type requested. Scientific illustration pieces will generally take over 3 hours minimum whereas ornamentals and single element palm-sized botanicals are generally more doable in that time frame. Morning availability on weekdays will greatly increase your chances of being selected if you are working within a budget. Please read my "Wanna Do's and Won't Do's". Proposals that obviously have not read my FAQs and "Wanna Do's/ Won't Do's" will not be considered.
I will not take on projects that don't have realistic expectations of size, details, and budget as they relate to the desired subject matter. Asking for something smaller doesn't necessarily mean it will be cheaper. Sometimes going smaller makes tattooing a design more difficult because the details need to be very precise or the tattoo looks muddled.
Example of something I would choose- "Large diamondback rattle snake with wild roses. Curled up above knee or wrapping up the arm along the bicep. Approx. 5 inches by 8 inches. Shading done in grayscale dotwork."
Example of something I would not choose- "Geometric elements around a forest scene with ferns, snails and a fox."
Please DO NOT submit for 6+ inch botanicals with a budget of less than $450. One simple 4 inch flower on an arm or a leg with no additional elements is an example of an appropriate proposal if your budget is around $300-400.
HOW MUCH WILL MY TATTOO COST? WHAT DO YOU CHARGE?
My rate for 2023 will be $150/hour. All tattoo sales are final, no exceptions.
The duration of your tattoo is determined by your choice in placement, size, amount of elements, level of detail and shading, as well as how well you sit for the tattoo. These factors all affect the time it will take to complete your tattoo and therefore affect the final price of a design. The best way to get an accurate estimated quote for custom work is to send in a detailed proposal with a clear budget (if you have one). Please do NOT submit your budget as a range and just use one number. This helps me understand what level of detail I will be able to accomplish in the time you can afford. I need to know how much you want to spend and when people write down a range (especially a range over $100) it makes me less comfortable in deciding which direction to take the design in.
Keep in mind that a price estimate/ quote is just that- an estimate. I can usually offer some different options for people if the proposal is a great fit but your budget is lower. Flash designs will now also be priced hourly unless they are repeatable designs or if I state otherwise. My minimum is currently $150. Please respect me as an artist, a disabled woman, and a human being. Tattooing flora and fauna with accurate anatomy takes a lot of time to understand and then render. It is very different than tattooing illustrative animals and botanicals that are overly simplified. Please remember that tattoos are a non-essential service and there is a lot of consideration that goes into how I price my art. An hourly rate reflects thousands of hours of practice and work, supply costs, insurance costs, shop rent, CA state fees, etc.
WHAT IF I'M STILL CONFUSED ABOUT HOW MUCH EXACT CASH TO BRING TO MY APPOINTMENT AFTER GETTING MY HOURLY ESTIMATE?
The final price of your new tattoo ultimately depends on many factors and I do my best to provide an accurate hourly estimate. I do tend to estimate on the higher end of what I will expect the tattoo to take. If I estimate a tattoo is going to take 4-6 hours I would advise bringing enough cash to cover the higher estimate. There is an ATM two doors down on the same block as our tattoo studio if you need to use one.
WHAT IS YOUR TOUCH-UP POLICY?
The first touch-up is free and subsequent touch-ups are subject to a small flat fee at my discretion. Sometimes fine-line work benefits from a small touch-up once the tattoo is healed. You can email me at any time to schedule a touch-up as long as your tattoo is at least one month healed. If you need to cancel or reschedule a touch-up appointment please let me know as soon as possible. I need at least 5 days of notice to reschedule you without incurring a fee. If you cancel or reschedule within the 120-hour window, I will require a $50 cancelation fee to rebook any future session with me.
WHAT IS YOUR CONSULTATION PROCESS LIKE?
If your proposal is selected there will be a brief consultation via email. For the most part that will consist of me asking any questions that I have in order to clarify questions I may have about your proposal. After I have all of the information I need to feel comfortable creating your custom design there will be fairly little communication between us until the day of your appointment. This is why it is so important to be clear and specific about what you want in your proposal. I will send the sketch of the design either the night before or on the day of the appointment, no exceptions. Going back and forth about design changes via email can be challenging and I have found doing design edits on the day of the appointment, in person, flows best for me and my clients. This gives us a chance to make changes in real-time that fit your anatomy best and also leaves less room for interpretation. If the scope of the design adjustments on the day of your appointment takes too long we may need to use the entire appointment as a "consult day". If this is the case, you would be required to put down another deposit to be tattooed another day. This rarely happens but again it is really important to be specific in your proposal to avoid this. If you are looking for a specific species or perspective, you must include that in your original proposal.
MIGRAINE CANCELLATION POLICY
I am a person with disabilities and suffer from severe chronic migraines. While my condition is largely under control there are some days that I will be unable to tattoo without much warning resulting in cancellation from my end. This is, unfortunately, the nature of my condition and as such I have created a "Migraine Cancelation Policy". If I must cancel due to a migraine, you as the client have the right to ask for a full refunded deposit back. If you decide that you would prefer to reschedule then I will offer a 15% discount on flat-rate designs or take $20 off the hourly rate for customs and one-off flash designs.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TATTOOING?
I have been tattooing since October 2020 and prior to that was working as a pen and ink scientific pen illustrator for galleries. I post 95% of the tattoos I do and photos are edited without the use of filters in a way that does not alter skin tones. My tattooist Instagram page is the largest portfolio of my work and shows a complete range of my interests and skill sets.
DO YOU OFFER SILENT SESSIONS AND WHAT ARE THE BOUNDARIES WITH ARTIST/ CLIENT COMMUNICATION?
I am open to both a silent or a talkative session, within reason. If you would like a silent session please let me know in your proposal. For silent sessions- once we finish the stenciling process there isn't much need to talk. Please just motion to me if you need a break etc. and we can take some time to drink water or stretch. Asking for a silent appointment will in no way affect the likelihood of me selecting your proposal.
Try to limit talking if I am tattooing your chest, ribs, stomach, or back.
Be mindful of more intimate overshares when we are working together. I want to get to know my clients so do feel free to share things about your life while maintaining respectful boundaries. Please do NOT overshare with me in the context of grief or mental health. If you have a loved one/ pet that has passed I am always honored to do memorial tattoos for clients. That said I do need to set a strict boundary with this. You are welcome to include in your proposal that you are wanting a memorial tattoo but do not share any additional information or details with me both in person or through messages. One or two brief sentences are enough for me to understand the significance of the tattoo. Proposals or messages crossing this boundary will not be considered.
I am traveling for my tattoo and am nervous about being in a new area. Do you have any tips or recommendations?
Yes! If you are traveling for your tattoo I can send you a full breakdown via email of fun things to do and eat in Humboldt County. Our area has amazing nature, wildlife, and recreation areas which include both State and National Parks. Please only ask about this if you have already been booked for a tattoo.
Sliding Scale for Tribal Members Policy
Members of the Wiyot Tribe, Hoopa Valley Tribe, and Yurok Tribe may request a sliding scale appointment when submitting a proposal. These appointments can only be made on weekdays and are limited to 2-3 appointments per month. Please include your request for sliding scale in your tattoo proposal under the "subject" section if this applies to you. If you have a question about this policy please feel free to contact me via email or the contact page on the website.