Tattoos

Neon Tetreas school of fish tattooed by Lauren Blair

Thank you for your interest in my tattoo work!

I specialize in vibrant, borderless color tattoos celebrating the natural world. I’m tattooing out of Portland, OR, with frequent guest spots on the East Coast.


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Mailing List

Tattoo FAQs

Booking

What is the booking process?

I book tattoos through a submission form that goes out to my mailing list. I open my books for new clients 3-4 times per year for flash booking, and once per year for custom booking. Outside of these periods, my books remain closed to new clients. Occasionally I have last minute cancellations, and will announce these openings to my cancellations mailing list, or post on instagram stories.

When my books open, I take a week to contact flash clients and 2-3 weeks to contact custom clients. You will receive an email with price estimates and instructions to place a deposit and book your appointment(s). You will only ever hear from me from my email, laurenblairtattoo@gmail.com if you've been selected, so please be wary of spam social media accounts.

Submissions are open for custom tattoos via the newsletter from December 1st-3rd. Booking period is January-June 2024.

Books are currently closed for flash tattoos.

Estimated timeline for next submission opportunities:

Flash: January 2024
Custom: TBD

How do you pick booking requests?

I have limited availbilty for custom projects, so although I read every submission, it is impossible for me to accept everyone. For that reason, I trust my gut and choose projects that I feel excited about and know I can create a piece we both love. I do my best to select a good mix of large and small projects, and I accept both new and repeat clients. Submissions that are descriptive, clear and concise with good photo references often get chosen as they make my job much easier.

For flash tattoos, I do my best to select clients in the order they submit, as long as the conditions for the project align.

Can I get on a waitlist?

Unfortunately, I do not keep a waitlist. If you need to reschedule an appointment, please reach out to me within one year of cancellation to get back on the books.

How does it work if I'm coming from out of town?

I am happy to take clients from out of town, but ask that you give plenty of time before booking a return flight after your appointment. There is nothing more stressful than rushing a tattoo, so consider leaving the morning after so we have plenty of time and your body is able to recover. Most of my tattoos can be completed in one session, but for larger pieces I will request back to back days, or multiple sessions spaced at least 3 weeks apart.

I am so grateful that people want to travel for my tattoos - and though I am 100% committed to showing up for my clients, in rare cases illness or unexpected circumstances can arise at the last minute. Keep that in mind when making your reservations, and never hesitate to let me know if you need to reschedule your trip!

What's the cancellation policy?

Life happens so please don't hesitate to let me know if something comes up. Deposits are nonrefundable, but I allow one free reschedule if more than 48 hours advanced notice is given. No shows will not be rebooked.

Where do I go for my appointment?

I am tattooing out of my private studio, Good Bug, on Northeast Alberta. All the information you need for your appointment will come in a confirmation email from my booking site.

Do you do coverups?

Due to the nature of full color tattoos, coverups are very difficult and it can be nearly impossible to cover any tattoo that has black ink without it showing through. I would recommend getting partial laser removal to a tattoo before attempting a full color coverup. I will consider projects on a case by case basis, just be sure to include photos of your tattoo in your submission.

Session

How do I prepare for my appointment?

The best thing you can do in preparation is to provide some extra care to your skin. Moisturize daily in the 7-10 days leading up, and drink lots of water. Eat a good solid meal before coming in, bring snacks and a water bottle, avoid drinking alcohol the night before, and try not to drink caffeine immediately before the appointment (but don't feel the need to skip that morning coffee). Your body will thank you and the tattoo will go in faster and be less painful.

What do I need to bring to my appointment?

Please bring a government issued ID showing you're at least 18 years of age. Bring a water bottle, and snacks/a meal for long sessions. Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing that will allow access to the area being tattooed.

How long will the appointment take?

Most of my tattoos include about an hour of setup and breaks, and most tattoos fall between 2-5 hours in one session. Your assigned appointment block will give you an estimate, but its always good to give yourself extra time and expect to be there longer. Sometimes appointments can be lengthier due to pain management, skin variation, or either of us needing to stop to eat or take a longer break. I can always provide estimates if you are clear on size and placement when you make your request.

I'm getting a custom tattoo, how do I see my design?

I send custom drawings out the night before the appointment (late! I'm a night owl). This is so you have a chance to look it over in the morning and request and changes via email. For large scale projects, I send a sketch a little further out to make sure we're on the same page. If waiting makes you uncomfortable, just let me know, and I'll try carve out some time to get your design to your earlier.

Do tattoos hurt? How can I manage the pain?

The unfortunate truth is that tattoos can be painful, but most clients find it manageable and sometimes they hardly hurt at all. Eating a large meal beforehand, staying hydrated, and moisturizing your skin the week+ leading up to your appointment will work wonders in helping your body manage the pain, and make for a quicker tattoo. I use bactine spray throughout the duration of the tattoo to help with pain management. I am always happy to split sessions up if needed - theres never any pressure to finish in one day.

Do you use vegan ink?

Yes! All my inks are vegan and cruelty free.

For larger projects, how long do I need to wait between sessions?

I suggest three weeks minimum between sessions to allow your body to heal. This also allows our first round of color to settle and we can adjust the rest of the tattoo based on those results. For traveling clients, it is sometimes possible to do back to back days, just inquire at booking.

Do you offer free color swatches to BIPOC clients?

Anytime! Just shoot me an email laurenblairtattoo@gmail.com

If we're planning to work together on a tattoo in the future, let's discuss in advance if your color swatch will be a standalone tattoo, or placed intentionally to be hidden later.

Payment

What are the rates I should expect to pay for my tattoo?

2023 Rates:

Flash $200/hour, $1000 day rate cap
Custom $225-250/hour, depending on the project, $1100 day rate cap

I am happy to provide quotes by request, though I usually can only offer a price range within one hour. I usually commit to a slightly lower rate for multi-session custom projects, which we'll discuss in our initial exchange.

Should I tip?

Tipping is never mandatory but always so appreciated. Industry standard is ~15-20%.

Do you offer a sliding scale?

I always offer a 25% discount to BIPOC clients. Occasionally I take on other discounted projects and will announce via newsletter when I have availability.

Do you require a deposit to book?

I require a nonrefundable deposit to book a tattoo.

Quilt Squares/Tiny tattoos: $100
Regular Flash: $200
Custom: $250

Why are tattoos so expensive?

Tattoo pricing comes down to overhead costs and hidden labor hours. Tattoo equipment is expensive, especially when you provide high quality ink and needles. I spend many hours drawing the pieces I tattoo, corresponding with clients, running a space, and creating a comfortable environment for our appointment. I am a trained artist, but also my own bookkeeper, manager, marketer, photographer, and shop cleaner. Being self employed means I pay for my own health insurance, pay extra taxes, and I don't get any paid sick time or vacation time. I try to keep my prices fair and in line with other artists, while protecting and taking care of myself. I am so grateful and appreciative of everyone who is willing to save and invest in their permanent art.

Aftercare

How do I care for my tattoo?

  • Leave the Saniderm clear bandage on for 4-5 days. It will most likely fill up with plasma and ink, this is normal, leave the bandage on. It is water resistant so you can shower with it on but do not soak in it. If I instructed you to change out your Saniderm after 24 hours, please follow the instructions in this video, and then proceed with the following aftercare.
  • Always make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before cleaning or touching your tattoo.
  • After 4-5 days, remove the bandage in the shower with warm water and clean the tattoo with a mild unscented or antibacterial liquid soap. I use Doctor Bronners unscented, and Dial gold antibacterial is a trusted brand. Avoid using bar soap - this can hold bacteria.
  • After the bandage comes off, wash the tattoo 2 times a day and apply a thin layer of ointment (such as Aquaphor or Vitamin A&D Ointment). Do this until the 1 week mark.
  • 7 days after getting the tattoo, you can switch from ointment to an unscented lotion (such as Lubriderm). Apply whenever the skin looks dry.

What should I avoid after my tattoo?

  • Do not pick at or scratch the tattoo throughout the healing process. This can lead to infection, scarring, or ink fallout. The “peeling” stage of tattoo healing is normal - avoid picking off dead skin and let it come off naturally.
  • Make sure your bedding is clean when your bandage comes off. If you have pets, do not allow them in the bed for the first two weeks while your tattoo is healing. Clean your tattoo if it comes into contact with an animal or their bedding, furniture, etc.
  • Avoid wearing restrictive clothing. Do not let your tattoo stick to clothing or sheets. If this does happen, soak the cloth where it is stuck to the tattoo in warm water and then wash your hands and the tattoo.
  • Avoid heavy sweating in or around the area of your tattoo for at least two weeks.
  • Avoid direct sunlight. If you must go in the sun, use a high SPF sunscreen on your tattoo. It is a good rule to apply sunscreen to your tattoos during prolonged exposure to direct sunlight for the life of your tattoo. Do not use a tanning bed for at least one month.
  • Do not soak in any water or body of water (bathtub, pool, hot-tub, hot spring, river, lake, ocean) for 3 weeks.
  • If you have any other questions or concerns regarding the healing process, please email me at laurenblairtattoo@gmail.com

What if I'm allergic to latex?

No problem, my shop and supplies are latex free. Please be sure to let me know on your form.

How do I book a touchup?

Shoot me an email with images of your tattoo (best in indirect, natural light) and describe what you're hoping for. This will give me a good sense of how long our touchup will take and I can book you accordingly!

Touchups are free within the first year as long as there was no obvious damage to the tattoo. I am always happy to rework a piece beyond that date for a lower hourly rate.