Frequently Asked Tattoo Questions

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Does Tattooing Hurt?

In short. Yes. Although there are many different sensations and differences in pain intensities found throughout the body, a tattoo will undoubtedly cause some level of discomfort. ( A more accurate pain scale can be accessed through the tattoo estimator) Most of the time, the pain from the tattoo is more than tolerable and can be compared to a “sunburn” or a “cat scratch”, but certain areas of the body such as the neck, hands, feet, and rib cage can become potentially excruciating. Also, the various positioning of the body during the process may cause additional discomfort so come with a winner’s mind and make sure you stay still. 

How Long Will It Take For My Tattoo to Be Completed?

Once the size, style, and placement of the tattoo are determined through the consultation process, a more accurate time frame can be determined; however, the average time frame for a tattoo appointment is around 3 hours. Simple tattoos that are palm-sized or smaller generally take under an hour to finish, and tattoos that are slightly larger than a hand size with more details can generally be completed in 2 or 3 hours. Large scale projects such as sleeves, back pieces, and body suits can take upwards of 30 hours depending on the size of the client and style of tattooing! 

How much Does Tattooing Cost?

My general session rate is 150/hr and I have a 150$ minimum for a Tattoo appointment. I usually end up giving a flat rate price on pieces that can be completed in one session. I require a deposit for my appointments which can be made electronically through the tattoo estimator. I do not charge for drawing, set up, or clean up time and I will provide you with an accurate flat rate price once we determine the details of the tattoo through our consultation process. My travel tattoo rate is 200/hr to help cover the trip’s expenses. I often do tattoo giveaways and promotional discounts. Information regarding the free stuff can be found through my social media accounts. I also offer daily flat rates for larger scale projects such as sleeves. Contact me directly for more information. 

Is a tattoo really FOREVER?

A tattoo is one of the most remarkable forms of artwork. When we age, so do our tattoos. A tattoo’s vibrancy is in it’s prime within 10 years of receiving the artwork; however, the method of application and style will determine the longevity of the piece. Tattoos can easily be reworked and resaturated even if they are 25+ years old, so don’t worry about that vintage faded tattoo. If a tattoo is done correctly, you can have great results that will stand the test of time. 

Are there any health risks from getting tattooed?

In general, excessive, long term trauma to the skin causes a strain to the immune system. Because of this extraneous trauma, your body will ultimately fatigue after the process. ( If you are getting a long session and will potentially be too tired to drive home afterwards, bring a buddy). The constant endorphin rush you will experience during the tattoo has the potential to lead to a mild bout of anxiety causing the client to feel light headed or dizzy. These conditions are completely normal and safe and can also be considered a psycho-somatic response to the new experience. Because of the careful planning and use of disposable tattooing equipment in a professional and sterile environment, there are little to no chances of the transmutation of any blood borne pathogens. Women that are pregnant, or breast feeding should NOT get tattooed. This skin trauma could disrupt the pregnancy and potentially be harmful to the baby. People with mental instability, or other serious health conditions should NOT be tattooed. Although I have experience within my industry and basic medical knowledge, I am not a doctor and I am not certified to provide solutions to questions outside of my expertise. 

What Styles of Tattooing Do You Specialize In? What Is a Style?

The “style” of the tattoo simply means the distinctive appearance determined by the principles according to which something is designed. (This would be the difference between a portrait tattoo and a tattoo of a cartoon character). I love tattooing realistic imagery, cartoon characters, and anything with solid lines and bright colors; however, I will tattoo any style upon request. 

My tattoo doesn’t look as bright as when it was first done. WTF?!

A tattoo’s vibrancy once healed is first determined by the value (Lightness or Darkness) of the skin tone under which the pigment is placed. When the tattoo is first applied, the pigment does not show it’s true nature. The abrasion to the skin can cause the area to be red; therefore causing the light colors in a tattoo to appear darker and black and grey tattoos to be irritated. In other words, a healed tattoo is not the same as a fresh one, just know that going into the process. 

  1. What do I need to do before I come in to get tattooed?
What do I need to do before I come in to get tattooed?

Tattooing is an intimate, collaborative experience. You should come well fed, hydrated, and emotionally sound. Make sure you have comfortable clothing that allows the tattoo artist to easily access the area to be tattooed. Make sure you are not sunburned or there are any big scratches over the area to be tattooed. Feel free to bring snacks and drinks for the breaks in between just in case you need a quick energy boost. Friends, headphones, and positive vibes are also welcomed

What is a Sleeve?
A sleeve tattoo is an expansive piece of artwork that takes up the entirety of a client’s arm. A “typical” sleeve tattoo isn’t unconnected singular small walk-in style tattoos. An immaculate tattoo sleeve is a cohesive design incorporating your favorite subject matter.
Any large scale project will be expensive and time consuming and a sleeve can be one of the largest you get.
Creativity is the only limitation so you can fill that arm with exactly what you want. From black and grey realism to 90’s kid cartoons, there is a style and subject for you. A sleeve is a bold move that requires serious collaboration. Make sure you find the right artist that understands your vision and is a specialist.
Some artists specialize in freehand designs, drawing the entire sleeve with a sharpie. Other artists use technology like Photoshop and digital cameras to create the template. There is no “right” way to design a sleeve. Each artist will have their own system to plan a sleeve. You should seek out an artist with confidence and excitement for the project to get the best tattoo. Find a specialist in large scale work. These are masters at cohesive sleeves and tend to be the most impressive works.
I can't recommend sleeves enough. They are a time, pain, and monetary commitment, but can be an amazing addition to your body. My recommendation is to find artists with an eye for large scale projects so they can give you your dream arm.
How Long Will My Tattoo Take To Heal?

In General, tattoos take around a month to become fully healed; however, they will be healed to the touch within the first week of their application. You will experience skin flakes, dryness, and potentially scabby areas. This is totally normal. Don’t pick or scratch these areas, they may effect the integrity of the tattoo. The odds of an infection are slim to none so don’t be alarmed if there is a prolonged redness to the area. Sometimes legs and joint d areas take longer to heal because of the constant usage of the body part.

How Should I Care For My Tattoo?

This topic may be the single most important concern when getting a new tattoo. I use this same method of after care on my own tattoos. My tattoo after-care philosophy is simple. Less is more. Your body is a fortified powerhouse constantly striving to regenerate and heal itself. Instead of using Petroleum based ointments that clog your pores and potentially SLOW the healing process, I use a synthetic skin bandage that acts as a clear “scab” to protect your new investment in the cleanest and most efficient way possible. Here are my steps to tattoo healing success:


Here’s my part:


  • After your tattoo is completed, I will give the new tattoo around 10 minutes to allow the inflammation to calm down and clean the area with astringent to decontaminate the surrounding areas and wipe away any excess tattoo ink and blood plasma.
  • I will wrap your new tattoo in the skin care product. (It is a clear shield that allows the tattoo to be seen underneath the barrier)
  • Depending on the nature of the tattoo, I may provide an additional piece of the product for you to take home and change out within 24 hours.


Here’s your part:


  • Within a few hours, you will notice a collection of blood plasma and tattoo ink collecting within the bandage. This collection of “juice” (for lack of a better term) may or may not be a pleasant sight; however, this is an immune response by your body attempting to heal itself in the most efficient way possible. ( Essentially, your body is attempting to form a scab over the damaged skin, and the clear barrier is preventing it from forming a big ugly scab over your beautiful tattoo.)
  • If you are healing the tattoo with only one piece of the product, you can simply just leave it on for 24-48 hours and use your will power to distract you from the juice.
  • If you are healing the tattoo with two pieces of the product, you can remove the first one within 8-24 hours, clean it with unscented soap in a sterile environment, ( I recommend a nice warm shower ) and re-apply the wrap the same way I did in the shop. You can then leave the additional piece on for 24-36 hours.
  • Once you take the bandage off using either of the two methods, you can leave it completely dry and free of ALL ointments and lotions for at least 48 hours. (This will give your body a chance to start shedding the old damaged layer off skin destroyed during the tattoo process.
  • After the 48 hours of NO ointment or lotion, you can then systematically apply UNSCENTED lotion to the dry tattoo until it becomes fresh and rejuvenated.
  • The tattoo will definitely be itchy throughout the process. Make sure that you don’t scratch it or pick skin flakes off of it.


A link to the after care products can be found here:


Lubriderm Unscented

Dial Unscented Hand Soap

Hustlebutter Deluxe

Should I Make an Appointment?

The best way to assure you get the design of your dreams is to make a tattoo appointment. I do occasionally take walk-in tattoos, but for inquiries on a serious project, please fill out the form on the website. 

Are Tattoos Fixable?

Absolutely, BUT, new ones are awesome. For projects that require old tattoos to be re-saturated or fixed, I must consult with you in person so I can make sure the skin is still in tattooable condition. Usually tattoos that need fixed can be incorporated into larger scale projects such as a sleeve or a full back. Don’t be afraid to inquire about fixable tattoos!

Can You Create a Custom Tattoo For Me?

I encourage custom artwork and strive to provide a collaborative work environment. To truly achieve a great piece of work means to gather creative insight from others while applying the fundamental elements from the original concept. I will do my best to bring your vision to life, while being mindful of your needs. With my consultation process, I will attain a “rough draft” of your design that we both agree on. Afterwards, I will complete the design and allow you to access the content within a few days of your upcoming appointment. Any small changes can be made the day of the appointment. If there is something fundamentally wrong with the concept, and you have changed your mind on the big picture, we will have to book an appointment for a later time and repeat the process. 

Is There Anything Preventing Me From Getting A Tattoo?

I absolutely will not tattoo an individual that is intoxicated or high on drugs. Aside from being completely disrespectful to the artist and those around you, being inebriated during a process as special as a tattoo will most likely result in the misjudgment of the design, placement, and meaning of the artwork. Alcohol is also a blood thinner and will cause the tattoo area to bleed significantly more than a sober person.  I will not tattoo anyone who is pregnant. I cannot tattoo anyone who is physically unable to have the procedure completed. I work hard to constantly innovate and bring my customers the best of the best, therefore, I will not tattoo anyone who will not trust in the process. 

Where Are You Located?

I am located in Southeast Florida. I travel frequently and participate in tattoo conventions around the globe. I will announce my travel dates on my website and social media accounts. Feel free to reach out and I will come visit YOUR home city! My primary travel locations are Pittsburgh, PA, Los Angeles, CA, and Southern Florida.

What Should I Do After My Tattoo Is Completed?

Relax, sit back, and congratulate yourself. You have just made a life-long commitment to a beautiful piece of art. Make sure to take a couple sips of water and have a travel companion with you just in case of tattoo related fatigue. Go home and eat a healthy meal and get some rest.  Then make sure you fill out the testimonial form submission so you get $50 off your next Jake Steele tattoo!

I’ve Messaged You On Social Media With Questions About a Tattoo and You Haven’t Replied, WTF?!

Due to the overwhelming inquiries, I have limited my tattoo inquiries to my website. For any frequently asked questions, please refer to the frequently asked questions portion of my website. 

Will I need a touch up?

While most tattoos heal up just fine, an inconsistency in some healed pieces may exist. There is no need to worry, as these things happen; therefore I will absolutely touch up your tattoo upon request within 1 month of the completion of the tattoo. I love to see my Tattoos have great heals and a happy client is my number one priority. 

How do I purchase a piece of fine art?

I truly truly appreciate any sales of my artwork. You can check out the painting gallery on my site and I’ll ship them out to you ASAP for free in the US!

Do you do painting commissions?

I do. If you are interested in getting more information about a commissioned painting or large scale mural, contact me through email @

What brands do you use?

For tattooing, I use FK Irons and Bishop Rotary tattoo machines, World Famous tattoo ink, Kwadron needles, and Saniderm after care.