Call us: 01132 435 439


This is my first tattoo – will it hurt?

Firstly please DO NOT listen to the experiences of friends. Mean friends often unfairly wind customers up! Tattoos do hurt, but every individual’s experience is different. Pain tolerances vary from person to person, different parts of the body hurt more than others, and the same spot on one person can hurt whist another person would barely mind. It’s OK to be nervous, but most customers often comment it wasn’t as bad as they thought! Tattooing is certainly not an unbearable sensation, especially for short sessions, and it is, for the most part, more of a mild to moderate annoyance than outright agony! As mentioned above, being well-fed and well-rested will minimise discomfort, and for longer sessions of over an hour or so, you might also find a mild anti-inflammatory pain reliever like Ibuprofen or a Paracetamol helps.

We’re a very quick and efficient tattooists, so whilst quality comes first, we are also mindful of how quickly we’re working. We work fast to keep pain to a minimum. (Please note with females, it needs to be mentioned that getting tattooed whilst on your period will make the body more receptive to pain, so take that into account whilst booking where possible).

Remember, most tattooed people rarely only have one tattoo! If the experience was so terribly painful, this would be unlikely!

Do you take tattoo apprentices?

Sorry no, please do not ask.

Before your appointment

Please don’t get drunk the night before your appointment: drinking alcohol to excess will thin the blood and make the experience far more painful. Please eat something substantial before you get tattooed. If you have a session of more than an hour or so booked, you may also want to bring some sweets or an energy drink with you to ensure your blood-sugar levels are maintained, and a bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated. Finally, make sure you have a good night’s sleep the night before – being well-rested, well-fed and well-hydrated will make your tattoo process infinitely more comfortable.

Hygiene Standards

Snake & Tiger tattoo have very high hygiene standards and take this issue very seriously. The health of every one of our clients is extremely important; if you would like us to explain anything in person, please don’t hesitate to ask. All needles are, of course, single use from sealed packets and disposed of once the tattoo is complete. All ink caps are single use and disposable. All surfaces are covered, and all reusable equipment are sterilised in a surgical-grade autoclave. All inks and equipment used are of the highest quality. We maintain the same standards of cleanliness and protection against cross-contamination as you would find in a doctor’s or dentist’s surgery.

Will my idea make a good tattoo?

Nothing is more permanent in this world than a tattoo, so it needs to be done right! Please don’t be offended if we don’t think your idea or design will translate into a good tattoo. Tattooing is a very particular medium, and what works on paper won’t always work well on skin, and vice versa. Many factors have to be taken into consideration in the composition, planning and execution of the design, particularly in taking into consideration how the tattoo will heal and change over time – as your skin ages, your tattoo will blur and spread very slightly. This is not a major factor, and the blurring you get with contemporary tattoo techniques is certainly not comparable to the green smudges you occasionally see on tattoos done back in the 1970s and 80s (and earlier!), but every tattoo will change slightly over time simply due to the biomechanics of ink in skin cells. This is a predictable effect and we tattooists are able to plan the design so that, if anything, it will only look better as it ages, but it does mean that certain design features, particularly very fine detail and tattoos without solid outlines, are inadvisable. This effect is magnified on certain areas of the body where the skin is thinner or thicker than average, and will be explained to you during your consultation.

We will only tattoo designs we judge will look great forever, and which we will be willing to stake our name and reputation on decades hence. We’d rather give you no tattoo than a bad tattoo – if we don’t think your design will work as a good tattoo, we hope you will trust our judgement and ensure that, together, we can produce a piece that we can both be proud of!

Do you design tattoos?

Yes, we do design tattoos – we offer a fully custom service, which means when you book in with one of our artists, we will produce you a design based on our conversation during the consultation: when you book and pay your deposit in person, we will have a chance to discuss your ideas, plans and wishes, and we will be able to produce a tattoo that we will both be more than happy with.

We do not design tattoos for other artists to tattoo onto your body, and we will not produce a design for you unless a booking has been made and a deposit left.

What’s the best way to book an appointment?

The best thing is definitely to come into the studio. You can email us but it’s better to talk face to face. The best times to speak to us are 10pm when we start work or 15:30pm when we take a break from tattooing. Don’t phone to book a consultation, just come in.

Can I cancel an appointment, and will I get my deposit back?

If you must cancel an appointment, or you wish to postpone it to a later date, please ensure you give us as much notice as possible. We require at least four working days’ notice (working days are Tuesday – Saturday inclusive) for postponements and cancellations, otherwise you will lose your deposit – and we would certainly appreciate more! Deposits are non-refundable. If you have any doubts as to whether you want to get tattooed, it’s best not to commit to an appointment unless you are fully sure.

How old do you have to be to get tattooed?

You must be at least 18 to get tattooed. No exceptions. If you are fortunate enough to look under 18, bring ID. No ID, no tattoo!

Do you take credit cards?

Cash only please! There are cash machines within easy walking distance of the shop, and we’ll be happy to give you directions.

Can I email you?

You are certainly welcome to email us, however due to the high number of emails we receive, please be advised that you will always be better off coming into the studio in person. Otherwise, it may take several days to get a response to you! The shop email address is here.

Can I bring my own design?

Of course. In fact, if you have reference material or images that have inspired your design ideas, it really helps during the consultation process! Please bring images with you printed out on paper – images on your mobile are no use! Alternatively, feel free to bring images with you on a USB stick.

We will not usually tattoo a design exactly in your original sketch: as a tattoo is an image on a three-dimensional surface, and as the medium of tattooing (ink-in-skin) lends itself much more successfully to certain techniques and aesthetics than others, a design on paper or a screen will usually need to be adjusted before it will really look its best as a tattoo! Please don’t be offended if a design you bring with you needs to be changed in this way – it is a fundamental part of the process to ensure your tattoo looks as good as possible, both now and for the rest of your life.

That said, military badges, sports team logos and similar iconographies will be reproduced faithfully and accurately, of course.

It should go without saying that we will not copy a tattoo design or actual tattoo which you have printed out from the Internet – it is usually disrespectful to both the original artist and their client to reproduce work on this way (think how you’d feel if your tattoo, designed entirely and especially for you, appeared on someone else’s body). Do feel free to bring in examples of other tattoos you’ve found which indicate the kinds of details you’re interested in, and we can then work together to create something personal, bespoke and unique!

Do you do gift vouchers?

Yes we do, they are available in the shop and can be made out for any amount.

Can I make an appointment over the phone?

Do feel free to call us for advice, however all bookings must usually be made in person due to the reasons outlined above, as well as the fact that we ask for a cash deposit when your appointment is made. If you are travelling from overseas, or are not within easy reach of the shop, it may be possible to make alternative arrangements – please contact us to discuss your options, though please be advised this will be the exception rather than the rule.

Do I need to book an appointment?

It’s always best to make an appointment, however due to last minute cancellations, we may occasionally have space during the day.

How much will my tattoo cost?

It is sadly impossible to provide price quotations for your tattoo over email or by phone. The time to produce the tattoo, and therefore the price, will vary due to size, complexity, intricacy and level of detail, placement on the body, etc., and as such, all clients will be asked to come into the shop in person in order to discuss their particular piece.

That said: the minimum charge is £60, which covers all the high-grade disposables required before starting any tattoo (inks, needles, gloves, barrier film, etc.), as well as the time cost involved in setting up the workstation before the client even sits down in the chair. There is an old adage in tattooing that “Good tattoos ain’t cheap, and cheap tattoos ain’t good”; whilst you may have been quoted less elsewhere, please remember that if a tattoo artist is not charging enough to cover their basic set-up costs, they may be cutting corners with not only the aesthetics of your tattoo by rushing it, but also potentially with your health and safety. Tattoos will last a lifetime, and as such it’s always better to save a little extra for an excellent piece by the best artist for the job tomorrow than to get tattooed by a lesser artist today. It’s simply not worth several decades of regret for the sake of a few weeks or months of saving to get the best tattoo you can.
Advice is always free, and we welcome enquiries. Do stop by to discuss your plans with us!

What about aftercare?

On the day that you’re tattooed, leave the cling film on until bedtime (a minimum of 4 hours). For large tattoos, such as sleeves, we may advise you to re-wrap with cling film overnight.

When you remove the first lot of cling film, wash the tattoo thoroughly. Make sure you completely get rid of the excess blood/ink/plasma which will form a thick scab otherwise.

Pat the tattoo dry carefully.

Leave your tattoo to air dry for 20 minutes or so with no clothes covering it (or the clothes may stick).

Apply a plain non-scented moisturiser (we sell tattoo aftercare products), stay away from overly medicated creams (e.g. Savlon, Sudocrem) or oily creams (e.g. Vaseline).

Apply the cream VERY sparingly. Too much cream traps germs and leads to infections.

After a day, a light scab should form. Don’t pick or scratch. To relieve itching, tap gently if necessary!

Sun is very bad during the healing process and bad for tattoos in general. Do not go on a Sun-bed or go in a Sauna during healing time.

Don’t soak a healing tattoo in the bath or go swimming as this interferes with the healing process.

NEVER allow a pet to lick a healing tattoo.

The average healing time is 7 – 14 days, although this varies from person to person depending on your immune system.