There is no substitute for experience. Established in 1973, Tattoo Charlie’s has been doing quality tattoos at a reasonable price for nearly 4 decades. Whether you want a portrait, traditional, or any other style of tattooing we have an artist to fit your needs. We also have a fully trained staff of piercers. Please browse our artist portfolios and Facebook pages for examples of their work. All of our artists love to do custom work, if you have a design or just an idea come in and we can make it a reality - While -U- Wait!
Professional tattooing has come a long way since 1973 when my Dad started this business. Over those many years he innovated many of the commonplace safety systems we use today. This list is designed to help you pick a safe, clean studio to get a tattoo in. Whether you get your tattoo here or some place else, I want you to get it as safely as possible.
When you walk in, trust your instincts. If it doesn’t look clean or smell clean then it probably isn’t. Every studio looks different and has a personality all its own. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable having food prepared there, you certainly shouldn’t trust your blood to be exposed there.
Is the lobby well lighted and inviting? The Kentucky Health department has specific requirements for the amount of lighting required in a studio. If it is dim and dreary inside they are likely not meeting the requirements set by law.
By this time someone should have greeted you and offered assistance if you need it. Some people come in and have a design picked or drawn already and are ready to go. Other times you need some direction, whether it be to a specific area of designs or with drawing something up from scratch. If you don’t get this interaction does that studio deserve your hard earned money?
Once you have your design and are ready to get tattooed it starts getting serious. This is where you have to start paying attention to little details in order to assure your safety. The artist is required by law to make a photocopy of your state or government issued ID. If they do not do this they are breaking the law.
When you sit down in the booth you should be sitting in a white or light colored chair. Every studio in the state of Kentucky is required to have white or light colored chairs for the client and the artist in the booth. If they do not do this they are breaking the law.
Every workstation should also have white or light colored floors, walls, and counter tops. If you see carpet in any workstation, leave!
Everything the artist uses on you should be brand new and opened in front of you. If you sit down and there is a tray of supplies ready to go for your tattoo how can you be sure they haven’t been used before? Always ask to have the sterile packs opened in front of you for your safety.
When your tattoo is finished it should always be bandaged with a nonstick, absorbent bandage. Saran wrap is one of the worst things for a fresh tattoo!
Aftercare is also very important. Your artist is required by law to give you written and verbal instructions to take care of your tattoo. A well done, well taken care of tattoo will likely never need touch ups or fade over time. Most importantly, if you see items on this list and don’t think they are a big deal I disagree. The Kentucky regulations for tattooing are in place for a reason, to keep you safe. If an artist or studio is breaking these rules, what others are they breaking that you can’t see?
It should go without saying that you should also look at an artists portfolio. Anyone can buy a tattoo kit off of Ebay and print a certificate that says they are a tattoo artist. I can print a certificate that says I am an astronaut from the planet Zebes but that doesn’t make it true. Tattoos are for life. Make sure you get the best one you can.