FAQ

GENERAL APPOINTMENT GUIDELINES:

  • Clients fully vaccinated against covid will no longer be required to wear a mask, but it is still encouraged.  ​​

  • No extra guests.  Please come to your appointment by yourself.  The shop is small and we cannot accommodate groups, and limiting the number of people increases client comfort and limits distractions to the artists.

  • Contact your artist in a timely fashion about reschedules, illness, or any changes to your tattoo design.

  • Beverages are allowed with a lid.  No food, please.

-- BOOKING PROCESS--

Can I book a same-day appointment or walk-in?

No.  We are by appointment only, and you must contact the shop and set something up with an artist before coming in.  A consultation is required before booking a tattoo appointment.

Do you tattoo minors under 18?

No, we do not tattoo anyone under 18 at this shop.  You MUST be 18 to get a tattoo here, with a valid form of government-issued identification that includes a name, birthdate, and signature.  We are required by the health department to copy the ID of all clients on to a release waiver that states you are of age and consent to the procedure.

Can I bring a friend with me, or can a group of us book a session?

No, we do not tattoo groups, and do not allow extra guests.  At our shop, we reduce the total number of people in order to provide a quiet, calm atmosphere that lets our clients feel safe and provides fewer distractions for our artists.   back to top

Starting the Appointment Process:

Through 2021, we have received a much higher than normal amount of appointment requests and when an artist has reached their scheduling capacity, the books will be "closed," with no wait list and no new appointments.  One of our most heartfelt duties to our clients is to take the proper amount of time with them in order to create a good experience, and that in turn means it takes time to get an appointment set up.  We always begin with a consultation appointment, and more information can be found below.

When an artist is ready to schedule new clients, announcements will be made here on the website and on our social media;  the shop's Instagram is @moonraetattoo, and our Facebook page is here.   At that time, you may fill out the contact form here on the website (which will reopen as needed), or contact the artist through their preferred method (usually email) to express your interest in a consultation.  There will most likely be only a limited number of dates and times to choose from.  The artist will contact you about dates, and possibly email you with a link to a scheduler to book your own appointment.  

 

We do not have a "first available" list of appointments, so please have a specific artist in mind.  Browse through each artist's portfolio to see whose work fits your style the best.    Each individual artist has their Instagram page linked on the shop's so you may follow each artist to get a more in-depth look at their work.  

Clients that are currently on the schedule take precedence for open spots and reschedule dates.  

 

We are so incredibly grateful to have so many people interested in our work and our mission and deeply appreciate all the love and support coming our way!

 

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Why do I need to schedule a consultation first?

A consultation gives us time to get to know you and your ideas and ensures the best result for your tattoo, as well as giving you a better idea of what we as artists are capable of achieving.  Not every artist can do every style of work, so we encourage everyone that researches our shop to look at artist portfolios both here and on social media.  Some artists do not work with color, and some do not draw from scratch and rather make collage style pieces.  Looking into the artist's portfolio will give clients a realistic idea of what the artist can do.  Artists will create pieces in their artistic style while keeping the design as close to the client's wishes as possible.  Consultations also afford you the opportunity to make sure you are comfortable with both the environment and your artist. 

When your artist sits down with you at the consultation, you can show any reference pictures you may have, discuss the size of your design, approximate how many sessions it may take to complete, talk about colors and style, and placement on the body.  Price quotes are also given, and if you have a budget, we will be able to let you know how much we can do with your design.  The artist will also advise if the design will be too small to be feasibly tattooed.  All these things let us know if we are a good fit for the kind of art you want, and how long to book your tattoo session for.  Tattoo sessions are scheduled when you come in for your consultation, and usually end up being a few months away from the consultation itself. 

 

Consultations are especially important for the artist so they know how much time to set aside for the appointment and plan their day appropriately.  Please contact your artist if you change your mind on the size or subject matter of the design as that will affect the amount of time for your appointment.  Your artist may charge, at their discretion, for either unused time at the tattoo appointment or drawing a new design that is different from the consultation, if no prior notice or communication was given. 

Since we are not a walk-in or same-day shop, it is imperative we get as much information as possible in order to plan our schedules appropriately.           back to top

What does it mean when an artist's "books are closed?"

An artist will choose to "close their books" when they are scheduling several months ahead of time.  This allows them time to get caught up with clients currently on the schedule, either for tattoos or consultations, and minimize the need for rescheduling.  They will not schedule new appointments, and will not take any clients on a wait list.  

We strive to ensure we respond to everyone that is interested in coming to our shop so if you have specific questions that aren't answered here in the FAQ, send us an email.  Announcements will be made on a regular basis via social media and the website when an artist will be taking clients on a wait list or booking new appointments.  Thank you so much for your interest in our mission and patience in working with us!            back to top

- PRICING, GIFT CARDS, PAYMENTS -

 

Pricing - Hourly Rate, Deposits, and Accepted Payment Methods

The minimum price for a tattoo is $100, and the hourly rate starts at $175.  Occasionally an artist will quote a price for the piece as a whole, rather than by the amount of time it takes.  We take the time to discuss price with you at your consultation appointment.

Gift cards are sold here and can serve as a way to set aside money for tattoo appointments, and ours do not expire.  Must be purchased in store, via credit card only.  Please call the shop at 605-271-1479 to set up a time to purchase a gift card.  ALL SALES FINAL - GIFT CARDS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.  

Artists take deposits for tattoo appointments at their discretion.  The deposit goes towards your final tattoo cost and secures your appointment time.

 

Deposits are also NON-REFUNDABLE.  No-call no-show appointments forfeit their deposit.  More information about deposits and rescheduling can be found further down in the FAQ.

Payment types accepted here are cash, card, Venmo, and Paypal.         back to top

- LARGE PROJECTS, RESCHEDULING, AFTERCARE -

- TOUCH UPS, WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR APPOINTMENT -

Large Tattoos, Multi-session Projects, and Cover-ups

All of these require a consultation before scheduling a tattoo appointment.  Cover-ups in particular can be challenging, and discussing ideas prior to making a tattoo appointment is important.  Consultations for cover-ups must be IN PERSON.  We always want to ensure you receive the proper time and attention, and in order to do that, we take the time to discuss design ideas with you.  An artist may also schedule more than one consultation to make sure the design is just right. 

Tattoos, especially big projects, always take a considerable amount of time.  Some take several sessions of several hours each, over the course of months.  Your artist will advise you as to how many sessions you may need for your project, and often book you several tattoo appointments, as well as advise how much each session will potentially cost.  When working on larger pieces, we like to space appointments out every 3-4 weeks in order to give the body time to heal appropriately between sessions.  

As artists, we prefer to complete projects in a timely fashion to ensure the style of work stays the same throughout the entire piece.          back to top

I Missed My Appointment - What Happens Now?

No-call no-show appointments are unacceptable.  We do not re-book clients that do not show up to their appointment without first contacting their artist.           back to top

What if I need to reschedule, or my artist reschedules me?

If something happens and you are unable to make your appointment, please contact the shop or your artist as soon as possible.  You can reach out via your artist's preferred contact method, by general shop email, or simply by calling and leaving a message.  We understand that life happens and some things cannot be avoided!  Sometimes we get surprises, too, and will contact you as soon as possible if we need to reschedule.  You will be rescheduled for the soonest possible time that works both for you and your artist.

In cases of inclement weather, rescheduling is preferred.  We believe in safety first and will postpone the appointment if necessary.  

Deposits will still be honored if appointments need to be rescheduled.         back to top

What is your policy on touch-ups?

We define a touch up as a "spot check," reserved for correcting light spots after the initial healing process.  Occasionally, a tattoo will heal and a line or spot of color will be a bit lighter than expected.  The artist that did your tattoo will take care of that for you, usually at no charge.  Touch ups should be done fairly soon after the tattoo is healed, within about a year.  Tattoos also look their very best the first time they were done and it is difficult to continuously touch one up to make it always look new.  Constantly touching up a tattoo gives diminishing returns, and when more ink gets packed in the skin there is potential for more spreading.  

After several years of being in the skin, tattoos naturally fade and get lighter, and ink begin to spread a bit.  There is nothing that can be done to avoid this.  Tattoos are ink in living, regenerating skin, and as the skin changes, so will the tattoo.  Taking proper care of your tattoo as it heals and staying out of the sun will help minimize these effects.  If you would like to get your tattoo touched up several years after it has been completed, we consider that a "re-work," and do charge for that service.  You may contact your artist anytime for a price estimate. 

Hands and feet fade and wear out faster than other parts on the body, and there is a full price charge for reworking those areas.      back to top

What should I expect at my tattoo appointment?

Before getting worked on, it's usually a good idea to get a little something to eat.  A small snack or juice works well, and perhaps something more substantial if you're coming in for a longer session or larger piece.  We do not allow food, but beverages are allowed if they have a resealable lid.  

Appropriate clothing helps to reach certain areas, so plan ahead and wear or bring shorts for leg pieces and thin strap tanks for shoulders and backs.  Tattoos get messy, so please wear something you don't mind getting stained.  We do have disposable bralettes and underwear for tattoos of a more sensitive nature if you do not have appropriate clothing with you.  

You can bring earbuds if you'd like to listen to music during your session, or you can bring a book or entertain yourself on your phone.  Please make sure whatever you are doing isn't a distraction, and that you can be still and not have to readjust yourself too much.   In order for your tattoo to be a success, it is extremely important that you remain still.  

Privacy screens are available if necessary.

Please inform your artist if you have a latex sensitivity!  We have latex free gloves and an alternative to the Saniderm dressing we normally use.  

For those brand new to the tattoo world, a basic breakdown of a tattoo session goes as follows:

First, we will greet you and discuss your design again, get a stencil made, and ask for your ID to get your paperwork ready.  Next, we prepare the work station and set it up.  After that, we will clean and prepare the skin and transfer the stencil.  You may check placement at this time and let us know if the stencil needs to be moved.  Then, you will sit or lay down while we do the tattoo.  The tattoo is cleaned up, and a dressing put on top.  Aftercare directions will be explained, and a reminder sheet given to you.       back to top

Are you clean and do you use sterile tools?

We take pride in using clean tools and safe methods.  Needles are single use only, and disposed of in a medical grade sharps container after use.  Grips and needles are disposable and come sterilized by gas method from reputable distributors.  Ink caps, razors, and rinse cups are among many other single-use, disposable materials.  Reusable equipment and client surfaces are protected with a barrier and wiped with a hospital grade disinfectant after use, and if necessary, a hospital grade cold sterilant.  Gloves are always worn during tattoo prep, process, and cleanup.  Client skin is thoroughly cleaned and prepared before the procedure.

 

All our artists have passed bloodborne pathogen certification and operate using universal precautions.

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Pregnancy, Medical Conditions, Allergies, Scars, Stretch Marks, and Infections

As a disclaimer, it must be said that we are not trained medical practitioners and are not qualified to give medical advice.  The following only represents our combined personal experience in the industry, sprinkled with a little common sense.  Should you have questions or concerns please contact your preferred medical provider.

We DO NOT tattoo anyone that is pregnant.  We will tattoo clients that are currently breastfeeding, but please direct any medical questions to your preferred medical provider.  

Being in good health is a general prerequisite of getting tattooed.  Being ill with cold or flu, having a stomach bug, sunburn, or recovering from injury should not occur during tattooing.  Know your body, and if you don't feel well, for any reason, postpone your appointment.  We also will not perform tattoos on anyone taking blood thinners.  As stated before, ask your medical provider if you should be tattooed if you have a specific medical condition.

If you have a latex allergy, please tell your artist.  We always have latex free gloves, and can use a plain gauze dressing to cover the tattoo afterwards.  Feel free to ask any questions about products used in the tattoo process and we can often find alternatives. 

Scars and stretch marks can be tattooed over, and the older they are, the easier they are to work with.  Scars need to be at least a year old before we will tattoo over top.  Stretch marks are considered scar tissue, and while we can tattoo over them, be aware that skin does act differently, and the design should not contain fine detail.   Eczema, psoriasis, and acne breakouts need to be fully cleared before tattooing over that skin.  We will NOT tattoo over skin we suspect to be sunburned, so please plan outdoor trips appropriately.

We take pride in using clean and safe tattoo procedures, and instruct all clients on proper aftercare techniques.  Contact your preferred medical care professional if you suspect an infection.

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Caring for Your Tattoo

We use a breatheable film called Saniderm to dress all fresh tattoos.  Their specific aftercare directions are listed here, and our version follows:

 

After the tattoo is finished, the artist will thoroughly clean the skin and pat it dry with a clean paper towel.  When the skin is dry, they will apply the Saniderm film.  This film can stay on for several days and we generally recommend 3-4 unless otherwise instructed.  A tattoo naturally seeps blood and plasma, and this will start to pool under the film, as well as discolor because of the ink in the skin.  Both the fluid and the discoloration are NORMAL.  Do NOT puncture the film and drain the fluid.  The Saniderm film is also waterproof.  Showers are fine, but do not soak in the bath or go swimming.  Do not let the film get extremely wet.

After a few days you may remove the film, and this is easiest to do in the shower.  At that time you may let the film become soaking wet, and peel it very gently and slowly away from the skin.  Once the film is removed, wash the tattoo with a gentle, fragrance free liquid soap.  No bar soap, no body wash.  Gently wash the tattoo with your fingers, rinse well, and pat dry with a clean paper towel.  Let the skin dry for approximately two hours.  When the skin is dry, apply a THIN layer of fragrance free lotion to the tattoo with clean hands, and reapply lotion in THIN layers two to four times per day.  After removing the film and beginning the lotion, the tattoo only needs to be washed once daily.

Tattoos will begin to flake and peel during the healing process, and this is NORMAL.  Old, damaged skin will slough away.  The flaky skin will have ink in it yet, so while it looks like your tattoo is falling apart, this is a NORMAL part of the healing process.  DO NOT PICK OR SCRATCH.  Tattoos will also itch during healing.  Gently pat or rub;  do not scratch.  After peeling, the skin will look milky white - THIS IS NORMAL.  It is new, healing skin, and will take several more weeks before being completely healed.  Total healing time is four to six weeks.  In the meantime, keep it CLEAN, touch only with CLEAN hands, wear CLEAN clothes.

Regarding sun, swimming, and sports:

Exercise with a new tattoo is okay.  As a general rule, if it hurts, don't do it.  Be mindful it is healing skin, so be gentle.  Sweating can loosen the saniderm film.

Summertime has its own special rules, so if you are getting a tattoo during summer months and/or are active outdoors, please be aware of the following: 

 

NO SUN. Prolonged sun exposure on a fresh tattoo will cause it to burn, and we will charge to fix any tattoos damaged by not following our aftercare advice.  Sunblock can be used, but only AFTER the tattoo is completely healed.  If you absolutely must be outside for any length of time with a fresh tattoo, it needs to be covered.  We will also NOT tattoo over skin we suspect to be sunburned.  Please plan outdoor time appropriately prior to your appointment.

NO SWIMMING.  Do not go swimming or be in any form of water (except a clean shower) until the tattoo is completely healed.  

Avoid dust, dirt, and sand.

For aftercare without the saniderm film, much of the advice remains the same.  If we do not use saniderm for you, we will use a gauze bandage with ointment.  Remove the dressing after 1-2 hours.  Remove excess ointment with a clean paper towel.  Wash the tattoo with a mild, fragrance-free liquid soap.  Rinse well, and pat dry with a clean paper towel.  We do not recommend using ointment and advise using only a fragrance-free, gentle daily lotion.  After removing the dressing and washing the tattoo, let it dry completely before applying lotion.  Over the following days, apply lotion in THIN LAYERS, two to four times daily, until completely healed.  

Contact us if you have any questions about the healing process.  Contact your healthcare provider if you suspect infection.  Proper aftercare technique will help avoid infection and healing issues.   

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Do you only tattoo women?

Our shop welcomes everyone!

Can I take pictures?

Please ask your artist before taking pictures.  They may not want their face in a photo, or another client may not want to be in a picture.  We respect our client's right to decline being in a photograph, so if you do not want your artist to take a picture of your work, please say so.        back to top

What if my artist does not want to tattoo my idea?

Every artist works differently and sometimes may not be able to do the kind of art requested.  We all specialize in different things, and if the artist feels they will not be a good fit for the work, you will be referred to someone else because we believe it's important for you to have the best tattoo possible.  Consultations are a crucial first step in discussing designs and whether your chosen artist will be able to work with your ideas.       back to top

What are tattoos you will not do?

This shop does not believe in supporting hate culture of any kind and we actively refuse to do any designs that are gang related or have ties to supremacist activity. 

 

We do not tattoo inside the lip, on the ear, or around genital areas.

Not all of our artists will do a tattoo all in white.  Before considering a white ink tattoo, be aware of what it will look like after healing.  Most of the pictures of white ink tattoos are from when they were freshly done.  They look nice and crisp and bright, but do not stay that way.  When white ink heals, it looks close to your natural skin tone and is hard to see, and looks like a scar.  Touching up white will not make it any brighter.  This article is also a good resource on learning about white ink tattoos.  All pastel color inks heal similar to white, so even considering a tattoo only in light pink, blue, purple, yellow, etc. is not always the best idea.  Tattoo ink on the skin works differently than colors on paper.  If you do not like how your light color tattoo looks and want it to be in a darker color, you will be charged full price to rework the piece.  

Hands and feet will be tattooed at the artist's discretion.  Certain areas of the body simply do not heal well, and fingers and feet are primary examples.  Be fully aware that healed tattoos in those areas often do not heal well and will not look good over time.  We can tattoo those areas, but do not guarantee the work will stay, and will charge for touch ups.  

Occasionally, during a consultation, we will refer a client to a different artist.  When this happens, it is because we feel a different artist will be better suited for the type of work the client is requesting.  This is part of the reason we feel consultations are so important - sometimes we cannot do the type of work the client wants, as not all artists are the same.         back to top