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I have been here twice now.  The first time was to get my nipples pierced.  I have had rejection issues with jewelry before so I talked to the shop folks for over an hour before deciding to go with 12G straight barbells, pierced a bit deeper than normal.  I got charged $50 total which is $10 more than normal for the custom jewelry and special needs.  I was fine with that.  The piercer (who got fired for excessive discussion of pot) did a great job making me feel comfortable and brought another artist back as a "witness" for safety reasons.  She was great about talking me through the whole procedure, opening the needles in front of me, and letting me know what it was all going to be like.  Yes, it hurt.  I healed quickly and cleanly by following the excellent aftercare instructions given to me by the piercer.

Cleanliness:  10--shop was very clean and all needles are individually packaged.
Professionalism:  10--More than willing to talk to me about all my questions.
Quality of work:  10--The piercings are perfect, even and straight.
Atmosphere:  10--The shop is clean, well lit, and open.  The piercing area is behind a curtain.
Aftercare instructions:  10--I got a paper, a number to call, a name and a long talk about how to care for my new pretties.

I recently went here after my bad experience with Lucky's to get my wings touched up.  I didn't have an appointment, but talked to the guys in the shop and they said it would be no problem.  I paid for 3 hours, seeing as I have sat through six before without a problem.  Well, it hurt.  A lot more than I anticipated.  I ended up getting 1.5 hours done which is about a smidge less than half.  Here is the wings from awhile ago:

I have the three long "feathers" and the inner hook loop redone.  The artist was very nice and friendly.  He made me feel right at home and listened when I told him of some of my tattoo particulars (my kidneys move and my skin writhes sometimes.)  He opened the needles in front of me and set up the equipment.  We got all positioned and talked about where I wanted to start and decided on the feathers because it hurts the worst from what I remembered.  It hurt amazingly bad.  It wasn't because he was heavy handed either, it has to do with getting ink over ink.  The skin has sensitized so it will hurt more.  I apologized for my slight twitches but he told me it was ok and he expected it.  He chatted while we worked and only took one 10 minute break (that they subtracted from my paid time).  Overall, it was a very positive experience.  When we finished, they asked me to sit for a bit so I would be ok to drive.  That was above the bar for me.  I also got a card with my "credit" written on it, and he had me watch him put a note in his files about the credit.  I will be getting my back finished here, as well as any other work I want done.  A big plus is that this shop has a zero tolerance policy about drug use.  Knowing how many tattoo artists are doing crap like that, I love this policy.  Here's my scores:

Cleanliness:  10--shop was very clean and all needles are individually packaged.
Professionalism:  10--More than willing to talk to me about all my questions.
Quality of work:  10--The ink looks great and the artist corrected past flaws.
Atmosphere:  9--The shop is clean, well lit, and open.  My only thing might me to add curtains to some of the tattoo booths.  I felt a bit exposed.  My tat pretty much requires me to be topless and I had twinge of reservations about the free show.
Aftercare instructions:  10--I had about a 45 minute discussion during the inking about different aftercare theories.  The artist was pretty close to mine, but mine is rather unique and not recommended for anyone.  It just works for me.

Lucky's Tattoo--Clarksville, TN


As my review was almost four years old, I have removed it as I doubt what may have been true years ago, will hold now.  I currently have no idea if Lucky's is a good shop or not.  If you have a review, please post it as a new entry in the community.

Icon Tattoo, Nashville TN

I'm including their myspace page so you can see pictures.

On a sort of whim, I decided to combine a shopping trip to Nashville with getting my eyebrow repierced after it rejected (see the entry about Mantis for my first eyebrow experience). I randomly looked up a shop online that seemed easy for me to find, printed a map, and showed up. My first impression was that the shop was spacious and clean. Professional but not sterile. So far so good. The piercer was getting ready to work on another client, so I paid and waited. The price was either $60 or $65, which is pricey but they only use internally threaded jewelry so the price is high for a reason. I asked about getting my other nostril pierced in the future and was quoted a price of $30 with jewelry, so the price is relative to what jewelry is being used. While I was waiting I looked at the jewelry selection (moderate, but better than a lot of shops).

After she was finished with the other clients, Betty Ann took me back to the piercing room and had me lie down. I had asked to be pierced at 14g because of my previous rejection and told her that, but she said that my rejection was probably caused by bad piercing and movement so we did it at 16g instead. I had her pierce it a little more towards the inside of my face than the previous one so it wouldn't get bumped when I laid on my side as much.

I'm always nervous about getting pierced, no matter what i'm having done. I'm especially nervous when I go alone, but Betty Ann made me feel perfectly comfortable. She has a really good bedside manner. The procedure was clean and sterile, and it even hurt less than my previous eyebrow piercing. She let me lie there for a minute while she went over the aftercare with me. Their aftercare is a little different than most shops i've been in, no soap at all, only sterile saline solution (no salt water soaks either).

I would rate the shop as a 9, the only thing keeping it from being a ten is the slightly high price. I've decided that when I finally stop being a chicken about it, i'm going to go back and get my nipples pierced.
**Note: I have the correct code for an lj-cut included but it won't work.

Generally I would recommend Aaron and Matt at Port City Tatoo in Wilmington, NC. They are friendly and make you feel absolutely at ease. They are fantastic at what they do and have been my piercers of choice in the past for non-surface piercings.

For those of you in the Charlotte, NC area, I'd recommend Jenn Small at Old Glory Tattoo and Body Piercing. She's new but she's very good at what she does.

But For complicated or surface piercingsCollapse )

Clarksville and Nashville, TN

Mantis Tattoo, Piercing, and Art Gallery, Clarksville, TN

I have to admit that I have seen a lot of horrible tattoos come out of Mantis. After an opening sentence like that, you must wonder why I went to a shop where I saw nothing but bad stuff come out of it. The truth is that I saw two extremes - really really bad stuff, and the most beautiful tattoos I've ever seen. I refused to go there for over six months because of the bad things I had seen. After personally meeting a few people who had beautiful work done at the shop, I asked a few questions and decided to check it out.

I started checking into Mantis by going to a suspension and art show they were hosting. I was impressed by the work that was around me (and I imagine only satisfied customers come back), and entertained by a suspension show done by Lone Wolf of Nashville, TN. It was later that night that my best friend was pierced by the artist Ben from Lone Wolf, which was a wonderful experience in and of itself. He was very professional, and had a lot of information about the piercing and type of curved barbell he used in her nipples as an alternative to straight that really opened our eyes. Definitely a 10 as a piercing experience. I cannot honestly rate him on his suspensions since neither I or anyone I know intimately became suspended by him. Pictures of the suspensions can be found on my IAM page, under the username mykuh.

After a lot of research, I found out that the best work came from Jay Mean and Brad (aka St. Valentine), the two main artists of the shop. After reviewing portfolios and hanging out a lot to get the feel of the artists themselves, I had decided that I wanted a new piece as a memorial to my mother, and I was willing to let Brad give it a shot.

Brad opened all new instruments for our sessions, and changed his gloves every time he touched anything but the machine or my skin. Other than the impressive sterility, he was very supportive of me as I lay in pain (my tattoo was on the ribs, the most painful spot I've gotten a tattoo to date), and offered me comforting words as he continued his work. None of my squeeling distracted him. The end result, in my opinion, is amazing. It's far better than I had imagined it would be when I thought up the idea.

Click here for the tattoo.Collapse )

In the end, I would rate Brad a 9.

As for the shop itself, it is nicely decorated and gives you a clean feeling when you sit down to look at the books. The walls are not littered with flash but rather, original art work by local artists. This definitely promotes custom work and not spurr-of-the-moment tattoos. The only problem with the shop is that there are a couple of artists that really do not treat the customers well. I do not know his name, but he charges outlandish prices and his book isn't even good. I would rate the shop itself a 5, with some of the other artist's attitudes bringing the shop down.

Mantis Tattoo has opened a new shop in Nashville, TN, where Brad occassionally works. If interested in Mantis, I would suggest visiting their periodic art shows, the next one being on December 3rd. It is a great place to mingle with the artists and get a feel for their shop and their work.

Atlanta, Ga

Hey, this comunity is a really good idea.

I'd just like to recomend two piercing shops in the Atlanta area:
1. Piercing experience in Candler park. I've never been pierced there, honestly (due to liability issues they don't pierce anyone under the age of 18 [extra cautious I guess]), but I KNOW they know their stuff. I think, from what I've heard, that they're one of the best (if the the very best) shop in Atlanta.

2. kolo body arts in little five points
They also know their stuff quite well. My inner conch which was my 1st piercing other than lobes healed wonderfully and never gave me any problems.
Hi all! Thanks for creating this community. Might still be a little too new (not enough members) to get one just yet, but either way...I'm going to Boston this week and I want to get my nipples pierced while I'm there. Any suggestions? I'm from Louisiana and have never been up towards that area. Thanks!
Dancing Dragon Tattoo and Piercing
Ft. Campbell (gate 6)/Oak Grove

Multiple visits.

I went to Dancing Dragon to get a pentacle done.  I had heard great things about the place and was impressed by the "books".  I made an appointment with James.  And this is where it went tragically down hill.  James does not show up for my appointment.  I waited about two hours.  He finally shows up and we get started.  He bitches about Big Brother through my two hour tattoo.  My husband, who was getting tattooed a few doors down in the shop by Chad is a Soldier.  Big Brother is paying for this tattoo.  I am patriotic and really didn't need to hear someone's insane ramblings while I was trying to meditate.  The tat ended up A-fucking-mazing though:

My husband's tatto by Chad is awesome...He was a professional too.  AJ had no complaints, sorry no pic.

Someone else is getting the same tattoo as mine and we wanted it by James to the point we were willing to risk the unprofessionalism for the quality.  My friend is only in town for a few days and we made an appointment.  James didn't show up...at all.  So we come back tomorrow and he says shit happens and he'll do it today...after lunch.  So, we wait an hour.  Then he gets started.  My friend is having muscle spasms and James is bitching him out to hold still.  You can't control something like that.  He actually slapped my friend to get him to "behave"! 

Last misadventure was mine.  I wanted to get my nipples pierced.  I was in a intense spate of emotional pain and it was something I have always wanted, so it was a good idea.  I went to the shop because it was open late and on the way home from Kansas (long story).  They didn't have needles.  Some excuse about a late truck, new shopgirl, couldn't find them...I got told to come back at 2pm the next day and we would be ready to go.  So I did and the piercer wasn't there.  I waited ten minutes, and left.

SO!  To rate the shop:

Cleanliness:  8--the needles were fresh, but the place itself was kinda icky.
Professionalism:  -3--I couldn't believe how asinine these people were.
Quality of work:  10--James and Chad did great work on me and my husband.
Atmosphere:  4--Kinda ghetto, you figure they could make the place not look like a dive
Aftercare instructions:  3  "You have tats, you know what to do."  I got a paper too.

Overall:  2.  I will never go here again.

Clarksville, TN (Midnite Tattoo)

Midnite Tattoo, Clarksville TN

I went to Midnite Tattoo for my fourth, fifth, and sixth tattoos.

Click for ImageCollapse )This was the complicated of the three pieces, and I am quite happy with the end product. Ruben at Midnite did this piece, which was drawn by a friend of mine on deviantArt. Ruben did mess up some linework and coloring, but it was a complicated piece, as you can see. Ruben opened all-new needles, et cetera in front of me, and used fresh gloves every time he touched ANYTHING other than the gun or my back. Ruben was quite professional and supportive the entire time, and I loved the end result. I came back to him to get my lip pierced. He opened all new equipment again, and rubbed the needle in ointment to aid its travel through my lip, and bam I was done. It was a painless experience and he was very understanding of my fear of my first EVER piercing. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most happy with my experience, I would give it an 8.

As for the shop, I do not have a good review. The wait time for my appointment was THREE HOURS because of a miscommunication with the administrative staff; which happened more than once. One of the tattoo artists came in off-duty, completely drunk beyond belief, because she had just married one of her co-workers after only knowing him a short time. The personal lives of my artists are not my business, and I know this, but I would appreciate some sense of decency and concern for business appearance. Just because one is in the tattoo business does not mean that you can do whatever you want. I feel that this is a reason to be even more professional, to increase the acceptance of your profession.

On a scale of 1-10, I would rate the shop a 1.

This shop was closed supposively due to financial need.
Boo Boo's Tattoo, Princeton, KY

I thought, since this is my group and I have some experience, I would jump-start this thing with a couple of reviews. The first of which is of Boo Boo's Tattoo in Princeton, KY. I went here for my first tattoo, which I happened to get as a gift for videotaping a friend getting a Jacob's Ladder piercing set. I also witnessed Boo Boo (the owner) pierce a lip and a tongue. Boo Boo always opened fresh piercing needles and gloves. He did not put any ointment on the needles to help them to part through the skin, and his piercing follow-up instructions were not complete.

My first tattoo with Boo Boo was a great experience, and it actually felt good, which should have been the first warning that something was wrong. He did not go nearly deep enough and my two tattoos had to be touched up a total of seven times combined, and they are still not maintaining color. He supports Tattoo Goo and believes that one aftercare procedure fits-all.

The shop condition was dirty. Not quite filthy, but Boo Boo's living arrangements in the back of the shop had begun to leak into the shop area, which was covered with his work-out equipment. Boo Boo did not do a lot of custom work and tended to work from Flash.

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best, I would rate Boo Boo's Tattoo as a 4.